Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 Things to Remember When Doing a Phoner

Photo by Debajo del Melocotonero
The past couple of weeks I have been focusing my blog topics on media interview tips.  This week I'm going to be giving several tips on how to make a phoner run smoothly.  For those of you who may be asking yourself, "What the heck is phoner?" it's a term often used in radio to refer to an interview between the DJ and an artist who calls into the station for the interview, as opposed to an in-studio interview.  There are certain things an artist can do in a phoner to maximize the opportunity of the interview to make it flow better despite the absence of a face-to-face interaction with the DJ.  Many of these tips are also useful for job seekers who have to go through phone interviews prior to an on-site job interview, so listen up!
  1. Try to use a land line whenever possible.  There is always that awkward delay that occurs when using a cell, which often causes you to unintentionally interrupt or cut off the person on the other end.  Using a land line will prevent this from happening and you also won't run the risk of a bad signal or a dropped call.  If you can't get to a land line, be aware of this slight delay that occurs when using a cell phone and try not to let it throw you off.  Expect there to be a slight pause after you've completed your statement and wait it out.  Don't get so uncomfortable for that brief time of silence that you decide to start adding more to your response to break that silence.
  2. Disable your call waiting right before the call.  This can usually be done on a land line by dialing *70 and then dialing the phone #.
  3. Be on time!  The artist is the one who is responsible for calling into the station instead of the DJ calling the artist.  Always remember to call on time since radio time is scheduled by the second!  Any inability to be on time can throw off the entire show or can result in your interview being scrapped from the show.  Regardless of who is set to call whom, be ready at the scheduled time.
  4. Make sure you are in a room that is completely quiet.  Any background noise will be heard over the airwaves!
  5. Use positive body language (smile, use gestures and facial expressions) even though you won't be seen by your listeners.  Positive body language will still be detectable in your vocal nuances.
While these tips apply only to phoners, you must also remember the other media interview preparation techniques outlined in my book Advance Your Image.  I will soon have available a new hard copy edition of the book which includes additional media interview tips along with an appendix full of interactive exercises to help you in your preparation for both media interviews and meetings/interviews with labels and publishers.  The hard copy latest edition will be available in early October! 

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