Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #314 – How to Make Interviews and Phone Calls Not Suck

It’s not exactly a news flash that most recorded interviews and phone calls are pretty much a big yawn.  Here’s why:

Pressed for time, it’s easy to let things slide.  With an artist interview, a lot of people think they’re sacrosanct – you shouldn’t edit them too severely, because the artist is deigning to speak to you from the mountain top.

But of course, the truth is that most musical artists are mediocre to terrible interviews, going through the motions because the label told them they need to do them, and they don’t know anything about radio.

So they speak to “the fans” or “the people out there” or “you guys” – plural terms that, by definition, can’t come across as one-on-one – or they treat the listeners like they’re just faceless members of a teeming throng that’s only there to fawn over them and buy tickets to the show.

They don’t mean to come across like this; they just haven’t been taught anything.  So we get the “Hello, Cleveland!” mentality.  (I’m not Cleveland.  I’m just me.)

Phone calls, for some reason, aren’t held to high standards by most jocks either.  Most on-air people think that everything needs to be “self-contained” in the call, when in reality, you can say something LIVE, you know, then just use a short excerpt from the call that adds more.  Rinse and repeat, using only the best sound bites from the call.

Artist interview clips, like phone calls, are just the raw materials.  The finished product is only present after you’ve taken out redundancies, and made everything concise.  And in my experience of working with hundreds of stations and somewhere around 1700 individual air talents, only about 3% of them take the time to do the editing required to make an interview or listener call MEMORABLE.

Edit.  Then edit again.  Rearrange portions of the audio if you need to, so it makes sense and flows forward.  It only takes a couple of minutes to turn “average” into “excellent.”  HONE YOUR CRAFT.  It’ll make a huge difference.

Tommy Kramer

About Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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