Preparation for a singer’s interview is how a successful performer can play an active part in the promotion program designed by the team they have chosen to represent their interests. During the launch of a singer’s recording career there could be a nation-wide tour of 200 or more interview dates. These range from in-store mini-concerts, press and radio interviews, to national television appearances.
Recently there has been an explosion of new talent vying for media attention in an already crowded field. Learning to deliver engaging interviews is one way to guarantee you will stand out from the rest of the pack. So here are some tips for executing successful media events.
1. Be animated, have fun. Everything discussed when singers interview should be in a positive tone of voice, unless, of course, you are speaking of a disaster. Keep the tone upbeat and enthusiastic. This is especially important for drive-time radio interviews when radio hosts are working hard to keep their listeners awake and alive. When you present a positive attitude, even in times of personal difficulty, it is difficult for the interviewer not to respond in kind.
2. You will need to remember that you are there to promote a relationship with the public, but keep in mind that your job is not only to promote your agenda; it’s also your job to make the interviewer look good. A singer’s interview should always have an intimate feel. Plan on treating your host as if they were your very best friend—at least for the next three to twenty minutes.
Occasionally refer to your interviewer by name. It is a good idea to match your speaking pace to that of your host. Be sure not to “step on” their lines. Give them plenty of time to finish their thoughts before you speak. Everybody loves a good listener. Besides that, it buys time for you to formulate your own answers. After all, the real translation of the sound “um” is “I’m stalling.”
3. If you support your voice with your entire body when you speak, you will give the impression that you stand firmly behind what you say. Short concise bites, with strong consonant sounds at the beginning of words are best. Punch up your responses by ending your words with pauses for additional emphasis.
4. It’s also good to remember that Silence is golden. Say what you need to say, then quit talking. Don’t continue to ramble. Silence is not nothing; it’s simply a real, real quiet sound.
5. You cannot control which questions will be asked of you in a singer’s interview, but if you plan your responses in advance and practice them until they become natural, you will not be caught off guard. First and foremost you want to come through the interview with your career intact, so take comfort in the fact that you are bound to know your topic better than the host.
Be yourself; let others see you as a real person; share your life with them; have fun; make your interviewer look good and you can be assured that many more interviews will come your way.
Bonus Tip #1: Try not to leave the studio without firm plans for receiving a print, audio or video copy of your interview. You will want these public records for your growing dossier.
Bonus Tip #2: Always send a thank-you note to the hosts, engineers and producers. These little notes pave the way for future interviews.
Bonus Tip#3: Find a notebook or a place on your computer to keep records of each interview. You will want to remember the people involved, what you wore, and the topic of the interview.
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