May 9, 2018

How to Prepare for a Radio Interview 2

(The importance of your phone, your expertise and your smile)
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Google Email Print

Being interviewed on live radio can be nerve-wracking experience, even if you have done it several times. Check out 4 more tips you can use to make your next radio interview a success.

Landline or stationary cellphone

How many times have you heard a host ask an interviewee during a phone interview “Can you reposition yourself so we will get a better reception?” Issues of reception quality can occur when you use a cellphone and they are due to coverage gaps. Being asked to reposition yourself in the middle of a live interview can affect your concentration and divert your attention away from your message. For the best quality of sound during a radio interview, use a landline. If you don’t have that choice, by all means do the interview by cellphone but make sure you are stationary so you can maximize reception quality.

No speakerphone, no headset

When someone calls you and puts you on speakerphone, do you realize how the quality of the sound drops sharply sometimes? The same observation can be made when you have a conversation with someone who is using a headset. You can never be too sure whether the sound quality will remain at a high level. You cannot afford to play the probability game with how you sound on the air. Because radio relies exclusively on the audience hearing you to understand your message, make it easy for the listeners. Speak directly into your phone. Don’t use the speakerphone. Don’t use a headset.

Remember who the expert is

The expert is the person who the radio station calls up to ask questions. That would be you! Knowing you are the expert should boost your self-confidence. It means you know what you are talking about and can communicate it clearly to the public. This also means you are humble enough to admit you are not the most qualified person to speak on a topic outside your domain. A few times, I have declined interviews because I did not have the requisite knowledge or experience to handle a particular topic. When a similar situation arises, take the same decision. That way, you will be maintaining your reputation as an expert in your field. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades lest you turn out to be a master of none.

Smile, smile, smile

Whether you smile in Afrikaans or Zulu, anyone from Benin to Yemen will understand you. A smile is a universal language that conveys warmth, friendliness and accessibility. Those are the moods and attitudes you want to portray when you speak on the air. So smile before you say a word. You may ask “What’s the point? This is not TV, who can see me smile?” However the point is not for your smile to be visible. Rather it is the effect of a smile that you want to create in the minds of your audience. People can feel it when you frown or act indifferent on the phone. Why not make yourself more likeable by smiling?

Be on time

Radio stations operate on tight deadlines. Know that time is a rare resource and delays will not be tolerated. If the producer of the show you are appearing on gives you a particular time slot, respect it. Be ready when they call you. Sometimes you may have to call into the show at a specified time. Make sure you call in 5 to 10 minutes earlier than requested to allow for the possibility of congested lines.

The author is a broadcaster, business MC and public speaking consultant. Contact him on +233 240 299 122