How to Host and Create Audio and Video Interviews

by admin on January 7, 2013 · 2 comments

Marketing and strategy

Http://LeonardSipes.Com and Http://MyLifeAudio.Com

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I speak to a variety of agencies and national organizations on social media or public relations and I usually create articles or PowerPoint’s to address their unique needs.

The focus of my last agency presentationwas on developing a robust social media presence. There are two previous topics developed for this instruction; a PowerPoint on creating great content ( and the first product titled, “The Advantages of Government Social Media” at .

Creating Great Content:

Creating great content is advice given by everyone in social media but it’s like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography; almost impossible to describe but you know it when you see it. If we all knew how to it consistently we would be rolling in social media and PR fame and dollars. I make the point that alternative methods of creating content like audio and video can help.

The Presentation Below:

The presentation below is directed to satisfying and expanding an established national audience by presenting them with options to satisfy customer learning styles through the development of audio, video, fact sheets, easy to read articles and other easily digestible material.

Yes, presenting PowerPoint content solely in writing is like describing a cartoon; it lacks context. But many asked for it as a blog post. The PowerPoint is unavailable because it addressed unique agency issues.

Inexpensive Methods:

I place a lot of emphasis on inexpensive methods of creating media. For example, I believe that a pocket video camera, a tripod, natural lighting and an external microphone can create great video. A decent yet inexpensive audio recorder can create great audio.

The purpose of this article is to help you create and host audio and video for creating content for websites.

Video and audio is easier than ever to create and adds significant options to your web presence. Audio and video creation respects learning styles and keeps visitors on your site longer while providing a degree of content satisfaction unavailable via print offerings only.

The instruction provides an overview of steps to consider when contemplating audio and video creation.

The audio and video interviews proposed are short interactions where both the host and subject appear together within the production (hosted interviews).

A goal of the interview is to eliminate (or greatly lessen) the need for post-production editing; it’s better to re-record short interviews than take the time to edit.

Content of PowerPoint:


Two to five minute interviews

Longer interviews are fine for policy discussions

What it’s Not

It’s not going to be National Public Radio-it’s not going to be the CBS Evening News. It’s not your job to create perfect interviews. Flaws are fine and in the social media world-preferred. Reality and authenticity are preferred versus overly polished interviews.


The following is based on using a hand-held digital audio recorder attached to a hand-held microphone for audio and inexpensive video recording equipment (i.e., an iPad) plus an external microphone.

Choosing the Interview Topic

What serves the customer

What managements wants

What you want

What respects the customer’s learning style

What’s trending-What’s popular

All products and events should have a social media product attached. Regardless as to product or event, do not release unless accompanied by additional products that prompt use or respects learning styles.

Goals of the Interview

Serves the customer

Makes the organization look good

Makes you look good

Makes your guest look good

Conveys key points

Conveys key points simply

Does not use jargon

Fits an 8th grade reading level

A comfortable experience for the guest

An interesting experience for the listener

Think of your customer when you create-form a mental image of that person in your mind

Yes-it has to be somewhat entertaining

Friendly and approachable

Is searchable (choose a simple and accurate title)

How to be a Good Interviewer

Have fun!!!!!


Show enthusiasm

Be upbeat

You have authority

You have complete control over the entire product

Find your unique voice or style-the most difficult part of the process

Find your radio voice that conveys confidence or authority (the voice you use to speak to a disobedient child)

Focus on key words to emphasize (i.e., I’m REALLY pleased to speak to…..)

Avoid the words you have a hard time pronouncing

Pace yourself

Let your personality come through in your voice

Practice interviewing others

People buy from people, not institutions, so be real

You don’t have to be an expert; you just need to know how to get information from the expert

Nervous? Take ten very deep breaths-let it out very slowly

Yes, even the pros are nervous

Understand that getting in to and out of the interview is the hardest part

Understand that most people have never been interviewed. You may have to make the interview easy by doing a considerable amount of talking and summarization and asking them to agree or disagree. It buys them time to gain composure.

