Industry Tips & Advice: What Is Needed to Become a Radio Personality? by Keith Evans

Radio personalities seem to have a dream job; they get paid to talk, exhibit their best one-liners and witty banter, and always seem to have fun. Becoming an on-air personality is serious business, though, and some basic skills are required simply to land an interview.

A Good Radio Voice
A good radio voice is not too deep or too high, and generally free of regional inflections (accents), except in specific radio genres or local broadcasts. A radio personality should always properly enunciate words.
A Sharp Mind
Radio personalities are renowned for their sharp wit and ability to quickly respond to subtle cues. These traits are not inherent to all individuals, and a very sharp mind is required to keep up with on-air requirements.
The Ability to Censor
Radio personalities must refrain from vulgarities, profanity and even seemingly subtle allusions to comply with federal broadcast regulations. Not only does a radio personality have to know the rules, he must have the self-discipline to follow them.
The Ability to Read with Emphasis
Radio personalities frequently read news bulletins, advertising copy and scripts on air, but always sound as if they are speaking off the top of the head. An ability to read copy while sounding natural and spontaneous is a hallmark of a successful radio personality.
Familiarity with the Industry
Many popular and famous radio personalities started as unpaid interns, working for free, simply to gain an understanding of the industry. Serious potential personalities must be willing to enter the industry through whatever means necessary.


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