Get That Gig: Fix These Common Air Check Demo Mistakes

Get That Gig: Fix These Common Air Check Demo Mistakes

by Andy Meadows

As personalities and programmers anxiously look for a way to get attention from broadcasters to Get That Gig, it’s common to spend hours in the studio putting together a demo to improve chances. We review hundreds of packages a year, and have noticed common air check demo mistakes. Take note before flooding the market with applications.

Nothing is more important than a personality’s air check demo. You’ve spent a  career learning to attract an audience on the air. Apply that skill set to the air check. In this case, the “audience” is a busy, overworked hiring manager digging through hundreds of applications to find a superstar.

Get their attention to get to the Potential Hire folder. That’s the only goal of the first contact.

For the first air check, avoid mistakes in targeting that decision maker.

Air Check Demo Mistakes: No Imaging

An audio sizzle reel filled with station or show imaging is a turn off.

Don’t waste precious audio inventory showcasing the station’s voice guy. It’s okay to use a quick imager to set a mood somewhere in the demo if necessary. Just don’t let it get in the way of showing personality.

We’ve listened to thousands of air checks and nearly every demo with too much production causes us to lose interest. And that’s something you can’t afford to happen.

Commercials & Live Reads

Most of the time, a decision maker is listening for talent to make the station better, not just keep it on the air.

The skill to perform commercial readshas value, but not in the first demo. It doesn’t impress a PD looking for a great personality.

You might also like:  Get That Gig Seminar on Demand

Avoid commercial production and live reads. If this is a true strength, provide a separate commercial demo in a follow up email if requested.

Performance, Not Mechanics

Every demo that includes a personality reading weather causes a decision maker to assume this personality has few personality segments to include.

Most gigs are for personalities that add to the entertainment value. PD’s aren’t looking for announcers to execute the format. Get rid of station liners and promos, unless they truly stand out.

Demonstrate that you can breathe life into everything that comes out of the speakers. The hiring manager expects talent to be able to relate a weather forecast or read a liner card.

5 Things To Include In The Demo

If you’re wondering what should be on the demo, here are 5 strong content choices:

Audio Interaction. Show how you can relate to the audience with phone calls or strategic uses of listener audio to enhance content.

Hooks and Teases. The PD is the listener. Command listener attention with segments that demonstratre strong teases and hooks

Creative Features. More and more, stations realize the value of appointment-setting features. Show how well you execute a branded feature with personality and creativity.

Storytelling Skills. Every personality has a strength in telling specific types of stories. OEmphasize the types of content that show strengths.

Show Versatility. Include all types of content that spotlight unique traits,.  Avoid making the whole demo one type of bit.


Of course, avoiding these common air check demo mistakes is just a start.

As you plan a Get That Gig strategy, invest time to create a killer demo that represents personality and ability.

You might also like:  Get That Gig: Network to Get Work

It might not be a bad idea to get some outside help. That’s why we offer private, personal Air Check Coaching sessions. Click here for details, and to schedule a session.

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Get That Gig: Fix These 3 Common Air Check Demo Mistakes

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