What Are Internet Radio Hosts Looking For In Their Guests?
Copyright 2005 Black Butterfly Press
As an Internet Radio Host of On The Same Page on
www.voiceamerica.com, over the past three and a half years, I
have interviewed such illustrious guests as Haki Madhubuti of
Third World Press, Dr. Rosie Milligan of Milligan Books,
Celebrity Mother Love, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield,
(Chicken Soup For the Soul Fame), Dan Poynter, and other
writing/publishing experts. From the experienced to the
non-experienced guests, this much I have gleaned—these skills
are learnable. Even if you are a first-time author, you, too,
can become an exciting interviewee.
Why is Internet radio important as a media? For one, it has a
global audience. I’ve interviewed guests who were as far away as
Paris and in the Bahamas. Anyone with a computer and Internet
Access can listen to your show
Most of all, Internet radio is not only the wave of the future,
it is beginning to be heard in automobiles, so this is a good
place to start your publicity trek.
What are Internet Radio Hosts looking for In Their Guests?
1. Hosts are drawn to an energetic, upbeat, personable guest. If
you have a flat liner personality, be honest with yourself.
Practice on a tape recorder, even if it’s your own answer
machine, or in the mirror. If necessary, get a media coach. But
practice, practice, practice.
2. Host like guests who are well-informed and on top of their
game. Stay abreast of trends and provide updated new
information. (Read the newspaper, the Internet, do research. Be
an information junkie.) Consider different hooks and angles,
i.e. how has the Internet changed the way we do business? How
can writers market their books on the Internet?
3. Hosts like controversy, but not particularly of the “shock
jock” variety. If you are speaking on a controversial subject,
be non-judgmental and do not offend any particular group of
people. Make sure you learn how not to use language, which is
condescending or demeaning such as using phrases like “those
4. If you are a fiction writer, show how your novel addresses
social issues such as race, police brutality, crime, corruption,
drugs, AIDS, etc. Most of all, show how your story can provide
information that improves the quality of other people’s lives,
even if your story is fiction.
5. If you are from a medical, business or scientific background,
make your interview interesting and lively. Don’t make it a
Tips for Improving Your Interview:
Send the host your press release and a review copy of your book,
including news articles or book reviews, before the show.
Send the host a list of questions or topics that you are well
Become a guest who knows how to talk about his/her work and not
just all about “me.” Remember, people are always tuned into this
station—WIFM—”What’s in it For Me?”
Don’t just try to sell the store (your book, your seminar, your
product), but sell the story.
Learn to answer in sound bites. Do not go over one minute for a
Drop your voice to cue the host that you are through speaking
and waiting for the next question.
Give the host time to ask a question, without having to
interrupt, which means you are going on too long.
Learn the importance of pausing and deep breathing. Don’t run on
like a motor mouth.
Learn the power of the pause, even while you are answering. This
habit will make listeners lean forward to hear what you’re
saying. It also sends a message that you are a serious person
who chooses his words carefully.
If possible, use anecdotes, recite poems, or read excerpts from
your book. Tasteful humor always works.
Don’t forget to provide your web page and where your book can be
When you hear the music before the break, you have 30 seconds to
wrap up whatever point you were making.
Sharpen your axe. Attend Toastmaster’s or join Speaking Bureaus
to become a better speaker.
Learn how to adlib and speak off the cuff, particularly if a
caller catches you off guard.
Learn to disagree, without being disagreeable.
Listen to other shows as well as “On The Same Page” on
Before the show, confirm with the host. (Most of the time, I
confirm beforehand.) Email if an emergency comes up and you
can’t be on the show.
Although I usually email a thank you note, I seldom get them
back. Remember to send a Thank-you email. This could go a long
way if you get on Howard Stern’s Show or Oprah’s.
* “On The Same Page” airs on Tuesday at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time
live, then re-airs at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Friday 4:00 p.m.
PST and Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
Dr. Maxine Thompson, Internet Host, http://www.voiceamerica.com
and www.maxinethompson.com and owner of
http://www.maxineshow.com . You can sign up for my free
newsletter at http://www.maxinethompson.com
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