How to Host Radio Show Callers

So, I called in to a radio show for the first time tonight. It was a live podcast called Stubborn Facts Radio, and I found out a half hour before it was on that Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like was going to be interviewed tonight. I am a huge fan of Jon and SCL, so I called in. You can listen to the recording of the show here.

I felt a little awkward doing it because I’ve never called in to something like that before. I wasn’t sure how I would know when it was my turn to ask a question or how all that worked. As an introvert, I kind of hate the phone anyway, and knowing it was going to be broadcast live was intimidating. I didn’t know how I would be able to hear the show while I was waiting and if I would have to mute my computer once I got on so there wouldn’t be a delayed echo.

(I think I overthink way too much.)

But as soon as I called, the recording said to press 1 if I wanted to get in the queue to talk to the host. Easy! Then it immediately put the show on the phone line so I could hear what was going on.

The host noticed callers in the queue but wanted to ask his questions first, so he asked the callers to hold on, which was nice. The queue showed the area code, so when they put caller “area code 401″ on, I got to talk.

The show hosts and Jon were all very gracious and hosted the conversation well. Hosting a call-in show takes a lot of skill at conversational ping-pong. It’s like:

-identify caller
-welcome caller
-caller says hello to host or guest
-host/guest greet caller
-small talk
-host knows the right moment to ask the caller for his/her question
-caller asks question
-host/guest answers
-follow up back and forth for clarification if needed
-host lets caller know when to hang up

If any of those things does not happen, it gets awkward very quickly.

The show invited Jon on after they read his CNN article about Christians being jerks online. They wanted to talk to him about politics and Christianity. I got to ask about pro-life stuff. And unicorns.

Jon is very kind…he mentioned how I wrangled 19 children to Holden, MA, to hear him speak last month and then plugged my blog on the show! That is so gracious. I want to be all about promoting other people as much as Jon does.

Thanks to the hosts of Stubborn Facts and to Jon Acuff for doing a great job hosting the podcast. Again, you can listen to tonight’s show here.

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  • Jameson

    You are an introvert? You sounded VERY confident and chipper on the show last night! And you have an outstanding radio voice! Jon was by far my favorite guest. We have had bigger names but I love to laugh and was starting to feel like I never laugh on my radio show, but Jon changed that. Thanks for listening, for calling, and for pimping our show here on your awesome blog!

  • JasonWert

    I hosted radio shows for 20+ years and you are SO right about the challenges of hosting a talk show. I can barely listen to radio anymore because of the mistakes I hear on local stations. It's pretty interesting when guys doing internet based shows/podcasts do better than the terrestrial radio hosts.

  • Jameson

    And guess who is going to give radio hosting a try on August the 2nd….? BECKY! Good luck! You'll do grand!

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