5 tips on how to nail a radio interview

Telecommunications, mobile and wireless

The radio is still a preferred medium of communication even with the massive surge of people that have had flooded to the internet. This is, no doubt, due to the ease of access to it as we just have to press or flick one button and the wonders of the radio present itself. Radio interviews provide a large block in air-wave broadcasting. Not only radio interviews help to spread important messages, but also crucial to create awareness about your business and product. However, to fully grasp the opportunity and be effective in a radio interview, you must be prepared. How do you be prepared for something that is difficult to emulate for practice? Well, there is no way to be fully-prepared for a radio interview. Nevertheless, these are 5 tips that you could follow to come out successful:

1. Be calm and assertive. Firstly, most people are not used to speaking spontaneously, especially under pressure. If you’re tensed, you tend to speak faster, slur on words and might also strain your voice. However, you don’t want to sound monotone. People are very sensitive to the tone of a voice. Try to vary your tone and excite the listeners. Moving on, most listeners of the radio are stuck in traffic and feel stressed from work. Just imagine an office-worker driving home with a screaming child on-board and a mind distracted on ‘what to have for dinner’. Now, add in a turbulent personality in the background. Last thing they would want is another person creating ‘noise’ on the radio. We have to grab their attention and at the same time; project a message. People are looking to you for information and solutions. Interviewees who can provide good information with a calming voice will connect with listeners much better and faster. Relax.

2. Be energetic and lively. Don’t be boring. Well, that was easy to say. How do we become more engaging? Think about that lecture you had with a dry, textbook reading and an interactive, animated lecturer. Which one would you rather go to again? Undoubtedly, the lecturer that engages with his or her students. A good interview is no different. Record yourself and listen to your energy in your voice. Make sure that it sounds hyped and passionate but not over-bearing. Speak that way on-air. Be memorable. Furthermore, keep track of your body language. This is because some radio broadcasts are also video live-streamed but more importantly, your body language translates to the way you speak. Think about it, a smile can change the way you sound.

3. Give short but full answers. Speak naturally like how you speak with your spouse and friends. Radio is no different. An answer is normally 30 seconds long. Be straightforward and also elaborate on your point with conciseness. Use short sentences to keep your points clear. No one wants to hear a long-winded presidential speech. People are more interested in a two-way conversation. Treat an interview as such.

4. Express complex information simply. The best teachers are the ones who can pass their message effectively and efficiently. Being called-in for a radio interview, you must be either an expert or at least well-trained in your field. Complex words should be simplified down to something easily understandable by someone who has no knowledge on the topic. Make sure you research on multiple words that could replace the terminologies without compromising the original message.

5. Be friendly and flexible. Talk the way how you really talk. The originality and honesty in your voice can draw listeners in. Having a friendly voice and tone work wonders because both you and the listener would feel more comfortable. Break the ice before answering tough questions. When you feel comfortable, you set a positive tone. A little polite introduction and simple questions are the best way to begin. Once you have set the foundation, the whole interview would feel so much better. Most radio interviews are done live or with little editing. Be ready for difficult questions. The interviewer may throw a curve-ball question and the last thing you want is to sound uncertain. As Bruce Lee says, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.”

 

Another important point to take note is talk through personal experience. Listeners would be able to relate to your experiences and lend a hearing ear. These are the 5 essential tips on going through a radio interview with flying colours. Remember; keep it simple, straightforward, stay confident and you’re well on your way.


Han Teng

Ever heard of the story of the rice crop? The older and riper it gets, the more it bends downwards. Living by this principle I believe that life is a never-ending learning process and the more I learn the more I'm humbled by it. Keeping my nose low and helping others are my priorities. I'm no successful entrepreneur nor an excellent sportsman. However, I do aspire to reach for the stars and when I do; it is of utmost importance to be grateful to everyone around me.


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