I’ve heard it said many times: “Anyone can be a good talk show host.”

Really? In what way?

I’m Just Saying

I’m often astonished at the amount of ignorance when people say those words to me. “Anyone can be a good talk show host.” Seriously? You had better tell that to Larry King or any one of those talk show host personalities who spend hours doing research, writing, and presentation skills. It’s like saying “anyone can become the Pope.” That isn’t true either as everyone knows. It takes allot of hard word, dedication, faith, and political strategy to go from Point 1 to Point 20.

I’m just Saying

I know many talk show hosts who spend allot of time formatting their shows. Pulling them together so they go without a hitch. A talk show host has plenty to do before his guest(s) arrive on the set. First things first.

a.  Screening: Many talk show hosts talk to their guests ahead of time so they can determine whether or not they need a bit of training in presentation, speaking effectively, and communicating with their audience. Although these items are a given. Sometimes they are not. When that happens a talk show host has to prepare their future guests on presentation, speaking effectively and relating to their ideal audiences.

b.  Pre-interviews: Sometimes, talk show hosts schedule a practice session with their guests to make sure their voice comes in clearly; they’re not speaking too softly; they don’t swallow their words; have read their book before appearing on live cast; and can answer the questions addressed to them.

c.  Many hosts do not write out their questions ahead of time. Many hosts prefer to listen to what the guest says first, and then pick out what they feel is important for the audience to know and then ask that particular question.

d. The talk show host is the rudder. They steer the conversation or interview in the direction that most affects the listening audience. The star of the show is the guest. It is their job to communicate their topic matter to the host and make sure that their audience picks up and relates emotionally to what is being said.

e.  The guest(s) must come to the studio or speak on the phone or speak via SKYPE or Google Hangouts with what they’re going to say already known to them. It’s quite permissible to bring 3 x 5 cards with you and glance down at them from time to time.

f. It’s the talk show host’s job to make sure they bring out of the guest(s) all the pertinent information that the audience must hear before they can relate to you and your book, presentation, topic, story on whatever you’re going to say.

So, folk, please don’t say “Anyone can be a talk show how” because that’s not true.



About Lillian Cauldwell

Own and operate an Internet Talk Radio Network for 10 years, 2005 to Present Published Author of Non-Fiction Book, 1996, "Teenagers! A Bewildered Parent's Guide. Published Author of several fiction books, 2006 "Sacred Honor" and 20010 "The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure." Playwright of Theater of the Absurd and Black Comedies. Screenwriter, Black Comedies