Known for his years as the better half of presenting partner Anele, Grant Nash has found his stride as Programme Manager at 5FM where he essentially “manages everything coming out of the speaker.” Having been passionate of radio his whole life, Grant progressed from Tuks, to Highveld to 5FM. After a massively successful career on air, it is his current role as programme manager that has ensured excellence on the airwaves of 5FM. Despite his love for the industry, Grant however warns of the difficulty of the journey ahead for aspiring presenters. “The number 695 is the number that sums up how many people actually make a living out of this industry. There are essentially zero vacancies and there are often no opportunities because presenters are not bringing anything new to the table.”

“You need to ask yourself what five things do I have that sets me apart from every other presenter, what do I do that no single other presenter in this country can do?” Despite working in radio for over 5 years and TV for 3, this is a question that I and many others struggled to answer. “Being well informed, or funny, or witty, or charming is not a differentiating factor, it’s a basic requirement.” The key is finding what you have over and above that. Radio is entertainment and there is a need to build clearly defined characters with different angles, just like a sitcom. Activities such as drawing a character bible helps you develop your on-air image. This is not fake, but rather an exaggerated version of some of your features. “It is like taking avant-garde styles from the runway and toning it down to day-to-day-wear, in radio you have to tone up the energy but still stay true.”

Grant however notes that the issues with most on air talent is that they do not take it that one step further. Once you have found your Unique Listener Proposition (read radio version of Unique Selling Point), you have to actually make something. Grant’s overall advice? “Create, create and create some more, the more you create the closer you get to the real magic.”

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