Although most of you will be doing radio interviews by phone, if you’re on a tour or happen to land in interview in your city or one nearby, you may be asked to come into the studio. For most of you, this prospect is exponentially more frightening than interviewing from your own home or office, but it doesn’t have to be. Following are some tips to calm you down.
1. The more you know in advance about the specifics of the interview, the well-prepared you’ll be. Ask the producer or host the following: How long will the interview be? How many people will I be talking to in the studio? Will you take listener phone calls? When will you take commercial breaks and how long will they be?
2. You will be set up with a microphone. When you’re asked for a mic check, speak with the same volume you’ll use in the interview and find out how close or far away you should be from the mic while talking.
3. Most of the time you’ll be set up with a headphone so you can hear callers, the producer, the call screener and/or the host. Make sure you’re comfortable with the headphone volume and ask how it can be adjusted during the interview if necessary.
4. Ask if a “cough" button is available. If it is, ask how to use it. 5. Ask in advance if the interview can be taped for you. If so, offer to bring in your own blank cassette or CD and have it ready.
6. If more than one host or another guest is in the studio, look at whoever is talking to you, but don’t forget to keep your mouth by the mic so you won’t lose volume.
7. Ask for a cup of water-you may need it. Sometimes beverages are not allowed in the studio-in that case be sure to have a drink of water or a lozenge before you go on the air to keep you from clearing your throat.
8. Ask where the restroom is before the interview. Do not leave the studio during commercial breaks unless you’re told you have enough time before you must go back on the air.
9. Always assume the mic is on, even during commercial breaks. Never say anything off the air that you wouldn’t say over the air. Many a person has been caught making an “off air" comment because they had no idea they were actually still on the radio
10. Do not bring another person with you unless they’re part of the interview or you’ve asked in advance. To do otherwise is highly unprofessional.
Above all, relax and don’t be afraid to ask anything you don’t know. Everyone there wants you to sound your best and will do whatever it takes to help you do that.
Award-winning talk host Roberta Gale has spent 25years on the radio in major cities across the country and can currently be heard on KFYI/Phoenix. Her programs have aired nationally on Westwood One Radio Networks and ABC Talk Radio Network. She is president of Roberta Gale Media Coaching, which provides media training and publicity expertise to authors, experts, spokespeople and businesses. For more information, http://www.robertagale.com .