PRP 87 | Choosing Guests


Finding guests for your show is not enough as choosing who to guest. While people have their own stories to tell, it is still important to choose those who authentically resonate with who you are and your show’s brand. In this episode, Juliet Clark speaks with Bonnie D. Graham about why it is crucial for her to select the guests on her shows. Bonnie, AKA RadioRed, is a standup comedian, media producer, and host of more than 45 business-themed thought leadership round table radio series that reach a total of 1.8 million audiences around the world. Hosting her weekly Read My Lips radio show, Bonnie shares why she goes for presenting live, unscripted conversations with creatives and how authentic stories reign high over those created to lure more audience. She also talks about the authenticity of influencer marketing in terms of their following and the traffic they deliver. Read from Bonnie’s expertise and experience why it is necessary to guest people who can talk in their own voice and hold authentic conversations.

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here

Choosing Guests: Why You Need Authentic People On Your Show With Bonnie D. Graham

At the beginning of 2020, I decided I was going to go out on LinkedIn and I was going to find a whole bunch of new guests that I didn’t know. I just looked at profiles and said, “I want to talk to that person, I want to talk to this one.” That is how I found Bonnie D. Graham. I was having a bad day when I started talking to her. First thing in the morning, I was having a crummy day. By the end of our call, I was laughing hysterically. I want you to know, she totally made my day.

When Bonnie had to present an oral book report to her seventh grade Public Speaking class, she realized that she was no longer the shy, “don’t call on me” student, who wanted to hide at the back of the room. Fast forward several decades, Bonnie became a stand-up comedian, a radio and TV producer and hosts just for fun. Beginning in 2011, she portrayed her enthusiasm into the Business Broadcast Journalism career. As of 2020, Bonnie D. Graham, aka RadioRed, has created, produced and hosted more than 45 business-themed thought leadership round-table radio series and 200 live shows a year, and is still going strong. She reaches a global audience of 1.8 million and in 2019, discovered her passion for drumming. She is now playing in two bands and producing and hosting an open mic twice a month. She continues to host her weekly, READ MY LIPS radio show, presenting live, unscripted conversations with creatives, novelists, filmmakers, artists, musicians and publishers. Welcome, Bonnie. Why do they call you aka RadioRed?

Thank you for inviting me. Aka RadioRed was interesting. When I started out doing my own radio show, which used to be called Up Close and Personal on Blog Talk Radio, I realized they had thousands, maybe millions of people like me who were hosting their own radio shows. I wanted my name to pop up to the top. I’m a redhead. I did a little research on how to get a name or a naming strategy that would make you go toward the top of the alpha source. I’m a program analyst from back in the 19-something, and I know the sorting order of alphanumeric characters in a computer program. I read somewhere that if you put aka in front of any name and link the names together, you’ll go very high up on the alpha source. You pop up and you’re at the top of any list. I said, “I’m Bonnie D. Graham, but I’m also known as aka RadioRed.” It stuck. I became aka RadioRed. I’m also aka Chick Drummer.

We have someone on the show with an alias. I don’t think I’ve ever had that on the show before. On your radio show, you have unscripted conversations with novelists, filmmakers, artists and musicians. What made my day was that you used to interview a lot of self-help people. Tell us about that.

I moved to Durham, North Carolina a few years ago, but I was in New York. I’m born and bred in New York, Long Island. I used to attend a publicity conference where I met authors. They paid and they came from all over the world to meet journalists, radio people, TV people, freelance writers for magazines, for newscasts, you name it, any kind of media. I was one of the most popular people because I called myself the desperate woman of radio. I say it to people. I’m on 52 nights a year, that’s every Monday night for the whole year, and I need two guests per week. I could book in two-and-a-half hours sitting. They had us sitting with a sign behind us and a table, and a guy or a woman with a stopwatch. People will come up and pitch me for two-and-half minutes. I noticed over the years, I could basically book 46 people. I came with a calendar, little appointment cards. I could book 40 to 50 guests in two-and-a-half hours and fill an entire half-year radio schedule. It was magical.

