How to Do a Radio Interview
It doesn’t matter much if you are the interviewer or the interviewee, the steps below apply to both. Being on the radio is sometimes so casual, you forget that there are thousands of people listening to you.
So there’s tip one: Never forget that you are “On the Air.”
5 Tips for a Great Radio Interview
1. Make sure that you have your “talking points in front of you.”
Unless this is a political debate, you can talk with your interviewer and go over some of the questions that he will be asking you.
2. If this is a live interview, find out the length of the interview and ask when the show will break for commercials.
Do a sound check before you go on the air. If this isn’t live, ask if your words will air exactly as recorded. You don’t want your words taken out of context. If you think the interview will be controversial, have the producer sign a statement that the interview will air as is.
3. Ask what type of audience show attracts.
You might want to do this well in advance. If you are going to talk to teenaged rock fans, it’s different than talking to mothers at home with the kids. Know your audience.
4. Try not to leave any “dead air” time.
If you have difficulty answering a question, ask the host to repeat it. That will give you time to think.
5. Avoid saying too many “ahs” and “ums.” It might sound fine in regular conversation, but on the radio it’s annoying.
Also, don’t let anger creep into your voice unless you want it there. Try to tone down. Voicing your anger, even if justified, can make you sound bullying or defensive over the airwaves.
1. Make sure that you know what questions you are going to ask.
Also, do some research on the person you are interviewing.
2. Do a sound check.
You don’t want your interview subject so close to the microphone they are spitting in it or so far away that they can’t be heard.
3. Try not to cut the interviewee off.
However don’t let them drone on forever about the same thing either.
4. Interject some humor.
Even the most serious of interviews sometimes need something to liven up the show. People want information, but they also want to be entertained. It also relaxes the person being interviewed.
5. Don’t hesitate to disagree if you think that the interviewee is putting out some wrong information, but try to do it in a third person way.
Say something like “I read in “Time” magazine that so and so said that”. Don’t just tell the person they’re wrong, especially if you are bringing them on as an “expert.”
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