Prepare - When a producer rings to set up a 2-way, find out what show it will be on, what style they are looking for, what questions they are going to ask and suggest other angles they could consider. GRNlive will ask clients to call you in advance so that you have enough time to prepare in advance of the live slot. You should use the time before the interview to get across the story, check the latest details and phone around if necessary. Depending on the story you should call local police, the relevant ministry, other governmental quotable sources, independent monitoring organisations, international organisations and opposition parties. If you are out on the scene and away from immediate overview information ask the producers to read you the wires (AP, Reuters, AFP etc.) so that you and the studio are on the same page regarding casualty figures and other key details.
Know Your Audience - A US station will be most interested in US casualties, an Irish station, Irish ones. Also bear in mind that a breaking news story will need more immediate detail, such as eye-witness comments, description of the scene etc., than a pre-booked lunchtime 2-way that should have more fact and colour, local reaction etc.
Tell A Story - When you are preparing for a 2-way, try to form in your mind the story you are going to tell - what happened, what is happening now, what is likely to happen next. During the 2-way, don't let it become a series of questions and answers between yourself and the interviewer. Tell the story like you are explaining it to a friend, but don't get sidetracked.
Have Notes To Hand - Keep a few, brief notes handy when you are doing the 2-way. Don't have pages of detailed notes. You'll confuse yourself. For Invision 2-ways only ever refer to a notebook for a fact or a quote. Otherwise, DON'T use notes.
Lead The Interviewer - If an interviewer isn't asking the key questions, don't be afraid to steer him/her in the right direction. Remember, you are telling the story, so be prepared to lead the interviewer if necessary to get the story across. For instance - ''Yes, the president is leaving tomorrow, but what isn't being widely reported is that he has agreed a landmark aid package with...''
Be Confident - Broadcasting is a performance. When you are on air, be confident in yourself, engage with the interviewer and enjoy the experience.
Sound Good - Speak clearly, projecting your voice. Try to lighten and heighten it, and end sentences on an upbeat. As a rough rule, you should speak at about 2 words a second.
Cut Out Hesitation - Saying 'um', 'er' or delaying on answers sounds uninformed on-air. The best way to avoid this is by being well prepared for an interview and being confident. To give yourself some time to formulate an answer, you can reword the question and use the presenters to indicate you want to wrap up your answer. This is not ideal, but it can work. Don't feel that you've got to talk for minutes on end, if possible keep the answers to the point and about 40 seconds to 1 minute each.
Colour - Chances are your audience won't know where you are on a map, let alone have been to your country. It is important to convey a sense of place, and to get across the impact of the story on the people in your region - how it plays out in their culture, their way of thinking and so on.
Get Facts Right - If in doubt, leave it out. Don't guess if you don't know the facts. If material is unclear quote the source and liberally sprinkle the piece with distance inducing phrases such as 'alleged' etc.
Don't Editorialise - Be objective and impartial at all times. If you are giving a personal opinion/impression of a situation, make it clear that it is your opinion and not a fact.
Record Yourself - Try to record any 2-way you do, or practise a dummy 2-way with a friend and record it. Then have a listen, make a note of what you think you can improve. Then try again and keep trying until you are happy with the result. You can check the clients website, they often webcast news bulletins but also look at www.globalradionews.com for some samples.