Presenters are the 'anchors' of radio broadcasting. They have a high-profile role at the front line of broadcasting that calls for technical expertise and an outstanding communication style.
Whether in music or speech-based programming, Presenters are the 'voice' of a station, its public face. They establish the tone of a programme and build a rapport with the audience. Presenters will also be involved with the overall content and production of a show and carry out various technical tasks.
Presenters work as part of a team with producers, editors, broadcast assistants and other colleagues. Their specific responsibilities vary significantly depending on the nature of the show.
Working hours differ, depending on the type of programme. Some presenters have to work long and irregular hours. The work is usually based in studios and offices, but Presenters may also work on location, which can mean outdoor work in all weathers.
What Can I Expect to Get Paid?
Most presenters are self-employed and work on a freelance basis. Salaries vary widely, ranging from £14,000 for a presenter starting out on a local radio station to more than £150,000 for the best-known presenters.
- A presenter must have excellent communication skills and a clear and attractive voice for broadcasting
- confidence, a likeable personality and the ability to create a rapport with an audience
- research and interviewing skills
- the ability to handle stress and make quick decisions under pressure
Who Employs Presenters?
The main employers include local and independent radio stations, the BBC, commercial radio groups and independent production companies. Competition for jobs is fierce.
Do I Need to Do a Course?
There are no set entry qualifications, but many presenters have higher-level qualifications although practical experience is equally important. Student radio, hospital broadcasting and community radio can offer useful experience. Entry routes are very varied: for instance, presenters in news or current affairs generally need training and experience in journalism; music radio presenters may start out as club DJs. Having specialist subject knowledge may be an advantage.
Many companies offer short courses for presenters. Some can be expensive, so check their content to make sure they are going to be useful. Creative Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media, can offer practical advice.
There is no formal career structure for presenters. Many presenters seek to move on to a national station or to a more high-profile, peak-time show.
You can find more useful information about Radio Presenting from the links below: