By: Naomi Giroux (see bio at end of article)
You’ve been invited to be a guest on a radio show. Great!
Now its time to do your homework, not to sit back and see what the host will ask you.
Interviews are great ways to market yourself and your work. Radio interview shows are fun, easy, and expansive, last forever on the net, and don’t take much time. A few pointers and you’re ready to go!
Radio shows tend to follow established patterns: introduction, body (questions and answers), and closing. Different hosts handle these differently, so as you review your host’s shows, listen for the pattern. Some shows take call-in questions and chat room questions. These questions are normally screened, so they are on topic. You may find some hosts ask the questions to limit confusion.
There are two basic types of hosts; your planning should be slightly different for each. Discover what type of host and show by listening to several shows before you’re appearance. Listen for common questions and the flow of the show.
· “My Show Hear Me Speak” Host: The host is the Star, regularly expressing opinions or giving long explanations as they ask questions. This host can be abrasive and try to get discussion through controversy. Often the guests have only short on-air time on this type of show.
These types of shows tend to have political/controversial topics. If you have written a book fitting this description and get invited to be a guest, go informed and prepared.
o As a guest on “My Show, Hear Me Talk,” focus on a couple of key points about your work, yourself, or whatever the topic is. Put these into short media bites you can insert regularly during the show when you invited to talk. Weave them into the answers so your message will get out. Also, at any chance you get, provide your contact information. Best form of contact information is your website especially if it is your name and simple. Plan ahead. Be ready with goals, but remember that this host is the Star. You need to be gracious to thank them for inviting you to be a guest.
· “The Showcase Show,” Host: “The Showcase Show” host guides you to get your information out. He or she will ask questions they expect you to answer and expound upon. You are the star of this show. This type of show is what authors want to encounter.
o To prepare know your key points. Be ready to talk. The worst guest on this type of show is the “one word or sentence” speaker. Be ready to have a conversation. Set yourself up in a comfortable place, relax, and visit with your new friend. Always be sure to get your contact information presented before the show is over either by yourself or the host. Thank host and the listeners. You will discover that the time flies by on a “Showcase Show.”
Some radio show hosts have a production written up for each show. This many be very complete with lists of possible questions and time breaks to repeat the guest’s name and contact information. The guest can ask for this list of possible questions or suggest questions and talking points. Some hosts have only notes they work from. Your suggested questions and talking points will help them know what direction you would like to go.
KEYS: The Keys to successful interviews are:
- be prepared to talk,
- and have fun.
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