How To Be a Great Radio Guest

zombiezolpzaBeing invited as a guest to speak at a live public event for your creative works is a great way to introduce a new fan base to your expertise. Having the event on video will create a broader access to those who are interested in what you have to sell. These spots can go anywhere from 5 – 15 mins all the way up to an hour or more.  This article is intended to inform you on ways to make your experience pleasant. 

One of the things that tends to bug a show producer is someone who asks to be on the show who has no knowledge of what the show actually is. So like any good creative would do make sure to do the research needed.  Does the show resonate with your current project? Is the host presenting solid questions that would stimulate conversation that would help you sell your product or service? What sorts of demographics does the show appeal to? Could you see yourself being interviewed on this show? 

Once you have done your basic research and in fact, you have been selected to do a spot there are some things you will need to do to ensure that you will have a successful interview. Be sure to make a note of the time, date and length of the interview and any other details in your calendar. Some shows online also have a request to use a particular sound set up which may include having a headset with an attached microphone or a particular setup to get you logged into the show event.  Also, if you have to cancel your appearance make sure to give as much time as you can to the producer who will need to fill that spot this is crucial especially if the event is live.  

Before you go live, make sure to have your manuscript, book and any notes and something to drink at the ready. Go to a quiet setting for the call and make sure it is well lite. If you are doing the interview on location with your cell; do what you can to ensure that you are being heard clearly.  Some interviewers do not provide ready questions, but they will tell you beforehand the topics for discussion.  Write down at least 4-5 key points that you want your audience to know regarding you and your projects to help you stay focused. If the host has done their homework, they will be able to prompt you so that you feel you have not wasted your time. 

If you have fully decided that you are indeed in the right place and will most likely have a good experience, then the next thing to think on is your appearance.  Make sure to be well groomed, and to present the sort of image you would want if you were doing an interview for a job.  Why? You never know who is going to be watching your interview especially when it is an online event such as YouTube. The idea is to market yourself and you want people to know that you are a qualified individual for the product or service you are selling.  Being uneasy or ruffled looking will make you look uncomfortable and will give the wrong impression.

Moving on to the next important consideration; your word usage. Make sure that you know what the rating for the show is. Some are very strict with content and may not allow you to be quite as expressive as you would ordinarily be. Again this is where research comes in handy. Knowing that your end goal is to give the best answers possible to make you stand out from everyone else in your creative field is imperative to a solid interview. I know for a fact that some interviews have been used to gain new clients and more work from old ones. Make sure your best vocabulary is present and that you take into consideration that this interview will be something that will be seen for years to come.

Next, remove words like I think, umm, uhhh, & in my opinion, these need to be dropped from your vocabulary.  If you find that you are stumped on a question, or lose your train of thought it is the hosts job to get you back on track, but it does not negate you from remaining focused.  Listen to the host questions and take a few seconds to think about your answer if they are doing their job your answers will flow without the need for filler fluff. You are the expert, but often there will be questions that you may not have considered before; use these questions as a way to stretch your creative possibilities.

Sometimes, if you have proven to be a great guest the producer will ask you to be a regular, and/or they may send you to another show where you can be interviewed. How can you prepare for a quick pick up on short notice? Keep your notes in a folder on your desk, or in your computer for quick access. This keeps you from having to hunt down your media information and gives a sense of control at a last minute request. The key is to be ready, calm and motivated. You may even be asked to do a sound bite. These are generally 10-15 seconds geared toward representing you, your web presence and a shout out for the show you are on. Name, what you created, and where it can be located then a shout out for the show you are currently on. 

Most producers will listen to how you interact with the host so do your very best.  Be passionate about your creative work, be timely with answers, aware of your audience base. If you have any personal challenges that sometimes hinder your creativity use that as a talking point, or things that you have found to make your work easier these are terrific points of interests and will help you to connect to the listening audience.

Finally, show appreciation to the producer and the host. The producer gave you the opportunity to present yourself to a new venue for your product or service. They do all the hard work of getting you set up and ready for the experience. While you are live with the host, give them your full attention. Do not be distracted by noise in your background, or a ringing cell phone. Turn silent on your devices till the interview is completed. If you are speaking about a book or a product, you have asked them if they would like a signed copy for their efforts. Make a note of their full name and be sure to sign it and send where appropriate. After the interview is concluded make sure to post links on your social media so that those who have not heard you can listen at their convenience. Also, use the interview as a source for those who are interested in you for future events. 

~Jackie Chin Producer of Zombiepalooza Radio Live


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