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10 Tips For A Great Radio Interview

Recently a client of mine e-mailed me in a panic. She booked her first radio interview as a published author. “The interviewer wants 10 questions from me. What do I send him?”

I helped her come up with compelling questions and we did a role play so she could practice.
Here are some of the tips I shared:

1. Think like your audience. Who will be listening to the interview? What do you think they most want to know? What will resonate most for them? Speak their language and speak to their biggest concerns, pains and desires.

2. It’s not about the book. Focus on the information you have to offer to improve the lives of the people listening. Yes, you want them to buy your book (if you have one), but you’re on the air to make a difference. Book sales will stem from service and relevance.

3. Avoid generalities. Tell short, entertaining stories to illustrate your points.

4. Interviewers love sound bites. Create catchy phrases and pithy sound bites around the points you make.

5. Be succinct. The most engaging interviews have an upbeat pace and the banter goes back and forth between host and guest. Hosts find it frustrating if you talk on and on, especially if you’re not on point.

6. Write out your answers to your questions and have them in front of you.  Of course, practice until you get it down before your first interview. You should know your answers inside out. Still, you may get nervous. It can’t hurt to have a cheat sheet in front of you in case you space out. And it may make you feel more relaxed.

7. Stand up. Your voice and demeanor will naturally be more commanding and confident when you stand. Your vibrant energy level will come across.

8. Have fun. The more you enjoy yourself, the more your audience will, too. Don’t be afraid to use humor.

9. Be spontaneous. Once you’ve prepared and practice, allow room for spontaneity to take over. Be grounded and centered for the call and connect with your host.

10. Don’t mention your book too often. It’s the host’s job to talk about your book. Don’t overdo book mentions. On the other hand, if your host doesn’t mention the book at all, by all means,  mention it towards the end. Most hosts are quite gracious, however.

Good luck with that first interview! It gets easier each time. Soon, you’ll be a pro.

Reader Comments (3)

One more piece of clinical wisdom.

When , at the end of the interview, the host asks " So , Dr Bigstuff, do you have anything else you'd like the audience to know before we have to go?", be sure you have a pithy punchline or call to action, not some afterthought that will make you slap your forehead when you replay the interview.

I’ve been a co-host a radio show called Leading From Within for several years. We encourage our guests to think of the interview as a showcase of their ability/knowledge. The best interviews are when our guest weave stories into their subject matter and relate the topic back to the audience. This makes the conversation meaningful and memorable.
Lisa has great tips on preparation, and if I may add...simply …be yourself, be the subject matter expert but remember you won't be everything to everyone so don't try. Additionally, research your interviewer, call in ahead of time or show up at the studio a few minutes early to assess their style and how they compliment or blow up your interview.

Thanks, Steve and Arlen, these are great additions.

Jan 2 | Registered CommenterLisa Tener

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