There is lots of important information you need to know if you are working in the radio station 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 items 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.
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, e.g. if you are planning on working for a station that has an audience of ages 30+, you wouldn’t talk in modern slang (whassup!) or talk about the latest X-box game you're currently hooked on, and vice versa.
Knowing the equipment. It's very important that you know how to use the equipment you will be using during shifts. These include the phone system, CD/tape players, audio editing programs, announcer desk, and what knowing the broadcasting system the station uses.
Here are a few things you need to know:
Programmes played - You need to know what items 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, 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.
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.
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 Brother or your best mate).
Practicing during each song set is also helpful to refresh your mind before your next break.
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.
It may take some time before you get a good announcing. 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.
If you don't allow much time to prepare information for shifts, this can sometimes lead to getting some facts and information wrong.
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....
Some exercises for clear speech:
Having clear speech requires a relaxed face and jaw. Here are a few exercises to improve the clarity of your speech.
Practice jaw exercises to enhance clarity of speech. Use a mirror to aid you in this step. Here are some exercises to help. These also help relax the jaw, making speech a lot clearer:
1.Make wide chewing motions while humming gently.
2.Stretch every muscle in your jaw and face. Open your mouth as wide as possible (as if you were about to yawn), while moving your jaw in circles, and sideways.
3.Open your mouth wide, as in the previous exercise, and shut it again. Repeat 5 times.
4.Try tongue twisters. Start off slowly, and gradually build up until you say them at normal conversation speed. When speaking them, overexaggerate the words, making your tongue, jaw and lips work hard. As you become more sure of them, begin to project your voice and overexaggerate the words more. This helps you gain skill.
5.Have a conversation with yourself in front of the mirror. It may sound silly, but it does help. Again, overexaggerate your words as you speak.
6.Gargle some lukewarm water with a pinch of salt. This helps relieve tension in the throat.
Avoid speaking with clenched teeth.
7.Don't rush when speaking. Talk deliberately, but not so slow that you are a robot.
Swallow excess saliva. Saliva left in the mouth can result in mumbling and distortion of consonants such as "S" and "K".
8.Say "AW"- (like "Arkansas" -- drop the jaw).
9.Say "EE"-Pull the corners of your lips back and say "Eeeeee...."
10.Practice these vowel sounds by adding any consonant like,"paa paw poh poo pay pee pie, saa saw soh soo say see sigh.."
Demosthenes, a Greek thinker, used to speak with rocks in his mouth to improve his stuttering. It might be worth trying with something clean, safe and edible, such as cookies or ice cubes. Be careful!
You may feel a little weird or even amused while doing some of these exercises, but the more you practice them, the easier and rewarding it will become.
Another exercise is to write a few sentences on a piece of paper, then underline the last letter of each word. When you read the paper, exaggerate the last letter, then pause for a few seconds. You could also put commas between a lot of the words.
When working the jaw and mouth, don't push yourself so far that you hurt yourself. If you feel pain, relax your face a bit.