Is it worthwhile to tune into a show where the guest has to send the host a list of questions to ask?
I read the following in a message from a marketing firm and I was floored . . . okay flabbergasted;
3. Question Time: As a standard rule in talk radio, you always want to provide hosts with sample questions to ask you – as the host won’t always have the time or discipline to study your topic prior to speaking with you. But, after doing a number of small market interviews you’ll know which questions present the best opportunity for communicating your message and keeping listeners tuned into the show!
My response (and bearing in mind that I may require more bran in my diet);
Now you may wonder why I am floored by this particular statement.
You should never, ever do a show of any kind if you have to forward a list of suggested questions to the host. Period!
Besides the fact that such a practice puts you on shows in which you will ultimately blend into a sea of irrelevant monotones in that no matter how many interviews you do its always going to be the same infomercial-type answers to the same old question, a host should show both yourself as a guest and the audience the respect that goes with having the privilege of sharing the virtual and terrestrial air waves with people. In short, reaching an audience is not merely a numbers game where you robotically answer the same questions on different shows. It is a medium of opportunity to leave a unique and indelible imprint. To do this, the host has to contribute his or her own unique views of a particular topic to any discussion. That is why it is called talk – or more appropriately conversation radio.
I know, I know I may sound a tad grumpy and unreasonable but your guest and audience deserve your very best each and every time you take to the airwaves.
A host not having the time or discipline to study your topic prior to speaking with you, is tantamount to buying a car without learning how to drive or, starting to play a game without reading the instructions. You might be able to fumble your way through, but you are certainly not going to be as effective a driver or player as the case may be, had you taken the time to familiarize yourself with the rules of engagement.
With the access to information afforded us through the advent of the Internet, there is no reason why any host should not have the time and ability to do their homework. As a result, and this is where I wholeheartedly agree with the marketing firm’s point, any failure to do the research has more to do with a lack of discipline. And if the absence of discipline is indeed the case, then you have to ask yourself if it is really worthwhile for you to be on that particular show in the first place.
Once again you may think of me as being curmudgeonly in terms of my view on this particular subject but having aired 300 plus shows I can tell you with confidence that it can indeed be done. This is coming from someone who also writes posts for 13 blogs, 1 Internet television show and since November 2009 have released 3 books.
Now that you know my position, what do you think?