Are you sitting comfortably?

Good. Then I’ll begin.

One of the things I have been asked time and time again is:

How do you make your guests feel comfortable in the radio studio?

Well… Aside from giving them a cushion, it all starts before they even step inside the building.

Here’s my 8 point guide, which will help you along the way:

1) When you approach your potential guest, be clear about why it is you want them to come on the radio. If it’s about their latest song or book they have out, they are probably happy to come on and promote it, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want free promotion?

2) Tell your potential guest what you are planning to talk about. It sounds ridiculous, especially if they are an author or musician, but I have been asked a number of times about what they are going to be asked about, even though I thought that it was pretty obvious. It also gives some reassurance to the guest that you’re not looping them into a discussion on something they won’t have a clue about.

3) Confirmation with your guest a few days before the actual recording or broadcast of the interview will also help to settle nerves that they haven’t been forgotten. It will also help you re-plan in case they have to suddenly bail out for whatever reason. But just let them know that you haven’t forgotten; give them the studio address, local transport links and the time you need them to be at the studio.

4) When the big day finally comes and your guest arrives, make sure you greet them, make them feel welcome from the moment they walk in the door. Whether you are a producer or presenter, make yourself available to your guest at the earliest opportunity, seat them in the reception area and let them know how long it will be before they’ll be taken into the studio. Have a brief chat with them, and just remind them about what they are here to talk about.

5) During live or recorded interviews, I have always found that bringing a guest into the studio to acclimatise before you begin the recording/broadcast is always a winner, especially if they haven’t been in a radio environment before – it can seem a bit of a scary place for those unfamiliar with the radio / media world.

6) Not everyone likes the sound of their own voice. Giving your guest a pair of headphones could ultimately ruin all the hard work you have done putting them at ease. Don’t give them headphones unless you really have to.

7) Remember to give your guest as much of your attention as possible during the interview. If you are sitting there sending tweets about what you had for lunch, or looking up cats on the Internet, the chances are that they will think you’re really not interested. Do what’s necessary to make the interview run smoothly. Don’t look at cats online.

8) Finally – when you’ve finished recording ,or have concluded the live show, thank them for their time. Let them know when it will air or when you plan to send a copy of the interview through if they have requested one.

Basically. Be nice to people. Put yourself in their shoes; make sure they’re sitting comfortably… .

..now I’ll begin.

photo-of-person-holding-white-headphones-3761020

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