Craig Bruce wanted to find out what makes great presenters tick and how did they get so good, when he began his GameChangers: Radio podcast series.
Speaking at Radio Days Europe today, he gave these tips for talent management that he has learnt from talking to some of the best radio performers in the business.
When you strip away the bravado the talent is real and vulnerable. It takes skill and bravery to put yourself out there on air every day, so respect them for that and support them.
When helping them overcome their uncertainty focus on their strengths and develop their personal brand, rather than focusing on weaknesses.
Be on their side. Be their friend. Illustrating this point he told the story of his interview with Chrissie Swan, who told him she wants her PD to be her friend. She puts so many personal things on the air every day, she wants to be supported by a friend.
Other great tips from people he has interviewed include that great talent recognise their weaknesses and want to work on them with you. He talked about one UK presenter who knows he is not so good at finishing his breaks, so he plans his outs before starting every talk break.
From Mick Molloy he learnt that great presenters recognise their strengths and lead with them, while developing their other talents as well. Molloy says he knew that he and Tony Martin were great comedy writers, but at that stage they recognised they were not such good performers, so they worked on writing great sketch comedy and over time developed their performance skills.
“Very few shows know what their strength is, they don’t sit down and analyse what kind of path they should take,” he said. “How can your team be on the same page as you if there is no page.” It is something he works on with talent.
Hamish and Andy recognised that you have to know the rules of radio, because about 90% of them work. “But then you also need to know what rules you can break… that will help you find your voice.”
Get talent to develop a clear vision of what the show will sound like. Eddie McGuire is an example of that.
“Radio gamechangers think deeply about the product they are designing,” he said.