Radio interviews are a great way for singers to achieve wide-spread exposure for themselves and their music, but with the incredibly short amount of time available to create an impact, they can be stressful.
Have no fear! Below are plenty of radio interview tips you can follow to help avoid falling into some of the obvious traps.
Radio interview tips for musicians
Practice makes perfect, so a good radio interview tip is to perhaps have a couple of radio interviews on the local community, student-based or hospital radios to allow you to get used to the scenario.
Always speak to the presenter beforehand and ask them what questions they are going to ask, what things they would like to cover and what you would like to get across so you are all on the same page.
Preparing for your radio interview
- Plan what message you want to get across and focus on it! If your new single is out next week, focus on that! If you have a show that week, make that your priority. Try not to over-sell the message; you don’t want to bore listeners.
- Remember a radio interview is often for a limited time, so know what you to discuss beforehand. Think of interesting or funny stories that the listeners will remember.
- Don’t rush yourself. You may be on a time limit but speaking quickly will cause you to become unclear and get in a mess, wasting time and deviating away from the point you want to make!
- 3 quick speaking tips: speak in short sentences; take your time with the first 3 words to avoid rushing and pronounce each syllable in every word! This should help you stay clear!
- Make sure you get a link to your website and social media sites in there during the radio interview so people can check you out. Once the radio interview is over you won’t get that chance again!
- Make the most of the opportunity post on your social media, before and after.
- Have a picture with the presenter, another opportunity to have a post and tag in the radio station so widen the audience.
- Ask or find out if they do a podcast post a link of the radio interview.
- Also, ask if the radio station is involved in any local gigs or events, they often do and this would represent another opportunity to perform to an audience and get your music heard.
- Always thank the presenter and ask if you can come back in, in a few months to give an update with another radio interview.
- Invite the presenter to your next gig!
- Afterwards, listen back and review the radio interview to see where it went well and where it could improve.
Get your message across
One of the most important radio interview tips is to decide beforehand on the message you predominantly want to convey, and focus on that message in the interview, for example a call to action such as ‘come and see us play at Bestival’ or ‘our EP launch party this coming Friday’ or ‘our single is released Monday’, etc. All act members need to be singing from the same hymn sheet with the call to action (the one message) and you need to finish the radio interview with a clear, precise call to action, whilst making sure not to over-sell or over-complicate the message.
The presenter will no doubt ask you generic questions about you as an act and the type of music you sing. One radio interview tip is to not go overboard in your answers to these questions, as you will be eating into your time to talk about what YOU want to talk about. Think of some interesting stories or facts about your act that will stick in the audience’s head.
Be firm and make sure you get in a web address or somewhere people can check out your music while you are on-air. Once the interview has finished you’ve missed that vital opportunity!
Another great radio interview tip; keep it slow! When in a time-limited interview, the natural tendency may be to speak quickly in order to get your message across, but this can cause you to trip over your words, speak unclearly, and worst of all, cause you to ramble on and on..!
Be clear and precise
Be clear is one of the most important radio interview tips – there is no point in you being on-air if nobody can hear what you’re saying, and hesitancies and slip-ups are an immediate switch off for a listening audience. Three radio interview tips that will keep you in control of your voice are:
- Speak in short sentences, making one clear point per sentence
- Take your time over the first three words of the sentence to avoid you rushing into the sentence
- Take care to pronounce each syllable in every word
Adopting these three radio interview tips will put you in control of your voice and help you adopt a suitable speaking tempo, which in turn will help you remain clear and interesting on air.
Combat those nerves
Nerves can make your voice appear tense or dull on air, so it’s important to find a way to get rid. Listening to the presenter is one radio interview tip for helping to distract you from this. It’s tempting to start planning responses to questions as they’re being asked rather than focusing on the question in hand, but doing the latter will keep you distracted from your nerves and ensure you fully understand the questions you’re being asked. If you do find you’re stuck for a response, a good radio interview tip to buy yourself some time is to begin your reply with a phrase such as ‘that’s a very interesting question’.
Take fluids into the interview. When you get nervous your mouth becomes dry and your tongue clicks against the roof of your mouth. This will be the biggest giveaway to your listening audience that you are nervous. Don’t be afraid to ask before you start the interview if you can have a glass of water.
You may only be speaking for a short amount of time, but they need to maintain an interesting voice is vital. There are a few fail-safe radio interview tips to help you do this. One radio interview tip is to imagine that each of your responses is a short story, which will automatically inject more energy and expression into your voice.
Another radio interview tip is to emphasise important words. Emphasising the keywords that make up the essence of your sentences will help you sound more convincing.
Make yourself memorable
You’ll no doubt be appearing on a show which houses singers so you need to stand out. What will make the audience listen more? Normally if there is something in it for them, so perhaps a competition to back up your call to action (tickets to a gig, free copies of your EP etc).
Finally, and perhaps one of the most important radio interview tips is to smile. When you smile, your voice smiles, and you will come across as more likeable and personable to listeners. Relax and be yourself and all the above will come to you a lot easier.
To round things, up, it’s perfectly natural to feel nervous about a radio interview, but by using the radio interview advice we’ve outlined, you’ll deliver your responses with confidence and impact.