Why are some people good at creating radio shows? And why don't your shows sound polished?
Here is the problem...Inadequate preparation\.
Not preparing for your podcast or radio shows impacts the quality.
And in today's guide, you’ll learn:
as a host...
- How to use storytelling to create better radio & podcast shows;
- Ways to find interesting things to say during links;
- Phone-in and interview show preparation tips;
- The right way to ask questions;
- Importance of promoting shows beforehand;
We have tips for show guests too! Preparing for a big interview? Learn:
- What to do before the interview;
- Tips to use during the interview.
You'll love the detailed tips in today's guide!
Let's dive straight in:
A word for inspiration: Confidence is preparation.
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success."Alexander Graham Bell\
Even if you have been doing it for many years, you can’t just skip preparing for your show.
Preparation makes everything better. It’s the difference between an amateur and a professional.
You get to weed out the bad parts, refine the good parts, and produce the best for your audience.
The risk of not preparing:
- You lose focus on the audience;
- Under-deliver or provide an overflow of information;
- Lacking confidence;
- Not knowing what comes next;
- Having disorganized shows;
- Not coming out as funny because you don't remember any jokes;
- Long pauses as you collect your thoughts;
- Making excuses or apologies, "Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to say that"
Yeah, you know all those issues!
PART 1: How to prepare for a radio or podcast show
(for hosts & producers)
Creating a perfect radio or podcast show is no easy feat.
Without the right radio show preparation, your shows may come off as low-quality & low-budget.
Post the show online, and you might receive bad reviews.
The key to growing your audience is to produce quality shows.
Prepare well, and you'll end up with a great product.
So, here are no-so-common tips to prepare for your radio or podcast shows.
Tip 1: Use the power of storytelling
Producing a radio and podcast show means signing up to share experiences, facts, stories, news, etc.
Want more organized and captivating shows? Use the story structure.
How does it work?
Act 1: Exposition
The first part serves as an introduction. Spend the first minutes providing background information or establishing the settings.
Hosts typically explain what the show is about, introduce the guest, or elaborate on the significance of a particular issue.
For instance: "Welcome to today's show. We're joined in studio by the President of Freedom & Order, a man so controversial even the newspapers don't write about him: Mr. John Hawkins..."
Act 2: Rising action
Audiences at this part know what's happening, who's getting interviewed, and the issues on the table...
Next, just introduce conflict.
Expert interviewers like Oprah, prep the guest with a series of softball questions before the big, hard, or emotional question.
True crime dramas may, for instance, detail how the murder took place, leaving nothing resolved.
Conflicts are intriguing and add interest. And audiences latch on as the tension rises.
Act 3: The Climax*
Your show reaches a crucial moment, its highest point of drama.
All the hard questions have been asked! For a heartfell interview, perharps a few tears have been shed.
If it's a fun show, this is the eptimone of the excitement.
Songs also have a build up before they reach the crescendo!
The audience will heavily investment and the climax may remain etched in their mind for a long time. From the climax, thing can only calm down.
\Act 4: Failing action**
Following an intense point of climax in your radio show or podcast, the next phase entails cooling things down.
Tensions begin to ease. You may resolve certain issues that were being confronted.
Act 5: Resolution
At this point, all the mysteries, questions, and solutions have been addressed.
The listener has a sense of completion.
They might feel like a heavy burden has been lifted off their chest. There might be learning moments or things to take away from the story.
And that's, in fact, the process of creating a powerful radio show that people will love listening to.
Tip 2: How to find interesting things to say in-between songs
While the first tip focused on people producing podcasts, radio shows, or interviews, this tip is aimed at radio music presenters.
The biggest challenge they have is finding things to say in-between songs (links). Saying interesting things rarely comes naturally. Fortunately, here are tips to use:
a. Stay informed - You can't share what you don't know. So, track what's trending on Twitter. Read news stories. Find which TV shows your audience maybe watching on NetFlix.
b. Write down your best ideas - Thankfully you don't need to lug a notebook and pen around. Just note down ideas on your note taking app.
c. Bits should rouse emotion - What's the easiest way to bore your listeners? Say something inconsequential. Your links should spur the listener's emotions. You can make them laugh, wonder, doubt, or curious.
d. Share the information that affects their lives - A quick and easy tip is to tell them something about their health. "Did you know that one cup of coffee per day can increase your lifespan?"
e. Talk about hot issues - People are drawn to uncomfortable topics.
Tip 3. Preparing for call-in shows
Does your podcast or radio show require user generated content?
People may call in randomly using an assigned phone number. In this case, you need to prepare to screen callers. Try these tips:
- Have interesting topics that callers will contribute, so called "Hot topics."
- Determine the rules of the phone-in: How much time does each caller receive?
- Screen callers by asking them to introduce themselves (this is a sought of pre-interview).
- How do they sound? Energized or bored?
- What comment do they want to add? Is it unique to warrant receiving air-time?
- How old is the caller and what's their background? Does it make them qualified to offer an unique perspective?
