Speak Effectively on the Radio | TJ Walker | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

    • 2. Know What Your Goal Is

    • 3. Create the Message

    • 4. Consider Your Sound Bites

    • 5. Know the Elements of a Good Guest

    • 6. Use a Landline if You Have One

    • 7. Choose the Studio versus Phone

    • 8. Be Ready for Attacks

    • 9. Advanced Tip Promo

    • 10. Start with Your 1st Rehearsal

    • 11. Keep It Up with a 2nd Rehearsal

    • 12. Don't Stop with the 3rd Rehearsal

    • 13. Conduct Air Checks

    • 14. Course Conclusion

    • 15. Give and Get Feedback

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About This Class

Imagine yourself speaking confidently and authoritatively on any radio program, whether you are the host or the guest.

In this course, you will learn how to talk effectively and be interviewed on a news or talk radio program. Speaking on the radio is a form of public speaking and many people fear public speaking. This course will help you come across your very best in every interview, so you won't have to worry about whether you sound nervous or uncomfortable. Students will learn about the following items:

  • Messaging
  • Sound bites
  • Differences between TV and radio
  • How to deal with difficult hosts
  • Ins and outs of talk show callers
  • Ways of getting invited back on the program
  • How to sell or promote on every talk show appearance

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

TJ Walker

Public Speaking and Media Training Expert


TJ Walker is the founder of Media Training Worldwide and has been conducting public speaking training workshops and seminars since 1984. Walker has trained Presidents of countries, Prime Ministers, Nobel Peace Prize winners, Super Bowl winners, US Senators, Miss Universes and Members of Parliament .

Walker has more than 100,000 online course enrollments and more than 100,000 online students.

His book, "Secret to Foolproof Presentations" was a USA Today # 1 Bestseller, as well as a Wall Street Journal, and Business Week Bestseller.

Walker is also the author of "Media Training AZ" and "Media Training Success."

In 2009, Walker set the Guinness Book of World Records for Most Talk Radio Appearances ever in a 24 hour period.

