Tips For A Great Radio Interview

You’ve landed the radio interview and it’s time to get ready to actually do it. Now what? Here’s a list of interview tips you’ll want to read before your next interview. Keep them nearby, you’ll be glad you did! Make sure you know your own material inside and out and are comfortable with everything in it. You don’t want any surprises. You must be prepared.

Here Are Some Interview Tips!

  1. It’s a good idea to prepare questions for the host to use and include those in your press kits emailed to the stations. Often, the host will read those questions right in order since they may not be familiar with The Successful Entrepreneur “Local”.
  2. Create your presentation and know it inside and out. Know the top 10 questions and answers most commonly asked. Have your answers down cold, so you can use them in any way they come up.
  3. Have three SHORT key messages. Sometimes the host opens the door, other times you have to answer a question and segue to a key message. A compelling message will have the host asking for more.
  4. Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice your questions and answers. Remember, you must know your topic inside and out. Be confident in your ability. Keep your questions and answers in front of you so you can refer to them if you need to.
  5. Whether the interview is live or taped-live, if you stumble, or flub up just keep going. Often what you perceived as a mistake, the listeners won’t even notice.
  6. Give a GREAT OPENING with a summary message.When the host says…”Thanks for being here.” Boom! Give a:15-:20 sec summary message. If the host introduces you with a question, be polite, deliver your summary message, then answer the question. “Thanks, (use name), for the opportunity to talk about….Now, to your question (name)…”
  7. Maintain a Positive Attitude. BE GENUINE. Don’t fake enthusiasm or sincerity.
  1. Re-read the press release or pitch that got the booking since the host is going to be using that as a starting point. Often a book publicist will tie into a breaking news event that relates to your expertise. Be aware of that tie-in.
  2. Have a glass of water nearby; there’s nothing worse than dry mouth on a radio interview.
  3. Disable call waiting: dial *70 and then call the studio number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.
  4. Be on time and better yet-10 minutes early. Call the station exactly at the time they tell you to, or be at your phone waiting if the station is going to call you.
  5. Use a land line phone for best quality or even your Google phone line with your headset. (Note: Some stations won’t allow a cell phone interview).
  6. Smile, smile, smile, whether on radio or TV – SMILE. You’ll feel better, and for TV you’ll look better too.
  7. Put some energy into your voice. Try standing while you speak to liven things up a little.
  8. KNOW exactly how much time you will have on the air as a guest, three minutes or 30 minutes…so you can tailor your answers to the time allotted.
  9. Practice your sound bites-out loud before the interview. Communicate your main points succinctly. Practice this out loud in advance.
  10. Be informative and entertaining without directly pushing your book, product or service. Make the audience “want more.”
  11. A person’s name is sweet music to them so commit to memory or jot down the name of the host and use it throughout the interview. When taking calls, use the names of callers too.
  12. Be prepared for negative comments, and practice ways to handle them.
  13. Never talk down to your audience or host. Be warm and keep your answers interesting and informative. Think of a radio interview as an intimate conversation with a friend and not a conversation with thousands.
  14. Don’t Oversell. Remember you are on the air to provide useful information to the listening audience. You must make it interesting without the commercialism. Often times the host will do this for you and you won’t need to mention it.
  15. Radio will often use interviews live and later cut them up for use throughout the day giving you more airplay. So keep your answer to a 10 to 20 second sound bite. You can say a lot in that amount of time and then you don’t sound like you are babbling on. Don’t go on more than a minute without taking a break.
  16. Ask for an MP3 of the recording before the interview. Often if you ask ahead of time the producer will record the interview and then you can use it on your web site. Be sure to listen to it later and critique your performance.
  17. Ask for a testimonial. Often that MP3 will arrive with a note from the host saying how much they enjoyed the interview. You can use those testimonials in future pitches and on your web site, blog etc.

After the interview write a thank-you note. Since so few people do this, you’ll really stand out from the crowd. And most importantly, you may get invited back.

Good Luck & Enjoy!

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