Radio presentation is part of the freelance community, which is among the most competitive and successful professional communities in the world. The community has expanded progressively in the past few decades, particularly due to the contribution made by the Internet in bridging the gap between people and providing a common platform to everyone across the globe.
However, one should not feel too confident of the convenience attributed to freelancing since freelancing has become quite competitive, and you need more than just determination to become successful.
Here are four pointers you must keep in mind in order to become a freelance radio presenter:
1. Job requirements to become a freelance radio jockey
Voice is the primary factor in radio presentation; however, there are other requirements of which you must take note. These job requirements, if complied with, will help you gain preference over other applicants.
- The minimum educational qualification necessary to become a radio jockey is the completion of 10+2 from a recognized school.
- Upon the completion of 10+2, you become eligible to a number of Diploma and certificate courses in Radio Jockeying. There are Diploma in Radio Programming and Broadcast Management (DRPM), Diploma in Radio Jockeying (DRJ), Certificate Course in Radio Jockeying (CRJ).
- Interested candidates are required to appear in entrance examinations organized by a number of institutes such as EMDI Encompass Institute of Radio Management for the purpose of admission in the aforesaid courses. The written test is followed by a screening test in case of a certificate course. The courses last for six months.
- Upon the completion of the aforesaid courses, you become eligible to post-graduate Diploma course.
- Popular institutes that offer Radio Jockeying courses in the country include Academy of Radio Management, New Delhi; IRJ Institute of Radio Jockeying, Chandigarh; Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai; Centre for Research in Art of Film and Television, New Delhi; Media and Film Institute of India, Mumbai, etc.
- Mere formal education will not suffice unless there is practical experience. Employers primarily focus on formal education and experience for the purpose of selection, and therefore, it is important you give due importance to the same.
- There are a number of radio channels operational in the country where you can intern such as All India Radio (AIR), Radio Mirchi, Radio One, Fever FM, VivdhBhartiSeva, Big FM, etc.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance Radio Jockey
The job of a radio jockey requires a host of skills, and you must work on each and every one of them to ensure a progressive career.
- Voice: Your physical appearance will not matter, but it is your voice which will have an impact on your career. You must have a clear and legible voice, which should be interesting to hear. Without a good and pleasant voice, people will not be willing to spare their time to listen to the show. You must, therefore, hone your vocal skills through practice.
- Communication skills: What good would a radio jockey be if he lacks amazing communication skills? Throughout the presentation, you will have to regularly talk to callers, convey interesting news, and talk about gossips and what not. It is the talking which does the majority of the work, and therefore, you can never fall short of matters to talk about. Your communication skills should be people-oriented and expressive. Dull and monotonous mode of communication will dry up the interest of the audience—something which will be evident from the lack of participation from the audience. Thus, pay keen attention to your communication abilities.
- Multi-tasking: Radio jockeying is not just about accepting music requests; there are a number of other things a radio jockey is supposed to do. He has to manage the radio instruments, play music, and talk to callers and what not. This requires exemplary multi-tasking skills to handle multiple operations without impacting efficiency.
- New ideas: As mentioned above, employers look forward to working with individuals with young ideas. Overworked matters of discussion will not attract much attention from the audience, and therefore, novel ideas are important to keep the show alive. Thus, you must be able to come up with new, topical and interesting ideas to broaden the base of audience.
3. Work opportunities for a freelance radio jockey
There are a number of radio channels functional in the country, and most of them have already been mentioned above. A more fundamental question is how to keep a tab on the job availability in these channels. Well, you will have to go online!
There are a number of freelance websites that send regular notifications on job vacancies. In order to avail the benefits of these websites, you have to create a profile account, update a portfolio of skills and submit applications. While submitting applications, you must keep in mind drafting of the proposal—it enumerates the reasons why you are best suited for the job. Examples of such websites are linkedin.com, worknhire.com, freelance.com and guru.com.
4. Pay scale of a freelance radio jockey
The pay scale will largely depend on the number of years you have been in radio presentation, among many other factors. If you are starting new in the profession, you will typically earn between Rs.7,000 and 15,000; however, as you gain experience, your pay scale will increase progressively, and you may end up earning between Rs.25,000 and 50,000 per month. As a freelancer, you may even stipulate an hourly basis of pay, and for that, you must study well about the current trends.
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