Preparing for a Radio or Podcast Interview, Pt. 2

Darren and Anita Engaging Life and Leadership

Host Darren Dake recording Engaging Life and Leadership Podcast

You may not think this pertains to you, but if you are an author, or aspiring author, there is something you need to face. One day, if you are fortunate, you will sit on the other side of a mic or telephone, answering questions from a show host. And you want to shine as brightly as possible, so your message connects with more people in the listening audience.

In Part One, I talked to you about preparing before the interview. This time, I want to share how I prepare during a radio or podcast episode.

I’ve gotten experienced in the process, and learned several things along the way. I’m going to tell you what happens behind-the-scenes that helps me do a better job. I hope this encourages and strengthens your confidence when it’s your turn.

  • Here’s the weird one, but I bank on it. I make an interview tonic of raw, organic apple cider vinegar, raw local honey, a touch of garlic, and mix it into a glass of Appletini or Cherry Pomegranate Crystal Light. (No, I don’t add alcohol, and I don’t suggest it, no matter how tempting, LOL.) About five minutes before we air, I take two or three good swigs. It reduces phlegm, sore throat, a gravelly voice, and strengthens my tone when I speak. On commercial breaks, I’ll sip a little more.

    First Hired Anita Brooks

    Spread Your Message with an Effective Interview

  • I have a fresh glass or bottle of water at the ready. Keep anything you drink away from the microphone or telephone receiver — don’t want to gulp On Air. Word of caution: continue paying attention to what’s being said or you might miss a question you need to answer. (Also I don’t drink too much before the interview. If Mother Nature calls during the segment, it can get mighty uncomfortable.)
  • I place my briefing book in hand’s reach. (See last month’s post on what a briefing book is.)
  • I have a copy of my published book on hand. During commercial breaks, I’ve had two hosts ask me to read a sentence or two directly from my own book.
  • Take slow, deep breaths to reduce blood pressure and calm my nerves during breaks.
  • Listen twice as much as I speak, making sure I don’t cut the host off, or interrupt his/her flow. Remember, most people tune in because they like the host, or the program format. The percentage of audience members who listen due to the topic is small.
  • Strive to be myself, while intentional about infusing a warm and welcoming tone to my voice. I imagine talking to a dear and trusted friend, even when the host is trying to stir a little controversy. I had this happen, and because I stayed calm and steady under pressure, allowing God’s spirit to lead my response, it transformed the entire interview. By the end, the host was profusely inviting me back, and called my book fabulous three times. (I counted.)Engaging Your Writing or Speaking Audience
  • When asked a challenging question, I’ve found it’s okay to say, “I’m not sure, I need to research or pray about it,” or even to pause for a couple of seconds while crafting my answer. Adds a bit of dramatic effect anyway.
  • I follow the PIER method for engaging audiences when I write and speak. It ensures I maintain focus, interest, and credibility, while providing them with take-away.

Now, you’re ready for your interview. It’s your turn to shine — be brave, and go spread that message! This is what God called you for.

Do you have any funny interview stories? Lessons learned? 

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3 thoughts on “Preparing for a Radio or Podcast Interview, Pt. 2

  1. Excellent tips, Anita. I’m bookmarking this one. It’s taken me a long time to learn how to feel comfortable with radio interviews, and I’m still learning. I tend to talk too much and really have to pay attention to keeping my answers very brief. It’s much easier when I can see the interviewer…on the phone there are always awkward delays that make it easier to talk over someone, etc. I try to be extra patient when doing phone interviews…especially the live ones. Your two posts on this topic are absolutely wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great advice, Anita. I’m keeping this one in my file. I love the tip to keep a copy of your book(s) nearby. During an interview with WPR, a listener was trying to remember the name of a character, and asked me, but since the book had been published two years ago, I couldn’t remember! I won’t make that mistake again!

  3. Another good one, Anita! I like your advice to “listen twice as much as (you) speak.” I think that truth applies to most conversations, don’t you. And yes, I’m still trying to put that truth into practice! I’m really bad at trying to read other people’s minds and finish their sentences. Just ask my husband! Ugh!

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