12 Radio and Podcast Interview Tips for Musicians

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So you’ve just booked an interview on a major radio show or podcast. Congratulations! Your voice and your message about your music will reach hundreds – or maybe even thousands – of listeners. This interview will make a huge impact!

Or will it?

Radio and Podcast Interview Tips for MusiciansMake the most of your radio and podcast interviews by being prepared. Here are a dozen of the best tips I found from three different online sources.

1) Disable call waiting: dial *70 first and then call the studio number. This disables call waiting for the duration of the phone call. As soon as you hang up, it will be reactivated.

2) Smile, smile, smile! Whether you are on radio or TV … SMILE. You’ll feel better and sound a lot more interesting too.

3) Know exactly how much time you will have on the air as a guest. Three minutes or 30 minutes? You want to tailor your answers to the time allotted.

4) Practice some prepared sound bites before the interview. Communicate your main points succinctly. How do you describe your music? What inspired your new album? What’s so special about your next gig? Practice this out loud.

5) Have three key messages. Short ones, not sermons. Sometimes the host opens the door, other times you have to answer a question and segue to a key message. A compelling message will have the host asking for more. But even if you squeeze in only one or two, you’ll get a big return for the time invested.

Source: Scott Lorenz

6) Try to avoid doing interviews using a cell phone or a headset. Both are unreliable.

7) Submit suggested questions ahead of time, and focus on giving your best answers to the questions you have provided. But never assume the interviewer will use your questions. Be ready for anything.

8) Compliment the host when a good question is asked: “That’s an excellent question” or “I’m glad you asked that.” It also helps to draw in your audience and gives you a few extra seconds to contemplate a good answer – besides saying “Umm …”

9) Use the interviewer’s name in conversation. It creates a more intimate connection that the audience feels privy to. And it makes the interviewer feel good too.

Source: AnnieJenningsPR.com

10) Have a glass of water handy (at room temperature). When your throat is lubricated it’s easier to talk. Plus, the water serves as a “cough button” if needed.

11) Try standing while you speak — even for a phone interview. Your voice will carry further and you’ll sound more animated.

12) Get your listeners involved. For example, before a commercial break, ask them to get a pencil and paper to write down the website you are about to share where listeners can get your free downloads. Then they’ll have something to write with when you plug your site later.

Source: Joe Sabah

I hope these 12 tips help you make the most of your next interview!


The image above comes from Andreanne Germain and is used via a Creative Commons license.

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  1. Jeff says:

    One of the best interview tips I ever got was to make sure your statements always end with a period meaning you shouldn’t ramble, but rather give a statement that has a clear and definable ending. That was a big help to me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Also follow the “Letterman” rule: show up with three genuinely funny stories. This is show business after all. Practice telling them to your pet if need be.

  3. Anne Roos says:

    I place a photo of someone who makes me smile near the phone at all times. Some folks I know have a little mirror near their phone, so that they have the visual feedback that they are smiling when they are speaking. Smiling at the phone lifts the voice and makes us all sound friendlier.

    Great blog, Bob!

    Always my best,
    Anne 🙂
    Anne Roos
    Celtic Harp Music by Anne Roos
    “Beautiful music!”–United Airlines Inflight Music Service
    Author of “The Musician’s Guide to Brides” Published by Hal Leonard Books
    Personal Consultation Services–Make a Living by Gigging

  4. Scott says:

    As someone who works on-air in radio AND runs a band… these are all great tips.

    I was going to mention about sending in questions ahead of time (which you already covered) but also sending in a bullet-point sheet of facts about the band itself, the music, anything of interest, etc. It’s easier for the DJ to look down at a Fact Sheet then fish for the info sometimes.

    Also, make sure the DJ has a copy of your album there. Bring a copy with you. Couldn’t hurt if they have two. Two is better then none.