Help! I have to give a radio interview and I’m terrified

radio interview,radio show,nervous,business,VA,virtual assistant,marketingI’m an exibitor at a tradeshow early in 2014 and I will have a 45 second spot on our local radio just beforehand to give a spiel about my Virtual Assistant practice. I’ve never been on the radio before and I’m dreading it. I get so nervous about speaking in public!

Here is what I offer….office outsourcing, (pretty new concept in my little town) everything a secretary does and more…I just do it virtually from my “own” office for their office. Website design, desktop publishing, blogging, diary management, book-keeping, etc.

Have you got any suggestions on how I can do it really well? Thanks in anticipation!!

Monique from Val-des-Monts, QC

Salut Monique!

My first piece of advice is, RELAX. Forget about the microphone and the anxious-looking producer who will probably be hovering around clutching a clipboard. Just talk to the interviewer as if s/he were a friend you’re having a chat with over a latte. Look him/her in the eye – these people are trained to encourage interviewees visually with nods and smiles, so it will be easy to connect with him/her. When you do, that will come over in your voice and what you say.

Second piece of advice is, forget what you do.

I know that sounds ridiculous. But what a radio audience (and any prospective clients out there) are interested in … the only thing they’re interested in … is what you could do for THEM.

Now, I can’t really write this for you because although I have several friends who are VAs I don’t use their services currently and in any case a VA’s portfolio might be different in Canada from what it is here in the UK.

However, here’s how to figure it out.

radio,interview,nervous,VA,virtual assistant,business

Radio interviews do not need to be terrifying!

Think what are the main benefits a client gets from using your VA service? When you work for someone, what differences does that make to their lives? More quality time with their kids? More time to concentrate on their own skillset? More time to get out and sell, so increasing profits?

Do you free people up so they can do more of what they’re really good at? Do you handle the quantity, so they can get going with more quality?

I’m sure you know what the key benefit of your service is – and that’s what you need to get over. In a 45 second slot, aim for a statement of about 70 words. Don’t try to be slick or smart*ssy; just be sincere. Write out what you want to say, memorize it, then put the piece of paper away. When you do your interview, remember the gist of that message and say it naturally in your own words.

Bonne chance – and let us know how it goes!

What does everyone else think? What advice would you have for Monique?

While you’re here, stop by my Bookshop…books and eBooks to help you write better – and to give to friends and family (don’t forget the Holiday Season is here)…

photo credit: British Council Ukraine via photopin cc




  1. Francis Friedman says

    As a tradeshow consultant and speaker I would suggest the following: 10-15 second statement of the problem you solve (e,g, overworked, need help want to control costs) 15 seconds on your solution, 15 seconds to state your company name and booth number (visit me at booth #1234) a free offer of some kind (for a free XXX handout); and again state your booth number (that’s booth #1234); close out comment( I’m—state your name-inviting you to visit me at the show in my booth #1234).

    Put the bullet points together by 15 second sections, and practice them so you can stay within the 45 second time limit…and sy everything you need to say to generate awareness for your exhibit.

    • Thanks for that, Francis – very useful way of splitting it up! And to work it out even more accurately, let’s do a bit more in the way of math. Depending on how quickly you speak (average is 120-150 words per minute) you could write out what you want to say … so each 15 second segment would be 30-35 words or so.