Your marketing has paid off. The phone rings and you are invited for an interview on a popular radio show to discuss your field of industry expertise. After your initial excitement, it is natural that you might start to feel anxious, especially if you have never had an opportunity to speak live ‘on the air’ before.
Be aware that anxiety can quickly magnify into paralysing fear. This usually occurs in direct proportion to the degree of experience and understanding you may or may not have regarding public speaking and the immediacy of the radio interview environment.
Before your anxiety builds, arm yourself with the following tips so you can handle your interview with confidence and panache.
Research the station and the interviewer. Each radio station broadcasts to its own unique demographic of listener. Tune into the station and listen to the specific time slot you will be invited to participate in. How does the station ‘talk’ to its audience? Is it very formal in its style of broadcast or does it have a light-hearted and entertaining approach. If you don’t have time to listen in to the show beforehand, visit the station’s website. You are likely to find links to recordings of previous interviews that have taken place. Understanding the personality of the talk show host and the type of questioning techniques they like to use will also forearm you with how you can best respond.
Research the audience. While listeners may vary to a slight degree in age and lifestyle, there will be a core audience which will participate in listener call-ins and questions. Understanding the listener’s goals, expectations and assumptions will assist in your delivery of information and how you respond to listener engagement and enquiries. Remember that each and every listener may well be your next customer.
You are not going to have time to cover every point on the topic during the interview. Armed with the knowledge of your audience and the tone of the show, make a bulleted list of the main points you would like to communicate. Stay focussed on these main aspects of the topic throughout the discussion and keep referring to them with examples and personal anecdotes. Make sure you have at least one example that illustrates both a problem and its solution.
Establish your credibility with the audience upfront. Open with a strong story or perspective regarding the topic. Use rhetorical questions to match the type of questions the audience might be thinking. Make sure you cover the top five most frequently asked questions from your own customer base. Refer to the audience regularly and keep your information relevant to how it applies to their world.
Your voice is the only thing the audience has to refer to you as an expert. Keep your pace deliberate and your voice deep. Use pauses for effect and to guide your thought processes, so you don’t fall into the trap of the umhs and ahs. If the line of questioning momentarily stumps you, or you lose your train of thought, transition the conversation back to one of the topic’s main bullet points you jotted down at the beginning. Be forearmed and anticipate what might be tough questions regarding the subject.
Congratulations on securing your first radio interview. Be confident that you have all the information and answers to any awkward questions that may arise and approach your interview with focus and clarity.
Mercédes Westbrook is a journalist and editor with an extensive career in the media publishing arena working with top South African brand marketing and management teams over a variety of publications within their aligned industries.
As owner of www.firehorsemedia.co.za she has adapted her communication skills for the digital platform to include content creation, website design, content marketing, social media management, and public relations. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org
How often have you left a meeting feeling it was a waste of time; felt unclear as to whether anything had been accomplished; and questioning if all those action items would ever really be followed up?
If you answered yes to any of the above, chances are it’s not you – it’s your outdated meeting routine and lack of collaborative business communication tools at hand.
What makes a meeting effective?
The meeting achieves its objective, it takes up a minimum amount of time, it leaves participants feeling that a sensible process has been followed, it effects decisions, generates collaborative sharing and new ideas, and creates a process, supported by follow up status reports.
Enhanced computer-aided technologies have enabled levels of communication that leaps time and distance. From electronic mail, instant messaging, intranet and extranet links, translation, note-taking, videoconferencing and online training to more custom focussed tools for businesses to meet, share, agree and process business transactions, we have no excuse not to be communicating more precisely, fluidly and efficiently.
Streaming the digital highway
Electronic mail has overtaken the humble dialling tone, with more email addresses in the world than telephone numbers and more people have multiple e-mail addresses than multiple telephone numbers.
Instant messaging (IM) has become essentially real time e-mail, keeping managers in touch with employees and employees in touch with each other, without the delay and inbox clutter of email. The adoption of IM has been at grassroots level, much like the rise of the IPad in the business setting, where workers have carried over the habit from home or social settings in order to add speed and ease to workplace communication and eliminate time typically lost to “telephone tag” or wasted trips to a co-workers office who is absent or otherwise occupied.
Integrated web, audio and video conferencing solutions have not only streamlined, but captivated, audiences of web meetings, webinars, audio conferencing, online training seminars and multi-point video conferencing with the addition of technology that makes the best of sound, light, and emotive influences.
Increasingly sophisticated electronic collaboration tools are further facilitating audience participation by stakeholders regardless of their location and complement face-to-face meetings, email, and teleconferences, by trimming time and expenses and fostering open communication and better evaluation and project management within teams.
Regardless of differences in time zones or work schedules, software integral to the platform provides documentation of threaded discussions, audit history, and other mechanisms designed to capture the efforts of many into a managed content environment be it workflows, projects, deadlines, or sign-off on deliverables. While several well-known commercial electronic collaboration products exist such as SAP and Microsoft’s Sharepoint, there are other customised products available that offer advanced document management and user participation, for example via electronic voting systems that provide proper authentication of votes and assurance of confidentiality.
Meetings with social media
It’s been said that the social media phenomenon really isn’t anything new, it’s just new and better technology. With origins most likely born from e-mail and instant message correspondence, social media is rapidly moving from an emerging communications medium to the mainstream of marketing.
Adding a new dynamic to how we communicate before, during and after meetings and events, social media creates the ‘buzz’, listing who is going to be there and giving participants a reason to go tell others by adding embedded links to specific sites, videos or forums that promote more sharing.
Event professionals know to make sure their venue is well covered with high-speed wireless to ensure attendees will be able to use Twitter and post to blogs and other sites more easily. And they data mine the most active bloggers and attendees via their online profiles so they can invite them to associated groups, blogs and forums. The life of a meeting is then seamlessly extended by building a thriving online community that remains open to further valuable insights, interaction and information.
Digital tools still face the challenge of the human factor – the fear of technology and the resistance to investment in technical knowledge and time, as well as some of the more traditional corporate cultures that do not support open discussions and sharing of power.
What they offer in its place is anywhere (online) capability which avoids travel time and cost, increased participant availability (any place, any time), increased interactivity and participation, more sophisticated analysis and automatic, comprehensive, neutral documentation.
Modern meetings get results. Modern meetings become an action plan with assignments and timelines that are automatically tracked. The visibility of decisions and assignments during the meeting keeps everyone engaged and allow for automatic follow-up resulting in less wasted time and greater accountability.
Isn’t it time to rethink your ‘meeting of minds’?
Admit it. You are guilty of it yourself. Your digital devices have become an extension of your arm and the gateway to your world, and whether you are a Millennial or not, you are always ‘switched on’ and open to disruption.
While the ‘internet of things’ has brought new methods for learning, networking and engaging it also brings a whole lot of external distraction too – something you don’t want interfering with the attention of your business event attendees.
For those of you wanting to maximise your future, adaption to and management of the vigorous event technology currently trending – both locally and globally – will ensure not only next-generation attendee engagement and interaction, it will also extend the lifespan of your event well beyond the circled calendar dates. (more…)