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What Are Internet Radio Hosts Looking For In Their Guests?
by: Maxine Thompson
Copyright 2005 Black Butterfly Press

As an Internet Radio Host of On The Same Page on, over the past three and a half years, I have interviewed such illustrious guests as Haki Madhubuti of Third World Press, Dr. Rosie Milligan of Milligan Books, Celebrity Mother Love, Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, (Chicken Soup For the Soul Fame), Dan Poynter, and other writing/publishing experts. From the experienced to the non-experienced guests, this much I have gleaned—these skills are learnable. Even if you are a first-time author, you, too, can become an exciting interviewee.

Why is Internet radio important as a media? For one, it has a global audience. I’ve interviewed guests who were as far away as Paris and in the Bahamas. Anyone with a computer and Internet Access can listen to your show

Most of all, Internet radio is not only the wave of the future, it is beginning to be heard in automobiles, so this is a good place to start your publicity trek.

What are Internet Radio Hosts looking for In Their Guests?

1. Hosts are drawn to an energetic, upbeat, personable guest. If you have a flat liner personality, be honest with yourself. Practice on a tape recorder, even if it’s your own answer machine, or in the mirror. If necessary, get a media coach. But practice, practice, practice.

2. Host like guests who are well-informed and on top of their game. Stay abreast of trends and provide updated new information. (Read the newspaper, the Internet, do research. Be an information junkie.) Consider different hooks and angles, i.e. how has the Internet changed the way we do business? How can writers market their books on the Internet?

3. Hosts like controversy, but not particularly of the “shock jock” variety. If you are speaking on a controversial subject, be non-judgmental and do not offend any particular group of people. Make sure you learn how not to use language, which is condescending or demeaning such as using phrases like “those people.”

4. If you are a fiction writer, show how your novel addresses social issues such as race, police brutality, crime, corruption, drugs, AIDS, etc. Most of all, show how your story can provide information that improves the quality of other people’s lives, even if your story is fiction.

5. If you are from a medical, business or scientific background, make your interview interesting and lively. Don’t make it a pedantic lecture.

Tips for Improving Your Interview:

Send the host your press release and a review copy of your book, including news articles or book reviews, before the show.

Send the host a list of questions or topics that you are well versed in.

Become a guest who knows how to talk about his/her work and not just all about “me.” Remember, people are always tuned into this station—WIFM—“What’s in it For Me?”

Don’t just try to sell the store (your book, your seminar, your product), but sell the story.

Learn to answer in sound bites. Do not go over one minute for a reply.

Drop your voice to cue the host that you are through speaking and waiting for the next question.

Give the host time to ask a question, without having to interrupt, which means you are going on too long.

Learn the importance of pausing and deep breathing. Don’t run on like a motor mouth.

Learn the power of the pause, even while you are answering. This habit will make listeners lean forward to hear what you’re saying. It also sends a message that you are a serious person who chooses his words carefully.

If possible, use anecdotes, recite poems, or read excerpts from your book. Tasteful humor always works.

Don’t forget to provide your web page and where your book can be purchased.

When you hear the music before the break, you have 30 seconds to wrap up whatever point you were making.

Sharpen your axe. Attend Toastmaster’s or join Speaking Bureaus to become a better speaker.

Learn how to adlib and speak off the cuff, particularly if a caller catches you off guard.

Learn to disagree, without being disagreeable.

Listen to other shows as well as “On The Same Page” on

Before the show, confirm with the host. (Most of the time, I confirm beforehand.) Email if an emergency comes up and you can’t be on the show.

Although I usually email a thank you note, I seldom get them back. Remember to send a Thank-you email. This could go a long way if you get on Howard Stern’s Show or Oprah’s.

* “On The Same Page” airs on Tuesday at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time live, then re-airs at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Friday 4:00 p.m. PST and Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

About the author:
Dr. Maxine Thompson, Internet Host, https://www.voiceamerica.comand www.maxinethompson.comand owner of You can sign up for my free newsletter at


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