Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Monday, April 22, 2013

5 Tips for Being a Great On-Air Guest

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

Being in a business that works closely with all of the mass media, I keep tabs on the industry trends. It’s been interesting to watch some of the traditional media, notably hard-copy print, slide as on-line media roars ahead.

OnAirEven more interesting, however, has been seeing how tenaciously radio – talk radio in particular – continues to hold listeners. That’s valuable information for anyone interested in promoting themselves or their business, product or book.

More than 4,000 stations carry news, talk or personality shows and their themes run the gamut, everything from health to consumer news to the paranormal. That news/talk format ranks second only to country music in popularity, so whether your message appeals to a broad audience or a niche group, you’ll likely find them on radio.

Here are a few more updates on talk radio from a report published just last month – the Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2013:

• 92 percent of Americans ages 12 and older own a radio or listen at least once a week.
• A third of adults listened to news radio “yesterday.”
• SiriusXM had a record 23.9 million subscribers in 2012.
• 34 percent of Americans listen to streaming AM/FM radio online or Internet-only radio.
• 69 percent of listeners say they “like” or “love” broadcast radio; 75 percent say the same for satellite radio.

That last number makes talk radio an especially powerful medium for people who have a message to spread: Listeners tune in because they’re fans – they want to hear what their favorite host has to say! So guess what? If you’re a guest, they’re listening to that host’s entire interview with you. And you automatically get a bump in credibility: If their favorite host has you on his show, he must think you’ve got something valuable to say.

talkRadioTo ensure those listeners come away agreeing, here are a few tips for being a great guest on talk radio:

Answer questions directly: It’s never a good idea to tap dance around an answer! If you don’t like the question, answer it in a way that steers the conversation back to your message. Hosts don’t have time for tap dancing, so evading questions will mean a quick end to your interview.

Mimic the host: Pay attention to his or her changing tempo and cadence and get in sync with it. Is he slowing down and getting thoughtful? Speeding up to sneak in a few more words before a commercial? Whatever he or she does, take the cue and do the same. It will sound like you and the host have a great rapport, which makes listening more entertaining.

Limit your use of numbers and statistics: If you have one special stat that really drives home your point, use it, but otherwise, avoid numbers – they’re verbal sleeping pills. As you prepare for your interview, look for more entertaining ways to describe what you illustrated with numbers in written materials.

Don’t try too hard: It’s obvious when someone is trying to impress; they over-think, talk too much, and say too little. Relax, stick to select bullet points (don’t try to share everything you know in one interview!) and let your message flow.

Compliment the host: Radio hosts tend to have healthy egos and even those who don’t will appreciate a kind word. Avoid fawning or exaggerating, which comes off as insincere and trying too hard. Rather, you might respond to a question with, “Good question!” or mention how much you enjoy the show. Frequently addressing the host by his or her first name is another subtle form of flattery – a person’s name is the most important word in the world to them. Remembering it and using it are nice ways to show recognition and respect. If you’re responding to callers, use their first names as well.

Talk radio is so much more convenient and less time-consuming than other forms of mass media, and nowadays, your interview can stick around for a good long time. Radio stations often post recordings of shows on their websites, so you can post a link to your interview from your own website and share links on social media. Better yet, get your own copy of the recording to use and share so you’ll always have it.

With every interview, you’ll build credibility and visibility. By posting it on your website, you’ll show visitors that you’re a go-to source for the media. I can’t think of a better way to set yourself apart from your competition.

BONUS Article: Radio Talk Shows
Radio Talk Show Tip
Speak in Soundbites on Radio Talk Shows!
Radio Station Checklist: “Stuff” You NEED to Know & Do BEFORE You Go on the Air!
FREE 25-page eBOOK – “How to Book Radio Shows and Be a Great Guest!”

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2013 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!



Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at:

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  1. […] Articles: FREE eBOOK Download: “How to Book Radio Shows & Be a Great Guest!” 5 Tips for Being a Great On-Air Guest Preparing for Your First Interview as a Published Author How to Be a Great Radio […]

    Pingback by Giving Your Contact Info on Radio Talk Shows | Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James — Saturday, June 28, 2014 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  2. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I am going to send this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Winnie Paxton — Tuesday, April 23, 2013 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

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