Hi there, my name’s Kate Cocker, and I’m the Presenter Coach. I’ve been working with radio presenters now for the last, well, over 15 years, really. People at the top of their game, people just starting out.
So I wanted to share some of the tips and techniques that I’ve been using with those presenters. And one of the first things that I’ve really come across a lot, especially with my clients today, is about starting.
So is it that you aren’t presenting now, but you’d really, really love to be a radio presenter? Or it might be that you’ve been presenting in music radio, for a really long time, but you’d like to make the transition into talk radio.
In both cases, the biggest tip that I can give you is start doing what it is you want to do. So, if you’ve never done radio before, make sure that you get onto the radio. Make sure that you’re broadcasting regularly. You can do this by going to a community radio stations, there’s a great little system called Upload Radio, where you can pay to put your show together and they upload it to their internet radio station. There’s a ton of internet radio stations, probably in your local area, and worse come to worse, you’ve always got podcasting, and that’s a great option.
So get broadcasting, get doing, listen, and get yourself some feedback. If you’re transitioning from something like music radio into talk radio or sports broadcasting, the same applies. Get yourself into a position where you are making sporting or talk radio, and you’re broadcasting in that way.
Because the thing you’re gonna need is content to send to program controllers to convince them that you’re trustworthy, and you’re also gonna need the opportunity to just get better at it, and you can only do that by putting in the time.
If you want some more tips and trick to help you craft the skills that you’ve got for radio presenting, then check out my online course at thepresentercoach.co.uk/radio.
Press play on the video below to watch my presenting tips to slow yourself down.
Hi there, my name’s Kate Cocker, and I’m The Presenter Coach. I’ve been working with radio presenters, now, for over 15 years, whether it be producing, or coaching them, to be better on air. But my biggest thing is, that you get to be the best that you can be, and you have all the tools to do that, and all the skills to do that.
Now, I was in the supermarket the other day, and one of the guys in the supermarket had seen one of my videos, and said to me, “Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate, Kate,” his name was Abs, “I need you to help me with something. “I’m on the radio. I’m on at Reform Radio, and I want to improve my pace because I speak really fast.”
Now, pace is something that comes up a lot and, in fact, three times this week, I have done this exercise that I’m going to share with you now, that will help you with improving the speed you’re talking at.
So, most of us speak very quickly, when we’re with our friends and we’re very excited, and we’re talking with our friends. And on air, that doesn’t always translate to something that’s legible. Some people drop their T’s and all the words merge together. And it’s really important that people can really understand what you say.
The one reason that listeners will turn off is if they can’t understand what’s going on, like when the phone crackles, when the call is on, and lots of pick listeners will go, “Oh, I can’t hear it; I’ll turn off.” And if you’re speaking too quick, that’s going to have a similar impact.
So, there are two things that you can do.
First of all, let the silence in
So, when you are doing your presenting, and you’re doing your links, or when you’re doing a monologue, even, if you’re on talk radio, it’s, sometimes really powerful to just let the silence in. And I’m not talking about extending the end of your sentence. I’m just talking about: Let the silence in.
It works with guests as well. If you’ll pause, they’ll fill the space. But for this, you just need to slow your words down, slightly, and let the silence in at poignant moments.
The second exercise that you can do, and you can do this at home, you can do this any time, but I urge you to really push yourself, is to…
Practice slowing down
So, let’s talk about it on a scale. Let’s say that your speed, if you’re speaking on the radio, should be about a five, so you’re speaking at a really nice pace.
When you hear the terms and conditions guy at the end of a radio advert, or even a podcast pre-roll, and that’s speaking this really quickly, that’s 10. Most of us probably speak about a 7 or an 8 when we’re with our friends, or we’re chatting away.
So, you’re aiming for a 5. But five can be a really difficult place to find. And it can feel really uncomfortable when you first start doing it, as with all things. So, what I do with my clients, is I get you to extend your vowels, and really slow down to about a 1 or a 2.
So, for example, let’s get some tips out of the book. Okay, so the sentence is: When you understand this point, a whole world of topics opens up for you. With enough research, you can become an expert on any topic.
So, then I would ask you to slow right down. So, you go: When you understand this point, a whole world of topics opens up for you. And then, I would say, “Slower.” And I think I can go slower.
It’s a really great exercise. And I work with my clients, and I just keep saying, “Slower,” until I get to the point where there’s a little giggle and I know that they’re really uncomfortable. And then, what happens is, you go back to asking them to read the sentence and it goes to normal, a good pace.
You suddenly feel more comfortable because you stretched yourself into being really uncomfortable; you’re now more comfortable speaking slightly slower. So, if you’re having trouble with pace, two things:
Add some pauses, get some space into what you’re saying; and
Practice that exercise where you are really slowing down the words, so you feel really uncomfortable, so when you go back to speaking normally, it doesn’t feel as uncomfortable to speak this pace of 5.
So, you’ve go to find your 5, and then you can move forward from there.
Well, I hope that’s been of use. I hope that’s been helpful for you. If you want more tips and techniques on how to be a better presenter, whether that be on the radio, or podcasting, or even on stage, then you can go to thepresentercoach.co.uk/radio, where you’ll find my online training course for radio presenters and can get the first module, completely for free, if you sign up.
Hi, Kate Cocker here and here’s the next in-depth Radio Presenter Tip “Mic Technique”.
Which Way Round Is It?
How Far Away?
How To Avoid The Dreaded Pop!
Please feel free to like, comment or ask questions AND please share this post with someone you know who is in radio, runs a great podcast or broadcasts online. To check out Module 1 of my new “Better Radio Presenter” Course 100% free of charge,visit http://ThePresenterCoach.co.uk/radio
Click the play button to watch the video below.
