The Pips asked Chris Howell, the Programme Manager at Eagle Extra and producer at 96.4 Eagle Radio in Guildford, what he looks for in a demo. Read what Chris had to say below –
Remember what you want me to hear. Your voice should be the first and only thing on the demo. Don’t use production and edit out as much music as you can. Ideally don’t use a bed (a piece of music you talk over). If you have, make sure what you’re saying is clear.
Keep it tight and concise. Think of it like a good pop song. About 3 and half minutes or shorter is a good length. Get to the point as fast as you can.
Start strong. Programme controllers are very busy so give us a reason to keep listening. Put the best bit first.
End Strong. If you’ve got my attention to listen all the way through don’t ruin it by putting something weak at the end. Leave the demo on a high note.
Be genuine. Listening to lots of radio for inspiration is great, but don’t fall in to the trap of copying an established presenter. I’m not looking for a copycat. I’m looking for someone who can put their own personality into their links.
Be bold. Don’t worry if you think a link wouldn’t make it on air. Your demo should show off how creative you can be. If it’s a bit close to the edge, as long as it’s funny/creative and not offensive, it’ll stand out.
Cheat. A demo doesn’t have to come straight off air. Record a link about something going on the station you’re applying to. If you had a brilliant idea that you never got the chance to do on your hospital/student radio, record it for your demo.
Keep it fresh. Using a showbiz story that’s 6 months old will make your demo sound stale. Use timeless content.
When sending in a second or third demo, don’t use the same content. Even if your demos been successful at one station doesn’t mean it will be at another.
Don’t give up and get your demo out there. You won’t get a job if you’re not actively trying to get one.