I noticed more and more that the kinds of stories I was getting were people saying, and I hope I don’t offend anybody, “I was injured in a catastrophe and something terrible happened to me. I somehow miraculously survived it. I’m going to be the world’s guru for people who have purple toenails and their hair moves to the left instead of the right, and they were in this kind of a tragedy. I’m going to tell everybody how I survived.” They were very compelling stories, but after a while, they became more and more improbable. People were coming up to my line and telling me about series of disasters that were almost impossible for one human being to have in the course of maybe ten years of their life or fifteen years. I was hearing such horror stories about abuse, drugs, incarceration, about people who had miraculously reinvented themselves who were now millionaires because they were selling the books.

You and I both know the advent of self-publishing came along several years ago. It became really popular. I was speaking to people who could not write very well in many cases, their books were not proofed. I revere the English language. I try to speak clearly. I’m also a writer. I write clearly and it’s hard for me to read offensive language. That’s not dirty language, but language that has not been edited and proofed. I’m not even talking about the format, just misspelled words and poor punctuation and sentences that end with you don’t know where they’re going. I found that a lot of people who were self-publishing were not going through the rigor of an editing process, whether they gave it to their mother, son, nephew, grandma, a professional editor, it didn’t matter to me.

Everybody does have a story. The question is whether it is a real story that you are proud to tell or not. Click To Tweet

After a while, I realized I was basically interviewing people on my own slippery slope. One was I couldn’t stand to read their books. Number two, I couldn’t believe what they were saying. I was looking face-to-face with people who looked healthy and attractive. Their skin was beautiful. They were well-dressed. They were telling me they had just been through an incredible tragedy that was disfiguring and creating disabilities. I’m standing there talking to them and there was not a shred of evidence that anything had ever happened to them. Call me a naysayer or a disbeliever, but after a while I started to say, “This is not what I want.” Then I realized there was a spate of people who were coming on, who were all going to help me and you and everybody we know get unstuck. They all had the reason. They all had the logic. They all had the experience.

I’m going to tell you the truth. People were telling me to go up to the virtual mountaintop and look out and set my goals. People were telling me that if I did X number of exercises a day, I would clear my mind and I would have a clear path. I’m running my life as a divorced woman for 45 years. I raised two successful children. I own my own home and I have a beautiful car. I’m reasonably independent and they’re telling me that I’m stuck and they know how to get me unstuck, that I’m not being my true authentic self. If I hear “Be your best authentic self” one more time, I’m going to throw up. I hope I’m not offending your audience, Juliet. I’m tired of being told that I don’t know how to be my best authentic self. I’m a real human being. Some people like me, some people don’t like me. Some people enjoy listening to me, other people don’t have to. That’s my story.

About a few years ago, I decided to get away from self-help. There’s a certain subset also in the medical profession, and it starts with a C and ends with an R, who are into many areas of medical treatment that I was getting them on my show and they were telling me they have cured patients who were impossible to cure from any kind of medicine, Eastern, Western, Northern, Southern. They had developed these formulas and these things and they were selling them in their practices. I have relatives who were physicians and they said to me, “How could you even talk to these people? What they’re saying is not even remotely possible. It doesn’t even make any sense.” I felt that I was violating some of my own principles about authenticity, people telling me the truth. I started talking to creatives.

A creative is somebody who probably makes something up, but it’s okay. I have spoken to former HR executives who became thriller novelists and have series of 13, 14, 15 books and fans all over the world. That intrigues me. They left that “Sit at the desk and do what you’re supposed to do,” and they said, “I’ve got some interesting ideas for thrillers.” I’ve spoken to somebody who was a bodyguard for a major movie producer, who realized he knew enough about what goes on behind the scenes and movies. He was also a bodybuilder, and he started a series of novels that are famous.

I spoke to a woman who helps start women’s writers groups around the world. She writes heavy duty, dark S&M porn. I talked to about it, but not the details of her book. I discovered she is an opera singer. She started a women’s creative writing group in Thailand. She belongs to mystery thriller novelist groups in London. We talked for 1 hour and 15 minutes with no script, no notes. We never talked about the S&M topic. She was one of the most fascinating people I’ve spoken to. She also wrote a tremendous thriller about a bank that’s four storeys down underground in a steel structure, with no windows in the dregs of London. It was an incredible thriller, very sci-fi. I love her book.

