Conducting Great Interviews

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(By Randy Lane) Most interviews lose PPM meters because of poor execution.

Conducting interviews effectively is paramount to attracting and maintaining listeners. Once your guest makes it through the interview filter, look at these key guidelines to ensure flawless execution and ratings success:

Deliver a horizontal tease the day before the interview for big name guests. Since people listen at the same time daily, implement the tease at the same time the guest will appear the next day. Be sure to include the most provocative question the show will be asking the guest.

On the day of the interview, tease the most provocative question that you will be asking the guest.

Audio: If the interview is prerecorded, incorporate an attention-getting snippet of audio in the tease. Play audio during the conversation to illustrate a story, a point, and as a pattern disruption.

Start the interview quickly with a captivating question to lock-in listener interest. It could also begin with a standout piece of audio.

Build in surprises. Ellen has become known for surprising guests to make her interviews memorable.

Get personal. Many shows use features to get potentially viral personal information from their guests.

The syndicated Breakfast Club show just posted a video of “Breakfast Club Bowl,” an interview feature where guests pick an embarrassing question they have to answer.

This video is from an interview with Jesse Smollett, the actor who faked being attacked in Chicago.

Replay A-level highlights of the interview in other hours and days to expose it to a greater percentage of the audience. Airing your best content more often wins in Nielsen.

Pro tip: Howard Stern is a master interviewer who knows when to step back and let an engaging, entertaining guest shine. To move a conversation forward, Howard also knows when to step in and cut off a guest who is rambling or repetitive.

Randy Lane launched his media talent coaching and personal brand development company in 1996. He can be contacted by phone at 805-497-7177 or email at [email protected]

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