Hi, my name’s Kate, I’m The Presenter Coach. And I just wanted to do a little bit with you about how to get some good mic technique going.
So here’s the microphone, hi microphone, hi. And I’m always really surprised that people don’t really understand where to talk into these microphones ’cause this is what you normally have in a radio studio.
Sometimes they are up the other way, and they’re like, so. But what you’re looking for, if you tug this down, there is often a logo at the top of the microphone, and that is where you wanna be speaking into. So you’re always talking into this part of the microphone, not like this unless it is an absolutely directional mic in that way. So you’re talking into it like this, good old king’s speech, if you watched The King’s Speech, he does this. It’s always good to have a good distance from it.
Now if you’re too close to the microphone, you are gonna lose the texture in your voice, and you’re gonna really go ‘th th th th th th’ as you do it. I worked with a presenter once, and she was really good vocally, and I couldn’t quite work out what it was that,.. Meaning that actually she sounded a little bit flat, and we realized she was just far too close to the mic. So if you come back, you’ll be able to get your vocal range and tone.
Obviously, if you need to shout, really lean back! And if you wanna go really intimate, you can actually go really close, but make sure you go quiet again.
Now the number one problem that people struggle with is popping of the mic which is when you get that sound ’cause there’s too much air coming out of your mouth and to the mic. And even with one of these lovely pop shields, you don’t always get the results that you want.
So one thing to do if you’re finding that you are popping loads, and you can’t control it, and it’s really annoying in your headphones, you can move away from the mic a bit ’cause that will stop the air rushing at the mic, but the one thing you could do is talk across it slightly, so that when your air is coming out of your mouth, it’s going straight across and not directly into the mic, and that will really help with reducing that popping.
And that’ll help if you’re doing podcasts with a little mic on the table, and you’re finding that you’re popping loads. Just move the airflow away from the mic slightly, but don’t turn your head away obviously because then you’ll just lose all the power of the sound of your voice.
Why has everyone suddenly gone podcast mad? Business leaders, thought leaders, radio presenters, tv stars are all getting on the audio train lately. Feeling like you might be too late to start yours? Don’t.
Here’s why you should consider it:
1. Podcasts are really easy (and cheap) to make
Not only is the equipment super cheap, it’s easier to edit out mistakes, and you don’t have to put your make up on or do your hair before you press record. Podcast wear = whatever your think is appropriate, and that may be your pyjamas.
And as a quick overview:
You need 3 pieces of equipment for podcasting: 1) a microphone 2) an audio recorder 3) an audio editor
If you work in radio or media production, you probably have access to these already, but all can be found for under £100 each. You can even record you speaking on applications like zoom.us (free) and edit on something like iMovie. Plus that phone in the palm of your hand has a load of audio recording/editing capacity.
Then you need a host to put the audio on to, check audioboom, libsyn, soundcloud, Acast
And then you need a platform to broadcast from: Apple Podcasts, Acast, podbean (see point 3)
2. You’ll Find Your Voice
When you are working on behalf of a company, you have to adhere to brand image, editorial policies and formats. This can get in the way of you finding your true voice and being able to express what you care about.
With a podcast you really get the opportunity to put your passions and interests first. Give people the chance to get to know you and your values. It feeds your other work as well by encouraging you to form stories and communicate succinctly. If you do a weekly podcast, it will improve your day to day communication.
3. Apple Have Upped Their Game
It’s been a long time coming but Apple are about to release analytics to podcasters. The newly titled “Apple Podcasts” is the main platform for podcast listening and up until now, they’ve kept the analytics hidden from podcast creators. If you’re a creator, you’re going to be able to see just how people listen to your audio, whether they listen to the end, skip bits or tune out.
This data means that we can only start to improve, and if you are starting now, it gives you an efficient feedback loopmaking it efficient for you to improve.
4. You’ll Reach Your Audience & Create A Meaningful Connection
It’s fine to treat your audience to your vlog, but if you want to get content right through into the hearts and minds of your audience, listening is where it’s at.
Well produced audio has a habit of seeping in to the brain in a way that visual can’t. Let’s face it, your listeners are busy people, they can’t stop to watch you all the time they have things to do. But they can listen to you while they have things to do.
I have been working in radio for the last 20 years and have helped people produce podcasts, consutled and done a lot of listening. It’s time for me to start too, watch this space.
“I’m not funny…” is the number one reason I hear for people trying to avoid standing in front of people and speaking. “I mean I can be funny when I’m with my friends, but I’m not funny on stage…”
There is no doubt about it, being funny is a great tool to connect with people and create a light uplifting enjoyable talk. But… the good news is you don’t have to “be funny”, to “be funny” for your audience.
You see, being funny is never where you start from. Being honest, telling your stories and creating a connection is where you start from. this is the key to engaging an audience. If it’s there, funny comes later.
Interestingly when I coached four of the presenters for the Next Radio Conference in September, only ONE of them stood out as being naturally funny, but ALL FOUR presentations had people laughing.
By using me as a coach for their talks, my clients are able to find the funny lines if they exist. More often than not the jokes appear like bubbles rising to the top once the speech is discussed, designed, written and rehearsed. I’m gonna stick my neck out and say: 90% of making someone laugh is in the delivery of a line. And the reaction of laughter, doesn’t come because you told a joke, it’s a reaction of surprise and familiarity in a story you told.
So rest assured, the pressure of being funny is felt by everyone, being funny isn’t the key to creating an engaging talk, and you will only know if there is funny in your talk once you’ve written it. Use a trusted friend, associate or coach to help you hear what it is you are trying to say, and if the funny stands out they’ll be able to find it for you.