5 tips to avoid dying out of nervousness in a radio interview

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And they call you up. And it sounds so easy. “We will just ask you a few questions, that’s it”. And you sit there waiting for the call (wondering if your mobile phone will die, if the line will be bad and if that specific moment will be the one when your operator decides to change from 3G to 4G – leaving you without line). And “it” comes. Anonymous number. You have prepared, or not. But still, you hear the voice, the music, it is you next and it happens – you go blank. Black-out. Blank-out or whatever you want to call it, but it happens. You know nothing and the question comes, faaaar faaar away, you hear your name, you hear the subject, you hear the question and you hear your silence. And then the “hello, are you there”?

Hopefully, you wake up from this nightmare (it was just a dream, the D-day is today) and can enjoy the interview instead – as you will prepare for it, right?

Here are a few tips on how you can kill that nervousness (you never kill it totally, it wouldn’t be human not to feel anything), to be able to enjoy the ride.

5 tips to prepare for your radio interview

  1. Think like this: “I have been assigned to becomes somebodies 5-minute-teacher in a subject that I know more about than this person”: You are lucky! You will be talking to this person that gets up 5 am, loving his work, and knowing a h-l lot about everything and now – you will teach him some new stuff! What do you want him to remember? Have you checked his profile? Listened to his talks? What do you think he will be interested in? 
  2. Think like this: “Not everybody have the guts to sit here in this situation, people may even admire somebody for doing this, and nobody expect you to be a robot, you are human”: You don’t know the questions at forehand, you just have to live with it and if you don’t know the answer, don’t “make something up”. Be human, how would you answer if you sat with this same guy over a cup of coffee? Those that listen are also human. Their first intention is probably not to laugher at you – they listen to that radio channel because they like “what is played there”, so chances are that they will have a friendly approach to what you say…
  3. Think like this: “I don’t have to say everything I had planned for, I’m not a total failure if I miss out on some points, people don’t remember everything anyway, they remember the feeling”: Take it easy. Calm and relax. I tend to “rush away”, like if somebody was hunting me. Not so good because it does not leave space to think or follow up questions. Pauses are not bad, they create space (even if stress tends to kill them).
  4. Think like this: “They are like me”. If you doubt, undress them, in your mind of course. And if you think really really hard, you will see – they are like you. Bones and stuff.
  5. Think like this: “If I can’t see them, they can’t see me”. I know, it’s over the phone, you can’t see each other, but if you take off your glasses while you talk, you feel even more hidden (it is the same trick that kids use when they cover their face with their hands). Sometimes, this gives me the feeling that I am more “protected”. Cocooned, in some way.

Nerves can be good and they can be bad, but the point is that we should enjoy these moments instead of suffer through them,  and killing a bit of the edge of those nerves, will leave space for enjoyment. 

On top of this, standard tips such as, speak-up, prepare, be friendly, let people talk etc etc

Ah, by the way an example without having an opinion on it: yesterday-me in Spanish radio talking about tea.

Share your experience!