Radio lessons taken straight from a gym work out

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November 12, 2014 by johnnyseifertradio

Being fourteen stone instead of the recommended twelve and a half stone I decided that now would be a good time to get a personal trainer. Turning up to Lauren White’s house was amazing. Living in Hertfordshire her house was the equivalent of the New Broadcasting House in Great Portland Place, London. However, nothing was as amazing as walking through the house and passed the Jacuzzi in the garden as we walked in to heaven or in radio terms, the radio studio. Lauren was brilliant with me, for an hour she explained and practiced a cardio work out.

LWI had previously been informed that I should not just burn 100 calories per three machines but actually use each machine for ten minutes and change the levels that I do continuously so that I would go from a sprint to a walk and back again. In radio terms this is like going into a radio studio, pressing play on a song and talking over the intro and outro. Radio is more than this; radio is about that golden award winning content. Radio is about talking to an audience of six million and makes each listener feel unique. Radio is all about lessons and that is what today’s blog is all about.

There is a misconception about going to the gym. Previously I would walk straight into the gym, jump on the machines do their ten minutes on each and leave again. However, what happened to the stretches before and after exercise? What happened to doing the planks? Lauren was brilliant with me, she was patient and helped me to do thirty planks after walking in and not even being able to do one. A plank starts by being in a press up position before in turn changing your hand to balancing on your elbow and swapping between arms. In radio we do this with show prep. I remember when I was hosting a radio show once on page eight of my running order script when the next presenters came in. I asked them what they were doing on their show to allow listeners the exclusives to that they stayed with the radio station and they said they would read out some drunken text messages that they had sent and take it from there. Where was the research in topical news stories? Where was the preparation of external audio other than the songs? Where the segments that were interactive for the listener to part were take in?


I have just finished reading for the past twenty-seven days John Myers personal autobiography “Team It Is Only Radio” looking back at thirty years in the radio industry. Every page had a lesson to learn and I want to highlight a couple of lessons that I learnt from my inspiration and idol. These lessons with how to get into radio I have resonated with and it has given me the confidence that what I am doing is right and has furthered my motivation to be a successful radio broadcaster.

Be friendly to the Person Assistant to meet that key decision maker- It is unlikely that the person you want to speak to will directly invite you and arrange the time. The personal assistant has a duty to look after the diary of the bosses of radio stations and so you will be in email correspondence with them up to the time that you meet with who you want to see. I would advise that you are always pleasant, ask how they are and always thank them for going the extra mile for you even though they have just agreed to a meeting for you. The PA is the gatekeeper and if you get on the wrong side of them they can prevent your career from progressing the radio station you want to be in.

Having an interview with the decision maker– I have spoken about research for shows above but what about the dreaded interview? I am sorry to say I love radio interviews for jobs or just for networking purposes. Radio is such a small industry and it is a great way to geek out and share a passion for radio presenters which non-radio lovers do not understand. For example, I always speak about Chris Moyles, Chris Evans, Kenny Everett, Zane Lowe, Stephen Nolan, Stephanie Hirst and Foxy and Guiliano.  However, the PD or MD of the radio station might ask you what you know about the station. John told the story of someone not knowing the schedule. It is such easy research to remember a list of ten names of which you will already know the Breakfast and Drive-time hosts out of knowledge. Secondly, make sure you listen to the output of the radio station before the interview. It may sound silly but it is always good to refer to a piece of content that you heard earlier that day as it shows you listen, shows your topical and usually gives the PD or MD a chance to know what their presenters spoke about this morning whilst they were in back to back meetings. John gave an important lesson to finish this paragraph off and that is the interview does not end until you have left the building. In the meeting you are encouraged to talk about yourself, your skills and your knowledge, this is the perfect time not to check your Facebook and Twitter updates but instead compliment the work the interviewer has done, share two facts you learnt about them and help to massage their ego. We all love an ego boost. In addition, whilst radio presenters can look slobby presenting in onsies, first impressions count and I would advise wearing a suit. Least because it gets you in that frame of mind that you are being judged and everything you present will be cross examined.


You are on the air, But, when do you thank a caller?– As you are a radio geek reading this you know how excited back in the day you were to call into radio stations. I remember Stephanie Hirst calling into a radio station that much that he was banned from calling in anymore. I remember when I called up a radio station that much to play a game in the morning that they told me I had to count six weeks before I could try again. It is true, from a producer’s point of view you want to have a variety of callers. However, a problem that John found out was that presenters were thanking everyone from news to travel who are just doing their jobs. When having a listener call in whilst it is true you are grateful you have interaction on the show and you are grateful the caller can make you feel good, you must remember that you are the star and they are the caller. The caller should be grateful for you and give you gratitude as you are the one giving them their thirty seconds of fame. You have effectively employed them to be on air, they have not employed you they have just chosen to listen to you. It could be argued that one should only thank the listener for adding a value to the debate maybe exploring a new tangent on the topic being discussed. This is the best radio as the presenter ends up learning so much from listeners that have real life experiences. John knowing I like food has made a great comparison with salt being the thank you to the food being the callers. Use those thank you’s sparingly and do not over salt your food!

Lauren White-

John Myers-


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