The possibility of me being interviewed on a podcast has increased of late and I’ve been thinking (nee, freaking out) about how not to sound like a complete idiot during it.
Like my list of Things I Wish I Knew before I Self-Published (read that here) I came up with a list of pointers that might help other authors out there in the ether who are having anxiety about it.
- Talk about shit you actually know about. My husband keeps pointing this one out to me because I tend to lawyer my way through things. If you don’t know anything about the subject, admit it and move on.
- BE HONEST. It’s useless to make shit up to seem better than you are. People will find out.
- Do everything you can to NOT say ‘um,’ ‘uh,’ or ‘yeah.’ I do this at my day job and I hate it. I know what I’m talking about but my mouth is too fast for my brain sometimes, which leads me to…
- Speak slowly so your brain can catch up. You’re stumbling over your words because you’re super duper excited about being interviewed about your novel-baby and you can’t contain it, which leads directly to…
- Ask the podcaster to give you some sort of list of questions so you can prepare and not go off on tangents because you will get overly excited and something one of you said will cause you to wildly deviate and you won’t be able to stop yourself and a 10-minute interview will end up being an hour. Just like that.
- Repeat: Stick to the script
- Limit consumption of caffeine – your adrenaline will be enough.
- Please, for the love of God, contain your crazy-laugh, and don’t giggle. I’m not a schoolgirl. I’m over 40 and considered an adult, but if something’s really funny or I’m super nervous, I giggle or the opposite, I burst out with a laugh that scares the cats. (Unless you consider this a personal goal to make me scare my cats, go for it.)
- Think Phone voice. Phone voice. Speak clearly, no mumbling. Be smooth like Rico Suave. Remove all traces of New Yorker accent – that’s for me, not you.
- Have a glass of water with a straw. Or vodka. But It Must Have A Straw.
- Be certain the house is empty and quiet at the time of the interview. Screaming kids and/or husband in the background is unpleasant. Turn off the radio and/or TV.
- Lock cats in the bathroom to keep them off the computer desk.
- Vodka. More vodka.
- Flirt outrageously. My flirtatiousness knows no bounds. It’s a game and when the other party (man or woman) knows the rules, it’s harmless fun and both parties leave feeling good about themselves.
- Have time to take a nap afterward. You will be exhausted.