Let’s face it. Some of us have it and some of us don’t. The “it” I’m talking about is the gift of gab. Some people can talk and talk and talk and never come up for air. Others find themselves searching long and hard for the right words to say.
Even though too much talking as a radio host can be overkill, not enough can label you a dead host walking. Here are some tips on how to keep the conversation flowing during an interview.
1) Listen to Your Guest: Even if you have a prepared list of questions, you should listen very carefully to what your guest is saying. I believe some of the best questions and responses come from the follow-up questions. Sometimes it’s OK to move away from the script.
2) Be Engaging: Instead of making your interview sound like a scripted Q & A, be conversational and show some personality. Don’t allow your guest to give quick “yes” or “no” answers. Encourage them to elaborate of the “yes or no of the matter.”
3) Don’t leave any idle time: If you’ve asked all of the questions on your cheat sheet and you still have several minutes left before the show is over, give your listeners a re-cap of the show. Chances are not everyone has sat through your whole show so by giving a re-cap you’re allowing the new listeners to get up to speed on what they missed.
4) Add commercials or public service announcements to your show: If you have a 30-minute show, you may not need one but if your show lasts 60 minutes, it might be a good idea to have a :30 or :60 spot. You could take the opportunity to promote your own business or have someone to pay you a fee to promote theirs.
5) Use a music filler: A music bed opening and close will shave about 30 – 45 seconds off of your show. A nice upbeat tune will also set the tone for your show.
The important thing to remember is you---not the guest---can make or break your own show. Keep it flowing with good conversation and always fill in the gaps of dead air.