Walker has also served as a forme... See full profile

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1. Course Introduction: radio. It's perhaps the least glamorous of any form of media. It doesn't have the glamour of television. It doesn't have the importance, the significance of the New York Times and print and serious websites that are associated with newspapers. It doesn't have the glitz of being Internet. New Age, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post And yet radio continues toe have tens and tens of millions of listeners every single day, hundreds of millions cumulatively, in the United States every single week and audience is larger than that around the world. It might not be glamorous, but it is still a medium. People are used to listening to in their cars, at homes, on their cell phones. People listen to radio. And, in fact, the highest paid entertainers in the entire world, for the most part are radio performers. Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern. These individuals make 50 100 sometimes $150 million a year, and radio is their primary medium. So do not discount radio. Every medium has its strengths and weaknesses. Newspaper is great for the significant substance. I mean, there's nothing like a op ed in The New York Times to really put the flag down for something important. There's nothing like the glamour of being a prime time TV. But radio has its strengths to, and part of the strength of radio is the intimacy of it. It's conversational, it's less structured, and people who listen to radio listen a lot. They form bonds with hosts, and if you're on a show as a guest being interviewed, it's a way for you to connect with that audience and really communicate messages also quite often less structured than other media forms. I mean, if you're going on the Good Morning America, the Today show, you get three minutes. You're really happy. But there's still plenty of talk radio shows where you could be a guest for an entire hour . So my advice don't ever turn down an opportunity to do a talk radio show. It's still an opportunity for you to reach thousands, possibly tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. It's still way to share your voice and share your ideas with an audience. This course is going to tell you the ins and outs of how you can speak most effectively for a whole variety of radio opportunities. Let's hop in now 2. Know What Your Goal Is: the first thing you had to do. Any time you're going on radio, whether you're on for a one hour on an AM talk show, whether you're being interviewed for a new segment and you're only it again a soundbite, whether it's alive three minute or five minute newsmaker interview. Regardless, you've gotta ask yourself, What is your goal? What do you want tohave happen now? Sometimes it's very, very specific as far as you're running for mayor or governor. The elections next Tuesday. You want people's vote. Other times you're there simply to be a part of a larger story, and you want to burnish your reputation as an industry expert. So if there's some story about how gas prices are going up and your commodities air your oil expert, you want to be seen in that story. You might not have a particular go other than you want Your name mentioned. Your company name ventured, and you want to be seen as an expert, as relates to commodity prices, oil prices. But that's the first Gulf. What exactly is your going? Because if you go into the interview with no go at all, then you're absolutely not going to accomplish in excess the first step right down. What your goal is If you're trying to sell book, keep that in mind. 3. Create the Message: Once you've figured out what your goal is, you got to figure out what is your message. A message is something you should be able to say, and 30 seconds with just three points. Now, it doesn't mean that's the only thing you're going to say in the whole interview. But your interview might last for 30 seconds if it's a quick news talk station and they got to get you on the news and two seconds edited. But it might be for an hour. You still need to have a quick, quick focus on a three part message, something you can say in 30 seconds. So that's your homework. Pick your topic of anything you'd like to be interviewed on. Figure out what you want. Tohave happened after that. And now tell me what your message is. Something in 30 seconds. Three points 4. Consider Your Sound Bites: you plan your message, that's great. But if you're being interviewed by any radio show and it's being aired later and they can edit it down and put your quotes into the store, you've got to think about your sound bites, your quotes what is going to be used? Because if a reporter from, for example, National Public Radio interviews you for half an hour, you might only get one or two 15 or maybe 22nd sound bites in that particular radio broadcast. So you need to know in advance you need to plan in advance. You can't do it by asking the reporter what they're going to use. They're not going to tell you and they might not know. So you've got to package your messages with things that make your ideas more quotable that make a reporter want toe, pull a bite out of that sound and put it into the story. That's what we're talking about with soundbites. What I have found in doing thousands and thousands of talk radio shows and being on talk radio since the early 19 eighties is that all quotes come from 10 speech patterns. Now you don't necessarily know what a reporter's biases are what they like don't like, but you can tell in advance the certain speech patterns that get reporters attention and editors attention when they put together Radio broadcast. And I have found that nearly every quote comes from these 10 speech patterns, which, by