How to Be a Radio Announcer

Three Parts:Finding a role as a radio announcerStarting at the stationPreparing a shift

There is lots of important information you need to know if you are planning on working in the radio industry as an announcer. Finding a station to work for, knowing important facts such as your audience (your listener), everything about the station you are working for (history, the way the station is run etc), preparation for your shifts (knowing the songs that are going to be played, knowing the artists and knowing what you're going to talk about). There's a lot more to know about announcing and pulling a good shift.

Part 1
Finding a role as a radio announcer

  1. Image titled Be an Awesome Radio Announcer Step 1
    Look for a job. When you’ve found a station that you would like to work for, you need to send in your CV, application letter and a tape showing your on-air skills (personality pieces, interviews, news reading and weather, etc). It may help if you have some knowledge in the industry and have had previous work experience. If you have done so, put onto tape everything you’ve done that you think may sell yourself to the radio station/manager. If you haven't, put together a tape yourself using a stereo and microphone, recording yourself reading news and weather, and other things that are entertaining.

Part 2
Starting at the station

  1. Image titled Be an Awesome Radio Announcer Step 2
    Do your homework. Before you actually get a shift on radio, you need to know about the station. This includes what music they play, their target audience, their programming, the station history and their audience. This is important because you need to know that what you're going to talk about on air is going to interest them. For example, if you are planning on working for a station that has an audience of ages 30+, you wouldn’t talk in modern slang (Sup, yo!) or talk about the latest Xbox game you're currently hooked on, and vice versa.
  2. Image titled Be an Awesome Radio Announcer Step 3
    Familiarize yourself with the equipment. It's very important that you know how to use the equipment that will be used during shifts. These include the phone system, computer system, main control board, audio editing programs, announcer desk, and what knowing the broadcasting system the station uses.

Part 3
Preparing a shift

  1. Image titled Be an Awesome Radio Announcer Step 4
    Prepare a shift. Preparing a shift takes time. Here are a few things you need to know:
    • Songs played - You need to know what songs are going to be played during your shift, and when they are going to be played.
    • Artists - Find information on some of the artists you will be playing. Prepare artist news, shows, new albums etc.
    • Current Affairs - It's a good thing to mention what's happening, including local events and local, national or international news.
    • Entertainment - This can include things such as this day in history, celebrity news (remembering your audience), and things that simply occur in day to day living that we can relate to.
  2. Image titled Be an Awesome Radio Announcer Step 5
    Prepare in advance. Preparing a shift right before you're due to go on isn't the best experience. You need time to practice what you're going to say before you go on. If you don't have time to practice, this can lead to slipping up and making mistakes (see "Warnings" below).
  3. Image titled Be an Awesome Radio Announcer Step 6
    Develop your presence. Practicing before you go on can give you more confidence, and less mistakes. For best results, practice what you're going to say thoroughly, then write short sentences and improvise around them. When you read directly what you've written it can often sound unnatural (like you're reading a story book). Talk like you you would to someone you know (your mother or your best mate).
  4. Image titled 77696 7
    Improve your delivery. Try tongue-twisters and sentences that need a lot of intonation. By trying some of the following phrases, and slowly increasing speed, you get your mouth prepped and in working order before going on the air. It decreases the chances of you fluffing up by pronouncing things wrong, or spoonerisms. Try these phrases:
    • "There's a peacock on the car park."
    • "Red lorry, yellow lorry".
    • "The teeth, the tongue, the tip of the lips".
    • "She sells seashells by the seashore".
  5. Image titled Be an Awesome Radio Announcer Step 7
    Increase your knowledge. Always make sure that you have enough information regarding anything that happens in the world, and in your community. This is very essential because a microphone can drain all your backup information.


  • If you make a mistake, don't stop, apologize nor comment, just keep going. We all make mistakes when first starting out. The more confident you become, and the more practice you put in, you will become more fluent.
  • If you can't get the announcing job straight away, be prepared to do all and any jobs in the radio station. Often in smaller stations they ask staff to voice ads for them. This is a great opportunity to be noticed.
  • Practicing during each song set is also helpful to refresh your mind before your next break.
  • It may take some time before you get a good announcing job. All you can do is take in and use constructive criticism, and keep on looking if you are dedicated to it.
  • Sit in and watch other announcers to see how they respond on air to every situation, when things go right and when things go wrong.


  • You need to find an approach to be unique in your own way.
  • Prevent yourself from always talking about the traffic, the weather, the weekend, and the holidays.
  • Learn to use your voice and become more artistic in using it.
  • If you don't allow much time to prepare information for shifts, this can sometimes lead to getting some facts and information wrong.
  • You need to be "sharp" and quick thinking with lots of natural knowledge.
  • Use your voice to "JEL" with the melody of the song, or music.
  • Learn to understand that you only talk to one person, and not a crowd.
  • If you haven't had any or much experience, it may be a bit harder for you to get an announcing job, unless you have a good natural speaking voice and a good feel for radio. Radio requires lots of skills.
  • Know your stations music, recognize the melody of each song. Make use of the song to make the program "JEL".
  • Be prepared for rejection. This isn't an easy career to get into. If you do get your first job, it may be some time before you get an actual shift.
  • You need to create the right energy for the right type of music, and the right type of program.
  • Never lose your personality, or become offended.

Article Info

Categories: Visual & Written Media