Creating the Perfect Demo Part 2: What Not To Do

 In Blog

The job pool is barely a puddle today. If you want to grab one of the few choice opportunities that come up so infrequently your demo has to stand out of the pack. You are literally competing against hundreds of applicants in many instances and you can’t afford a mistake on your demo. Here’s what you don’t want on your demo:


  • Don’t’ include – or worse…lead with — bathroom or “blue” humor, unless 3972193879_fb92a8d60d.jpgthat is your show’s brand essence or you’re sure that’s what the station is looking for.


  • If you’re including an interview with a celebrity guest or powerful listener call you do not need to include the full answer the guest is giving. Just establish the fact that they are answering the question. Don’t leave any long conversations with guests or listeners that showcases how good they are, while you laugh and react.


  • Break this rule if the interaction showcases your ability as an interviewer in some way. On a demo the only thing that matters is you.


  • Don’t’ leave in long-form promos. Just leave in the first few seconds to establish that it’s a promo. The exception would be a short promo that highlights your character or content.


  • Avoid using content that spotlights other players on your show.


  • Don’t’ make it difficult for a programmer to determine who you are on breaks with multiple voices.


  •  You don’t want to exclude station business (contests, liners, and interesting frontsells of the music). Program directors want to know that you are capable of selling the music, contests, etc. One entertaining or creative example is enough.


  •  Be careful not to use inside content – lots of hilarious laughing among players that a casual listener or PD doesn’t get. [After your “final” edits are done, play it for someone who is less familiar with the show. Can they follow the conversations?  Do they get all the jokes?]


  •  If you haven’t been on the air in a while, try not to include really outdated segments like rumors that Simon Cowell is leaving Idol or what in the world does Ben Affleck see in Jennifer Lopez. (If they want more audio, you can send something in for the second demo, with the caveat that some of the information is dated. You’ve already passed the first test.)


  • Don’t come off with an attitude that signals you could be difficult to work with. One recent applicant lost a prime morning job because the PD asked for additional audio and they came off annoyed by the request.


  •  Don’t put singing on your demo unless it’s part of a funny feature or bit.


If you missed part one of this series where we review the do’s of the perfect demo, check it our here.


Photo credit: Uberto/Flickr via Creative Commons

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.