the way, are all listed and spelled out for you in the bonus section of this course in the books, The Media Training, a Daisy Book and the Media Training Success book. So if you don't get all now, it's all in the book. But the big ones are, for example, absolutes. Any time you start a sentence with absolute always must never reporters will coach you using that attacks. Reporters love attacks Any time you attack somebody, if you attack yourself or anyone else a competitors, reporters will attack you. Emotion is another. Reporters were not allowed to talk about their emotions, but if you talk about how you're worried, frustrated, upset, angry that will get you quoted virtually every single time. What else is highly quotable? Rhetorical questions simply stating your message and a question formats. So remember it is not enough to just hit your message again and again and again in a straightforward, logical, rational manner. You have to package your messages with these nuggets. The's sound bites again. It's all in the sound by chapter in each one of the books. Please take a look and don't go into an edited talk radio interview without having sound bites. Now the beauty of live radio is you're not gonna be edited out for sound necessarily. Although if you are a CEO, a politician, someone really in the spotlight and you say something really embarrassing, you commit a gaffe. Well, that will be pulled out. So you always have to think about how anyone would make you look bad with anything coming out of your mouth. 5. Know the Elements of a Good Guest: every radio show is a little bit different, especially on AM talk radio Host have a wide range of personalities, so my recommendation is when you can really try to listen to any show that you're going up before you're on it. Now, if you're in New York City or Los Angeles and all of a sudden you get interview request to be on ah local AM Talk radio show in Des Moines. I'm not suggesting that you turn down the interview just because you haven't been to Des Moines and you didn't listen to it, although you could probably hear it online these days. But do you realize there's a tremendous variation of styles? Sam, a host on talk radio, are incredible bullies and obnoxious summer. Highly intellectual, polite and refined. You've got to come up with your style. Don't worry about the host. Style is much be your style. Have the insights you care about, have the knowledge you want, have the passion for your ideas, and you can do fine. Whether it's AM FM conservative, liberal shock jock or NPR intellectual or college radio intellectual host, you can do find you've got to figure out how you are how you want to come across and be that way consistently, the people who are the best guest on talk radio and on NewsRadio who get invited back again and again and again. Number one have real insight number to bring a passion to their subject, and number three aren't afraid to criticize others or to take a harsh stand. Call a spade a spade. They're not afraid to say something where they're offending somebody, not their intention isn't necessarily to offend, but still, if they have real insight, a passion and the willingness to spell out exactly what is. That's what makes for a good guest on talk radio. That's what makes for a good expert on a radio news program. So the more you can cultivate that, the better off you'll be. 6. Use a Landline if You Have One: a word about the mechanics of doing a talk radio show or a news radio interview show. We all love our cell phones. And, yes, digital is getting better and better, and Mobile is getting better and better. But still, the average courted line still has superior audio quality to this so and folks, I'm guilty of this sometimes myself. And if you're in a car in the back seat somewhere, cell phone is better than nothing. But when you have a choice trying to do your interview with a radio reporter or a talk show host on a courted line, the audio quality will be better. You will sound better and the producer will be happier. The host will be happier. You'll be happier. Audio quality can make a big difference, and I shouldn't even have to say this. But for whatever you, for whatever reason, some people still don't get it. Never, ever, ever tried to use a speaker phone for a talk radio enter. That's the worst possible thing Now. I don't recommend you use the speakerphone talking to anyone unless you absolutely have to , because you've got to use your hands for typing or something. But For whatever reason, some people still think that it's acceptably these speakerphone. Never use speakerphone for any kind of radio interview or any interview. For that matter, try not to use a cell phone. Now there are a number of good headsets that have excellent audio quality. I typically is a Plantronics had set have used one for 10 years. I'm not endorsing them, but they have an excellent, excellent reputation. But use a headset. The beauty of a headset is you can now stand. You can walk you congestion. Er, you can breathe more fully, and that can make you sound even better. So that's the best of all possible worlds of very high quality headset, where the mike is right next to your mouth, coming from a corded phone that allows you to stand, breathe, gesture the next best thing sitting down, using a good old landline and the last choice, but again for quick emergencies. Quick talk, radio interview or news talk, radio interview. Ah, cell phone. Do it in that order 7. Choose the Studio versus Phone: if you have an opportunity to be on a new stock program or talk radio show quite often the producer, the person who calls you up and books you on the show will ask you, Would you like to do the interview over the phone or in studio Now? Sometimes they may actually require you