Tale of Two Interviews – Which is better?
Since January I’ve been doing radio and podcast interviews in an effort to promote my new book, Smart Talk. I’ve also written episodes of The Public Speaker that discuss how to conduct an interview (as the interviewer) and how to deliver an interview (as the interviewee). I prefer to be the one that conducts interviews but I also enjoy delivering interviews.
Just this past week, I was interviewed by two different podcast show hosts. I enjoyed doing both of the interviews. uuu I laughed and had fun on both of the interviews and each of the interviews were two-way conversations. I wish all of my interviews were conversations; it makes them so much more enjoyable.
The first interview was from Keesha Ewers of Healthy You! Radio Network. Before the interview, she had read the book, posted my bio, my photo, and a short summary of the book on her website. She was prepared for the interview. Once we were “on the air” her first step was to introduce me. It’s always important for the guest to have the host do the introduction becuase the host can choose which elements that were provided from the guest that would be best suited to create credibility in the mind of the listener. The host is very familiar with the demographics so they can pick and choose the things that would carry the those most weight for their audience. And for the guest, it’s great becuase it sets up him or her up as a credible expert which boosts their ability to be persuasive.
Next she Keesha moved directly to an explanation of why my topic should be of interest to her audience. It is important to make a direct connection especially in her case since the show was a health related show. Some of the audience may have been wondering, “Why is a communication expert on a health show?” What impressed me most about Keesha’s interview was that I felt like we were two colleagues discussing areas of mutual interest. I felt like we were working together to inform and moderately entertain her audience. She strategically worked in her experience into the conversation while at the same time furthering the conversation and providing value to her listeners.
The second interview was quite different. This interview was conducted by a podcast host team, Dan and Dr. David Simonsen. (I’m not including Dan’s last name becuase I couldn’t find it anywhere on their website.) When I reviewed their site, I notice that they don’t promote their guests. They don’t include a bio, they don’t include a photo, and they don’t even include links to the author’s book or the even free resources. So even if the audience was interested in learning more they would need to listen to podcast to get the link at the end of the show!
This team did not request a copy of my book and only one of them had taken time to review the PR information that I sent over. (I know that becuase David was mentioned a few chapter titles in my book and Dan wasn’t aware that they were the titles. So either he forgot or he didn’t read the information.) This team asked me to introduce myself, which does serve the purpose of credibility, but I didn’t know what aspects of my bio to emphasize. Also, when you introduce yourself there is a fine line between stating your credentials and sounding egotistical. It’s much easier and more effective from a communication perspective if the host delivers the introduction.
As we moved into the interview portion I wanted to provide some useful tips for their audience. I was aware that the show was loose feeling so I attempted to keep my answers light. However, we never really did concretely discuss the specific content in the book–thinking back, I don’t even remember if they specifically mentioned the name of the book. I think they did at one point, but frankly I can’t remember…and if I can’t even remember, their is little chance that anyone listening would remember the name of the book. Although that’s not good for me as the author what seemed a bigger “sin” was that I had very limited opportunity to share some tips and ideas that were in the book. Yes, people want to be entertained, but if you are a show that has guest experts on people are also listening becuase they hope to learn something they can quickly and directly apply in their life.
After the interview David asked me for advice on how to increase his listenership. I mentioned most of what I wrote above and he took the feedback in stride. He even suggested we do the interview again in a month or so. He decided to label the interview — part 1. He hasn’t yet posted the interview, but I will update this post when he does.
Oh, and David, if you are reading this, Tian, our intern also mentioned that your updates don’t seem to follow a particular schedule. One the best ways to increase your audience numbers is to be consistent with your podcast. Make it so your audience can count on your new work and you will consistently build a bigger audience. One last thing, I mentioned during my interview that I stopped posting to my social media…I stopped basically cold turkey, no updates unless someone contacted me. Just today I received my download report–turns out social media updates do make a big difference–they do in fact drive downloads. I’m going back