The Interview Before the Interview
It’s been a few years now, and the old dog has learned a few tricks. When I first started doing this radio show I spent little time talking to my guests before air time. We pretty much just agreed on a topic and when the switchboard lit up…off we went. No plan, no outline, just driving blind. These days I do things a bit different, I have learned that as with everything else in life, preparation and planning give’s one a larger option at success.
Before the Pre-Interview
I am happy to say that I have a “plan” these days. Funny thing, the more organized I get, the better the numbers get. You would have thought that would have been obvious, ahhh have you met me? I like to get guests lined up as far in advance as possible, that way instead of using up valuable energy and time on finding and booking guests, I can really concentrate on upcoming guests. Probably the biggest challenge anyone getting into the internet radio thing, is stepping out of that comfort zone and asking people to be guests. I know for me, that was a tough thing to get over. Why would anyone want to be a guest on my little radio show. Well I finally realized that most people are happy to be involved, each and every guest I have had on the show has had a great time. Do a little homework, do they or their company have a website? Do some snooping and find out about what the person likes, and their interests. It makes for a good basis before going to the next step.
The Pre-Interview is Where it All Comes Together
What I find most useful is the pre-interview phone call. Each and every guest I have on my show gets a phone call from me, we usually chat for about 30-60 minutes. In that time frame I keep a pad and pen handy and write down things that catch my ear during the conversation. People often let things out after getting relaxed, and it is then that things of interest come out. Of course my show is not hard biting news so the approach is soft and friendly, but it does give me a really honest view of what interests and ideas my guest might have. So often I find a gem of a quote that really gives the final interview some focus.
Giving Your Guests a Heads Up
After looking over my notes from the phone conversation, I come up with some of what I think would be interesting topics of conversation for the show itself. I always make it a point to send the questions to my upcoming guests for review, and so that there are no surprises. I always start off with asking the guest to introduce themselves, it not only gives the listeners a chance to get to know the guest, but it gives the guest a chance to relax a bit, speaking about a subject they know well….themselves. I have noticed that all too often when I have a guest who is nervous, this exercise seems to calm them and take any fear of being “on air” away.
Be Nice, Have a Conversation
One of the best compliments I have ever received was when a guest described my show as two knowledgeable people having a conversation. I have often been told that being on the show is fun and that I am able to disarm any anxiety my guests might have about talking on the radio. Those comments to me are big compliments. My goal is to have fun, learn some new things, and to share information with my listeners. I love that people can come on the show and really show off their talent. After all I base the show around my guests, they are the stars of the show.
If you are interested in being a guest on the show, feel free to contact me at [email protected]