to be in a studio for some of the fancy or network shows. The first reaction is going to be well, it's more convenient to just pick up the phone and call Not so fast. All things being equal, you're always going to be better off going to the studio. For starters, your audio quality will be much better. You'll be in a professional studio. Number two. You get all the communication from the host, the interviewer, the body language. You can see the person. You can see their eyes. You can play off nonverbal cues, so the communication is going to be much better. Number three. You're likely to get more air time. I could just tell you countless times my air time over the phone versus in studio in studio . We simply give you a lot more. Part of it is, they think you gave. You've made all this effort to get their part of it is you can talk during the commercials more easily. Figure out if there's other topics you want to discuss. The fourth big reason. It's a chance for you to make a stronger impression and make a personal connection not only with the host, but with the producer who books you. That's critically important. Just folks. The real power of radio is not one appearance. There's no one radio appearance that make somebody rich and famous all the sudden. The power of radio is repetition, and you look at some of the most successful talk radio host out there, even TV personalities. It all started because they were good guests. They went from being a good guest, to be a regular guest to being a paid analyst, then being a host. That's the typical way people work their way up the media food chain, so it's just much easier to make that personal connection. When you go to the studio, you can wait in the green room or wait in the lobby. You can exchange business cars not only with the host with the producer, you can also let the producer of the book or no. Hey, any time you need me at the last minute, here's my cell phone. Here's my home phone. Feel free to call me if they connect the name with a face and the voice. There's just a much greater chance that they will feel comfortable calling you again and again and again. And that's really what you want when it comes to being a guest on radio. Also, if you have any kind of a physical product you're selling, ah, book a DVD, anything like that. Having something tangible just allows people to focus on much makes it much, much easier for them to focus on it. So that's why if you have a choice and you have the time, go to the studio. If you're going back and forth between 10 meetings in a day and the studio is an hour and 1/2 away and it would be four hours out of your day, I understand. Don't do that. But if it's someplace you can get Teoh 10 or 15 minutes and they're willing to give you a considerable amount of time, I would go to the studio every single time. It will pay off 8. Be Ready for Attacks: most business executives, most authors, most consultants, most experts of any sort who go on talk radio and on NewsRadio are treated respectfully and politely. However, if you have anything to do with politics, you're in for something else. Let me tell you, because regardless of your politics, there's some host out there who thinks that you're awful evil, the source of all of of the ills of the world because of people, your philosophy and you could be down the middle moderate. You could be a conservative, a Democrat, a liberal. It doesn't matter. There's some host out there who wants to attack you and vilify you. Now I'm not suggesting you avoid those host. I am suggesting that you're prepared. All you can do is put out your messages, your ideas and let the chips fall where they may. That's my attitude. I never turn down host. I never run away from host. I don't hang up on host, but if ah ho starts screaming at you, I wouldn't necessarily scream back. Sometimes a host will that the caller's rough you up, beat you up, bloody you up smear. You just tell flat out lies. Here's what I would do in that situation if you're on a talk show and the host clearly isn't very sympathetic to you but is still being responsible. But then let's a caller call in and just make up all sorts of things, calling you all sorts of evil. They're just making up stuff. I would politely listen, and then when it's my time to speak, speak. If a host allows caller after caller to do that at some point, I would simply say the real story is the real facts are, and I would be correcting the person. And then you have two people talking at the same time. That would force the host to do some moderating, because if two people are talking on radio at the same time, people don't get any message. You deserve not to have someone smearing you, lying, lying about you, telling factually things that are just not correct. You deserve better than that now. I'm not suggesting you have the right to get unbridled praise. Any time you go on talk radio or news radio, that's not the situation. But if someone is just flat out telling lies about you, your political campaign, your political beliefs. I don't believe you should have to take it, and that's where I suggest your first step. Listen, then, rebut. But if it continues, just talk over the caller or, if need be the host. The host is the whole show. They can always cut you off. That's happened to bay, but I think that says a lot to the listeners to that the host couldn't win the battle of arguments that the host had to cut you off, I think means you've won the battle. So don't be surprised if you have some host who are incredibly polite, sweet, thoughtful, intelligent and others on the far end of the extreme. The thing about radio you have a much wider spectrum, the acceptable and normal discourse, much more so than on television and in a print and online, too. So you've been warned 9. Advanced Tip Promo: Here's an advance to sure to endear you in the hearts of producers and host quite often before you start a talk radio interview, especially if you're in studio, the producer or sound engineer may say, Can you just do a sound check? And you just count from 1 to 10 rather than counting? 