Radio interviews: headphones or not?

A few years ago I made regular appearances on BBC Radio London. The best thing I did was to take in croissants for the breakfast show on my first appearance (if you do this and want a croissant, make sure you get one before the producers – eight of them vanished in the 20 minutes during which I was on, not that I’m the type to bear a grudge). The worst thing was to put the headphones on immediately.

If you’re ever in a radio studio I’d advise against this. There are a few reasons.

  • Do you ever walk along the street wearing headphones? OK, let’s suppose you do. You know how that tends to shut everything else out of your consciousness and things seem a little different? More particularly, do you recall how disconcerting it was first time around? That’s what you want to avoid here. You’ll be feeling pressurised; disconcerted as well is not desirable.
  • Have you ever heard the sound of your own voice? If you’re not used to it, having it delivered straight to your headphones as you speak can be really offputting. You put the “cans” on to look professional and now you’re uncomfortable and when the presenter speaks to his/her producer you don’t know what’s going on.

You’ll be a lot better off if you just try to talk to the presenter. Get your points in by all means, without being too forceful or impolite – but try to make it sound conversational and don’t let the technology get in the way of a good interview.

Do you want to practice interviews in a fully equipped radio and TV studio with tech support and an experienced journalist? The picture above is the one in which I train people. Call me on 07973 278780 or fill in the form below if you’d like a chat about it. You will not have to bring croissants.

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