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Six Lessons I Learned from Being on Internet Radio

June 25, 2014
by Jack Reynolds

If this week’s article appears to be a bit off-target from my usual investment topics, then you are right!  However, if “learning is the mother of wisdom,” then I am in favor of our learning from my experience as a guest speaker on an internet radio show. 

I recently had the pleasure of being on Radio Entrepreneurs, an internet radio show that showcases entrepreneurs and innovative companies, with the goal of creating an online knowledge pool worldwide.  Despite the fact that I have produced multiple investment videos and made countless presentations, it was a bit unnerving for me to be on an internet radio show.  Why? Because there are no opportunities to edit out the ‘ums’ and other filler phrases. There are also no ‘do-overs,’ allowing me to be more clear and concise.  Further, despite much preparation, one doesn’t have control over the questions that the interviewer asks.

If you would like to see a brief (3 minute) video version of my internet radio interview, please click Radio Entrepreneurs Video.  If you would like to listen to the 12-minute audiocast, please click Radio Entrepreneurs Audiocast.  Links to both the video and audio interviews are featured on  Otherwise, please see my candid thoughts about interviews, below.

Six Lessons I Learned from Being on Internet Radio

1. Eye contact is of paramount importance.  This might sound strange at first, as radio does not have video.  However, my radio interview was videotaped and it was awkward to maintain eye contact with both the interviewer and the camera. Had I taken my marketing manager with me, she would have made sure that I was positioned correctly relative to the camera angle and the interviewer.  Instead, you get a great view of my forehead. My apologies to my viewers.

2. Avoid popular filler-phrases and words. I invite you to rate me on how successful I was at avoiding meaningless words and phrases in my interview such as:

  • Well
  • So
  • Right (used as a rhetorical question)
  • I mean
  • You know
  • Ah
  • Um

3. Don’t rate the interviewer’s questions.  For example, saying, “That is a good question,” can appear to be condescending to an expert interviewer.  Instead, consider saying, “I’m glad that you asked that question.” It is much more neutral than rating the interviewer’s ability to ask a good question.

4. Do not rate the interviewer’s comments.  For example, I would rather not say, “You are exactly right.” The interviewer feels more affirmed (and the interviewee sounds less condescending) if the interviewee says, instead, “I certainly agree with you there.”

5. Help the interviewer by giving her/him a bulleted prompting sheet.   Suggest some questions to ask, and for which you have thoughtful answers.  However, it is their show and do not expect them to stay with your script.  They are likely to go off-script, and when they do you need to follow them.

6. Carefully plan the first 2-3 minutes with the interviewer, before the interview begins.  This will help to reduce surprises and avoid either of you being caught off-guard as the interview gains momentum.

I encourage you to share some of your ‘lessons learned’ from being interviewed in the comments section below (regardless of whether you were on radio, a panel, etc.).  If you wish, you can also offer me your feedback by calling (617.945.5157) or by shooting me a quick email to jack at rgpic dot com.

Thank you,