Was just prepping a client for a podcast opportunity with a very high profile blogger, and thought I’d share some tips. The challenge of any audio-only interview - be it radio, podcast or even a phone briefing with a press person or analyst – is that things can get… dull… very… quickly. Human energy shines through much easier during an in person discussion that’s captured on film, and when you remove the visuals, all you’re left with is a voice. Here are 5 ways to instantly dial up the energy, and use that voice to captivate your audience for the brief time you have them.
- Do the interview standing up. If at all possible, unchain yourself from your desk. When you are up and pacing, gesturing as you speak into the phone, that movement and energy pours into the conversation. It’s truly magic. Don’t believe me? Try it the next time you’re on a conference call. The difference is notable and almost instantaneous.
- Smile. This may sound bizarre, but you can actually hear someone smile through the phone. According to speech therapist, Suzanne Clegern-Siler, "When you smile, it alters the shape of your oral cavity, which changes your resonance." Interviews done with a somber, sober and deadly serious voice are often the most painful to endure as a listener.
- Make it tight. While audiences might endure a bit of a ramble during a TV interview, they won’t tolerate it during a podcast or radio interview. Really work on anticipating questions, and tightening up your answers ahead of time.
- Make it vivid. Don’t just make high level statements and leave it there. Point to a vivid, easily repeatable example each time you make an assertion.
- Use the “trigger” phrases. Because we humans are inundated with a constant stream of hype and information, we have the collective attention span of small rodents. But, here's the good news: there are several phrases that work as defibrillators for even the dullest conversations:
- “What’s really important to remember is…”
- “The most exciting thing to me is…”
- “The dirty little secret in this industry is…”
- “The most surprising/shocking thing is…”
As always, have fun, be yourself, and above all, be unforgettable.