Important Notes:

1.  This lecture was great when DJs were allowed to actually talk on the air, and they had some leeway in deciding what to play and when to play it.  If your shows are totally pre-programmed, and you have to stick to liner cards for your talk segments, this material will just frustrate you because you won't be allowed to use what you learn from it.

2.  This web page was on a site that was taken down when the server owner (not me!) went out of business.  I'm in the process of reconstructing everything on this new server.  If you find a link that doesn't work, please let me know!  Thanks!

Tips, Tricks, and Secrets 

for Radio Disc Jockeys

by Dan Hughes

What to Say (and What NOT to Say) When You're On the Air

"This is great, Dan.  I could use every one of these tips (and I've already broken and re-learned most of these rules all over again). Thanks so much."   -Rich Appel, rock music guru, Hz So Good, co-author of two Books of Days: '60s and '70s: A Day-By-Day Look at the Pop Culture Moments That Made History


Read these evaluations from my students: 

"I learned more in your class in two weeks than I learned in two semesters at XXX University."

"I've worked as a professional radio DJ for three years, and your lecture on DJ work opened my eyes."

"What you say sounds so simple and obvious, but I would never have figured it out if I hadn't taken your course."


I taught radio broadcasting for 26 years at Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois.  I retired in 2007.  Now I have taken my most popular lecture, What to Say When You're On the Air,  and turned it into a short instruction manual for radio DJs who take their careers seriously and are eager to learn what they need to know to move to the next level.

This short, comb-bound manual covers such topics as:

How Not to Sound Dumb (tell me you haven't heard DJs who are embarrassing)

The Four Basics and How to Use Them

A Good Crutch For When You Haven't Done Your Show Prep

What NOT to Do on the Radio - Seven things that many, many disc jockeys do because they just don't know any better.

What TO Do on the Radio - Seven things that will make you sound more exciting, more fun, and more professional.

Six Types of Radio Announcers - Which one are you, and which one should you be?

And a Final Page of Odds and Ends That Didn't Fit Anywhere Else

That's it!  You can read through this material in less than an hour, but it will save you years of trial-and-error experience at the School of Hard Knocks.

For sure, you can buy longer books.  I recently read a book that professed to give the secrets of getting a job in radio.  It had a lot of fluff, but the gist of the book boiled down to "get an internship at a radio station, do a good job, and they'll hire you."  

Well, yes, but after reading the entire book I hadn't learned the first thing about what a rookie DJ should actually do when he/she turns on that microphone.  That's what my manual is all about.

Price of the manual is $10 with free shipping.  PayPal $10 to:, or send a money order for $10 to:

Dan Hughes
1707 W. Park Ave
Champaign, IL 61821

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