So – the moment has eventually arrived and you are ready for your first broadcast. The show is planned, your content on the website is up to date and you have decided on the time and date for your first show. This is the final post which will show you have to actually connect up to the station and what to do for those final preparations. Nearly there!
Set the scene – You have probably been telling people that you will be going live for some time now, but make sure on the last day that you let them know that the time has come. If you are on twitter, then try and build up the expectation throughout the day – how are you feeling? how long to go? – without tweeting every two minutes though! Get everything setup about an hour before the show is due to start – this will give you plenty of time to sort things if anything is not working. Make sure that you have a space to broadcast from and that you are not going to get interrupted – even if this means making a sign for your door or ensuring everyone else knows that you will be busy during the hour. There is nothing worse than someone coming in half way through a segment and asking you if you would like a cuppa! Check all your software and make sure it is working and that the internet is up and running. I always make sure I have some water with me, just in case I get a dry throat, although keep it well away from the equipment! It is a good idea to turn off notifications or put them on silent so you don’t get a Facebook Message halfway through your show. Scene set, its time to warm up!
Warm up – As soon as you go live, your adrenaline levels will be high and you will be, despite what you think, quite nervous. Technology has a habit of going wrong and this always adds to the tension and nerves for your first performance. Take the time to practice the introduction you have scripted – even use your ‘presenter’s’ voice and the bedding track if you are using one. Ten minutes before going live, I always find that saying tongue twisters help me get my voice into gear. Five minutes before going live get yourself settled and headphones on – tell everyone that you are about to go live and get ready for the hardest part of the show…the technical side of things!
Stopping Alvin! – The radio station has an AutoDJ – Alvin – who keeps the station live 24/7. In order to connect to the station and start to broadcast you need to stop Alvin. Once he is stopped, there is some music which is set up to automatically start when there is no connection to the station – so don’t be worried if you hear some music before your show starts. The process to get connected is simple – but it can be confusing so read this carefully so you know exactly what to do.
- Log into the Radio’s Control Webpage – you will have been given a username and password for this when you joined. **THIS IS NOT THE WILSON WAFFLING RADIO WEBPAGE!**
- Press the STOP button in the AutoDJ section – the page will change and there will be the option to press RETURN – do this
- Connect to the station via your software
- Start recording
- Start playing your first track
- congratulations – You are now LIVE!!!!!
If possible, it is a good idea to have the radio station on another device so you can see whether you are live. Make sure your microphone is off so prevent feedback. If this isn’t possible then get a friend or family member to message you and say – ‘we can hear you!’. It is also worth having someone listening to make sure your levels are good.
Throughout the show – This is something which you really want to do, so my first piece of advice to you is to enjoy it! Remember that person you created as an audience and talk to them. Keep relaxed and focused. Try to read your next segment during the previous song so you are ready to go and it sounds as natural as possible. If you have people sending you messages saying that they are enjoying the show give them a mention and express your thanks. Anything else, ignore. One thing everyone does, and I am really bad for this, is that you look at the number of listeners and either talk about this or let it impact on how you are presenting. Try to ignore the number of listeners – I know it is hard – but you need to just enjoy broadcasting whether you have thousands of people listening or just your family and best friend. Don’t judge your show on listener figures. My final piece of advice would be, stick to your script. Once you have done several shows then you will be more relaxed and will be able to deviate from this more. However, for your first show, stick to it – you have taken the time to plan it so now use it.
Ending your broadcast – Before you know it, the hour will be coming to the end and it will be time to say good bye to your audience and get Alvin back in action. It is always best to have some music at the end of your show, so you can engage with the technical side of things. The process is actually the reverse of what you have done before.
- Stop your recording
- Disconnect your encoder so you are no longer connected to the station
- Press the play button in the AutoDJ section
- When the page changes, press the word RETURN on the screen
- And you are off air
It is a good idea to check the web version of the station at this point to make sure that everything is back to normal and Alvin is active again. Remember, sometimes you need to refresh this page to see/hear the changes
That’s it! Well done! Hopefully everything has or will go according to plan and you have just completed your first show – excellent! If you are worried about anything then just get in touch with a station manager and they can sort things out for you. Although we aim to be as professional as we can as a station, we totally accept that things go wrong so don’t worry about this happening – we all live and learn. You now have a week or two before your next show, so take a break and chill for a while. Answer any posts you got on social media and send one out showing your appreciation to everyone who listened in. You have completed your first show. We hope you enjoyed it and that you would like to continue to be part of the station. Before your next show there are just a few jobs you need to complete – still more work – sorry.
Your Recording – Make sure that you save the recording of your show using a suitable naming convention. I would recommend, the name of the show, the show number and the date using dots rather than slashes e.g. 06.07.16 .Remember you need to have a recording of all your shows, save it somewhere safe or, if you are using MixCloud as advised, upload it to there and share the embed code in a post on the Wilson Waffling Radio website. This will allow anyone who missed your show to have a listen to it and maybe come back for your next live one.
Reflect and evaluation – Take some time to think about your show – the music you played, your segments and the transitions. Listening back to the recording can be helpful with this, although sometimes a bit cringe worthy. I always add comments to my original show notes for future reference so I can see the places I need to improve. People might comment about your show which is great – they will probably say things like “It was really good – but…”. Everyone has their opinion about shows and if you listened to everyone’s advice that you would be constantly changing and pleasing no-one. Listen to their feedback and consider it carefully and decide whether you want to change your show in light of it. If in doubt, or you want a second opinion, then talk to either the station manager of one of the other presenters, we are one big community and help and support each other.
Start planning for your next show – Yes you have finished your first show, but you will have many more in the future so think carefully about when you will spend the time to plan your shows. Try not to leave it to the last minute – remember the advice – “Fail to plan, plan to fail”.
We hope that this series of posts has been helpful for you and that you successfully completed your first broadcast and, more importantly, enjoyed it. If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to either post them in the comments box below or email the station manager. I’m going to finish this final post how I finish all my shows – Have fun and I’ll catch you all later and, until then, consider yourself waffled!