Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I've been interviewing newsmakers and newsbreakers for over 20 years--and I get compliments almost every time because I do my homework. I do more diggin' than James Lipton (the ubiquitous host from "Inside The Actor's Studio" that always manages to find out things like what kind of car Dustin Hoffman drove in college.)

The funny thing is that the more show prep I do, the less preparation my guests seem to take going into the interview. I'm finding that most of these famous folks have little to no idea who they're talking to--and I've had to embarrass a couple of Hollywood heavyweights who dropped a couple of dirty words into an interview for a very family friendly station. They missed out on a golden opportunity to endear themselves to a whole new segment of fans.

If you're scheduled for a radio or TV interview, find out as much as you can about the hosts and what kind of "personality" their program has. Mark Victor Hansen, one of the creators of the "Chicken Soup For The Soul" series is great at this. He personally called me a few days before our interview, just to chat. We talked about our kids, our love of flying, motivational speaking...and wouldn't you know, when we actually did the interview, he managed to weave a few of our common interests into the discussion. It made both of us feel more comfortable (and made us sound like good friends!)

This is a simple, yet powerful formula for success. A little research on your part can make your next broadcast interview sound a lot more entertaining. And make you a better candidate for more radio/TV exposure!

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