Getting on Oprah's Show

by Diane Eble - Date: 2007-01-06 - Word Count: 789 Share This!

One of my book coaching clients sent me an amazing story of how a friend of his got on Oprah & Friends, Oprah Winfrey's XM radio show.

I know other people who have been called to be on Oprah's show as well. Sometimes it works out and the crew actually shows up, sometimes not. That's TV land; producers are prone to change anything at the last minute.

One thing I note from those I know who Oprah calls back: They did not seek her out with publicity stunts. The people I know who have tried seemingly every trick you can think of, still haven't gotten on. (Yet.)

Most of those who end up talking to Oprah did dream of getting on her show. They followed Oprah with genuine interest and admiration-often for years. They were in tune with Oprah and what she is doing. In many cases, they were Oprah's audience!

If they were experts, they also knew how to present well on television. They had been on TV before. They had a message that Oprah knew would be interesting to her audience-and they knew how to deliver that message in a polished, entertaining way.

Make no mistake, Oprah knows her audience, inside and out. It's her number one aim to speak to their needs and to entertain them.

If you want to get on any of Oprah's shows, you have to do it her way. Listen--she even tells you how! Go to If you want to get on any of Oprah's shows, you have to do it her way. Listen--she even tells you how! Go to Oprah's web site and you'll see a whole list of show ideas they're looking for. Fill out the forms that match your story to what they want. Be genuine about it.

I have heard interviews with former Oprah producers, and they affirm what I've said above. They also know how to spot insincerity instantly. If you don't genuinely have a story to tell that fits what Oprah is all about, but are just trying to get on her show for your own gain-you don't have a chance. An occupational hazard for really famous people like Oprah Winfrey is that people try to use you for their own gain. I'm convinced she and her producers can smell that a mile away.

If you want to get on Oprah's show, you need to do two things.

First, study her closely. Sign up for her newsletter. Read her magazine. Don't just watch her show-study it. Note the different formats she uses. What can you discern of her audience, from what you see, hear, watch? Don't forget the clues the ads give you as to who her audience is.

Also note: What are the experts like? How does she use "real people" stories? Where might you fit in?

Visit her web site as often as possible and note carefully what they are looking for. Respond appropriately, being careful to follow their guidelines as to word count etc.

When you share your story, make sure it matches what they want, is believable, genuine, and as dramatic as you can honestly make it. Don't exaggerate. Remember, she's all about creating an entertaining show. Nobody cares about your book, your business, or you. They care about your story, if it can inspire, instruct, help or otherwise benefit the people who watch or listen to Oprah's shows.

If you're an expert, how can your expertise speak to Oprah's audience? Do you have your "hook" ready, and has it worked with other media? Have you gotten comfortable with being on the media by doing lots of radio and television already? Have you gotten media training?

If you have an idea of your own, Remember, what they're looking for is a whole show idea. I once pitched her on my book, Men in Search of Work and the Women Who Love Them. I gave her ideas for couples to have on, other experts, everything. She never called me, but I did hear later she did a show similar to what I'd proposed. (Hey, it happens. Frankly, I wasn't ready to be on her show at the time. Anyway, it could have been someone else's idea as well. Good ideas whose time has come tend to occur to more than one person in any given period of time. Nevertheless, I still like to think she ended up using and idea I gave her!)

Does all this sound like a lot of work? It can be. After all, Oprah is The Big Leagues. Here's where Step Number Two comes into play: Be patient, diligent and persistent in following Step One.

If all this seems worth it to you, go for it! (If and when you get on Oprah using these suggestions, let me know!)

Related Tags: television, expert, radio, secrets, media, audience, experts, shows, hook, producers, oprah, winfrey

Diane Eble has 28 years experience in the publishing industry as an editor (magazines, fiction and nonfiction books), author (11 published books, more than 350 articles), and copywriter. She is now a book publishing coach as well. Visit her site at for information on writing, publishing, and selling books and other information products. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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