10 Tips for a Great Radio Interview

author deb scott's book

“The interviewer wants 10 questions from me. What do I send him?”

When Deb Scott published The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue, and won several book awards, she began to get invitations for radio interviews. I helped Deb come up with compelling questions and we engaged in a role play so she could practice.

Here are some of the tips I gave Deb:

1. Think like your audience. Who will be listening to the call? What will they most want to know? What will resonate most for them?

2. It’s not actually about the book. Focus on the information you have to offer to improve the lives of the people listening. Yes, you want them to buy your book, but you’re on the air to make a difference. Book sales should stem from that.

3. Avoid generalities. Tell a brief (and entertaining) story to illustrate your point.

4. Interviewers love sound bites and catchy phrases. I had Deb use two phrases she coined, “2 minute volunteering” and “successful sabotage.”

5. Be succinct. The most engaging interviews have an upbeat pace and the banter goes back and forth between host and guest. Hosts find it frustrating if you talk too long, especially if you’re not on point.

6. Write out your answers to your questions and have them in front of you. This is your cheat sheet. Of course, because you’ll practice a ton before your first interview, you should know your answers inside out. But sometimes people get nervous, especially those who are new to interviews. It can’t hurt to have something in front of you in case you space out. And it may just make you calmer.

7. Stand up. Your voice and demeanor will naturally be more commanding and confident when you stand. Your audience will hear more energy in your interactions.

8. Have fun. The more you enjoy yourself, the more your audience will, too. Don’t be afraid to use humor.

9. Be spontaneous. Once you’ve prepared and practice, allow some room for spontaneity to take over. Be grounded and centered for the call so that you can really connect with your host and let your inner expert shine.

10. Don’t mention your book too often. It’s the host’s job to talk about your book. Don’t overdo book mentions. On the other hand, if your host doesn’t mention the book at all, by all means, mention it towards the end. Most hosts are quite gracious, however.

Good luck with that first interview! It gets easier each time. Soon, you’ll be a pro.

More Resources for Authors and Aspiring Authors

award winning journal

Looking for resources to spark your creativity, help you come up with new ideas, and derive all the many wellness benefits of journaling? Check out my latest book, The Joy of Writing Journal: Spark Your creativity in 8 Minutes a Day.

Read Next:

More Free Stuff:

  • Sign up for my free 7-day book-writing “Inspired Author” Course for writing a nonfiction book.
  • Sign up for my newsletter: every other week newsletter with informative articles, resources, tips and offerings; alternate weeks read the latest author interview to find out published authors’ keys to success and the details of their publishing journeys.


“Awestruck by the Publisher’s Offer”

“Lisa Tener is an amazing coach and so much more. One day I was googling online for ideas on how to write a nonfiction book, when I stumbled upon her web page. I continued on…


Two Awards & “Instrumental in My Work Supporting Healthcare Workers”

“I signed up for Bring Your book to Life® Thanksgiving weekend. By February, Lisa’s materials and consultation had helped me develop a structure to set Deeper into Mindfulness apart from other mindfulness books on the market. “The course…


“The Best Thing I Did”

“Taking Lisa Tener’s Fast Track Your Book Proposal program was the best thing I did to give my book momentum. I had written an entire rough draft, but was floundering with where to go with it, and what to…


“A Valuable Partnership”

“Lisa helped me clarify and fine tune both the vision and mission of my book, and think through my editorial decisions. “Her openness and creativity, practicality and intelligence, directness and honesty were crucial in forming…


Multiple Offers & Nautilus Award Winner

“Lisa Tener was an invaluable resource throughout the book-publishing process. She helped me make sense of the publishing world, build a platform that would get the attention of publishers, and develop an engaging book proposal…


Book Deal with Hachette

“My prayers were answered when one of my colleagues recommended Lisa Tener. Lisa immediately calmed me down, listened keenly and encouraged me to get the help to finish my book. “During the 3 years of…

Screen Shot 2020-09-07 at 10.05.50 PM