Tommy Kramer Tip #186 – How long should an Interview last?

If you wonder about how long interviews should last, the quick answer is “It should end before I want to kill the guest.”

Seriously, in practical terms, plan on ONE segment. Anything past that should earn its way onto the air by adding something new and compelling to the interview.

Remember, an interview’s purpose isn’t to drum up business for the guest. It’s to make the guest come across as interesting enough or entertaining enough for me (as a listener) to even CARE about what they’re pushing, whether it’s a new album, concert, movie, charity, etc.

And I’d recommend never having a guest on for more than an hour, no matter who it is.

No doubt you’ve heard “leave the listener wanting more,” but not all air talents have the discipline to really do it. The minute you find yourself checking the clock to see how soon this segment will be over, you should have already ended it.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2016 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #28: Interview tip – Fit it into the show

It’s such a sell-out when someone on a music station has an interview with an artist, and all of a sudden, the radio station and the host just turn into shills for the recording industry. Nothing is more boring than those “So, when does the new CD come out?” and “Where’s the next stop on your tour?” questions, and their lame, predictable answers.

Don’t settle for that pap. Make sure that your interviews have the same entertainment and personality elements as the rest of your show. Have FUN with the interview.

Here’s an example: One time when I was doing a Morning Drive team show on a Country station, my partner and I learned that a singer we were interviewing had a dog that would “sing” along with him, baying and howling while he sang. When we had him on the show a couple of days before he played in a station-sponsored concert, we made sure to have him go get his dog while we had him on the phone, and got the two of them to “sing” together on the air! It was a hoot, and gave the Listener a reason to really like him, since it was so human; so real. It was revealing, and more importantly, it was anti-music business “hype.”

Another thought: If you have something going on that hour, try to get the guest to fit into what the show’s already doing. Bring the guest in as a sort of “co-host” when you can. I used to write things for the guest to do within the framework of the show. They always loved it. (Think about it. They don’t usually get to do that sort of thing.)

Give your listener something to remember when you have a guest on. (A by-product of this is that the artist has fun, forms a little positive opinion of you that he or she files away for the future, and then looks forward to being on with you again the next time.)

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.