Posted on Sep 18, 2020
We were thrilled to partner with Radiocentre – the industry body for commercial radio – for the fifth time, but the first time in a virtual world! The event was hosted by radio and TV legend, Margherita Taylor. She was joined by KISS FM’s AJ King, BBC Asian Network’s Pria Rai and Podcast producer and consultant Leanne Alie.
Margherita Taylor, Smooth Radio and Classic FM presenter, introduced the panel, asking them about their journeys into the audio industry. AJ King told listeners how he’d dreamt about being a radio presenter for KISS since he was 10 years old. He took every Wednesday off from his bank job to record a radio show and realised his dream after winning the KISS Chosen One competition. Leanne made her way into the audio industry by working on the Podcast Awards and approaching podcasters with her services. Pria, coming from an academic background, summed up the “beauty” of the industry by saying there is more than one way of getting into the sector.
The questions kicked off with a range of listeners asking how to get into the audio market. The panel all agreed that the journey starts with an internal feeling of confidence and self-belief. Leanne gave listeners an insight into how networking and putting herself out there really made a difference to her career; “I was going to all the different audio events, the awards, the festivals, everything!” She went on to give anyone wanting to get their foot into the audio space valuable advice to “use everything that lands on your plate. Use the tools you have to your advantage. Make your own podcast or reach out to independent podcasters to see how you can help”, recommending the audience to look at Quality Audio Pact as a resource to find people in the industry who are looking to make a difference. She highlighted the importance of finding or creating experiences to benefit your career as she urged listeners “if the space isn’t being created for you, create the space yourself”
“If the space isn’t being created for you, create the space yourself.” – Leanne Alie
The panel went on to cover the sensitive topic of imposter syndrome and rejection. AJ King told listeners that rejection is going to happen but you just have to “keep it moving”. He spoke about the importance of changing their thinking into a “learning mindset” and gave his own example of taking a job in Harvester in order to overcome his fear of speaking to a big group of people. He advised the audience to “be aware of what’s happening; be technologically minded and learn skills. Be inquisitive and ask questions.”
“Change your thinking into a learning mindset. That’s how I built my confidence. The reason why we’re not confident with things is because we’ve not done them before.” – AJ King
Pria told listeners to “back yourself” because the worst thing that could happen is that you learn a lesson. She gave listeners an insight into her own story, telling them that she worried she sounded too young when she started out, but she focussed on the skills that she did have rather than what she didn’t have to give herself confidence. Leanne told the audience, “do not ever doubt yourself again” describing how she used positive affirmations to give herself confidence.
“Focus on the skills you do have, rather than what you don’t have. Put yourself in the race – be in it to win it.” – Pria Rai
The panel went on to give their best tips on how to ace an interview. Margherita told everyone that research is key, to make sure you fact-check and know who you are interviewing: “Listen to what your guests say. In that moment they may give you a scoop. If they like you that’s when they tell you things…”
“Listen to what your guests say. In that moment they may give you a scoop. If they like you that’s when they tell you things…” – Margherita Taylor
AJ King added that you need to develop trust with the interviewee and make them feel comfortable. He likes to do this by chatting with the interviewees before the interview. Pria gave an insight into how she has aced very important interviews by remembering that the common denominator is to be human and always remember the audience, as they are the reason for the interview.
We hope every single one of the listeners felt inspired and learnt some valuable lessons on how to kick-start your audio career. Thank you once again to our amazing panel, our host Margherita Taylor and to our friends at the Radiocentre for yet another brilliant masterclass. We’re looking forward to the next one…!
You can watch the whole masterclass in full via this YouTube link.