For two months I co-hosted a radio show, then Life decided I was getting too busy to do that and write my book, so I had to give it up. Before that, like a few weeks before, I had been doing a show with a friend of mine at his university. Essentially, I had no experience going in. No big, not like I had much going into publishing, but I’m doing that too. If you weren’t aware, the show was called Parayournormal and I was hosting along with Carolyn McCray. Now shes hosts with Kelli McCracken who is doing a great job. But enough about them, (Ha!) let’s get back to the me.
Basically the show featured author interviews every Monday night. So four shows a month, I handled two and Carolyn handled two. That amounts to five interviews I did. I want to go over each one and rate MY performance.
Kait Nolan– She was Carolyn’s interview for the premier show, but because of internet problems, Carolyn couldn’t call in and I did the whole thing solo. I only found this out when the show started and after blubbering through an intro, began interviewing Kait. I had a few questions in my head, but was mostly unprepared and just thinking them up as I went. Besides reading Forsaken by Shadow, thank goodness I was reading Kait’s blog and chatting with her on twitter. It gave me plenty of material to work with. This would’ve been a 3 out of 5, but since I did the whole thing on the fly AND it was my first interview, I’m giving myself an extra point. 4 out of 5 for Kait.
George H Sirois– George is a friend, so again, I had plenty to work with. I had questions prepared, but this was like we were hanging out. Plus George was very comfortable on the air. All in all a good interview. 4 out of 5.
Susan Bischoff– Susan was my first nervous guest and because of how well my interview with George went, I thought I could handle things the same with Susan. She answered all my questions perfectly, but they were all over the place. I felt like I dropped the ball on how I presented Susan to the audience, but like I said, she did great. I just know I could’ve done better for her. 3 out of 5.
Claire Farrell– Claire was also nervous, maybe more so than Susan. Using what I learned from past interviews, I prepared much more and had a clear direction in my head. I also had to do this one solo due to Carolyn being ill. It ended up a being good thing because it forced me to apply everything I learned without anyone to lean on. I was very happy with how I presented Claire. 5 out of 5.
M.T. Murphy– My last interview. Once again due to unforeseen circumstances, Carolyn wasn’t part of the interview, but Kelli was there to share in the interviewing. At this point I was very comfortable interviewing and even when we were disconnected, I was okay chatting with Kelli until M.T. called back. 5 out of 5.
I really enjoyed interviewing in this type of forum. It was a lot more fun than sending questions through email and maybe one day I can do it again. Some things I learned.
1. It pays to get to know the guest a bit before the interview. I felt my job as an interviewer was to present my guest in a way that lets their best qualities shine. For example, when I pre-interviewed Claire I found her to be a very strong woman. In between writing, she has a large family to raise and also blazed her own trail with her education. We did talk some specifics on her book, but it was important to me for the audience to see Claire as I did. Wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t get to know her first.
2. Unless there are regular callers, doing a live show isn’t necessary. Carolyn told me the show had a bunch of listeners, but they were shy. Not a big deal, I sometimes feel like the president of that club, but part of a live show is interacting with the audience. Without callers I feel it’s better to record the shows and post them. We archived every show, so that was good.
3. It’s tough to do a show with someone you don’t know because it’s harder to develop a rapport. I think that’s what builds an audience. Not Carolyn’s fault. With more time we could’ve done that. I’d also want to go beyond interviews and prepare topics to talk about with my co-host or whatever guests I have on. This also fosters interaction with the audience and makes the hosts of the show more personable.
Doing radio was a great way to challenge myself and after getting over my fears, was a lot of fun to do. Very glad I did it.
So what about you? Has there been anything you were afraid to do? If you went after it, how did you conquer your fears? And if you’re still scared, why is that? What’s holding you back?
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