There is a great value to talk radio as a means for promoting your products or services to the masses. Because you want to succeed with talk radio, here are some inside tips to help you become the kind of guest every host wants to have on his or her show:

Be energetic

Make sure that you bring energy to the table. Radio hosts love it when you show enthusiasm on the air. If you're excited about your message, the listeners will be excited, too - and more inclined to want to learn more about your product, book, or service.

Avoid distractions

Make sure that there are no dogs barking or kids screaming and clutching onto your leg. Turn off your computer and the television and make sure that you switch off your cell phone. Shut yourself into a room where you can have total privacy with no distractions so you can stay focused.

Be honest

Always be open and honest with the host. Listeners relate better to people who are an open book. Don't be afraid to be who you really are and say what you really think. Remember that Howard Stern built an empire by being honest with his listeners.

Define your message

Before going on the air, know the key points you want to communicate. Make sure you stay on message no matter how far off the host's questions take you. Always bring the answer back to your own key message.

Be mindful of your word inflections

Practice saying your main points out loud before your interview. Remember that it is not only what you say, but how you say it. Inflections help keep the listener's interest.

Speak slowly and clearly

Make sure that you enunciate. You don't want your words to mush together. If you speak too quickly, the listeners won't be able to understand you. Make sure to enunciate so that people will stay interested.

Have notes with you

Keep them handy, but try not to read from them. Know your material cold. Reading your notes or word-for-word answers sounds stiff and rehearsed and you'll lose your audience. You want to sound as natural as possible so that your message will be more likely to trigger a buying response.

Mistakes happen

If you stumble, stutter, or slip-up during an interview, forget about it and move on. Don't dwell on your mistakes. Don't get flustered. Stay on message and you'll be fine.

Layman's terms

Don't get technical or use words that most listeners wouldn't know. Remember that you are trying to get a large audience to relate to you. Use layman's terms, if at all possible, and save the four-syllable words for your next game of Scrabble.

Facial expressions

Smile when you are on the air. If you are physically smiling while you are talking, the listeners will know it. If you are frowning, they will feel that also. Although the listeners won't be able to actually see you on the radio, they will be able to feel your interest and enthusiasm.

Remember - your intention for every interview is to enlighten the listening audience about your product or service and interest them in purchasing it.

For more tips on talk show speaking call Marsha or Steve Friedman of EMSI at 727-443-7115, ext. 208 or e-mail to

Publication date: 06/26/2006