Article: Radio Interviews

Tips for sounding good when you’re interviewed on the radio

This is your chance to make yourself heard, gain publicity and send your message out there:

  • Be prepared – what are you going to talk about? Make sure you know your stuff
  • Write the key points down as bullet points and key phrases rather than a full speech or dense paragraphs – they’ll trigger a more natural conversational style
  • Keep your notes to one page to avoid rustling as you search for the next one
  • Facts and figures, names, numbers, addresses and websites are especially easy to forget
  • Talk through what you want to say in advance so you sound fluent and confident on air
  • If you think it may be a difficult conversation, prepare answers in advance to the most challenging questions you might be asked, so you can answer with confidence
  • Practice your Elevator Speech – what do you say when someone asks ‘and what do you do?’
  • Make sure the presenter knows your full name and organisation and what you’re there for – take a business card for the presenter to refer to when introducing you, as it will save the on-air embarrassment of forgetting your name
  • Microphone – ask where to sit and if you have to position it yourself
  • Do a sound check when asked, have something sensible to say – it’s a good time to voice your Elevator Speech into the mic so you sound confident
  • Make any amendments you’re asked to – the sound engineer can hear you and wants you to sound good
  • Relax and breathe and warm up your voice before you go on air
  • Listen to the question and let them finish without interrupting – it’s OK to pause for thought rather than dive in with both feet
  • If adrenaline and nerves make you speed up, talk more slowly than you usually do
  • If you’re on a panel or in a group, let others speak – but do be assertive about your turn
  • It’s good to laugh if you’re relaxed, but nervous giggling won’t make you sound good
  • We tend to remember negatives, so instead of saying ‘we don’t…’ turn it round to ‘we do… ”Bloggs company has an excellent record for protecting the environment’ sounds better than ‘Bloggs company does not pollute the environment’ and will avoid connecting ‘Bloggs’ ‘environment’ and ‘pollute’ in the listeners’ minds
  • If all goes well, get a recording of the interview for your website