Tips for Becoming an Excellent Talk Radio Guest
By Marsha Friedman

For nearly two decades, we’ve been telling you about the value of talk radio as a means for promoting your book, product or service to the masses. As one of the country’s top providers of radio shows around the country, we schedule anywhere from 50 to 100 interviews week in and week out. As a result of our close working relationship with the media, we know what works and what doesn’t. Because we want you to succeed with talk radio, here are ten more “inside” tips to help you become the kind of guest every host wants to have on his or her show:
1. Be entertaining. The ultimate goal of every talk show host is to entertain the audience and keep them tuned in. If you are an entertaining guest, you will make the host’s job that much easier. Work on presenting compelling information in a way that retains the attention of the audience. Remember that a bored audience is an audience that will be unreceptive to your message and more likely to tune out.
2. Be a good listener. Although it’s certainly important to present compelling information to the audience, it’s equally important to be a good listener. Make an effort to understand the host’s questions and comments, along with anyone else who calls in. Don’t just yammer away incessantly without directly responding to their line of questioning and/or comments. A good interview requires the highest level of communication possible between you, the host and callers.
3. Speak in sound bites. Although they may not remember extended monologues or statements, listeners have a tendency to remember sound bites. Before an interview, it’s good to come up with several sound bites that pertain to your message and write them down on note cards. Read over these sound bites prior to your interview and have them nearby in case you need to refer to them. By utilizing sound bites, you increase the chances that the audience will remember your message.
4. Be prepared to answer any and all questions. What questions are hosts likely to ask you? It’s always best to anticipate the tough questions beforehand. Although the majority of talk radio hosts are friendly and receptive, you should be ready to answer negative and/or tough questions. Try not to let the host catch you off guard. By answering tough questions intelligently, you build credibility with your audience.
5. Prepare yourself for both long and short-form interviews. Some of your interviews may last as little as five to ten minutes, while others may go an hour or even longer! Make sure that you prepare show outlines that cover either scenario.
6. Adjust your attitude to fit your message. If you have a positive message, make sure that you present yourself with a positive attitude. If you want to be perceived as being passionate, make sure that you present yourself as being “full of attitude.” The more “attitude” you have, the more likely the audience will listen to what you have to say.
7. Be distinctive. No one ever remembers a boring guest. Work on making your message special and distinctive. Hosts love unique guests because it keeps their audience entertained. Avoid a flat or monotone delivery at all costs. If you come across as ordinary, the audience will perceive your book or product as being ordinary as well.
8. If you can, stand while you are speaking. If you stand during your radio interview, your voice may sound broader, more confident and more expansive. When you sit, your voice may not project as well and you may have a tendency to sound too relaxed. While it’s not true for everybody, you may find that standing helps you project your message with excitement.
9. Never, ever use a speaker phone. Speaker phones do not provide producers with broadcast quality sound and should be avoided at all costs. If you sound weak and distant, you stand the chance of losing the interest of your audience and upsetting the host. Your best bet is to use a “hands-free” telephone headset.
10. Prepare an opening that gets to the “meat” of your message immediately. This is important because interviews can and do get cut short from time to time. If you’re not prepared for this possible scenario, you lose the opportunity to get your key message out.
Remember --- your intention for every interview is to enlighten the listening audience about your book, product or service and interest them in purchasing it.
About Event Management Services, Inc.
For nearly two decades, EMSI has represented clients in a broad range of industries---from alternative health, products, music and books---to finance, politics and general business. They are known as one of the country’s top providers of talk radio guests. For additional information, visit Contact: Jay Wilke, 727-443-7115, ext. 223


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.