Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part Two

Filed under: Author Tips,Radio Talk Show Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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You are encouraged to read Part One before begin reading below –

Tell the truth. Hosts value real experiences so use some stories from your own life to embellish your message. Listeners love stories. Whenever possible, sprinkle anecdotes or stories into your interview. Have them ready and “rehearsed” so you can recount them accurately. If you have experienced a personal struggle or triumph, tell the story and be sure that it is relevent to the topic you are there to talk about.

studio microphoneHosts also value brevity. Keep your comments as brief as possible and give them the opportunity to ask more questions. However, “never” answer a question with a simple, “Yes” or “No” unless you are prepared to add more words to your answer. Take a breath now and then. Make every word count. You would be wise to rehearse answers to questions that are frequently asked. Be prepared but don’t sound canned. Speak from the heart.

Never judge an interview by its length. Any interview is a teriffic opportunity. Be prepared to pack a lot of information in a brief amount of time and with as few words as possible. This will take some practice. If you must, write them down, then practice, drill and rehearse. Most important. . . “don’t read it, speak from it.”

Be a clock watcher. If your interview is scheduled for 10 minutes, begin to wrap up at minute 8 by mentioning where they can buy your book, your website and any other information you would like them to have.

Unless you are a comedian and are known for being funny… don’t try to be funny. A good sense of humor is an asset, however it comes off better if you relax and allow for humor to emerge during your conversation. Allow for spontaneity.

“Just terrific! That’s what I think of a) your website, b) your information, c) your sense of altruism! A tremendous find!” ~ Shirley Camper Soman, author, Let’s Stop Destroying Our Children: Society’s Most Pressing Problem Then and Now

While there are some hosts who will verbally attack you and do their best to create controversy, do your best to keep your cool. If the questions get tough, remain calm and collected. Even minor traces of irritation exaggerate themselves greatly on the radio and especially on TV, and can appear to be aimed at the listener.

It is better to speak from the heart rather than to allow a host to rattle your cage and cause you to say something you may later regret. Roll with the punches. You may want to prepare some “come-back” lines for such emergencies. The real pros never hang up on a host. “Be” the expert you are. Engage in the conversation. Know your stuff!

One favorite media tactic is to allow a lengthy pause that creates awkward silence. This is done so you will continue talking, usually because you are blissfully digging yourself into a hole. Do not fall for this media trick. Pause until the host continues. In an era of the “sound-bite,” any awkward silences can be edited out. Hosts do not like “dead air.” He brought it on, so let him fill in the gap.

My belief is that it is much better to have your purpose of doing radio interviews be to reach out and help others. With this as your highest priority, the promotion of your books or products will have more value to the listener. The listener needs to know the benefits of taking action to purchase your products before they will buy.

One of the best pieces of advice I received about being interviewed came from my good friend, Gregory J.P. Godek. In preparation for appearing on ABC TV’s “The View” with Barbara Walters, he told me to be sure to “say your best stuff first.” That came in handy. Learn to work what “you” want to say into the conversation in the beginning because you may not have the opportunity later.

Remember, the person who is asking the questions is in control of the conversation. Had I not followed his advice, it is quite possible that I would not have been able to mention my Website on national TV. This goes for radio too. Barbara Walters was a pro, however one of the other hosts of the show would often interrupt before I had finished my sentence. Rude? Perhaps, and it was their show. Be prepared.

When a host asks you a question and you do not know the answer, it is far better to admit that you do not know than to “make something up” and sound foolish. If this happens to me, I usually respond by saying, “That is a very good question, I’ll have to do a little research on that so I can give you a good answer. Next question.”

When you go to a break and the info is close by, get it and let the host know that you have the answer, etc. If the answer is not close by, make a note to remember to send the information to the host after the show is over. This is more acceptable than to “wing it” and look stupid. While the host may never bring it up later, they will be impressed that you kept your word.

Talk show hosts are not interested in “fluff.” If you have written a book, you are considered to be an expert on your subject. Act like one. They want people who can not only answer their questions but who can present solutions for their listeners. Be prepared to explain and state your position and to follow with a solution when it is called for.

Do your best to match the pace of your conversation with the pace of the interviewer. Don’t be a lazy talker. Be energetic. If you speak too quickly, the listeners won’t be able to understand you. Make sure to enunciate so that listeners will stay interested. Radio hosts love it when you demonstrate enthusiasm for your topic. Listeners can sense your interest and enthusiasm. However, if the host appears easy and laid back, be easy and laid back. If they talk fast, talk fast. If they sound excited, you better sound excited too.

A great way to raise your confidence level is to practice answering difficult questions in advance. Ask yourself: “What is the question that I least want to answer?” Practice that one. Use a friend as a sounding board. Rehearse a response until you are comfortable with it. I am often asked that since I am not a therapist, what makes me such an expert about relationships? I know exactly what I am going to say and the answer usually helps continue the conversation in a very positive manner.

