More than 90 percent of my clients say Oprah’s name when discussing their PR goals. Typically, the words “want” and “get on” are in close proximity to the wildly successful talk show host’s name.

While Oprah’s talk show is nearing the end, shows like hers are an enduring part of the media landscape.

Susan Harrow is a top publicist ( who provides a wealth of practical insight on how to get on shows like Oprah. Unlike some teleseminar speakers, who drone on about how you can attend a two-day conference for some sum of money to learn the real scoop on Subject XYZ, a classy, professional Harrow teleseminar that I tuned into a few years ago was loaded with practical insights.

One subject that she covered was what to do when you get the call from a producer showing interest in you as a potential guest. (It likely is not enough to have a great guest idea–you’ve got to show that you are well prepared as well!)

Here are some of my notes:

1. Before you speak to the producer, ask: “What angle are you thinking about here, and how do you see the show unfolding?” (You are asking for their needs.)

2. During the conversation (any conversation, but especially high-stakes ones), ask, “Am I on the right track, is this what you’re looking for?” (Remember, it is not a monologue, but a dialogue).

3. At the end of the call, go for the close: “Do you think I’m the right guest for this show?”

4. If you are not a fit, ask, “How else can I help?” or “What are you looking for?” (Be a team player—it nurtures a relationship long-term.)

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