Episode 15 ‘The Outerview’ – Rick O’Shea

“The Outerview” is a podcast on the art of media interviewing. Each episode I look to explore what it takes to conduct the perfect interview from dissecting classic interviews to discussing techniques with some of the worlds leading broadcasters, podcasters and journalists. This week my guest is Rick O’Shea.

Rick has been a radio presenter with RTÉ since 2001His 2fm weekend show has twice won Bronze PPI Radio Awards. He’s also the presenter of The Poetry Programme on RTÉ Radio 1.

He regularly introduces movie premières and has conducted public interviews at the Dublin International Film Festival for the last few years with the likes of Richard Dreyfus, Danny DeVito, Michael Madsen and Harry Shearer.

He also hosted author interviews in recent times with guests as diverse as playwright Simon Stephens, authors Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer and Chris Cleave, journalist  Johann Hari at Dublin’s International Literature Festival and Graham Norton at Listowel Writers Week.

To listen back to past episodes, you can find our archive here

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ.

 

A free content creation masterclass from Hamish & Andy

If you’re a broadcaster or a producer, actually if you’re any type of content creator the 47 minute talk below is essential viewing. It’s a masterclass in content creation and broadcasting from Australian duo Hamish & Andy recorded by Commercial Radio Australia, the national industry body representing Australia’s commercial radio broadcasters.

Hamish & Andy are an Australian comedy duo formed in 2003 by Hamish Blake and Andy Lee. They currently host the radio program ‘Hamish and Andy for The Drive Home’ which airs in Australia nationally on the Hit Network. Masters of grabbing attention and creating a unique connection between them and their listeners, the duo mix traditional radio techniques with sometimes off the walls ideas. When it comes to content creation nothing is impossible.

Grab your favourite beverage of choice, a notebook and take an hour out today to watch this. It’s that good.

2 key takeaways for me. I love their thoughts on being authentic.

“Really the number one critical thing that we always try and make sure we hit and are in check with is that level of authenticity. If, this is just yesterday, sure it’s not the greatest example of all time. I have a chicken suit built that I was very passionate about, but I really wanted that first moment when Andy saw it to be authentic because he … That’s the real reaction. What we’re trying to give, what we try and do in our show in every afternoon is to try and hit that level of authenticity so we’re all enjoying the same moment as the listeners at the same time”

Hamish adds.

“I think, again that the trap to just make sure that nothing goes wrong with it you can fall into is over preparing something and then having to fake or reenact a genuine reaction when it comes around to 4:00 in the afternoon. Trying to keep that authenticity and that realness as a present really that you’re giving the other guy on the show because they’re the funnest moments. When something happens for real, we take that really seriously. I know when I get kicked out of the meeting for half an hour it’s a good thing because I’ll be given some sort of present that afternoon. There can usually be a highly embarrassing situation, but that’s the fun. We know that when 4:00pm happens, we’re not just trying to recreate something funny that happened in the meeting. We’ve saved the fireworks for the afternoon”

According to Andy when it comes to being prepared you have to have balance.

“It’s about finding that magic balance between prep and leaving enough spontaneity in the show. For us, we’ve found there’s sort of 2 ends of the spectrum, over-prepared and not prepared at all. Not prepared at all is also …”

Hamish “Dangerous.”

“Just sailing the ship. It’s about going, and so for our show, and this is different for every show, but for our show, as Sammy would know, you know every mic break, we’ll just have one word or one line of what we want to do in that slot. For us, that works, about 1 sentence to describe 5 minutes of content seems to be about the right ratio for us, but it took a fair bit of trial and error to figure that out”

One of the most inspiring teams in the radio world, I can’t wait to hear what they create in 2017.

Episode 14 ‘The Outerview’ – Lynn Barber

“The Outerview” is a podcast on the art of media interviewing. Each episode I look to explore what it takes to conduct the perfect interview from dissecting classic interviews to discussing techniques with some of the worlds leading broadcasters, podcasters and journalists. This week my guest is Lynn Barber.

Lynn Barber is widely regarded as one of Britain’s best celebrity interviewers. Her interviews have won five British Press Awards and a ‘What the Papers Say’ award. A memoir of Barber’s career as a celebrity interviewer, A Curious Career, was published in May 2014. She has written for Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Observer. She now writes for the Sunday Times.

An Education, a 2009 coming-of-age drama film is based on the memoir of her life. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards in 2010, including Best Picture.

Show notes: During our conversation we discussed her interview with Jimmy Savile.

To listen back to past episodes, you can find our archive here

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ.

Episode Twelve ‘The Outerview’ – Jarlath Regan

“The Outerview” is a podcast on the art of media interviewing. Each episode I look to explore what it takes to conduct the perfect interview from dissecting classic interviews to discussing techniques with some of the worlds leading broadcasters, podcasters and journalists. This week my guest is Jarlath Regan.

London based Jarlath is a comedian and creator of the award-winning Irishman Abroad Podcast, a series of weekly conversations interviewing Irish people about their lives and insights into the experiences of Irish people abroad.

To listen back to past episodes, you can find our archive here

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ.

MMA Journalist Ariel Helwani on how to kickstart your career

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the world’s most successful MMA journalists Ariel Helwani for my podcast “The Outerview”. While our conversation was focused mostly on the art of interviewing, Helwani offered some great advice on how to approach potential mentors in media.

