Learning Waves Radio Presenter course culminates with Inspiring Graduation Day.
Today marks the culmination of a transformative journey for the participants of the Learning Waves Radio Presenter Course, as they gather for the final day of the intensive 3-month programme. This remarkable event, held in the Grand Canal Hotel, Dublin, not only signifies the end of a comprehensive training period but also celebrated the growth and development of aspiring radio presenters who have honed their skills through hands-on experience.
The day kicked off with an insightful keynote address from Fyona Smith, Managing Editor at Today FM. Her words provided valuable insights into the dynamic world of radio but also served as a source of inspiration for the budding radio presenters who have spent the last three months immersing themselves in the intricacies of the industry.
Fyona Smith encouraged the group to push themselves and network with the industry heads in the sector. She said, “Make the right industry connections. Make sure the people who have the power to employ you and promote you, know what you want to do.” With the group about to start their careers in radio, Fyona offered advice on the looming challenges. She said, “You must persevere and build some resilience. Do not get swayed by setbacks. Think of it as: if you did not get that opportunity, you would not have gotten this opportunity.”
Andy Matthews, Triple M Media, gave the group a talk on creating podcasts and offered a technical demo on key audio equipment. Speaking on radio stations making podcasts, he said, “Podcasting is still audio, it is just one step further for radio. The only thing is, a radio show is not a podcast. You cannot throw a radio show up on a platform and call it a podcast. Podcasts are an opportunity to extend a radio show, create an extension of the station’s brand.” Speaking on audio editing, Andy said, “Dive in to editing. Download free platforms like Audacity. Switching between the different editing platforms is like driving a car on the continent. You will be confused at first but after a while you will get used to it.”
After lunch, the group was joined by Nathan O’Toole and Graham O’Reilly from FM104. Nathan and Graham have been radio presenting for 10 years. Their experience and wealth of knowledge was priceless to the group. Speaking on radio presenting Nathan said, “Learn the rules of radio before breaking them. Do not be so hard on yourself if you are rehearsed. I used to write out exactly what I was going to say on air. Eventually that became bullet points. It takes a while to find your voice.” When discussing about the power of having a producer on a radio show Graham said, “The role of the producer is very important. They are the person that makes everything is running in the background so we can relax and concentrate on the show.”
Adding to the wealth of knowledge, a distinguished panel of radio heads graced the event. Cabrina Conaty, Bauer Media Audio Group, Shannon Redmond, KCLR 96FM, and Max Kane, East Coast FM and FM104, shared their expertise. Shannon completed the Journalism Graduate Programme in 2021. She currently hosts her own show on KCLR 96FM, The Home Run with Shannon Redmond. Shannon’s advice to the budding radio presenters was to “Say yes to everything. I have wormed my way into many different roles. I went from shadowing different shows to being a broadcast assistant. I went from having a 2-hour slot on the weekend to now having the primetime slot.”
Cabrina Conaty completed the Radio Presenter Course in 2022 and has since been working in various roles across multiple radio stations. She has recently celebrated one year working at Bauer Media Audio Ireland. Speaking on the challenges in diving into the world of radio she said, “It can all be challenging. Everyone wants a piece of the cake. Believing in yourself is the biggest thing.”
Max Kane completed the Radio Presenter course in 2021 and shortly after won silver at the IMRO Radio Awards for the Newcomer of the Year Award. When asked about the importance of networking in the sector Max said, “Be friendly. Have a very clear idea of what you can provide to a station. Social media is something a lot of stations are trying to build on that.”
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the final presentations, a moment of pride and accomplishment for each participant. The Learning Waves Radio Presenter Course has not only equipped these individuals with technical know-how but has also instilled in them the confidence to navigate the dynamic and competitive field of radio broadcasting. This course is funded and supported by Learning Waves members and Skillnet Ireland. This event was part of the Skillnet Ireland EU Year of Skills initiative.