- Preferably choose callers that will add to your show and make it better.
- Remind them not to swear. Your station may need phone delay equipment particularly if you're not allowed to broadcast curse words.
- The best callers in some way must offer a contrasting opinion. They disagree with the host. It introduces conflict and drama and makes the show interesting.
Tip 4. Preparing for interviews
For call-in interviews, test out the tech setup hours or even a day before the interview.
- Research about guests.
- Check any interviews they may have given beforehand.
- You can view their social media accounts.
- Do they have a personal website? Check if it has a blog post.
- What achievements have they earned?
- What is the angle? The reason people should listen.
Tip 5. Live recording vs pre-recorded & edited calls
It's not always a requirement to have live-phone calls.
Some shows benefit from pre-recorded calls that are edited for briefness and entertainment value.
Contests are excellent examples.
The caller answers questions off the air.
Tip 6. Asking questions vs. not asking questions
Here is the deal...
You don't need to prepare a list of questions to ask your guest.
Why? Asking straight questions may come across as confrontational.
So, what can you do instead? Well, have general topics you want the guest to elaborate on. For instance, ask them to tell you more about a specific topic or just have a conversation:
- You stated in an interview you gave last week that you were thinking of quitting the movie before the first week. Tell us more about that...
- Hey, good to see you again. You’ve just won an Emmy, that must feel great.
Interviews need to feel natural and not uptight, particularly on radio shows and podcasts. If it’s called-for to prepare a list of questions beforehand, start with a long list of 20 or so questions. Check off ¾ of your questions until you end up with the most interesting asks.
Tip 7. Promote before the release
Long before you publish a podcast or broadcast your radio show, prepare audiences to receive it.
Include promos in your normal broadcasts. Make announcements on social media or distribute banners featuring a photo of the guest.
Write a blog post about it, which also allows people to find the show later.
Before uploading the final podcast show, you may also release teasers (short interesting bits).
Tip 8. During an interview
- Minimize any distractions: All phones should be on silent mode;
- Remember to close the office door;
- For recorded sessions, avoid background noise; This cuts down on editing time;
- Disruptions, especially if it a live show, are unprofessional;
- Don't come underprepared;
- Make guests feel welcomed and comfortable;
- Don't make it an interrogation. Aim to have a conversation.
- Provide drinks e.g., a glass of water;
- Confirm that the guest is coming before the interview day.
- Before the interview, have a casual conversation;
- Thank the guest for their time;
- Listen first. Don't assume you know what they are saying;
- Above all, avoid interruptions; the world has its fair share of hosts who interrupt guests rudely.
PART 2: Preparing for podcast & radio interviews as the guest
Have you just receive an invitation to appear in a podcast or radio show?
Don't let anxiety derail you.
At least, you're not going on TV where everyone will see your every move.
Prepare to crush the interview with these tips:
1. Listen to the show beforehand
Which insights do you get by listening to prior show episodes? Well, you'll learn:
- The guests that have been interviewed before;
- Type of questions asked by the host;
- How to differentiate yourself and leave a lasting impression;
- Radio show format or type;
- Targeted audience;
- Tone used by the host; casual or formal;
- If the show takes live calls from listeners.
2. Research more about the host
If the radio host is any good, they will conduct thorough research of your person.
You can carry out an in-depth search into them too!
It gives you that extra edge. Learning about their background, interests, or affiliations helps you establish a middle ground.
For instance, you may inform them that you share birthday months or similar interests
3. Prepare to answer: "Tell us more about yourself"
Before the show starts, you'll need to introduce yourself. Well, unless you're a celebrity of sorts.
The first question may entail: What do people need to know about you?
Don't start with the umms!
Prepare well by writing a short bio. Give listeners a proper introduction.
Radio hosts may also request bios. Write a clear but not wordy fact sheet about yourself, your company, or products.
4. Have a plan
Everyone likes a person with a plan.
Ideally, have something to talk about. Even better, request a list of possible questions and topics.
This information refines your thoughts and ideas. Even ask for the length of the interview.
You may even suggest questions that may add more value to the show.
Organize your talking points in point form. If it's a casual interview, there is no need for notebooks.
Just familiarize yourself with your talking points. Aim to make the interviewer's life a little bit easier.
Once everyone learns what a great guest you are, they will send you invites.
Practise makes perfect. So, improve in certain areas:
- Clarity of ideas - Aim to speak clearly and have a single line of thought.
- The pace of delivery - Speaking well is vital, but so is adhering to time.
- Content - Structure your ideas and points.
Don't over-prep! Rehearsing too much may necessitate memorizing perfect lines and jokes. In the end, you sound unnatural.
6. Things to do during the interview
Show confident even when you're fearful;
Trust that you have what it takes;
Follow the host's lead;
Don't worry about the mistakes. The host will edit them out later;
Stick to what you know; if you don't know, you don't;
Lying is not advisable;
Stay humble and natural;
Don't try too hard to impress.