Did you hum along to a song you heard on the radio this morning? Or have you ever nodded your head along with an RJ when you hear them speak?
Ever felt like you want to be an RJ too but not sure exactly what to do?
Aprajita Bhargava has worked as an RJ for more than a decade and also worked as an anchor with Doordarshan (DD) National and went for an audition at All India Radio when she was still studying in her second year in college. Her many years at being an RJ and her experience can help you get your dream job too.
“The first audition was informal and yes, I cried, because I messed up. I was young, new and had no prior training in how to become an RJ,” she says.
10 Cuts For A 10-Minute Script
If you think you have to know how to do it in the first take, even the first time, Aprajita tells you the reality. “It took about 10 cuts and 1 hour to record my first 10-minute script on the radio.
Do You Need Formal Training For This?
Formal training can definitely help you, but it’s not mandatory. If you love speaking and want to be an RJ, it’s important to first start somewhere. Maybe you could participate in college radios or community radios, or record your own fake shows on YouTube and share them to see the response, before hitting mainstream radio channels.
It’s Not Just About Talking
Passion is the key to being successful and the same applies here too. You’ve got to talk for hours, sometimes write scripts, do night shifts. Also, you’ll have competition. But if you’re really passionate about it and have a love for it, and are open to learning, you can do it. Being an RJ is not just about speaking, it’s about handling your consoles and other technical items as well.
What Should You Work On?
Aprajita feels that a clear voice and great articulation is a must. “Try and speak each word with clarity and in different tones. If your tone is monotonous, you may not be able to grab the listener’s attention, so go low and high in your pitch at intervals. Also, be confident. There may be times you need to speak about a topic or address an issue on the spot while you’re hosting. A quick presence of mind and reading about recent topics can help.
Being Nervous Is Part Of Any “Live” Job
There’ve been many instances in my RJ and anchoring experiences where I was nervous because of not being prepared, tight timelines, sudden change of topics, technical breakdown etc. There was one instance where my computer and console crashed mid-show while a song was being played. In such a case you have to take over and speak till the engineers fix the problem there can never be silenced. It took about three minutes for the system to start functioning again and for those 3 minutes, I had to speak something interesting enough to keep my listeners on. Those were 3 tough minutes but luckily I managed well.
What Kind Of Tests Will You Have? What To Remember
It will depend whether you’re auditioning for international or national shows. You may have:
- 2 written exams (general knowledge and English)
- 1 group discussion
- 1 interview
- 1 voice test
Not all radio channels do this, but stay prepared for:
- One or two topics on which you can speak for 2-3 minutes.
- GK of at least past 2 months.
- Practice your voice modulation by recording and listening to it. Say the same sentence with different tones and variations. See how it makes a difference in your presentation.
- Be confident.
Can You Do This As Your Main Profession?
I started it as a side profession, but over the years I really fell in love with it and wanted to do it as a regular job. These days radio channels provide great packages for people who work full time. It’s one job where you can continue even when you’re 60.
These Tips Can Help In Your Audition
- Practice with your friends and family
- Make them listen to your mock scripts
- Have interactive conversations with them like you’d want to do with your listeners.
- If possible, do a voice course to learn professional voice modulation, pitch control, word clarity and command over language.
- Apply for auditions in as many places as you can.
The love of the gab and knowing what’s going around you can help you touch the pulse of your listeners. Who knows, very soon you may hear your own voice playing all over the radio!