You just landed your first major business radio interview. Congratulations — this could be a really big deal for your career.
Or it could be a total dud.
Let’s be reasonable: Unless you say something truly inappropriate on the air, your upcoming interview probably won’t be a career-ending disaster. But, if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, it could certainly turn out to be counterproductive.
Fortunately, you have it within your power to prevent that outcome. Bend the odds in your favor by following these six tips to ace your next business radio interview.
1. Send Your Bio in Advance
Don’t forget to send the interviewer your short bio in advance. Do this even when not explicitly asked. They’ll appreciate the thought and (if they know what they’re doing) will actually review the information you’ve provided.
Not sure what to include in your bio? Read up on some tips for writing a personal bio before putting yours together.
2. Talk About What You Know (And Stick to It)
You got this interview because you’re an expert on something. Don’t waste your interviewer’s time (not to mention your audience’s and your own) by straying too far outside your lane. For example, in a Wharton Business Radio appearance, entrepreneur Kris Duggan and fellow guests spoke to what they knew best: launching and scaling early-stage enterprises.
3. Don’t Overpractice, But Do Prepare
It’s possible to be overprepared. While you must know more or less what you plan to say (with printed talking points to help guide you), you don’t want to come off as wooden or unnatural. Too much practice may actually inhibit your ability to think on your feet, with potentially disastrous consequences if you get a tough question you weren’t expecting.
4. Know How to Minimize Dead Air
Dead air is the bane of radio interviewers’ collective existence. Understand how to minimize it (you won’t be able to prevent it entirely) by powering through when you stumble over a word and asking the interviewer to repeat the question when the point isn’t clear.
5. Pretend Everyone Can See You
You’ll sound clearer and more confident if you pretend you’re speaking in front of a live audience. Two big things to remember: Smile at all times, and don’t make wild hand gestures. Other aspects of positive body language may help as well.
6. Tailor Answers to Your Audience
Part of your preparation must involve taking stock of the audience for your interview. Learn about the show and its followers. Are they industry experts? Regular folks listening on the way home? Somewhere in between?
Tailor your answers accordingly. Avoid jargon when speaking to the general public and unnecessary or simplistic explanations if your audience is more specialized.
By keeping these business radio interview tips front and center, you’ll be sure to crush it!