I’ve gone towards that side of people who have something to say. They don’t always have a book. Sometimes they’ve written some songs, sometimes they have a book of photography, sometimes they’re fashion photographers. I met one who started a group. He said, “I’ll teach people how to do photography in the Miami area. I’ll help people figure out how to use their phones and their cameras for photography.” He has hundreds of people coming to him once a month for free classes. He is a renowned cover fashion photographer who is interviewing and photographing some very upscale people who own their own horses and have their own estates. It’s a beautiful cover photography. I had the privilege of talking to him. I’ve gotten away from that. I can help you figure it out too. I’m a real person. I have some cool creative ideas. I work, I think, I sing, I dance. I photograph outside of the box, outside the mold. Would you like to talk to me? I’m saying yes.

I do resonate with all these people. They’re writing books and they have a business. Somebody con them into writing that book because they weren’t getting business. What really happened with all that self-help was they didn’t go out and validate their idea. If they had, they might have found out how kooky it was. I’m going to give you a great example. Someone brought us a book or they were thinking about writing a book and their idea was, “I cured my two children who had autism with essential oils.” I struggled with that. I was like, “Am I liable in any way if somebody tries this and it doesn’t work or their kid is allergic to the oils?” There’s so much to think about when you’re doing that. “Is it real?” I’m a fiction writer, “Am I publishing fiction?” It’s tough.

PRP 87 | Choosing Guests

Choosing Guests: You can aspire to a media presence or a great social media following, but you need to know who you are and that you’re not the person who endorsed you.


I have a lot of small level, and still very nice people, PR agents who pitch me books all the time. I tell them I’m not going to talk to woo-woo authors. I don’t want to be saved. I don’t want to be more authentic than I am. I have real listeners with real lives. I’m not going to feed them a bill of goods about how somebody can completely turn their life around by listening to them on the radio for half-hour and buying their book. I had a pitch from an agent who wanted to get on my READ MY LIPS radio show. She’s a woman who decided to take her family’s diet and turn it into all vegan, which is fine and admirable if it works for you. Her nine-year-old son has a thing about standing on the beach with a phone in front of him and picking up little critters from the beach and telling the audience, mostly kids, how you should respect all the organisms in the world. The kid is very articulate. He’s very cute. He only had two videos that I could see. They were a minute-and-a-half long. It’s not exactly an established content creator, if I can extend that term with honor.

I went to the mother’s website. Maybe it was a bad day for her website, but every page I went to, all the HTML code was showing and I couldn’t see the writing on it. They told me I was wrong and her website was fine. I’ve been in computers for many years. I’m online every day for twenty hours a day. I know what a website looks like when you cannot have to see the code. She said she had cured a certain disease in herself by switching to vegan. I was curious. I went and looked it up. I found that is a known possible way to forestall the progress of a particular disease. It wasn’t a big deal, but it was something that you don’t want to have. I read that it’s one of the known ways. I thought, “Good for her, but I’m not bringing her on my show to be the poster child for this method that may or may not work for other people.” As you say, what is my liability by presenting that “cure?”

I went back to the PR agent and I said, “They sound like absolutely lovely people. The little boy needs to have more than two minute-and-a-half videos to be considered a content creator and the mother needs to work on her website. I can’t send people to a website where all the codes are showing.” She thanked me for my authentic feedback and we left it at that. That doesn’t mean at some point in the future I might not want to talk to them, but I’m not the desperate woman of radio anymore. I don’t want to have people just because. The whole point, and I think you know in your business, that the culture has changed. Everybody does have a story. The question is, is it a real story that you are proud to tell or not too proud to tell but you feel it will purge you or it will help other people? What is that story? Is it a real story? Can it be validated? Often, I’m finding not. Also for storytelling, I find that people have such great ideas for novels, for fantasy, for mystery, for creative approaches to art.

I’m finding that there is so much interesting spinning the story nowadays that those are the people I want to talk. We’re not talking about my business show. It’s just my personal show. READ MY LIPS radio show is code for, “Read the book, read my lips.” All I ask my guests to do is send me their eBook as a PDF, where I’ve got one. I’m reading a Kindle. I asked them to send me a free Kindle link. I asked them for a photo or a picture of their book cover or their logo or whatever they do, a short bio and where they’re going to be calling from. That’s about it. I can hold an hour-and-a-half conversation with one or two guests. Some of them are not used to that.

