Mary-Lynn has spent 19 years in the radio broadcasting industry, and has had the joy of hosting every shift, in many formats, in five markets. At one time, she co-hosted mornings and hosted mid-days on one station, while simultaneously serving as the Production Director for all five stations in my employer’s group.
Currently, Mary-Lynn is building her own brand in new media, and tapping into her own entrepreneurial spirit as the Vice President and Executive Producer of Bigg Success (biggsucces.com).
Podcast and Blog Interviewing Tips
I have been conducting interviews for 19 years, from when I was a radio show host, to being the co-host on The Bigg Success Show. Over the course of my interviewing years, I have talked with celebrities, news makers, officials, authors, bloggers, experts and more.
An interview is a great way to give your listeners or readers a treat! It is important to keep your audience in mind while conducting an interview, since you are their voice. Here are some tips to ensure your next interview is a home run.
Looking for an interview
- Make sure the interview topic will resonate with your audience. How can you make the topic fit your format.
- Look for timely interviews to increase your chances of getting it…i.e. your interviewee has a new book coming out, or has launched a new program.
Requesting an interview
- Keep your interview request short and sweet. Tell them who you are, why you are seeking them out, what topic(s) you would like to talk about, tell them how much time you’ll need, suggest some times.
- When suggesting times, keep time zone’s in mind. I usually suggest times and capitalize CENTRAL.
Preparing for the interview
- Is there a recent study or news story that ties into your interview topic that you can get your interviewee’s take on?
- Have a couple solid questions on your topic prepared. Have a couple light-hearted, personal questions to ask as well. It’s always good to bring out your interviewee’s personality.
- Create a checklist for your interview that includes: time, number to call, your guests introduction, and your questions.
- Do you know the correct pronunciation for your guests name? Be sure to ask before you begin the interview.
During the interview
- Have a conversation. If you don’t get to ask all of your prepared questions, that’s fine!
- Listen attentively. Your interviewee’s answers will provide you with great follow-up questions.
- You’ve done your homework, so just relax and have a conversation!
If you don’t understand a point your interviewee has made, chances are your audience will not either, so don’t be afraid to ask him / her to elaborate.
- Be careful that YOU aren’t telling the story. Let your interviewee tell the story. Katie Couric did a great with this in her recent 60 minutes interview with Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. She knew he’d said the words “brace for impact.” But during the interview, she said “when you were about to land in the Hudson River, you said only 3 words to your crew and passengers, what were they?”
- Thank your guest for being on your show / blog.
- Provide your guest with the link once you have posted their interview, and thank him / her again.
That’s it! Now let’s talk about it. What questions can I answer for you? What tips do you have to offer?
Interview Mary-Lynn on her techniques. Go ahead ask!