A radio interview is just a small portion of your online presence. Preparing yourself to deliver a great representation of yourself is a process. How well do you know yourself as a creative? Do you feel confident in your genre(s)? Are you able to discuss your project completely taking the audience through concept, development, and post production stages?
One of the ways you can help yourself become more fluent in the area you are creating in is to blog your process. Where were you in your life when the idea came to you? Is it helping you to expand in your current genre or area of expertise? Have there been situations along the way that you can use as a teaching model? What kinds of things are you learning about yourself while you create? Have you learned new techniques or found useful tech that has helped you? Blogging about your process will create an added interest for those who are already interested in what you produce and a way to introduce yourself to potential fans. Being familiar with your process will help you become more confident in who you are as a creative as well as being more prepared for speaking engagements.
Great! You have been selected to do an interview. You have done your homework and are knowledgeable regarding your creative process. Here are some ways to make sure you wow the listeners and your host. Make sure to say thank you to the host at the very beginning of the interview, and then say your name clearly and tell the audience what it is that you have created. Once the questions begin to engage the host by being attentive to your thoughts and stay on track. If you get a question that makes you hesitate, and the question is actually well thought out it’s ok to say ‘I have never thought about it that way before’, or to give yourself a bit more time to think say ‘that’s a great question.’ Do your very best to answer. Your host, if they are good at what they do, will use the opportunity to move to another topic.
You are on the radio to promote your material. When speaking about your work mention the name of it in your answers when appropriate. Being excited, informative and likeable makes great radio. Here is where all those articles you published on your blog will come in handy. The audience wants to learn about you and about how you were able to create the point of interest. Tell them some ways you found that helped you, or tell them what you have learned about the subject matter. Another factor as you are talking would be to guide the audience to where they can find your works. It would be a good idea to offer something free (perhaps a sneak peek into your next work or a link to where they can find cool inside information that would otherwise not be accessible.)
The process of creating an in-crowd is a subtle one. You do not want to push anyone into buying your works, but you want them to feel special and that they have found something that they need to have in their life. Some creatives have made special YouTube channels to add these extra features or a secret group on a venue of social media. Whatever it is making sure that you add some tasty bits and a solid trail to find them.
Now onto the hard part of being a guest on the radio. You had what it took to get the interview because you followed your process, but if you are not taking the audience into consideration, your efforts will fall on deaf ears. Yes, you’re speaking to the host directly, but make sure that your answers also appeal to their audience. If you write in a certain genre and this genre is geared largely to the listening audience do not under any circumstance treat your work or those who enjoy it in a negative way. I know this sounds incredibly unlikely, but I have had the experience recently of someone doing exactly that. If you create in a genre and to you, it is merely words, or work and not something you are passionate about it will come off badly in an interview.
Be unique, controversial, intriguing doing so will spark the host to ask questions geared towards what you find of interest. It also allows the interview to be spontaneous. No one wants to listen to a canned speech right? Listeners want to be in the moment to be surprised, or to feel validated especially if the interview is live. If you are unsure what this audience is used to hearing tune into a few of the shows. (P.S. you should have done this already in your research.)
Here is something else to think about when being invited onto a radio show for an interview. Learn the name of the host and make sure to not do or say anything about their name if it is unique to draw uninvited attention. My name is Jackie Chin. Well actually its Jacqueline Michelle Ward-Chin, but most know me in the creative world as Jackie. Now what some find amusing is that my name sounds like a play on Jackie Chan. Let’s just say I am in no way related to the man although it would be really cool if I were. So keep things professional and be mindful. You want to have a great experience and sell your product, not create conflict.
Lastly, tell the truth. Many creatives have stories that are deeply compelling which is part of the reason they are being brought to the show. Listeners enjoy people whom are passionate about their creative experience. Did you have to go through a rough patch while you were creating? Did you create out of pain, loneliness, a deep desire to be heard? Did you experience being bullied? Were you in the military and leave with the parting gift of Post Traumatic Stress? Were you creating to shine a light on a group of people who can not speak for themselves?
Regale me I am listening and waiting to hear from you. ~Jackie Chin Producer of Zombiepalooza Radio Live YouTube