On-the-job training will generally be given for use of any specific technical equipment, such as microphones or recording equipment, or to drive the desk in radio. However, since most presenters produce their own demo tapes, a certain level of technical knowledge is expected. BECTU has a student register aimed at those looking towards a career in media and entertainment broadcasting, film, theatre, live events.
Broadcast presenting is an unpredictable profession and career development may be more about achieving your personal ambitions than following a set progression route. Many presenters begin in local radio or in minor roles on television. Good starting points are also found through opportunities in hospital, community and university radio stations. Others start out in print journalism, taking radio opportunities and then television opportunities, as and when they occur. It's likely you'll aim to develop your career by moving to more prestigious programmes, more mainstream time slots or by being the support presenter to the lead role.
Eventually making a move to national or international radio or television. Having a proactive agent will help, as will utilising any practical support - such as what ScreenSkills offers - which will guide you in furthering your career through training and professional development.
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View all performing arts vacancies. Add to favourites. Television and radio presenters work in a highly competitive industry, where long hours, excellent communication skills and the drive to succeed are required A broadcast presenter is the face or voice of programmes broadcast via television, radio and the internet.
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Responsibilities As a broadcast presenter, you'll need to: research topics and background information for items to be featured on the programme plan and rehearse shows write and sometimes memorise scripts liaise with other members of the production and technical teams introduce and host programmes interview guests in the studio, by telephone or on location play music read short news, traffic, sport or weather reports provide links between programmes read from a script or autocue, or improvise in radio, 'drive' the desk and operate some of the technical equipment for recording and playback, using computers to cue up and play music and jingles keep the programme running to schedule, responding positively and quickly to problems or changes and improvising where necessary in television, keep in contact with the director and production team in the studio gallery, via ear-piece link meet with the production crew to assess or review a broadcast, and to plan the next one.
Working hours You'll work much longer than the actual broadcast hours and work is rarely, if ever, 9am to 5pm. What to expect Working conditions vary, depending on the broadcast medium and type of programme. For example, conditions for a presenter on a small local radio station with a show in the middle of the night will be vastly different from those for a high-profile celebrity with a prime-time television show. Most presenters, particularly those on national radio and television, employ an agent to negotiate working terms and conditions on their behalf.
Most work is based in a radio or television studio, but may also include outside broadcasts, which can involve working in all conditions. Other studios exist in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Birmingham. Local or regional studios are found throughout much of the UK. You'll have a public image to maintain and, as a result, must be prepared for some loss of privacy. Travel during the working day varies according to the type of programme. Radio roadshows, for example, involve a significant amount of travel and you may be required to work away from home for extended periods of time.
Similarly, documentary-makers or roving reporters can also be expected to travel in the UK and abroad to cover stories and news events.
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Qualifications You don't need a degree to become a broadcast presenter as employers tend to look more for experience and practical skills. These include: broadcast, radio, television or media production drama or performing arts journalism media or communications studies. Skills You'll need to have: excellent communication and presentation skills performance skills and a clear voice the ability to generate original ideas a personable and confident manner a broad range of interests, including current affairs good research and interviewing skills the confidence and the ability to sell yourself an awareness of media law the ability to take initiative and make quick decisions under pressure team-working skills creativity and problem-solving skills.
Work experience You'll need to develop the necessary practical skills for the job, including getting related work experience that shows your presenting ability. Employers It's likely you'll have to start in an entry-level position such as a runner, broadcast assistant or programme researcher while you gain the necessary skills and experience.
Potential employers include: the BBC for both television and radio, nationally and locally independent television companies such as ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, plus various cable, satellite and digital channels national independent radio companies and local and regional independent radio stations independent production companies, for both radio and television, which make programmes for the BBC and independent stations, normally on a commissioned basis internet radio stations.
Specialist directories that include relevant contacts include: KFTV The Knowledge Professional development You'll usually be expected to have the necessary skills before starting the job. Independent training is offered through organisations such as: Pukka Presenting Radio Presenter Training On-the-job training will generally be given for use of any specific technical equipment, such as microphones or recording equipment, or to drive the desk in radio.
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