Host Tip of the Week: Successful Co-Hosting

When it comes to hosting a successful online talk radio show, having a co-host can be a great asset. A co-host can help you to:hosttip-of-the-week1

*Plan and manage your show’s timeline
*Outline questions for guests
*Coordinate and screen calls
*Run the show while you screen callers
*Provide a fresh perspective on the air
*Give your show more voices, more personality

Here are a few co-hosting tips:

1) Pre-Show Planning and Communication. Make sure that you and your co-host are well prepared before your show goes live. It is important that each of you understand who is doing what when you go on air. Who is screening callers? Making introductions? Asking questions? It can be helpful to draft an outline for your show before hand; this will ensure both you and your co-host have great talking points. If conducting an interview, consider alternating asking questions. And remember to prepare a great introduction for your guests ahead of time.

2) The Logistics: Two hosts, two calls. When you dial-in to conduct your show with a co-host, the Host dials in on the host line, the co-host dials in the guest line. If your co-host will be helping with the switchboard, they can log right into the host’s account using your user name and password, open up the switchboard, and have the exact same abilities of the host. With the chatroom, the host will click on the green “start chat now” button, and the co-host will click on “login to chat as co-host”, and then “start chat now.”

3) Screening Callers. One of the biggest benefits of have a co-host is having someone that can help screen callers without interrupting the show’s flow. Premium switchboards have a call screening feature which allows you to enter information about the caller and appears on the switchboard next to their phone number. This allows you to introduce the callers by name and location when putting them on the air, without having to interrupt your show to ask these details. For more on how call-screening works, click here for a screencast tutorial. We are also launching a live training session for Premium hosts, and those interested in learning more about the benefits of premium services, on February 4th at 1:00pm ET. If you want to learn more about using the enhanced switchboard, click here to attend.

4) Real-time Show Communication: Try IM. It can be important to have a private line of communication available between you and your co-host while the show is live. Instant messaging (IM) is a great way to silently communicate with your co-host without interrupting your show or your listeners. You can let the other host know when you are ready to speak, or that you need to take a break and have the co-host take over the show.

The bottom line: having a good co-host can add new content and perspectives to your online talk radio show. As always, we welcome your thoughts and questions!

Until next week, y’all!
Christie Sweet

4 thoughts on “Host Tip of the Week: Successful Co-Hosting

  1. Jon Hansen

    Here is the link to a co-host experience I had on Val Oliver’s “Sunday Brunch: The First & Last Song” feat. Georgie Porgie, EJ Flavors & Doug Ramsay (The Grammys)”.

    You would be hard pressed to know that we spoke for the first time earlier that week, and that we had never done a show together.

    Like the old real estate axiom of location, location, location – when it comes to hosting your own show, and even more so when co-hosting or producing a show with a guest host preparation, preparation, preparation is the key!

  2. Simon Applebaum

    Great tips for co-hosting situations, Christie! And one more time, pre-show communication between host and co-host is so critical. One more thing: whether host or co-host, don’t forward specific questions to your guests ahead of the show. You want your program to be as topical and spontaneous as possible, and there’s a risk of that not happening if your guest (or the public relations rep handling him or her) gets locked into those specific questions and nothing else. If the guest or rep ask for specific questions in advance, say no and just give a likely topic or two. Chances are that will be fine.

    Simon Applebaum
    Producer/Host, Tomorrow Will Be Televised

  3. Creator's Parrot

    Jon is absolutely correct! I’m Val Oliver (host and producer of “Sunday Brunch: The First and Last Song”) who contacted Jon to guest co-host the show. Preparation was a key ingredient in our ability to work so seamlessly together for the first time just as Jon stated.

    The show was a two-hour live format focusing on awards (Billboard and Grammy), and it was the first time Jon or I had ever done a lengthy format before. Plus it was only my second show as a new blog talk radio host. I provided a detailed format and timeline to him, plus spoke with him personally on the telephone to review it, our responsibilities, and to expose each other to our “live” personalities. As Christie says, communication before the show made it a pleasant and successful experience for Jon, the guests, and me.

    If anyone needs to see a sample Format-Timeline I use for “Sunday Brunch,” just send me a message from Creator’s Parrot BTR profile page with your email address and I’ll be happy to send you a copy.

    Valerie Michele Oliver (Creator’s Parrot)
    Producer/Host, Sunday Brunch: The First and Last Song


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