Tuesday, 6 March 2012

5 Ways to get invited back.

Finally, you've been booked on to a radio/TV show!

You're the expert that will be explaining that difficult story, you're the one informing the presenter as much as the audience, you'll be the next Martin Lewis, the next Dr Mark Porter, or even the next Greg Wallace (he was a veg expert before Masterchef).

Or you'll be an abject flop. The person that no one remembers, like, you know, thingy...

So how do you get invited back?

1) This is their house not yours.
Show the presenter some respect. They may be an idiot but that's no reason to treat them like one. The questions they ask will be from the point of view of a complete numpty; it's a broadcasting conceit. They're often very well educated and informed. That stupid question is there to allow YOU to explain the story. Grab for the stupid questions and go for it.

2) Talk normally.
You're not on stage; you're sitting in a cafe talking to a friend.

3) There is no audience.
"Good Morning everyone" or "I'm sure your viewers / listeners would like to know..." throws up a wall between you and the audience (the audience that isn't there) and reminds them that they're consuming media; you want them to think that they are part of a conversation. Leading questions from a presenter like "what would you say to someone who hears this and thinks...." that lets you off, you can then frame the answer in the third person i.e. "I'd tell them what I'm telling you, don't do..." etc.

4) Personality is better than accuracy.
Harsh but true. If you can be a personality no one cares about the minutiae... no one cares that you're only talking in broad terms. If you don't talk in broad terms then you're in danger of over explaining to an ambivalent audience.

5) Context, context, context.
Make sure the context is part of your audiences lives. For example if you're a financial expert giving advice on cutting household expenses, talking about a tank of petrol costing £145 just shows an audience of Fiesta Drivers that you're not one of them.

If you get these on your first appearance then you should be asked back, and popped into the contacts book. Then you'll be called first to deal with the [your field of expertise] story.

Unless you say fuck.

No one likes that.

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