May 3, 2018

How to Prepare for a Radio Interview

(The importance of quiet rooms and gadgets, call waiting, a glass of water and being on time)
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Being interviewed on live radio can be a nerve-wracking experience, even for those who have done it several times. You may not to be too sure of how the interview will pan out. You may be anxious to project the best image of your organization or yourself. Here are a couple of tips to remember even before you say your first word on the air. They will help swing the odds in your favor and make your next radio interview a success.

Use a quiet room

Most radio interviews are conducted over the phone. Whether you are in the office or at home, make sure that you speak to the interviewer in a quiet room. You want to create an environment similar to what you would get if you were invited to a soundproof studio. I know a professional who rolls up her windows, turns on the AC and does her interviews inside her car. You don’t want colleagues interrupting you to ask about that memo or a screaming child cutting into your conversation on national radio.

Turn off gadgets

Half of any conversation consists of listening to what the other person is saying so you can respond appropriately. Increase the chances of hearing the host by eliminating noise from all gadgets. Start by turning off your phone alarms, radio or TV set. Stay away from any gadgets like photocopiers if you are in the office or microwaves and washing machines if you are at home. If they are off, they won’t distract you and so you will be able to focus on your conversation.

Disable call waiting

The call waiting feature on your mobile phone is useful for keeping track of whoever is calling you while you are speaking to someone else. If you forget to turn it off before your interview, you may get a couple beeps in the middle of your interview. Those beeps will sound on the air and distract you. If you are calling into a show using a prepaid phone card, make sure you buy enough airtime. You don’t want to hear that recorded voice declaring “You have run out of airtime” just when you start speaking. Even radio stations are guilty of this gaffe. Don’t be like them.

Have water nearby

A dry throat is the enemy of a successful interview. What if you start coughing and you don’t have a glass of water nearby? Asking the host to excuse you while you dash off to the fridge will not project an image of professionalism. At best, the interviewer will agree to your request and then fill the ‘dead air’ with some announcements or a musical interlude. At worst, the producer may cut the interview and there goes your opportunity to market your organization or yourself. Be prepared. Have water nearby.

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.

In summary, these are the 5 things to remember before you begin you begin your interview as a guest on a radio show:

  • 1. Use a quiet room
  • 2. Turn off gadgets
  • 3. Disable call waiting
  • 4. Have water nearby
  • 5. Be on time
  • The author is a broadcaster, business MC and public speaking consultant. Contact him on +233 240 299 122