Articles by Professional Speakers Guild members
Appearances on TV or Radio Shows:

  2005 William N. Hodges

Having had either a TV or radio talk show for most of the last 20 years, I find it amazing how many guests have no idea what they are getting themselves into coming on the air. Here are some things to think about prior to going before a live mike.

1. Watch the show several times before agreeing to go on.

2. Does the interviewer have an axe to grind and might you be the grinding stone.

3. Is there a slant to the network on which you will be appearing? For a liberal to go on Fox is like a turkey showing up to celebrate Thanksgiving. By actual count one day in an hour's time, they told the audience they were fair and balanced 34 times. I guess they are afraid we wouldn't guess it.

Now if you are a conservative, Fox is the place to be and you will reach your audience. On the other hand, if you are warm and fuzzy, shows like Oprah are just what the doctor ordered.

4. Will the interviewer give you a list of questions that they propose to ask? Ambush journalists will not do that, so beware.

5. Can you submit a list of questions or subjects on which you would like to focus? On my program, I welcome the guest's question list. My goal is to get as much information out in a 30-minute time period as possible, and this allows my guests to be prepared to use the time effectively. (I do reserve the right to stray from the list as I see areas that need more discussion.)

6. Nothing is "OFF THE RECORD." There was a time when print and electronic media journalist as a whole had ethics which would preclude them from breaking their word. Today, now that news has become entertainment and they live and die on ratings, ethics in many cases has gone by the wayside. When talking to journalists, always keep the famous Miranda Warning foremost in your mind: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you."

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