They have been told by the major media that they have to create questions they want the host to ask. They send me a list of questions and they say, “I can answer this question in 22.3 seconds or this is a 49-second question or this is going to take a minute-and-a-half.” They give me a list. That list always starts off with, “Ask me how I named my book. Ask me why I wrote my book. Ask me why I put certain chapter headers.” It’s as though the interviewer can’t even think for themselves. I think major media that’s giving them three minutes on national TV might want to. I can’t even believe they want to. I very politely say to my guest, “I’m not going to look at your questions because we’re going to have a real conversation. I’m a real person and you’re a real person and we’re just going to talk.”

I got feedback from one of my guests and she said she was on a big-time radio show and the guest asked her trick questions that completely stumped her. You’ve probably heard some of these, “If you’re going to be leaving your house in twenty minutes and all you could take was a box with this many inches by this many inches, what would you put in it? If you had to name a car after your favorite pony or your favorite vacation.” These were questions that this woman was not used to thinking about. She tripped up. I think the impression I got was that she went cold on the show.

She said to me before she’ll come on my show, she wants to know if I’m going to try to trick her. I said, “That’s not my job as a host and that’s not my game. That’s not my plan. We’re just going to talk.” She has asked me by the segment what’s going to happen, who’s going to be on, who’s going to be muted, who’s going to ask questions, if there will be audience calling in. I have given her very generously a list of everything that’s going to happen on the show, because I’ve been doing this for years, and she’s comfortable now that I will go to those lengths. She felt she was “a little abused” by the media, who tried to trick her and stump her. I can’t understand why they would do that, but that’s not me and that’s probably not you.

You need to be comfortable in your own skin with your wheelhouse, your subject. Click To Tweet

I did do an interview where they asked me right in the middle of the interview, who was the person who influenced me and they asked me for a business book. I was stumped. I finally came up with who influenced me to write my mystery novels. I even said on air, “You should have given me that before so I have some time to think about that.” It’s awkward too when you’re on video and you’re looking around the room like, “All my books are back there. I can show you my book while I walk back there. Look at my media training.” I love that. One of the things we talked about a little bit when I had such a good time with you is authenticity. What is it? We have many people out there that bring us their books, “Who’s your audience?” They’ll say, “It’s Jack Canfield’s audience.” “You’re not Jack Canfield.” Who are you? Why should people follow you? They’ll tell us, “I want my website to be like so-and-so.” You’re not them. 

I love the endorsements. I love the mass media endorsements. I know Canfield is great, but after a while, I don’t care who endorsed your book. I care if it speaks to me, if it’s well-written, if it’s something I’d be proud to talk to you about. I need the person to be comfortable with who they are. You can aspire to a media presence. You can aspire to a great social media following, but you need to know who you are and you’re not that person who endorsed you. When I was interviewed with a lot of these self-help authors, I had them tell me they had 50,000 followers a week to their blog and this and that. I would look and see how much traffic they were bringing to my show, which was not the deal. It wasn’t a quid pro quo. I know I shouldn’t use that word, but it wasn’t.

I noticed I didn’t gain any new listeners from them. That told me a couple of things. Either number one, they didn’t have a following. They weren’t the most popular things since English muffins or raspberry jam or whatever. It also told me that they might be oversaturating the PR market. What if people were tired? What if you got an email or a text from somebody who just wrote a book and they said, “I’m going to be on Bonnie’s show on Monday. I’m going to be on Tom Smith’s show on Thursday. Next Monday afternoon, I’m going to be on Bob Goldberg’s show.” You said, “What am I supposed to do? Stop my life to listen to you on all these interviews? Maybe one is enough.” I’m beginning to think that this need to be out there, to get that publicity. They might be oversaturating their market and after a while people are saying, “That’s nice. I listened to a five-minute clip of you on somebody’s show. I don’t need to put my entire life on hold to listen to you all the time.” I had the sense that was happening. What’s your thought on that?

The blanket validation for why people want to write their story is how the audience hopefully gets that sense of connection. Click To Tweet

One of the things that happened, it was 2018, I was at a conference and somebody asked me my opinion on something. I said, “Guru marketing is over. Get over yourself. Nobody cares. The gurus are smart, but they’re not getting results.” I had three gurus in the room say to me, “That’s not true.” I don’t know where those people are now. I don’t see them online. I don’t see what they’re doing. I think we went from guru marketing to influencer marketing.