An experienced host can usually tell if your an a novice at being interviewed. Speak up. Be loud and clear. Be enthusiastic, and be careful; don’t overdo it. Expressing a passion for what you do is contagious. If you have an accent, it is wise to speak a little slower so as to be clear and easily understood. Be articulate. If you know that you need some help with your grammar, get help. You are often judged by the words that you speak and by the tone of your voice.

“You are a Godsend. I read your tips last night. Today was great. I was natural and just me. The radio host was easygoing so I felt at ease. Thank you! I am so addicted to radio NOW. No more reading from the books… Just be natural. You offer a must-have service for fellow writers who must and need to get into the limelight and shine.” ~ Cal Orey, author, Doctor’s Orders: What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy & 202 Pets’ Peeves: Cats and Dogs Speak Out on Pesky Human Behavior

Imagine that you are speaking to only one person when you are on the air. Listeners listen that way. Be conversational. Be a friend of the host and the listeners.

Do not speak the jargon or techno-terms of your industry! This is very important. Listeners need your information to be understandable and presented on a layperson’s level. Keep it simple and to-the-point, and don’t try to impress the host with your vocabulary.

When doing a TV interview, be sure to make good eye contact with the host. Never look at the camera. Let the camera technicians do their job. Talk “to” the host, don’t look around the room. The TV anchor has established a long-term relationship with the audience viewing at home. You don’t. They have permission to look into their living rooms. That is not your job. Your job is to help the anchor inform and entertain the audience by being engaging and charismatic.

If you’re doing a radio or TV interview, take care not to wear or bring anything that beeps, rings, jingles, cries, barks or otherwise makes noise on its own. If you are doing an interview from your office or home, close the door to avoid any interruptions. Turn off radios, TV, music, cell phones, phones, fans – anything that might make noise – and lock the pets in the other room. My media coach, Ellen Kaye asked me to remove a gold bracelet I was wearing before my appearance on “The View.”

If you’ve written a book or have product and are appearing on TV, bring samples with you. Sign them to the host (radio hosts too). While appearing on KTVK-TV 3 in Phoenix, I not only brought all three of my relationship books, I brought an 11 x 17 poster of my best-selling book. Dan Davis gladly put in on the table and the TV camera panned it several times during the interview. My philosophy is “self-promote or disappear!” Shameless? You bet. AND… it worked!

I used to worry when there were no call-ins if call-ins were accepted. No longer. Heavy call volume is not necessarily a good gauge for how well you are doing. If you are an informative and entertaining guest, listeners will often stay riveted to the radio and will not call. Just be your best at all times and say things worth listening to.

When you hear the music come up when you are talking, that means the break is coming up or the end of the show is near. That is the time you want to bring your comments to a quick close. It is wise to have a few brief sentences that you have rehearsed well with which to close.

When the host says he’s going to break for a commercial, if you can, squeeze in a quick teaser to tantalize the audience to make them want to continue to listen. Say something like, “When we come back I’ll tell you how to (fill in the blank). . .” It works best to have several teasers already prepared for instant use.

Also remember that listeners channel surf. According to statistics I’ve read, the average listener only listens in 20 minute segments. They often flip around the radio dial until they hear something that grabs their attention. Be an “attention grabber.”

Frequency counts. The more times you can sneak your book title or Website into the conversation, the better. However, do it with finesse! AND do not overdo it. Mimicking William Shatner’s eccentric character, “Denny Crane,” on Boston Legal doesn’t work.

Say your book title at least three times in every interview. Yes, there will be times when this is impossible, and there will be times when this is tacky, but if you make it a rule and stick to it, you will sell more books. Erase the words “my book” from your vocabulary, and always use the full title to refer to your work. This is one easy way to sell books in an interview without sounding like an infomercial.

I usually close by saying, “This is Larry James reminding you to Celebrate Love.” I pause briefly and quickly add “Dot com!” Wheew! Got another plug in for my website and it was the last thing they heard me say. Remember to say your name several times too. If they remember your name, they can usually do a search and find you.

Have fun! Enjoy yourself! Lighten up! Let your passion and enthusiasm for your book or topic shine though. Listeners truly resonate with enthusiasm and will often buy your product or service based on emotion.

Several other ideas: I can think of several reasons why you should ask the host to give you a cassette or CD of the interview. Give copies of the cassette or CD to print reporters who may want to do a story on you and put a copy of the cassette or CD inside your media kit. IMPORTANT: Be sure to make your request to the Producer for a cassette or CD of the interview BEFORE the interview begins.


2 Articles-in-one!
Follow the link above! ~ Click the above image!

After the interview is over, ask the host, “Who else do you know who might be interested in having me as a guest?” Most talk show hosts often have valuable contacts in other markets and If they were pleased with the interview and say so, they will refer you.

Ask the host to take a moment and jot you a brief note on their station’s letterhead. Use this when you solicit other radio stations for interviews or to post on your media page on your website.

Pitch your niche! Include a sheet in your media kit or on your website listing all media appearances by category (radio, TV, newspaper, magazines) and update it regularly. Send the list, along with your “pitch” letter, to editors, reporters, talk show producers and news directors, to let them know you aren’t a media novice. Media professionals identify newsworthy items by testimonials from media peers before your self-promotional comments.

When it comes to stories, each producer or host has a unique personality and unique needs. Ask lots of questions. Dig into what they are currently working on. Then make them look good by designing your patter to fit their needs. Learn everything you can about the show and about their competition. Let them know you care about their listeners. When you help make a host’s job easier, they will ofen come back to you for more quotes and other interviews.

Design a “Holiday Hook.” When pitching a holiday, put a non-traditional twist on a traditional idea. What can you offer that would be something completely different? Your job is to ignite interest. Plan a different spin on an existing idea. Be creative.

Here’s a novel idea. Pitch them something they’re already interested in. That could be something in the news, or maybe a current reality show or movie, celebrity mishap, or seasonal item. Celebrity tie-ins usually get more air time. Topical ideas with a twist will get their attention.

Remember to tell clients and print reporters in the station’s listening area to listen to your interview. If you are a guest on an out-of-town radio show, call the newspaper in the city where the show is airing and ask if they would like an interview, too. Be sure to give them no less than a two week advance notice.

If your interview was successful, it is sometimes possible to segue into another interview with their sister station down the hall. If they don’t have any other stations in the building, ask if their affiliates in other cities might be interested in interviewing you. It is best to make this request and ask for the contact info while you have them on the phone. NOTE: A radio station whose owners own more than one station in a market is referred to as a company’s co-owned (# of stations)-station cluster. For example, Clear Channel owns an 8-station cluster in the Greater Phoenix area.

Radio interviews should be an important part of your overall media strategy. Never, ever turn down the opportunity to do a talk show. You can learn from every interview. Inexperienced with being interviewed on talk shows? You need to know how to be a professional guest. You’ll need guidance and training to create excitement, share valuable info, make your point quickly, avoid tangents, be promotional yet responsible and learn the do’s and don’ts of being interviewed.

A few tips from Marsha Friedman:

• Radio talk shows, in contrast to TV, communicate through words rather than pictures.It’s conversational, so your message should lend itself to a discussion about the problem your expertise can address.
• Like TV, radio talk shows vary from morning to night. Morning shows, as you might suspect, generally have shorter interviews during “drive time.” With news, weather sports and traffic, talk show hosts don’t have time for 30-minute interviews.
• Midday shows, now run the gamut of topics since so many people listen to the radio at work. Today, you’ll even find lots of business shows airing during the work hours.
• After work is the second “drive time” of the day. Listeners are more relaxed then, and it’s more conducive to a longer interview.
• And don’t discount those overnight shows. Think no one’s listening? You’d be mistaken. Evening and overnight interviews reach a broad audience of listeners, including 2nd and 3rd shift workers, public service employees, truckers and many people who work overnight.

Media training is a major plus and will give you a tremendous advantage as you can learn the techniques and strategies to giving a great interview as well as promoting your interests during the interview. It gives you the opportunity to practice your materials and receive top quality, professional feedback. Call the coach!

Many of the radio stations in the USA have websites. Before you agree to an interview, it might be a good idea to listen to the host. Here is a list of radio stations who have websites and broadcast on the Internet. You can browse by state for their websites. Do a Google for a list.

You can use the Radio Locator to locate all of the radio stations near a U.S. city.

For a list of the Top 50 United States Cities by population, go to: This list will assist you in determining major radio markets. (Update: The latest census show Phoenix as #5 and Philadelphia as #6).

Also check out American Journalism Review and NewsLink – They feature an expansive list of radio, TV and print media links plus the latest in journalistic news.

Have you considered pitching Internet radio? – If not, maybe you should be. According to a study done in 2004, over 28 percent of Internet radio listeners are likely to buy a new product vs. 17 percent of regular radio listeners. Internet radio listeners are also “hip” meaning that if you’re targeting the 12-35 year old crowd, this might be a place you want to promote yourself. Try heading over to WS Radio at and check out their shows, you can pitch most of the hosts directly from their site! Internet radio is a good place to practice if you are new to doing radio talk shows. They have fewer listeners and if you make a mistake, fewer people hear it. 😉

BONUS Article: FREE eBOOK Download: “How to Book Radio Shows & Be a Great Guest!”


Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. 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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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part One

Filed under: Author Tips,Radio Talk Show Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

The tips below were gathered from personal experience (appearances on more than 650 radio talk shows) and from other speakers and authors who have coached me on improving my on-the-air presence while being interviewed by radio talk show hosts. In addition, as the former Associate Producer of the MarsVenus Radio Talk Show with hosts, Dr. John Gray, Ph.D. and Michael Najarian, M.A., the following guidelines are those that I recommended for guests who appeared on our show.

Why is radio so HOT? Radio is an outstanding way to create awareness, influence trends and introduce new concepts. You can reach millions quickly. Radio is done via telephone adding to its desirability. It’s easy to do, with no travel required, yet the outreach is tremendous! Radio is also very supportive in mentioning your book and website plus you get more time to share your message – interviews can be from five-ten minutes up to one hour.

studio microphoneBe sure you have written the time, date, length of the interview and any other details on your calendar. If you miss a scheduled interview or have to cancel or reschedule an interview you risk losing it forever.

It’s showtime! Before you go on the air, have your book and notes handy. Isolate yourself prior to the call. What is your point? Make sure and write down four or five key points that you want to cover during your interview so you always stay on track. Strengthen your points with anecdotes, humor, and statistics so that they are more memorable and entertaining. Take a few minutes to focus on the key points you need to make to make your message stand out. Know your mission and your message.

Spend no less than 5 to 10 minutes alone before a phone interview. Relax. Breathe slowly and if it’s early in the day and your voice in not yet up to speed, hum a couple of bars of “Kum Ba Yah” or read aloud some of your notes to warm up your vocal chords. Sip some tipid water. Remember that it is not only what you say, but how you say it. Read them aloud with a smile on your face. People can hear your smile, and it puts energy into your voice.

Being interviewed is giving a performance. Do your best to appear natural, spontaneous and unrehearsed. This takes some practice. If you know your stuff, the uneasiness usually disappears when the first words have been spoken and the answers begin to flow.

Prepare several pages of notes for each of your topics, books, etc., (including your 800#, contact info, etc.) and put them in clear plastic page protectors. Have them available on your desk during the interview. They will be useful to “scan” to help you stay focused as you speak. When on-the-air, never “read” from your notes, “speak” from them. Do your best to sound as natural as possible. Keep them close by in a file folder for use for your next radio interview. You cannot be too prepared for a radio interview.

Be careful of every word that comes out of your mouth! You cannot un-ring a bell. One slip can ruin your career (Remember Imus?). When you are talking to a reporter or a radio or TV host, remember, nothing is off the record.

To sound and be more credible and powerful on radio and on TV, delete the words “I think” from your vocabulary. “I think” dilutes your message and causes you to sound uncertain.

Think carefully about the words the producer uses to explain what they want in the interview. Even though you are the expert, they will often come up with a new slant on your topic that you have never considered. This is a gift.

If you want to be ready on “short notice” for radio interviews, place a flip chart on an easel near your telephone. Write bullet points that will help deliver your message more clearly when the media calls. This keeps you from scrambling around your desk looking for your media info sheet.

When preparing your talking points (sound bites) always ask “who cares”? Your message has to resonate with your listening audience to have maximum impact. Save your serious topics for morning drive time. Most producers are looking for light, fun topics for afternoon drive time because commuters are tired, less alert and producers want to lift their spirits.

Sound bites should be no longer 10 to 20 seconds for radio and television. Practice reading your sound bite aloud. Change whatever sounds awkward. Use descriptive words. Your words need to be intriguing to the media. Sound bites must seem to be spontaneous and natural, full of excitement and certainly not rehearsed.

Research the audience you want to reach and the radio stations that broadcast to that audience. Design your remarks to the audience you are speaking to. Be sure to customized your sound bites for special occasions and for specific audiences. Another good reason to listen to the radio station before you call to get a “feel” for the talk-jockey’s style. If you are not in the same city, listen on the Internet. Many radio stations have streaming audio on their Websites.

Do your best to remove all distractions around you; deactivate call waiting, remove pets, turn off fans, TV, Cell phone and any other noise makers. Close the door and post a “Do Not Disturb – Radio Interview” note on the door. Turn papers on your desk face down to avoid the temptation of being inattentive to the host or preoccupied with something you must do later. Unless you will be viewing information relative to the interview from your Website on your computer during the interview, turn off your computer. Never use a cell phone or speaker phone for an interview. They are not broadcast quality and unreliable!

Romance the producer. The producer is often neglected because the focus is on the host. Believe me, the producer does all the hard work behind the scenes and in many cases is the person who will make the decision to book the interview. Ask questions about the host. Give the producer your full attention, your best ideas and your gratitude. If you are sending a book for the host, ask them if they would like you to send a copy to them. Make a note of their full name for your file and be sure to sign the book to them.

You “must” spark the producer’s interest. Stay up on the news. Listen to the radio, read newspapers, watch TV. That helps you figure out what’s in the news and how your message might tie in with it.

Most producers will listen carefully to what you have to say and HOW you say it, so be at your best. Your passion for the message is what makes you believable, plus its timely connection to current events or a personal challenge will make it relevant and newsworthy. Answer their specific questions carefully and always bring the answer back to your own key message.

“The interviewer is not your friend, and everything you say is on the record. If you don’t want it to be in print, don’t say it.” ~ Seth Godin, author

In a radio interview, an answer has 3 parts. State the problem, give an example of the problem, and define the solution. Don’t fail this test. Be fiercely opinionated. Be who you are! Offer your input and perspective. Be inspiring, provocative, believable, different and memorable. Look at this opportunity as an audition; a genuine tryout for a real on-air performance. Speak to them in your very best sound bites.

Wikipedia says, “A soundbite is an audiolinguistic and social communications phenomenon. It is characterized by a short phrase or sentence that deftly captures the essence of what the speaker is trying to say. Such key moments in dialogue (or monologue) stand out better in the audience’s memory and thus become the “taste” that best represents the entire “meal” of the larger message or conversation. Soundbites are a natural consequence of people placing ever greater emphasis on summarizing ever-increasing amounts of information in their lives.”

Always be ready for the interview early. If you are going to the studio always allow an extra half an hour travel time for delays over and above the time the producer tells you to arrive. For radio telephone interviews, be ready and waiting at your telephone for the producer to get you on the line at least five to 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time. Producers like to know you are on the line before they commit you to their audience.

I have a list of nearly 40 relationship articles on various topics on my Website and will always have my computer tuned to the “articles menu.” I use them as “thought-starters” for when a host suddenly changes the direction of the interview. Expect the unexpected! Motto: “Be Prepared.” (Hmmmmm. Heard that somewhere before!)

If the topic is about something that I have written about, I will casually mention the article title and mention that detailed information is available by reading the article listed in the “Relationships Articles Menu” on (my primary website).

It’s okay to quote briefly from your book or about your speaking business or product. I use “red” tags that label various relationship topics on the the pages of my books for easy reference. If a specific topic suddenly pops up, I can flip right to it.

Weave the name of your book into the conversation so it sounds like it is a necessary part of the conversation. Do not say, “As I said in my book. . .” without mentioning the title. This takes some practice to keep from sounding like your only intention is to promote. Radio producers and hosts love to interviews guests who know how to be promotional, that is, mention the name of their book without sounding like a commercial. Practice using the name of your book as if it were a person not a thing to promote.

When you say “in my book” you may come off as a pushy author. Instead, use the title of your book and give some helpful tips. You are there to teach, and the more you teach the more the listening audience will want to buy your book. Teach the audience at least several things that will make their life better. Make sure the host gives your Web site (or you do too) and send the audience there not to “buy” your book but to get a “freebie” from your Website.

It’s also a good idea to mention the host’s name now and then. Write their name on a Post-It note and put it where you can see it during the interview. This allows you to call the host by name during the interview and helps you relate to the listeners. Research the host. Go to the radio station Website and read their bio. Do a Google search. Call the producer of the show and ask some questions. The more you know the better. Then slip it into the interview. Make sure they know that you have done your homework.

Be sure to describe your book in a way that emotionally engages the audience and causes them to want to buy it and read it. Select several adjectives that capture the tone or style of your book so they get a “feel” for it.

While you are on the radio to promote your books or other products, you must also provide entertaining content for the radio audience. Talk show hosts will seldom invite you back if you do not first have their audience in mind. In other words. . . your book or the “hook” you used to get the host’s attention may get you on the show, however you must have something interesting to say that is unique, controversial or fascinating (besides an occasional mention of your book).

Talk show hosts will be more interested in having you as a guest if you can promise to deliver what you’ve learned about your topic and how other people can benefit from it. If you can tie-in a local angle to a national story, that’s good too.

Give the radio audience several “to-dos” they can do today that will change their life or make it better. Never sell your books or seminars when you are on the air. Teach. The more you teach them, the more they will want to buy whatever you are selling.

Put aside any prepared agenda you may have and let the host lead with questions. Listeners who listen to talk radio are smart. They know when someone is trying to “sell” them something. They want to be entertained and informed, not “pitched.” Say things that make them think. Listeners (and hosts too) become quickly annoyed with guests who constantly repeat the title of their book, your website or name of your business and will often tune out. The key is balance.

If you are a speaker, a radio interview is not a stage to speak from. It is an interview. Resist the urge to go on and on, never pausing long enough to allow the host to ask another question. If you are unfamiliar with the talk-show format, make it a point to listen to some of the top talk show hosts and pay attention to how they do it.

If you get a host who is inexperienced and is asking non-relevant questions. . . answer the question as best you can and bring up another point that may lead the host to another question or ask the host a question.

Better yet, in advance of your appearance, provide the host with a list of at least 10 questions that you deem important or may be questions that you are frequently asked. Put them in the order of importance or relavance as to why you are being interviewed. Make a copy for yourself with a few short answers to use as thought-starters if your mind goes blank. Most hosts welcome this idea because they rarely read your book and often will scan your media kit or list of questions just prior to going on the air. Do not focus your energy on what the questions will be when giving the interview, focus on giving your best answer to the questions you have provided them.

Develop questions that are hard-hitting, perhaps a little edgy and benefit-loaded for the listening audience. Producers and hosts love questions that will intrigue their audience (a hint of controversy) and glue them to their radio dials. Make each question better than the one before. Producers don’t want anyone switching stations.

When creating a list of questions for the host to be asked during an interview, keep them benefit oriented to your audience. Remember that the interviewer is there to get a good interview, not to “make nice” with warm and fuzzy questions. Avoid the question, “Why did you write the book” but rather weave this info into your answer and ask more compelling questions that command the audience to “stick around” for your answer!

A compelling final question on your list might include something like: “Do you have any final words for our listeners as we wrap up this segment?” Be prepared for a memorable sound bite for this question; one that includes your Website and where they can buy your book. Practice your sound bites to keep them short but extremely meaningful and you will be an excellent guest!

When you mention your Website, be sure to list a specific reason to visit. I will mention the Website, then say, “You will find a list of over 40 FREE relationship articles. Look for the “Articles Menu.”

Keep answers and explanations simple. If it’s short and gets their attention, it buys you more time to deliver your message. Complex information tends to lose or bore interviewers and audiences. People want a capsule of information delivered in a few seconds that is easy to swallow and switches on their mental light bulb.

Once you have your questions for the host, run them through with a good friend – preferably someone who can be objective. This will help make sure there aren’t any questions you missed or duplicate answers to questions you have listed.

Unless you are experienced at giving interviews, it is better to be cautious than candid. You can’t unring a bell. Once you say it, it’s too late. It is far better to be rehearsed and deliberate. Off-the-cuff comments intended as candor or humor may not translate that way to the listeners.

There is no rule that says you have to respond to every question. If a question is loaded, re-phrase it in a more neutral manner and answer the re-phrased version. Never use the phrase “no comment.” The public perceives it as an avoidance technique and many see it as an admission of guilt. Rehearse several clever ways to avoid answering the question without saying, “no comment.”

Be who you really are. Never worry about what you think someone else will think about what you say. When you worry about embarrassing yourself or saying the wrong thing you usually will. Besides, you have no control over what someone else will think. They will think whatever they think and there is nothing you can do about it.

Act naturally. You need to be a powerful guest. You cannot be a powerful guest when you are concerned about what you don’t want to happen. You need to sparkle while on the air. Enthusiasm speaks loud and clear, so in order to keep the audience attentive you need to maintain a high level of interest throughout the interview. Have fun with it Focus on your mission and your message and deliver it well.

Do your best to make the host look good! This is especially important if you want to be invited back. Never try to steal the limelight from the host or interviewer. Your job is to make them look good, while getting your main points across.


2 Articles-in-one!
Follow the link above! ~ Click the above image!

As a former broadcaster who helped introduce the “stand-up when you speak” concept to broadcasters in the Midwest, I have learned that you can speak more clearly and project your voice much better when you stand during a radio interview by telephone. Standing raises your energy level and will help you be more focused and alert. When you do radio interviews from your office you have that luxury. When you sit, often the tendency is to slump and take short breathes. When you stand, you can breath more deeply and project from the diaphragm. Remember to take a deep breath before you begin speaking.

I also suggest that you buy a telephone headset so you can speak “hands-free.” “Never” use a speaker phone (the broadcast quality in unacceptable). Holding the telephone or cradling the phone on your shoulder for an hour can cause stress to your neck. Many professional speakers use their hands when they speak to emphasis points. Using a headset allows you to act and speak more naturally.

If you spend lots of time on the phone during the day, it’s easy to let your guard down when doing a phone interview. Mistakes happen when you allow yourself to be “too casual.” Remember, the listeners do not know what you are going to say, so if you do make a mistake, don’t call attention to it. . . keep going.

Before the interview begins, find out who will be the interviewer and the correct pronunciation of their name. Jot their name, the name of the show, the station call letters and the city on a large piece of paper, put it in front of you and remember to use this info often during the interview; especially their name. It creates a more intimate conversation that draws the audience in.

When they ask a particularly insightful question, pass along a compliment. “That is an excellent question” or “I’m glad you asked that question” works. It also helps to draw in your audience. Even hosts like to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Look for a local angle or make an effort to make a local observation and mention it during the interview. Local talk show hosts especially like to hear that you are relating to their audience. If a major news event has just happened in the city where the interview will be heard, if it’s appropriate or ties in with your topic, talk about it. Know how your book ties in to breaking news. is a terrific source for information, trivia (click on “Fast Facts”), and much more on every state in the USA. It has great info that can help you connect with your local audience and make you sound really informed.

Read: “How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part Two

BONUS Article: FREE eBOOK Download: “How to Book Radio Shows & Be a Great Guest!”


Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. 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:

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page:
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Signing Strategies

Filed under: Book Signing Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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L. Diane Wolfe, Guest Author

Do the words “book signing” terrify you? Fear not! I thought writing “The Circle of Friends Series” the best part until I began making public appearances – now I cherish getting out and meeting the readers. As a book signing road warrior (150 stores in 2 years), I would like to offer you a few fresh ideas to help get your campaign off the ground.

