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First of all, an RJ does not have a regular 9 to 5 job. He can be called to host or anchor a show anytime of the day or night. An RJ has to be very open to himself. Whatever may be your emotions an RJ is always happy. He should be culturally active. He should know his city well, the culture and be aware of main events taking place. You should know of the language or further some dialects of other languages also, to punch in whenever necessary. Since Radio cannot survive without Movies, Songs or Bollywood in terms of India, so awareness about them is considered a necessity. An RJ should also be able to write scripts for a show. One thing more if you have written your script yourself, you know of the subject matter and can change or manipulate at your own will.
An RJ has also to anchor Live shows. If speaking is your passion, talking to people comes naturally to you, fun never ends. Your every word is Live. You react to every song or item played. Everything is spontaneous but very relevant and entertaining. In short you may have the following qualities-
You enjoy talking to people and have a desire to be aware.
You must be original and should have your own style.
Your other voice performance or qualities like mimicry, local dialects and comedy or humour items helps to carry on the show.
You can't afford to have inhibitions or biases.
You should know how to provide variations and modulation in your voice. You should be fluent but not monotonous as this may create boredom in your audience monotone is a surefire way of losing your audience. Modulate your voice well and your fan following will increase and open the way to other assignments. If you can sound different on your show, people will enjoy listening to you.
Humans have a tendency to make mistake, if somehow a mistake has been made, either admit it or cover it up diplomatically. This may come up with experience or better listen to experienced RJs how they tackle these issues. Their professionalism, their relationship with listeners, the flow they are speaking, their interactiveness and so on. Also note how they interact live with listeners, how do they tackle some awkward queries or comments from callers. You should be ready to face that and cover up in your style quickly by changing the topic or by taking a break or playing a song. Mostly the telephone callers are briefed before for a minute or so before they come on live, this gets you an idea of the caller.
Another thing an RJ is familiarity with the sound equipment and computers. An RJ has to deal with sound mixers, faders, CD players, Call equipment, Computer for his songs and Ads database and microphones & headphones. An RJ has to be with them in his studio, so one has to be computer savvy or have a desire to learn more on that. He should be able to know, if a goof up happens or should switch over to alternate equipment quickly. Never the less there are technical support to help you.
Apart from all this, the most important thing is you need to be passionate to constantly explore, learn and know your USP( Unique Selling Practice). For some RJs their USP is their voice, for some it is spontaneity etc. You need to know what is your USP and refine it constantly.
Hope this has been helpful to you.
Thanks & Regards,Dr. Apurva Kumar Pandya, PhD
Founder Director at The Traffic People and Traffic Expert With most National News Channels
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