For the last few years i’ve had a hand in judging the Student Radio Awards and i’ve just judged the first round of one of this year’s categories. Student Radio’s very important to me, it’s the reason I managed to get my foot in the door and I always try and help it if I can.
The Awards are very good too. The picture above is the award I won with my Insanity colleagues back in 1999. The gong has pride of place in my Mum’s hall. In fact, when I grabbed it to snap the picture this weekend (with her attractive cushion in the back), Mum sounded a little worried that i’d be taking it back to London. Bless.
Anyway, normally i’ve judged categories like Marketing and New Media, but this year they’ve let me loose on a presenter-led category (I don’t think we’re supposed to say which ones, in case we are influenced…). Each category has two rounds of judging, the first round to do the shortlist and the final round to do the winner. I’m a mere first round judge this year, but completed the task with my good mate R.
It’s quite fun to go through the entries (each with some audio and some written work) and it’s amazing the varying quality you get to hear. It is a bit of a slog though, we had 25 entries to go through, listening, reading and making notes. Last night we then compared our views to come up with the final five/six. The majority we’d both picked and then with the remaining ones we both had in our ‘maybe’ list we argued until we got the final couple sorted.
Having done all this, my top tips for entrants next year (and actually for anyone doing demo tapes etc) is:
1. If you’re a double act, make sure pretty quickly it’s obvious who’s entering – saying your name is a good start
2. Don’t include stuff where you and your co-host are talking over each other
3. Don’t read directly something out of the paper.
4. If you slag off the music your audience will always think “well why is he playing it then?”
5. Don’t include links where you make mistakes/fluff your words/speak over vocals etc
6. Include different types of links – not just ‘we’re all having a laugh’ stuff.
7. Presentation matters. Make sure the CD/docs are neat and professional – it makes the judge think your professional too.
8. Make sure your CD plays when you put it in a CD player.
9. Sound confident – you’re the presenter after all!
10. Remember you’re doing a show for the listeners not for each other.
Good luck to everyone who entered, I believe the shortlist is out on the 10th October and the Awards itself is on the 15th November.