Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wayne Kelly's tips for being on the radio

In advance of my being a guest on the Travel'n On Radio Show, hosted by Ian and Tonya Fitzpatrick on 630 WMAL, I reviewed the fantastic set of tips from professional radio broadcaster, Wayne Kelly, whose website, is devoted to useful public relations resources.

From Wayne's Kelly's online tutorial:

Use these preparation hints for any interview. With this checklist you will remind yourself of the things you have to do to be a great guest.

1. Remember: Radio is about telling stories.

• The best storytellers are expressive. They can be serious, funny, angry or sad.
• The best stories are simple. Avoid statistics and numbers unless you really need them to illustrate a point.
• The best storytellers talk about people and emotions by describing thoughts and emotions.
• They do not regurgitate boring facts.

2. When preparing for any interview, ask yourself the following questions:

• What is my message?
• Does every detail pass the “So what?” Test? You have to share with listeners why they should care about your topic.
• What are the key points I want to express? (Up to four.)
• Do I have interesting ways of telling my story? Remember that failure stories are as inspirational as success stories. It makes you human, and listeners like that.

3. Remind yourself of these points:

• Tell the truth.
• Avoid a yes or no response unless you are asked for one.
• Ums and ahs kill a great story. Try avoiding them as much as you can.
• Avoid reading from prepared statements. Throw away the long notes and give the interview from the heart. It works every time.

4. When being interviewed:

• Keep your answers simple and brief.
• Be sincere.
• Find a way to get your message out.
• Be nice. Do not get angry with a poor interviewer.
• Always attempt an answer. Do not leave the host hanging.
• Be funny when it is appropriate.
• Use the host’s name if you get a chance.

5. Mechanics (if you’re in the studio):

• Do not rock or swivel in your chair.
• Match the host’s energy level.
• Speak closely to the microphone but avoid popping your Ps by avoiding direct contact with the microphone.
• If you are holding a pen, do not click it throughout the interview. (It is amazing what nerves make us do)

6. Mechanics (if you’re on the phone):

• Speak clearly into the mouthpiece (This may sound silly but many people hold the mouthpiece under their chin)
• Do not use speaker phone as the quality is terrible
• Do not use a cell phone as the drops and delays can sometimes make it sound very weird and nothing sounds worse than you constatntly saying “Pardon?” because you couldn’t hear the host.
• Stay out of the bathroom…there is too much echo. (Don't laugh...people have done it)

Wayne Kelly
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