What Makes a Good Radio Host

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Since BlogTalk Radio came on the scene, more and more people have discovered they have something to say. The internet site calls itself the leading social broadcast network. They give you a platform and even provide an audience if you can’t get one on your own.

BlogTalk Radio has given permission to literally thousands of “radio host wannabes” to create their own live talk show. As someone who has done her share of radio and television talk shows over the past 30 years, I can tell you the majority of people on BlogTalk would never get a job on a traditional radio or television station. The reason being is they lack the essential skills necessary in order to hold the attention of an audience on a regular basis.

What skills does it take to be a good interviewer? Can anyone do it? Is there a certain formula to doing it right? The people who interview others well all have similar characteristics. They may not have they same style but they know how to command an audience with or without a guest.

Here are some tips on how to become a good radio host:

1) Have a Personality.  In a nutshell that means you should have some flair about you. No one wants to sit and listen to a monotone host who sounds like he or she would rather be somewhere else other than hosting their own show. Listen to some of your favorite hosts. What is it about them that you enjoy? I guarantee you one of the things you will say is they have personality. You don’t have to over the top like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh but make what you have to say enjoyable and pleasing to the ear.
2) Know Your Subject: The problem with some hosts is they rely heavily on their guests to supply them with information on the topic being discussed. That can be dangerous because how do you know for sure that what they’re telling you is accurate? Do your own homework and be prepared to ask questions on top of the ones that were probably spoon-fed to you by the guest.

3) Don’t DOMINATE the discussion: An interview is supposed to be a two-way conversation. You ask a question. You get a response. Some hosts get carried away with talking and allow little time for guests to say what they have to say. Don’t talk just to hear yourself talk.

4) Always have a back-up plan: What would you do if a guest cancelled the day of your show? Would you cancel your show or go on the air anyway? If you choose the latter, always try to have someone waiting in the wings who can be your last minute guest and who won’t mind. There are plenty of people looking for publicity so create a list and let them know you may have to call on them at a moment’s notice.

5) Don’t Fly Solo: Even I, as a veteran journalist, don’t like hosting a one-hour show by myself. You may think it’s a piece of cake but as time goes on you will either start repeating yourself or you’ll wind up with a lot of dead air. You should always be trying to build your listener base so that someone listening will call in to help you out.

Being a good radio host takes time and practice. Listen to the hosts who do it well and then develop your won style and, by all means, enjoy what you do!

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3 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Radio Host

  1. I agree coming from 12 years of radio (mostly music) I started a blogtalkradio show when I left the CC,CBS etc. It was a new experience because I am a Radio Personality – which is different from a Talk Show Host. Much more work, detail and time is needed. I look forward in networking with you in the near future.

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