I have many friends who love to become OAPs (On Air Personalities). However, many of them seem to have driven a huge wedge between their burning passion and their desire to achieve it. For some of them who do not have a degree in Mass Communications, they feel they do not have what it takes to be a successful OAP. While for someone like my little sis Flourish, her shyness is her barrier. So, haven conscientiously listened to very forceful popular OAPs for many years, I decided to share these 9 steps that will help you to become an “oh-am so happy-she’s-on air” OAP!
CREATE YOUR NICHE
Create your own convenient area or niche and profit from it. Your favorite areas could range from entertainment to sports, music, education, comedy, religion, live issues, gossips, music, events, celebrities show, motivational show or even a combination of two. But be careful not to be a Jack of all and master of none. Choose a particular niche you would be known as a pro. The only rule is: Nobody should handle that area better than you do, No!
People want to listen to radio voices that are human. They want to feel that behind the voice is a human being who actually have some kind of feelings that is similar to theirs. To be able to achieve this emotional connect with your audience, you sometimes need to share your own story with your audience. I do not mean you should tell us the details of your marital wahala oh. Your audience just needs to be assured that you also have certain strengths and weaknesses which you daily work at and they are not the only ones who fall. If need be, chip in pieces of comments – just bits- about your work, friends, plans etc.
You should always have useful information at your fingertips for your audience always. You are perceived as an outgoing all in all informant and your audience depend on you to be updated on what’s new and trendy in your area of specialization. So you have to know how to live next to Linda Ikeji and make sure that you know little about everything happening, and be the first to intimate your audience with it.
SPEAK LIKE YOU
You don’t have to form an Oprah’s voice or try so hard to sound like Olisa on the Radio. You do not have to sound like a British to get your local audience to listen to your show. As an OAP, adopt a style of speaking that is natural to you so you can be the realest at your thing. 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 are your target audience? What is their age range? What are their concerns? What language do they understand? What do they like to hear? You have to find the answers to these questions before you can serve them appropriately. By knowing your audience very well, you will be able to give them contents that will make them fall in love with their radio and 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 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 an OAP, you have one huge responsibility. That responsibility is to make any one who listens to your show 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 funny and positive side of the most serious subjects.
SAY IT THE WAY IT IS
Be blunt but 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. If you want to have a career in this business and you want to stay in it for long, you better be ready to politely offend some people. But not the one who pays your salary.
Even if you speak pidgin, you have to have be able to command the language fluently. Your audience must be able to understand you without making efforts because that’s the essence of the whole show. Learn to speak without being jerky. This will help your audience stay glued to the radio while you speak. You do not need a foreign education to achieve this. Read a lot of books, communicate a lot in the language of your show when you are off air and listen to great successful good shows similar to yours.
BE IN CONTROL
It is your show so the control is yours. 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. And the coolest thing about radio is that your audience don’t see you. so do your thing and free yourself.
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 nick name?