12345 Do something like this. Hi, I'm T. J. Walker Whenever I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina. I love listening to 11. 10 w b t. I just did a commercial for W B T radio. Now maybe they use it. Maybe they don't. Chances are they don't but they certainly like it. It stands out. It makes people feel everyone likes toe, have a compliment, and to be made to feel like they're part of something bigger. Take. He used to do that. Dr. Joyce Brothers, the well known psychologist who just passed recently. She was famous on the airways from the 19 fifties, up until her death just a few short years ago, and she did it by always being good, good, gracious guests, and she would do that any time. She was on a talk show, and it helped get her more and more attention, so that's a little advanced if you don't have to do it, but it does work wonders. 10. Start with Your 1st Rehearsal: So you've got the call. You've got the invitation to go on talk radio. If you haven't done a lot of talk radio and feel absolutely confident, I would recommend that she rehearse either interview yourself or have a friend or colleague ask you questions and then answer them. But don't just talk it out. I would recommend Pull yourself Ellen out, hit the audio record button and actually record your practice interview. Don't just talk it out. Don't talk to the mere but conduct an interview. Either. Have someone ask you questions or you interview yourself and try to simulate the length of the actual interview. If the interview is going to be for a three minute spot, have someone interview you for three minutes. If it's going to be for a 15 minute spot or even an hour spot, try to do the practice for the same link. Then I need you to listen to it. Listen to it carefully. Make a list of what you like and what you don't like. That's your homework right now. 11. Keep It Up with a 2nd Rehearsal: So you've recorded the audio, you've listened to it. You have your list of likes and your list of Don't likes. Now I need you to really, really focus on just one of the things you didn't like about your voice or you speaking too quickly, too softly. Is there something about it you just didn't like? Were you trailing off at the end? Were you ending with a question? Even when it's not a question cutting away the perception of confidence? If there's something you don't like, let's deal with it now rather than go into that riel interview feeling less than completely confident. So I want you to do the interview again. You can. It could be just two or three minutes long. Record your cell phone audio. If there's 20 things you don't like about your voice, don't try to fix all 20. Just focus on one thing. Doing one thing better this time. One of things you don't like doing less of that. Let's record it right now. Then listen to it and critique it again. 12. Don't Stop with the 3rd Rehearsal: So how did you dio? I don't mean Are you perfect now? And do you love it? All I want to know is did you make improvement in just that one area that you didn't like? That's all you have to do, because if you can focus on one thing you don't like in your voice how you present yourself in an audio format and listen to it and change it and correct it, then you have a system in place so that you can remove everything you don't like. So that's why it's crucial to focus on one thing at a time. If you just listen to your voice and say, uh, like anything, it's all bad. You're just gonna wallow in self pity You're not gonna get any better. You've got to really learn to isolate what works, what doesn't work, do less of the stuff you don't like. And mawr this stuff you do like So I hope you made some progress there if you didn't based on my experience, it's because you didn't isolate one thing or you picked out something that isn't really changeable. So if you are from the south and you have a strong Southern accent. You can't just expect to talk without a Southern accent in one take like that, I don't think you need to change your acts. And here's the thing about accents. As long as people can understand you, you're communicating and you can be a great radio guest. Bill Clinton Jimmy Carter had Southern accents. They still got elected president. Deep Pop Deepak Chopra has a strong Indian accent, and he's sold tens of millions of copies of books and made a fortune. So there's no one way you have to speak in America or anywhere in the world to be successful. The main thing is that you have something to say, that you have a good message, that you have some passion and that you speak out in every opportunity, and that includes any radio opportunities you have. So that's what's really important. So here's the challenge for you. I need you to practice your interview again. I need you to record yourself again. I know this is the last time I'll ask you to do it, but wait till you hear what I have to say. I want you to record it, Listen to it, figure out what you like and don't like and keep doing this until you can listen to it and like it and say, Wow, that person's interesting That person seems really confident and engaging. I would listen to that person on the radio if it weren't already made. The ultimate judge and jury of you as a radio performer is not may. It's not even the talk show host of the producer. It's you. You want to get prepared. If you really want to get ready, you have to listen to it. It has to pass your test because the problem a lot of people have is there so