I sat next to a gentleman at the event that had been contracted by Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They wanted to know who on their sites was actually making money. They did the study and he shared it with my business partner on another show. He said that most of the people that are making money on social media are not the influencers. The influencers are out there and they’re visible. A lot of them have bought traffic, that’s why they have so many followers, but they’re not the people who are actually making money. He went back to those platforms and he related that thinking that they would maybe craft something where these other people became more visible. They wanted nothing to do with it. They like their influencers. I feel like the influencer marketing is a little deceptive too. What you need to look for are those people who have sustainable businesses. You don’t want to be popular.

I’ve come to realize that when people come to me and they want to talk about their book, their movie, their story, I’m looking for people who are passionate about what they do, what they’ve done, that they want to do more of it, that they’re a real person who can hold a conversation. Even on my business shows, I tell people we’re not scripted and it’s not a webinar. You’re not reading sides. You need to be able to talk about this topic, whether it’s Internet of Things or machine learning or whether it’s business strategy for the CFO, or whether it’s talking about financial excellence, whether it’s talking about digital transformation. You need to be comfortable in your own skin with your wheelhouse, your subject matter.

We have notes we look at but I told them, if you read a script on air, and it’s only radio so it’s only audio, I will know within about twelve seconds that you’re reading. I will send a note to my engineer who’s on a Skype chat with me and I’ll say, “Aaron, is she reading?” He’ll say, “It sure sounds like.” I’m saying on my breath, “I told them not to read.” If it’s a statistic, fine. If it’s a quote, fine. When you’re talking about something that you do every day, whether you’re a writer or a business person or an analyst, whatever you do, be able to speak from the heart. That’s one of the things I’m looking for. That takes us back to the word authentic.

PRP 87 | Choosing Guests

Choosing Guests: Authenticity is on real people who can talk in their own voice about what matters to them, what they want to do, and where they want to go.


I’m looking for real people who can talk in their own voice about what matters to them, about what they want to do, about where they want to go. I usually ask my guests at the end of my READ MY LIPS show, “What’s next for you? What are you planning? Do you have a book tour? Are you going to be giving webinars? Are you just going to relax? Are you writing another book? When do you think it will be out? I love your first one. I want you to come back. Keep in touch. In a year, I want you to come back and talk about your next novel.” People who can talk comfortably. I don’t know if that’s a premium nowadays. I meet a lot of interesting people who can speak comfortably about what they do, about where they’re going. I love that creative mindset. I didn’t coin the term, but I put “creatives” in quotes. When I say I’m looking for “creatives,” I don’t want them to solve my problems. I want them to enrich my way of thinking and my life. Maybe I want to go and see their movie. Maybe I want to recommend their book. People who are experiencing the world in their own way. Maybe that sums it all up.

It does in a sense because we’ve gotten into this “expert space.” Just because you’re an expert and maybe a self-proclaimed, I would think that would create uncomfortable conversations. When you’re passionate about it, you’re creative around it, and you can speak from the heart. I think that’s a little bit of what you’re talking about with the self-help from the differentiation with authenticity on it. Let’s face it, how many psychologists do you know that are fun people?

I don’t want to break it to you, but I have a degree in Psychology, but I never did anything with it. I think now, I understand people a little better before because of it. I have to tell you a funny story. I have a friend who watches a certain doctor’s TV show every day. We talked and he said, “I found a cure for this. I have a cure for that, for my oily scalp and for my insomnia and for my left foot moving ahead of my right foot, whatever it is.” I’ll say, “That sounds great. Where did you find this information?” He said, “So-and-so interviewed an expert.” I’ll say, “How do you know they’re an expert?” The line is, “Because they wrote a book.” That ties up exactly what you said. I said, “Anybody can write anything in Microsoft Word and slap a picture on the cover and take it to Staples, have it bound somewhere, get an IBS SPN number. Post it on Amazon and try to sell it. Does that make them an expert?” “Yes, they’re an expert.” I said, “I would be very careful before I accrue or assign the word expert to somebody just because I speak to this people. I love that you brought that up because they’re not. They’re somebody who puts something down and told you they know something about the topic. I don’t even know what an expert is anymore. What is an expert?

