Technique To Add Interest to Interview Segments

Technique To Add Interest to Interview Segments

by Tracy Johnson

Interviewing guests is hard. Really hard. Unless you’re really good with guests, interviews can be deadly. But here’s a technique to add interest to interview segments by involving the audience in a game.

The game is pretty simple. The goal is to ask the celebrity for a comment on a “fake news” story that you’ve made up. Here’s how it works:

Interest to Interview Segments: Will They Or Won’t They?

Before the guest comes on, create a story that is plausible, but clearly fake. You could involve your listeners to help make it up. This gets them even more interested in the segment.

Then, have them predict if the guest will take the bait and treat the story as if it were real, or if they will admit they don’t know what you’re talking about.

The interview starts with a general topic. But after a minute, ask for an opinion about an event that never happened.

The question is: will the celebrity admit he doesn’t know anything about it? Or is he going to bluff? This adds drama to the interview and gets your audience involved.

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3FM/the Netherlands Example

On 3FM, a national radio station in the Netherlands, air personality Giel Beelen is the morning show host, and this segment has often led to national news in the Netherlands. In the most famous instance, the politician in the video below has resigned because he felt he had lost his credibility. You’re not trying to ruin careers or lives, but this is an example of a feature with strong potential impact.

The feature works best when a celebrity chosses to bluff. But even if they don’t, the drama of “will they or won’t they” adds excitement.

You can play this with a pre-recorded interview or a live one. If pre-recorded, you could get two contestants. Stop the interview after the question is asked. Each guess whether the guest will fake it or admit they know nothing about it.

Name The Game

You can name the feature if you want, but keep it simple. Ideas include:

Will They Or Won’t They?

Are They In or Out?

Take the Bait

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For the right personality, this is a terrific idea. It has some of the elements of a prank call, which is one of radio’s most successful features. It’s particularly effective with secondary guests or those “B” celebrities that aren’t that interesting on their own.

This idea is courtesy of Youri van Der Geest, a programmer in the Netherlands. Thanks, Youri

Photo credit:

Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

For more than 30 years, Johnson has been developing on-air superstars that attract fans, retain audiences and generate revenue.

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