fixated on message and writing out script and getting the facts just right. Then they say it and they hear it back and they think, Wow, I sound kind of boring it flat. So, like reading, so I can't really believe it. Well, those air old problems the solution is not to write some or do more research. The solution isn't a turned down all radio request. The solution is to practice again and again and again until you like it. So that's the homework. This time you have to practice your radio interview until you like it 13. Conduct Air Checks: one of the real secrets of being a great guests on talk radio and news radio is to learn from every single interview you do. People who are great media communicators are great, not because they were born that way, not because they went to radio broadcasting school. A few of them ever did that. They're great because they use every single radio interview as a little bit of schooling. For the next interview, they learn from every interview they do now. The only way to do that is you have to listen to the interview. I know it's not always possible, but to the extent you can, I need you to get the audio. I mean, these days it's often put as podcast on radio stations website. You can try to record it yourself. I wouldn't ask the producer or the host for that of the reporter. They kind of hate doing that. They don't have the time, but try to listen to your actual radio broadcast, tape it yourself if you can listen to it and judge yourself, figure out what did I do well in that interview, what did I like? Certainly if you're at a studio don't ask them for a tape. Just put your cell phone on a put on the table in front of you. And if nothing else, when you're doing a telephone interview, you can record your side with your cell phone recorder. And you can also get a Radio Shack and get a phone recorder where you can report both sides of the conversation, too. So that's one way to learn from your mistakes, to get better and better. If you've ever been to a stand up comedy club, you'll see some of the top comedians in the world recording every stand up show that they do because they want to listen to and learn and figure out. When I paused that half a beat their to the laughs last three seconds longer. Now you're not going after laughs, but you are trying to learn from the reactions. You get to see what worked to see what didn't work. So if you want to get better and better at this game, work your way up the media food chain. I urge you record or get a recording of every radio appearance you do and really listen doesn't do any good to get the recording and not listen to it. Listen to it and listen to it as soon as possible after the interview. While everything is fresh in your mind, that way you can get better and better and better. 14. Course Conclusion: if you followed all the steps that I have discussed in this course, you are ready to go on talk radio or news radio. You know what to do, What not to do. You've got a message. You can speak in a conversational way. You've got some sound bites and you're ready for anything. If given the option, you'll go to the studio. If you have to do it by phone, you'll get Ah, land phone, not a cell phone. If you're gonna do a cell phone, you're not gonna do speakerphone. And beyond all this, have fun. I haven't talked about that enough in this course, but one of the things that makes people great on the radio that makes them great host great guest is you just get the sense that they're having the time of their life. There's nothing in the world they'd rather be doing, then sharing with you right now and the radio audience about their ideas of what's going on , What's important. So that's why it's important. Final big tip. Smile when you're on radio, people can't see it, but they can hear it when they can hear you smiling. Having fun, having excitement bringing energy and passion to your subject matter. They're gonna listen to you more. You're gonna be more credible, more believable, and you're going to communicate. The host will appreciate it more. The producer appreciate it more. You'll communicate your message. And you can use this in order to get invited back again and again. And again. Remember, that's the real power. A radio is repeatedly visiting the same guest in their homes, in their cars, in their offices, through their ears. So you want to go on again and again and again. It's often it's possible to promote your business, your cause, your campaigns, your issues, your expertise. Good luck. I'm T. J. Walker. I'll see you on the radio. 15. Give and Get Feedback: If you really want a master, the skills were talking about today. If you truly want to be a world class communicator, then you're gonna have to get feedback. Ask your friends, family members, colleagues, other executives to rate how you're doing with every aspect of your presentation. I'm a big believer in this, and I don't just talk about it. I practice it, too, so I want your feedback. So what I would ask is, now that we're almost done with his course, take just a moment and go to the feedback portion of this course and write a review. No, I certainly hope you give me a five star review, but I want you to be honest, tell me what was valuable in this course and write it out and tell me where it can improve . Now I think I'm good. But one of the reasons I think I'm good is that I've always listened throughout my career to people who didn't like something about how I communicated, and I listened to it, and I tried to make adjustments to improve it. Tiny little improvements every time I speak. So I'm asking as a favor to me and for future students, so we can continue to make this course get better and better. Take just a moment to write a review in the official feedback section of this course.