|Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I recently did a radio interview for a US-based blog radio site. It’s a monthly program with four interviewers chatting to four authors in different genres. I filled the speculative fiction spot for the month chatting about Angelguard, spiritual warfare and a little about Australia.
This was my first experience and I learnt a lot as a result. I thought I’d share four of them with you as a means of generating some dialogue amongst us all. I’m very much the novice and I expect there are many amongst our group who have some valuable insights to share.
1. Take responsibility for communicating your message
I had requested some questions prior to the interview but Carla, my host, indicated she wished to simply make it a conversation. I was okay with that but prepared specific messages to share. Carla was very good guiding the conservation and I didn’t feel I had to force it to share a little about Angelguard’s key themes.
Like all aspects of marketing our novels, we should be the most passionate advocates of our work. Make sure that passion comes across in your delivery and messages.
2. Give short responses and don’t fear moments of silence
It was tricky because of a time delay and not being able to see the person I was speaking to. It’s just like having a chat over the telephone; well in fact that’s what I was doing. Carla and I talked over each other a couple of times, which was a bit awkward.
Short sharp responses help both yourself and the host. Try to finish each response definitively as this helps the host know you’re ready for the next question.
3. Make sure you plug where you can be found on the net
This is really important so listeners can find you after the interview.
4. Listen to the interview afterwards
This is important so we can learn what we did well and what we can improve on. It’s funny how we get surprised hearing ourselves, isn’t it? “Really, is that what I sound like?” Yep, that’s how everyone hears you.
I was a little disappointed on listening to it. I think I got my messages across okay but there were too many “ticks”, that is, “Ums, Ahs, you knows”. It took away from the punchiness of the chat. I’m a slowish thinker on my feet and much prefer a prepared talk as I’ve done my thinking prior to it. I’ll have to work on ways of better managing this in future.
It was good fun and I hope I get other opportunities in the future.
Now over to you. What tips do you have for doing great radio interviews?
Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Northern Sydney. Ian's first novel of speculative fiction, Angelguard, is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian's website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter