I've done several radio interviews now, first with the campaign to save the Canadian Pacific Lawn Bowling Club in 2008, and the last few years mostly for privacy or security related issues. Most radio interviews last 4-8 minutes and are often pre-recorded, however I'd even done several live radio spots. When asked to speak on CFAX 1070 AM this morning about my upcoming IdeaWave conference, I couldn't say no. First of all, I'm an amateur radio lover (de VE7BNE for any hams reading this) and fear that AM is going away, but also excited to get the word out about my conference, I'm really passionate about it.
It turned out to be an over 20 minute, live interview! It covered all types of ground, from privacy and security concerns, to my IdeaWave conference, and back to privacy and security concerns again. Having been doing the live interview, I'd never heard myself live on the radio before. I just found out someone recorded my interview and posted it online. Do we ever sound different than how we sound in our head!
Just in case you're going to do a radio interview, I recommend a few steps:
- Be prepared with your talking points, and be ready to work them into the questions asked. There are several facts about IdeaWave I regretted that I didn't get into the interview, like the fact we have four $500 scholarships to give students with awesome ideas this year! Also, we've branched from the Pacific NorthWest to being North American wide this year, with speakers coming in from as far away as Washington, DC!
- Do a mock interview or two with a friend well in advance, and record it. Play it back for yourself and critique yourself. For example, in my interview I said a lot of "umms" which I really need to work on!
- Bring water (in case your voice goes dry or starts to crack)
- Pause before you respond, thinking about your answers so you can respond calm and collected. I have to work on speaking slow and clearly articulating, as I'm extraordinarily passionate when I talk. Without concious effort I would likely talk too fast for the audience not familiar with the subject matter be able to follow along and process what I'm saying for themselves.
- Now that you're a radio star, what's next?