A broadcast presenter is the public face, or voice, of programmes broadcast on television, radio and the internet. Their role is always to entertain and inform their audiences by presenting information or entertainment in an accessible and attractive way.
The nature of the job varies according to a programme's subject matter, such as news, weather, sport, music, lifestyle, etc. Generally though, a broadcast presenter will introduce, host (or co-host) a programme, create links between items, introduce and interview guests and interact with the audience.
You do not need a degree to become a broadcast presenter as employers tend to look more for experience and practical skills.
However, some degree,and foundation degree subjects may be useful and could provide you with relevant knowledge that can be used in the job. These include:
• broadcast/radio/television/media production;
• drama/performing arts;
• media/communications studies.
A degree in the particular area that you wish to work in, such as politics or economics may also be helpful.
You will need to have:
• excellent communication and presentation skills;
• performance skills and a clear voice;
• ability to generate original ideas;
• personable and confident manner;
• a broad range of interests, including current affairs;
• good research and interviewing skills;
• confidence and the ability to sell yourself;
• awareness of media law;
• the ability to take the initiative and make quick decisions under pressure;
• team-working skills;
• creativity and problem-solving skills
It is likely that you will try to develop your career by moving to more prestigious programmes, more mainstream time slots or by being the support presenter to the lead role. From here, the aim is often to move to national or international radio or television.
This is a highly competitive industry and continuing professional development (CPD) is important if you want to keep up and progress. Grasp all opportunities as they arise, read the trade press and network with other professionals. It may help to have a proactive agent.
For more specialist programmes such as current affairs, extending your professional profile by writing for a broadsheet newspaper or journal, for example, can help with career development.
The most successful presenters often have a portfolio career, presenting on more than one show or station and perhaps appearing on both television and radio.