I recommend before you start your book signing adventures a few books to help you hone your interpersonal skills (useful when dealing with store managers and the media).

booksigningsWhen you are ready to begin prospecting for venues to sign in, research every bookstore in your state. Once you create your signing strategy, open your calendar and start making calls. When I get the manager or owner on the line, I give them my pre-planned “commercial.” I tell them my name, book title and genre, a brief description of my book, and finish by asking what information they require to consider an author for a book signing.

Many managers simply have asked for my ISBN and booked me on the spot, while some ask for additional information. For those that request printed information, I send my sell sheet, business card, sample reviews and a cover letter in the mail. I always keep track of every contact and I follow-up within a week to set up a signing time. When I call back, many accept my request. A few pass on the opportunity. Don’t be discouraged if you receive a negative response. Politely thank them and go on to the next call.

Before the Signing:

With the date set, I send the store bookmarks and a poster or flyer for promotions. Then I conduct media research. I contact the features department of the local newspaper and producers of radio and TV news programs. (You’ll find that many stations are eager to feature someone interesting!) Many media sources have online event listings, so request that your appearance be listed. If you have a Web site, update the information too. I keep the bookstores abreast of all the articles and appearances so employees become excited about the signing as well.

At the Signing:

I have one rule: Never sit! Roam the store, greet customers and place either a copy of your book or a signed bookmark in their hand. Set up colorful posters, a copy of your press kit, bookmarks and a big bowl of sweets on your table. Consider taking pictures of the individuals who purchase your book to make the event memorable. When the signing is finished, give each employee a signed bookmark and autograph any remaining books. Let them know that you appreciate any hand selling that they do for your book. When I follow these steps, managers, without fail, ask me to return soon!

After the Signing:

Don’t forget the important step of sending a thank-you note to the store staff and those responsible for media coverage you receive. A thank you goes a long way, and you’d be surprised how many authors fail to complete this simple task. In the note to the bookstore, I always include photos taken of the staff at the signing so they remember the day.

Note details of the signing for future reference. Touch base with each store periodically through updates and press releases. This past holiday season, each one of my contacts received a Christmas letter. When the press release went out for my second book, Sarah, I sent a Valentine. These little touches assure future signings for the remainder of my series, The Circle of Friends.

Marketing and promoting a book requires a tremendous amount of energy, effort and research. My publishing representative recommendedbooks and Websites, and I’ve embraced every suggestion along the way, determined to overcome all obstacles and rise above average. I’ve poured all of my enthusiasm into every recommendation because this is my dream. If you haven’t already, go after yours!

BONUS Articles: Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!

ldianewolfeCopyright © 2014 – L. Diane Wolfe. Diane is an author & motivational speaker. Visit her Website at



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:

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page:
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at:
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at:
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at:
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

RADIO INTERVIEW 101 ~ How Many Listeners Do You Really Have?

Brian Farrish, Guest Author

New for 2014: The advent of the web has caused many people to get caught up in an imaginary world of listeners which does not exist. People “broadcast” their topics, either live or delayed, and are told that millions of people are listening. The purpose of doing their show, or interviewing on someone else’s show, is usually to sell a product or service, but at the very least it’s to spread the message to a larger group of people; but they wonder why they have not made one dollar from these “broadcasts,” or why nobody seems to be getting the message. Can the product or service really be so bad that “millions” of people can be listening but not buying or caring? Fortunately, this is an easy question to answer for yourself, and the technique for doing it comes from: AM and FM radio!

Regular AM and FM radio stations (which this year have an all-time high number of listeners according to Nielsen), long ago needed to come up with a way to figure out how many people were listening. This is because there was no number of “printed copies” that you could count like there was with newspapers. They also had to figure out if listeners preferred live or recorded shows, because as opposed to newspapers (which were always “recorded”), radio had the option of being live too.

RadioListenersWell, the live-or-recorded question was easy to answer: Given the choice of hearing a show live or recorded, listeners prefer live every single time. Matter of fact, in the radio ratings in the U.S. that are now done by Nielsen (formerly Arbitron), almost every show that has any number of listeners at all is done live; and of the top 10 morning shows in any city, none are recorded. Thus radio learned early, and still knows today, that 90% of the listening will be done live even if the listeners have the choice of a recorded option of the same exact show.

Next: How to determine the number of listeners that are hearing you. For live shows or interviews, which is the only option if you don’t want to lose 90% of your audience, the technique is easy: Do a free giveaway! You have all heard these being done on AM and FM radio; something like “The 20th caller wins!”. And stations will broadcast the NON-winning calls too: “Hello, what’s your name and what city are you calling from? Well you’re caller 18, sorry you didn’t win; Hello, what’s your name and what city are you calling from? Well you’re caller 19, sorry; Hello, what’s your name and what city are you calling from? Well… you’re caller 20, and YOU WIN!!”.

