Tips for Doing Radio Interviews
Tips for Doing Radio Show Interviews
1. Get to know the interview style and personality of the radio host. Listen to the show online to get a feel for his style and the types of questions she will ask you. This will also give you a feel for the show as a whole.
2. Know your host. To personalize the interview, try to call the host by name. So you don’t forget, write the host’s name and radio program name and call letters on an index card. In the heat of the interview, nothing could be worse than having your mind go blank!
3. Warm up. Talk to the host ahead of time. Start with the easy stuff. Warm up by telling the host about yourself, your background and your current projects. By knowing more about you, the host can ask more in depth questions that showcase your knowledge and abilities.
4. Relax, smile, and be yourself! Smiling comes through in the tone of your voice. Be honest and sincere. If you have the jitters, you might want to consider doing a practice interview with a friend or spouse. You might feel silly role playing at first, but you’ll be surprised at how helpful it is.
5. Stand up, walk around, and gesture during a phone radio interview. It can add to the liveliness of your connection with the interviewer and audience. You may even want to do the interview in front of a mirror. Look to make sure you are smiling.
6. Focus. Call from a quiet, comfortable place where you can focus. Call from a high quality landline telephone to improve the quality of the radio recording. A mobile phone might drop the call and a headset can cause static. Having a rich, clear tone to your voice will paint a better visual image of you in the listener’s mind.
7. Be prepared. If possible, get a set of questions ahead of time. Write your key points out on index cards and tape them to your desk. If the host asks you about something and your mind goes blank, you can refer to your notes without shuffling to find them. Keep your answers short and to the point. Long- winded answers will bore your audience.
8. Tell them your story. Stories capture the emotions of the audience, are easy to relate to, and are very persuasive. People LOVE stories. So try to tell stories related to your topic – that will draw the audience into your conversation. Remember, if the radio host asks a question that you don’t want to answer or don’t know the answer to, then answer the question that you wish s/he had asked.
9. Mention the name of your organization/company and contact information. Never say, “on the website...” Always call your organization by name. For instance, “SampleWebsite.org, there are articles to ....” Ideal time to mention the organization name and url is at the beginning and end of the interview.
10. Showcase your knowledge: It’s your time to shine! If you have specific questions for the host to ask, give them to him ahead of time. The real power of a radio interview is that you can position yourself
as an authority in your area of expertise. If he asks key questions on the subjects you know best, you’ll come off sounding like a star!
If there are topics you don’t want to discuss, bridge to a question you do want to talk about. Use a transition phrase such as, “Actually the key question here is... “ Then answer the question that you have just posed to yourself.
-- Developed by Joan Grangenois-Thomas for Make Waves (Not Noise)