Tips For Becoming
An Excellent Talk Radio Guest
By Marsha Friedman
nearly two decades, we’ve been telling you about the value of talk
radio as a means for promoting your book, product or service to the
masses. As one of the country’s top providers of radio shows
around the country, we schedule anywhere from 50 to 100 interviews
week in and week out. As a result of our close working
relationship with the media, we know what works and what doesn’t.
Because we want you to succeed with talk radio, here are ten more
“inside” tips to help you become the kind of guest every host
wants to have on his or her show:
1. Be entertaining: The ultimate goal of every talk show
host is to entertain the audience and keep them tuned in. If
you are an entertaining guest, you will make the host’s job that
much easier. Work on presenting compelling information in a
way that retains the attention of the audience. Remember that
a bored audience is an audience that will be unreceptive to your
message and more likely to tune out.
2. Be a good listener: Although it’s certainly important
to present compelling information to the audience, it’s equally
important to be a good listener. Make an effort to understand
the host’s questions and comments, along with anyone else who
calls in. Don’t just yammer away incessantly without
directly responding to their line of questioning and/or comments.
A good interview requires the highest level of communication
possible between you, the host and callers.
3. Speak in sound bites: Although they may not remember
extended monologues or statements, listeners have a tendency to
remember sound bites. Before an interview, it’s good to come
up with several sound bites that pertain to your message and write
them down on note cards. Read over these sound bites prior to
your interview and have them nearby in case you need to refer to
them. By utilizing sound bites, you increase the chances that
the audience will remember your message.
4. Be prepared to answer any and all questions:
questions are hosts likely to ask you? It’s always best to
anticipate the tough questions beforehand. Although the
majority of talk radio hosts are friendly and receptive, you should
be ready to answer negative and/or tough questions. Try not to
let the host catch you off guard. By answering tough questions
intelligently, you build credibility with your audience.
Prepare yourself for
both long and short-form interviews: Some of your
interviews may last as little as five to ten minutes, while others
may go an hour or even longer! Make sure that you prepare show
outlines that cover either scenario.
Adjust your attitude to fit your message: If you have a positive message,
make sure that you present yourself with a positive attitude.
If you want to be perceived as being passionate, make sure that you
present yourself as being “full of attitude.” The more
“attitude” you have, the more likely the audience will listen to
what you have to say.
Be distinctive: No one ever remembers a boring guest.
Work on making your message special and distinctive. Hosts
love unique guests because it keeps their audience entertained.
Avoid a flat or monotone delivery at all costs. If you come
across as ordinary, the audience will perceive your book or product
as being ordinary as well.
If you can, stand while
you are speaking: If you stand during your radio
interview, your voice may sound broader, more confident and more
expansive. When you sit, your voice may not project as well
and you may have a tendency to sound too relaxed. While it’s
not true for everybody, you may find that standing helps you project
your message with excitement.
Never, ever use a
speaker phone: Speaker phones do not provide
producers with broadcast quality sound and should be avoided at all
costs. If you sound weak and distant, you stand the chance of
losing the interest of your audience and upsetting the host.
Your best bet is to use a “hands-free” telephone headset.
Prepare an opening that gets to the “meat” of your message
is important because interviews can and do get cut short from time
to time. If you’re not prepared for this possible scenario,
you lose the opportunity to get your key message out.
your intention for every interview is to enlighten the listening
audience about your book, product or service and interest them in
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