Remember, an Interview is a Conversation, not a Monologue or a SPEECH!
By Scott Lorenz
Westwind Book Marketing
Before scheduling authors for media interviews one of the most important things I convey is that an interview is a conversation… NOT a Speech.
I was interviewed recently by Vanessa Denha Garmo on WJR in Detroit about my own book called Book Title Generator. We discussed the importance of a good title that is memorable. Because when you’re driving down the freeway and you catch an interview with an author you want to remember the title so you can buy it!
Off air, Vanessa confessed that she had a 14-minute interview with a guest on her show which airs on Ave Maria Radio. “He engaged in one my biggest pet peeves. He shared all his information in the first questions asked. He was informative but longwinded,” said Garmo.
She said that she managed to get in just two questions during the entire interview and ended having to cut him off. “I despise interrupting a guest in mid-sentence, but we ran out of time. This is not the first time this has happened. When I sense someone is answering more than the question, I let them know how much time there is left in the interview,” said Garmo.
One rule to follow is that if the answer to a question takes you two minutes to answer, you have spoken too long. Garmo conducts media training sessions with clients, and coaches them to answer the question and move on. Remember, give the interviewer an opportunity to ask more questions. It’s the host’s show, not yours.
As a book publicist, we supply the media with suggested questions to guide the interview and to assist them in case they’ve not had time to read the book. When being interviewed on the radio, TV or for a podcast, we make those questions concise, informative and to the point. With print reporters, you have more leeway but when you are on broadcast interview, you have a specific amount of time to talk, and the host will cut you off if you are verbose.
Also, keep in mind that an interview is an audition for a repeat visit, or another show produced by the host or producer. One of my favorite talk show hosts first brings my clients on for a podcast and if she likes them she’ll bring them back for a TV interview. They won’t want to bring you back on if you ramble or take up the entire interview segment answering one question. The interview is a conversation, not a monologue.
Garmo says the best way to avoid this issue is to prepare ahead of time. Anticipate the questions that could be asked… in case they don’t use your own questions.
Then practice answering the questions. You could even record yourself answering the questions and watch your time. Find out ahead how long the interview will be and prepare for the exact points you want to get across. Part of managing a message is managing the time you take answering a question.
Here are Vanessa Denha Garmo’s basic strategies when being interviewed on LIVE TV, Radio or a Podcast.
- Manage the time by knowing how much time you have for a LIVE interview.
- Prepare your points ahead of time.
- If you are truly an expert, you will know the subject well. Share what you know.
- Be specific and to the point.
- Share stories that are brief and relevant.
- Be genuine and authentic by being yourself.
- Always Speak the TRUTH!
I like to remind my clients that an interview is a conversation many people are listening to and requires ‘give and take’ during the process.
The Bottom Line: Remember, an interview is a conversation, not a monologue or a SPEECH! Get media training. Don’t wing it!
If you would like to get professional media training with Communications Strategist, Vanessa Denha Garmo please visit her website: https://epiphanyccc.com/
Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few.
Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at https://www.WestwindBookMarketing.com or contact Lorenz at [email protected] or 734-667-2090 or fill out the form below. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist. Want help titling a book? Check out Scott Lorenz’s new award winning, bestselling book: Book Title Generator- A Proven System in Naming Your Book www.BookTitleGenerator.net.
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