Since more and more media outlets are using Skype for conducting interviews, here are a few tips to help you look and sound good when sharing your message.
Set up Skype in advance. If you don’t yet have a Skype account, set one up now on your computer. Practice using it with a friend in advance so you know how it works and can feel confident during your interview. Your Skype username and profile photo will be the first thing your interviewer sees when connecting with you. Be sure it’s professional. If you already have a Skype account you use for family and friends, create a separate professional account for interviews.
Avoid distractions and interruptions. Turn your phone off to avoid distracting notifications. Close any programs you have running on your computer. The night before, and then an hour or so in advance, restart your computer to be sure it’s running at its best and not going through an update that could slow things down or cause distractions. Close the door and make sure everyone knows you are not to be disturbed. Close the windows. No pets in the room. Turn off the AC.
Sound your best. Your computer microphone is not the best for interviews. If you’re going to do a lot of interviews and want to sound your best, invest in an external microphone. Be sure to select that microphone as your audio source in your Skype settings. Here’s an article about some of the best microphones for Skype.
Because Skype has successfully integrated its system with major TV newsrooms, many video interviews are now done using Skype.
Check your environment so there are no distractions. Keep the backdrop simple so you are the focal point. If you are an author, you might have a copy of your book in the background.
Position the webcam so it’s pointed slightly down and with any light directed at your face. The more light there is, the better the video will look. Don’t sit in front of a window.
It’s hard not to watch yourself or your interviewer on the screen during a video interview. For the video to look like you’re maintaining eye contact with the interviewer, focus on looking at the camera lens. It will feel awkward at first. Practice doing this with a friend until you get comfortable.
Relax and enjoy yourself! The more you practice and the more interviews you do, the more comfortable you’ll become.
Years ago media interviews were done in person at a studio. Today many interviews are done online using Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or some other technology. If you’re not yet familiar with these platforms, now is the time to learn. Willingness to use one of these platforms for an interview increases your chances of being selected.
You’ll still want to prepare well for these interviews. Make sure you still dress the part and have a quiet place to be during the interview. Practice with a friend to be sure your equipment works, the lighting is right, and that you know what to do if something goes wrong.
Embrace the new interview technology, and look and sound your best when speaking about your book’s message.
I first connected with Toni Lontis when booking radio shows for my client, Deborah Olson. It was such a pleasure getting to know Toni and working with her. We even spoke via Skype at a later date. That was especially fun since she’s in Australia. Here’s her interview.
Tell us about your podcast
Radio Toni is more than a podcast. It starts its life as a live radio show with real time guest and listener interaction. Once the live show is finished it is converted to a podcast and distributed everywhere you get your podcasts from. Radio Toni gives people a voice to be heard and a platform to send their message out to the world. I interview new guests each week and talk to many authors about their books. I have a particular focus on trauma and trauma recovery.
Why did you start this podcast?
Radio Toni started in March 2019 and there’s an interesting story to its inception. In January of 2019 I published my first book – Resilience, memoir of a broken little girl discovering a woman of strength and beauty. I then embarked on the process of production of the audiobook version. The production company I used convinced me that I should narrate my story myself, rather than using a voice over professional. Eventually I agreed to do this. At the end of this long endeavor, Simone, a radio veteran and the owner of Brisbane Audiobook production, asked if I had ever thought about radio or podcasting as she thought I had a wonderful voice for radio. I shrugged off the suggestion as something I had not ever been interested in.
As I embarked on marketing for my book, I started to build my social media accounts in earnest. As this happened, I connected with a US media company owner and I started to ask about podcasting. This led to a longer discussion and finally a Skype call from the US. I thought Dean, the owner, wanted an interview, but then he asked if I wanted a radio show of my own and asked if I would consider it. The rest, as they say, is history. After a very nervous start and knowing nothing about radio whatsoever, I learnt quickly and discovered a total love of radio. Now I get to talk and interview people from all over the world, it’s the best fun, very entertaining and aligns totally with the 4 pillars of my business – inspire, empower, educate and help.
How long have you been podcasting?
Since March 2019.
What do you look for in a guest?
I look for people with a story to tell, who are willing to tell this story to the world and who are open to following the guidelines I set out – filling in the guest paperwork, responding to emails and confirming dates when they are offered.
How can listeners find you?
Listen in Live each week to Radio Toni on w4wn.com Thursday 7pm ET US and then the podcast is simply Radio Toni everywhere you get your podcast.
And here’s what Toni has to say about working with me to book guests on her show.
“Working with Sue has been an absolute pleasure! The quality of guests she has been able to supply for my Radio show has been perfectly aligned to my program and I have become friends and stayed connected with all of them. The combined efforts of Sue’s promotional strategies, my show reach and coverage has shown wonderful results for those guests chosen to be interviewed live on the show. If you want to get impressive promotion for you and your book, join Sue and the team and get your name and book out there, you will be glad you did”.