Monday, June 29, 2009

many interviews at one blow

Editor's note: Seven at One Blow is an old Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a tailor who killed seven flies in a single strike...and went on to be king. Nowadays, in order to rule her own publicity, an eloquent woman might well find herself doing something like a lot of live radio interviews in a morning or over a week...a true test of her speaking skills. I asked Sarah Milstein, reader of this blog and co-author of a popular new book about Twitter, to share tips from her recent "radio tour" of interviews with you. Keep in mind that on radio, you'll need to describe what might otherwise be seen. Here it is.)

I recently wrote a book, and to help promote it, my publisher sent me on a "radio tour." Set up by Newman Communications, the tour involved approximately 30 radio interviews over the course of a week. Most of the interviews were jammed into two marathon days, and they were all conducted on the phone, in calls that ranged from three to 30 minutes.

In doing so many interviews, I've hit on a few tips that eloquent women may find useful:
* If your interviews start early in the morning, as many do, make sure you wake up in plenty of time to make coffee and exercise your voice. I chatted with my dog and read the headlines out loud to warm up.

* To give your voice more energy, sit up straight on the edge of your chair or stand.

* Practice answering likely questions and end your statements with a tone of voice that suggests you've concluded that answer. That usually means bringing the your intonation down (the opposite of upspeak).

* Radio moves fast: keep your answers short but don't speak too quickly (practice helps!).

* Do spell out any oddball URLs or search terms you share.

* For most interviews, the station calls you at a prearranged time.
There's a slim chance you'll be going on live when you answer, so I trained myself to pause before saying anything, and then if there was no sound, I simply said, "This is Sarah."

* Be prepared to promote your book/site/show/whatever. Often, at the end of the interview, the DJ will ask where listeners can go for more info. In my case, the answer was, "Head to Amazon and search for 'The Twitter Book.'"
What tips have you hit on for interviews?

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