And then they stop answering the phone for a while because it will keep ringing. And in the last ten years, the number of calls you can get is even higher because everyone texts their friends when there is any type of giveaway occurring, and they all call in at once. Thus the listeners win, and the station wins because the number of listeners jumps up during the giveaway. Even small AM or FM stations can overload phone company circuits with the number of simultaneous calls.

If you are interviewing on another person’s show, it’s pretty easy to set up thus type of give-away: Just get permission from the host and/or producer beforehand, telling them you will doing on-air listener giveaway announcements periodically during the interview (real AM and FM stations love to have winners). Then after you just answered a great question or had a great call from a listener, you say “Wow that was a great question; you Dallas folks sure have some great listeners out there. I’d like to thank you by giving away a 3rd copy of my Best Car Prices e-book, which is normally $14.99. So everyone pull over your cars right now and call my winner line 555-555-5555, and leave your name, city, and email address clearly on the recording, and do it two times, and say you are calling to win the 3rd copy. The tenth message I get wins the e-book! Again, call now, 555-555-5555 and leave your info on the recording. I hope you win!”

If it’s your own show, you just need to determine how “exciting” you want it to sound, and what type of item you’ll be giving away. Money is always the quickest and easiest, because it’s always wanted, and it’s easy to deliver (by Paypal). Do something like this: “To thank all you wonderful listeners, I want to give away $20 by Paypal to the 20th person to call our on-air studio phone number, 555-555-5555. Again the call-in number is 555-555-5555. Let’s see who wins!.” You can broadcast the whole thing if you like, as in the example above, to show all the different people who are listening and where they are located.

A more subtle approach for a live show might be: “All you listeners to my self-help show are just wonderful; you have such good ideas and enthusiasm that I want to thank you by giving away a copy of my Self Help book to the 20th caller. This is a real hard-cover physical book that will be mailed out to you! So we’ll take the 20th caller to call our on-air studio phone number, 555-555-5555. Again the call-in number is 555-555-5555. Let’s see who wins the book!” And like before, you can broadcast the non-winners too if you like, or just wait for the winner. It’s kind of fun though, broadcasting each non-winning call and finding our their names and locations, and it really makes the point that you have listeners from all over. AM and FM stations will sometimes go all the way to the 100th caller!

But how do you do it for a recorded show? Well first, you probably would want to have a voice mailbox to capture the caller’s information when it comes in, but you could still do it by answering the phone if you want. The trick with a recorded show is to include a date on your announcements so that the giveaway cannot go on forever for a given prize. Here are some examples:

“I want to thank you listeners for your time and wonderful comments, by giving a way a free hardcover copy of my Self Help book, every week, to the 100th caller! So starting each Monday I’ll be checking the voicemails on my winner line at 555-555-5555; again my winner line is 555-555-5555, and the 100th message each week will have my amazing Self Help book mailed to them. Each person can only win once, so I hope it’s you! So call 555-555-5555 and leave your name, mailing address, phone number and email address, and also the calendar date that you called, and this Monday I’ll announce the winner!” Of course it goes without saying that although you only give away one book per week, you obtain at least 100 names of people who are intensely interested in your topic. Here is another way to do a recorded show, but not involving a date:

“You listeners are amazing! I want to give each and every one of you a free Top 10 list of my secret dog care tips that I’ve never talked about here on my Dog Care radio show. These Top 10 tips are only a tiny portion of what’s available on my paid subscription Dog Care site, but they are really great tips, and they are free to every caller! So call my personal winner line now at 555-555-5555, again that’s 555-555-5555, and leave your name and email address, and I’ll be checking these messages everyday to see if you are a winner!” This version has the advantage of a no-cost prize, but the trade-off is that less people call because a free list has less value than a physical book (especially a hard cover book).

When you do your give-away announcements, whether live or recorded, you can find out how many people are listening by how many people call you, provided of course that you do the announcement correctly. You must announce a phone number, however, and not just an email, because the many listeners which are listening outdoors (which is all people in cars) will only contact you if they can call immediately; they will not wait until they get back home. Matter of fact, with AM or FM radio, 90 of 100 calls come immediately after the phone number is announced; maybe only a few will have written the number down to call later. So if you want to keep 90% of your responses, use a phone number.

And lastly, don’t be surprised if you get very few calls from an online-only radio show. Regardless of how many listeners you are told are listening, you will find out for sure when you do you own giveaways. (Hint: Don’t do a cash giveaway on a regular AM or FM radio show; you’re phone may never stop ringing!) Many online “stations” use robots to generate fake numbers of listeners, including fake comments and emails, and we don’t want you falling for this.

bryanCopyright © 2014 – Bryan Farrish. Reprinted with permission. Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion is an independent radio interview promotion company. 818-905-8038 –



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:

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page:
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at:
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at:
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at:
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at:

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