The Pre-Interview

The pre-interview is the most important ingredient for a successful interview

Read the executive summary or project overview

Don’t spend a ton of time reading the research or doing the pre-interview

I sometimes get instant interview assignments (person visiting the Director-he/she suggests doing an immediate interview). I can create great interviews with ten minutes of preparation.

Chat with your guest. Make small talk. Find common ground. Be their friend.

Assure them that your job is to make them look good

Tell them that they have complete control over the interview. If they don’t like it, you won’t use it.

Recognize that they may be nervous. Reassure them.

Considering that the interview will be short, suggest that you record additional interviews and pick the best one.

Find out what your guest wants to talk about

Write down your introduction, name of guest, title, topic, phonetic spelling, top five-ten points, website, e-mail address.

What are the 5-10 points the person wants to address?

Decide for yourself the 5-10 points to address

Ask questions a reporter would ask

Don’t be afraid to include tough topics-the interview works only if it’s authentic

Merge your list with theirs

Make sure your guest knows the first question

Do not create a list of specific questions-it’s very important to go where your guest takes you. If he/she starts telling an interesting story, go there and allow time for development.

Explain the process, show them the equipment; assure them that it’s not live; tell them what will happen in the editing process.

Tell them the length of the interview

No interview hits a time mark exactly-don’t worry about it unless time becomes excessive.

Encourage them to be short-precise

Remind them that they cannot/should not read from documents during the interview

Encourage them to speak from the heart

Their opinions are fine

Short stories are wonderful

Remind them that they need to be close to the microphone at all times

Tell them what hand signals you will give them to get them back on the microphone (flat hand moving towards the mike or point at the mike) to get to the point (finger in a circle) and to end the interview (finger across the throat).

Tell them that you will control the microphone

Position it two to four inches away from the guest’s mouth – but in loud surroundings, hold it closer.

Explain to them that you will have to check the timer on your recorded or stop-watch from time to time

Will you sit or stand? Sitting is better

If sitting, tell them not to rap fingers or hands on the chair or desk to make a point

If sitting, remind them not to read

Right Before the Interview

Do your sound checks (more important for studio interviews)

Check the settings on your recording device

Delete old programs from your recording device-gives you memory to record without interruption.

Check battery levels

Do a small recording and listen to it

Make a decision that the location is right for the interview

Wear headphones to monitor sound levels

Have water for you and your guest

Take something that is throat-soothing

Avoid coffee  (it dies you out)

Doing the Interview

Short—2-5 minutes

Put on your radio voice

Ask if they are ready

Record a three-five count before the interview to give provide some editing space

Do your introduction-read from your notes

Summarize your main points at the beginning. That takes a lot of pressure off your guest.

Give your guest the agreed-upon first question

Regardless of you’re the points you want to address, your guest may tell an interesting story. Let them go there. Hopefully, it will be short.

Do not go through the list of questions one-by-one. That makes for boring interviews.

Go where your guest takes you even if you enter new or un-discussed issues

Listen intently to your guest

Look at your guest

Smile at your guest

Laugh when appropriate

Nod your head up and down to indicate that they are doing a great job

If your guest stumbles-help them-start talking

If your guest does well, minimize interaction

Help your guest transition from one topic to another by talking and providing direction. It gives your guest time to collect their thoughts

If your guest stumbles, summarize a key point and ask if he/she agrees or disagrees

Pauses are ok. Exceptionally long pauses can be edited out

Use the predetermined hand signals to move the interview along

Use the introduction as your ending

After the Interview

Thank your guest

Offer them a chance to do another interview in the future

With short audios, if a mistake is made-rerecord

If doing short audios-record several times

Minimize or eliminate editing if possible

For Additional Information

National Public Radio tips:

Example of great audio products:

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{ 1 comment }

Shirley X. Clayton January 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Social media depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and what you are willing to do. Every entity must make that decision for themselves. But usually it involves the creation or expansion of a website and populating it with materials your users find rewarding or interesting. This usually involves articles (a blog) or the creation of audio or video (podcasts). You expand your presence and conversations by reposting the information on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In or additional social media sites.

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