Edited August 2018
Do people tell you that you have a fantastic voice? Would you love to use your voice on the radio as a radio personality? Do you have dreams of becoming a celebrity radio presenter someday?
Truth is, many of my friends would answer in the affirmative to these questions but many of them have driven a huge wedge between their burning passion to become an OAP and their desire to achieve their dreams.
For some of them, the problem is that they do not have a degree in Communications. For some others, they fear their lack of experience. They think they do not have what it takes to get a job as a radio presenter and have a successful career. While for someone like my little sis Flourish, her introvert nature is her major challenge.
Whether you have a degree in Mass Communications or not; whether you have prior experience on the radio or not, whether or not you are an introvert, you can have a successful career as an OAP. Yes, I said so!
Ok. So, I am not a radio presenter myself but I have put it upon myself for the past 5 years to listen consciously to very compelling and successful popular OAPs in Nigeria.
I decided to share these 9 steps that will help you in your journey to becoming an “OMG OAP”.
Suggested Read: 6 Behaviors Of Highly Successful People
To start with, you may have to learn some career requirements for OAPs. However, most of these criteria may not hold water due to the huge shift from interest in certification to a preference for real-life skills.
Here are my ultimate 9 tips to becoming a successful OAP
CREATE YOUR NICHE
Research and create your own convenient area of interest or niche that you can profit from.
Your niche on the radio could range from entertainment to Sports; Music, Education, Comedy, Relationships, Lifestyles, Gossips, Celebrities shows, Motivational talks or even a combination of more than one interest.
But be careful not to be a Jack of all and master of none though. Choose a particular niche and you better be known as a pro in it. Your ultimate rule should be: Nobody should handle your niche better than you do.
People want to listen to you not the radio, be human. Your audience wants to know that behind that great voice is a human being who actually has feelings like them so real.
You have to create an emotional connection with your audience. To be able to achieve this, you may sometimes need to share your personal or experiences pertaining to your topic of discussion.
Let your fans know that you are not superhuman. You have your own strengths and weaknesses which you daily work on; they are not the only ones who may fall or make mistakes. If need be, chip in titbits about your work, your family and all.
Please do not bore us with details of your relationships. Who really cares who is breaking your heart? You should know where to draw your line, Please.
BE A SOURCE OF INFORMATION
As a radio presenter, you should always have useful information at your fingertips for your audience. Why? As an OAP, you are perceived as the go-to person for information. Your audience depends on you to be updated on what’s new and trendy in your niche on the radio. You can’t afford to disappoint them.
If you have to rent an apartment next to Linda Ikeji in her Banana Island mansion in order to get to know little about everything happening, please do. In any case, make sure you are the reliable source for hot ” as e dey happen information” for your listeners on radio.
SPEAK LIKE YOU
Who says you have to form Oprah’s voice to become a successful radio personality? You do not have to sound like a British or an “Americanah” to get your local audience to listen to your show.
As an OAP, adopt a tone of speaking and accent that is natural to you. Be the most real at your thing and people will fall in love you over time.
Besides, you definitely have got your own beautiful and unique voice that no one can replicate. Just stick to that, otherwise, your fans will “unfan” you for being fake.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Who is your target radio listeners? What is their age range? What are their concerns? What language do they understand? What do they like to hear?
You have to find out about your listeners before you can satisfy them accordingly.
When you know your audience very well, you will be able to serve them contents that will make them stay glued to their radio and love you as an OAP.
HAVE A G.S.O.H
Everyone needs a good laugh, at least when they are listening to the radio.
You need to have a great sense of humour to be an assertive and successful OAP.
People will tune in to your program for every reason but to be bored. In fact, no media house will have you for free to bore their hard earned audience.
As a radio personality, you have one huge responsibility. That is to make anyone who listens to you feel better than they were.
You don’t have to be Basket mouth to achieve this, you only have to learn how to see the positive and unserious side of the most serious subjects.
SAY IT THE WAY IT IS
Be blunt but be modest. Do not try to impress anyone by being overly critical of certain people. In order words, don’t be sentimental, just say it the way it is or the way you think it is.
If you want to have a career in the radio business and you want to stay in it for long, you better be ready to politely offend some people. Not the ones who pay your salary any.
Even if you speak pidgin, you must be able to command the language fluently. Your audience must be able to understand you without making efforts because that’s the essence of listening to you in the first place – to enjoy listening to you.
Learn to avoid being jerky when you are on the radio. This will help your audience stay glued to the radio while you speak. To achieve this read a lot of books, communicate a lot in the language of your show when you are off the air and listen to great and successful OAPs in a similar niche.
BE IN CONTROL
It is your show and not mine, so be in control. Even when calls are coming in or when you have visitors on your show, remember the show is still yours and you actually have all it takes to take the show the direction you want – as it pleases your Director.
The coolest thing about radio is that your audience doesn’t get to see you. You are relaxed as you are on air and you just do your thing.
If you have achieved these 9 steps mentioned above, happy OAPing! But what name do you think will be most appropriate for you as an OAP? Your real name or a nickname?
Let’s know your thought.
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