“A lot of people do email me and I’m somewhat disheartened if I’m being honest, by what they write. Because they say to me, “I would love to be an MMA journalist, what do I have to do? “,  “Can I come work for you?”, “Can I come work for your site?”, “How did you get started?”, and to me, if I’m going to reach out to someone who I look up to or I want advice from, I will do my research first and I feel like my story has been told enough times now where you can get a sense for “Okay, what was my road to this point”, and maybe then you read the interviews and then maybe you can ask a few follow up questions, but to be honest, when I started that website, it was fairly easy for me to come up with the idea, “Okay, what do I have to do?”

Helwani adds.

“We live in an age where people are accessible, so everyday I decided that I was going to write 30 to 50 Myspace messages,  just wrote to fighters, and you know, if one or two responded, great! Now I have one or two interviews, and all I was trying to do was get one interview out a day, because I love the art of interviewing. I love talking to people. To me, you give me a room with two chairs, a desk, maybe two cups of water, and that to me is the greatest set in the world. I realised that “Okay, let me reach out to these guys and put out these interviews”, and so when people reach out to me, it’s like “Okay, what do you want to do? Be different”. Look at everyone else, be different, what’s your style, and so sometimes I feel like, you know if I’m being honest, I feel like the younger generation is a little lazy and they want someone to just hold their hand and tell them exactly what to do and give them the big opportunity, but it doesn’t work that way. I’m still scratching and clawing. I’m still trying to make it as well. Sometimes it’s good, but sometimes I will say “Oh my gosh, you know, you could’ve looked it up and come at me with some better first questions to make this good first impression”.

It might sound like simple advice but you would be amazed at the amount of media students who reach out to me on a regular basis who want to take the short cut and land the big gig straight out of college. Helwani’s advice of doing your research and figuring out what initial direction you want to take will stand you in good stead. No one is going to hold your hand and give you the big gig. But there are those who will give a helping hand and point you in the right direction. You’re going to have to graft to stand out.

So what’s your first step?

You can hear the full interview with Ariel below or via iTunes here.

Radio, Snapchat and Instagram’s ‘Stories’

Recently I had a lengthily conversation with an experienced broadcaster who was surprised about the amount of attention certain snapchat influencers were getting and what did they had to do to increase their own views.

I politely suggested that why not try and do what worked for them on the radio. Why not be themselves and be completely open with the audience? For that’s why certain Snapchat stars are blazing a trail online.

Snapchat and now Instagram’s ‘Stories’ are truly a platform for authenticity. Just like radio it’s a real personal connection between you and the viewer. You can use cool filters and face changing accompanying apps but it’s real hook is that the content is ‘in the moment’ and then disappears. Listeners can get a real sense of a presenters life, a real relatable view and isn’t that what we strive for on-air?? It also doesn’t waste your time, one tap of the screen and you move to next snap. Like a good link you just get straight to the point.

To cut through on social you must speak in your true voice. Like radio the broadcasters who really stand out are those who put it all on the line. Are you willing to do that? Because if you are, you could be the next great radio star.

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ. Photo by Maurizio Pesce

Malcolm Gladwell and the secret to interviewing

Recently I watched the most fascinating discussion on the rewards of curiosity with leading author now podcaster Malcolm Gladwell and Oscar winning film producer Brian Grazer.

The conversation uncovers an incredible insight into Gladwell’s approach to interviewing.

“As a journalist you mark the quality of the interview by how little you say, so if you’re constantly having to ask questions the interview is not going well. If you never say anything, it’s perfect.”

In other words don’t forget the power of listening. We can be thinking so far ahead of what the next question is going to be that we miss the potential gold on offer in that very moment.

In my podcast “The Outerview”  I explore what it takes to conduct the perfect interview from dissecting classic interviews to discussing techniques with some of the worlds leading journalists, writers & broadcasters.

You can listen to the archive at www.theouterview.com Photo credit: Pop!Tech

Useful apps and tools to start podcasting

In the last few weeks I’ve had more and more people get in contact looking for advice on how to start a podcast. Below is some links to tools and apps that are easily available to set you on your way.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain 

The most important advice I can give to anyone who is looking to start a podcast is very simple. Just do it. You can procrastinate forever but if you have a topic or passion you want to podcast you really have to get your ducks in a row, record and release. From there you can re-edit, review and build on the initial recordings. The list below is short and sweet and will give you tools you need to get started quickly.

On the other hand if you’re looking for advice on producing a more advanced podcast/series or coaching on how to conduct a interview, get in touch by tweeting me @alanswan

LINKS

Even though this article is a year old Lifehacker’s guide is one of the best.

Hosting your podcast can be simply done via Soundcloud or Libsyn

To record Skype calls or video chats I use Total Recorder For Mac users try eCamm

I edit my podcasts on Adobe Audition but you could use a free piece of software called Audacity

For a recording microphone direct via USB into your laptop I highly recommend the Technica ATR2100

Or if you’re on the move the Zoom is the best portable recording set up you can get.

To clean up the levels of your audio Auphonic is a automatic audio post production web service for podcasts, broadcasters, radio shows, movies, screencasts and more.

Photo credit: Patrick Breitenbach