It’s hard to say. I will tell you that whole book thing. We had someone back in 2015 who was writing a book, six figures in six months and how to get there. She got caught on a chapter. She got stuck. The writing coach couldn’t get her through. I talked to her about it, “Why are you so stuck on this? Haven’t you done a bunch of joint ventures?” She was like, “No, I’ve never done one.” I was literally like, “What are you writing a book about if you’ve never done one?” You have to be really careful about that. To me, what makes an expert is somebody who has job experience, not just business experience, but actual hands-on experience with what they’re talking about. I mean that by clients in some form or they’ve done this before, not just, “I healed myself, now I’m an expert.” That’s a lot of what I look at when I see people’s résumés. Anybody could come to me and say, “I have a radio show,” but when I talk to you, you’ve had radio shows for the last 40 years. I think that qualifies you as an expert on radio.

I started radio in the late 1990s and it’s a funny story. I’m trying to think of how I started. I was a guest on somebody’s local Long Island TV show and one of his camera people, this was at a public access studio, she was the manager for the oldest AM radio station on Long Island. She met me and talked to me. A couple of weeks later, she contacted me and said, “Bonnie, it’s Friday afternoon 3:00, my Friday Night Drive Time host can’t come in because his mother is sick,” or something like that. “Can you come?” Her name was Joey and I said, “Joey, I’m about 25 miles away. I drive a sports car. There are three inches of snow on the Long Island expressway. If I even attempt to get out of my driveway, I’ll be doing 360 wheelies in the middle of Great Neck. I can’t get there. Could you give me some notice next time?” She said, “Okay. I’m sorry.”

The next Friday she called me at 2:00 in the afternoon. She said, “I need you.” I said, “I’d never done my own radio show.” She said, “I want you to come on my station.” I said, “We have to stop meeting like this, Joey. This isn’t going to work. I can’t physically get there. Why don’t we talk?” She invited me out to her office way out in Long Island. It was a good 45-minute drive. I sat down and she said, “Bring your calendar with you,” and I did. She said, “I want you to host two drive-time shows. One on Monday nights with one of our most popular hosts,” who I knew. It was the guy who did the TV show, “and one on your own on Thursday nights. I’m giving you two slots.” This was Vanity Radio back in the day when people paid for the time slot. She said, “You’re going to meet my bridge hosts.”

When you're talking about something you do every day, you will be able to speak from the heart. Click To Tweet

Chinese Radio Network owns the station during the day. They broadcast in Chinese language. At 6:00, we go to paid programming. Anybody can give us the money and we’ll give them an hour for whatever they want to talk about. She said, “I want you on two nights a week.” I started driving. I couldn’t believe I had my own radio show. I would go with a briefcase full of horoscopes and news items, and anything I could think of. I had guests lined up and I sat in this dark studio with an engineer on the other side with a big headset on. I talked for an hour to whoever I could get to be my guest. I had no reputation. Nobody knew who I was. They just knew I was somebody who’s already producing my own couple of local TV shows. They didn’t really know me and it built up. That’s where I found that there’s a place where I can meet authors and bring them on my show. That’s when I started needing the self-help authors.

I have to tell you, my ramp up into radio was a blast. It was so much fun. I realized I had a voice, not just speaking, but I had opinions on things. I never went radical on one side or the other. I never made anything outrageous. Then the station moved in a different direction on Long Island, and my show was going to be the first one when they move. That was the night of a thunderstorm. That was the night when there were three inches of rain on the highways. That was the night when none of the carts were ready with the advertisements and the promos. There was an engineer with a screwdriver and a hammer on the other side of the glass.

I drove with a friend in an incredible downpour with my briefcase full of stuff. I did an hour of live radio and I had people standing around the studio who were there to see how this was all going to go in the new studio. I was saying, “Bob, where were you born? Let me look up in Newsday. What’s your horoscope? What about this? Mary, you’re over there. Mary, what did you do this week?” It was anything I could do to fill the hour. I didn’t even know if they recorded it. That was the first time in the new studio, but I was the one who got to break the ice.

I would like to say that I got into live radio by basically trial by fire. It has been a blast. I never thought that people would pay me to host and produce radio. That’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past many years. That’s my full-time job as a business journalist. I call it business broadcaster journalist. I get to speak to some of the smartest, most interesting people in the world on serious business topics. I always make the shows fun. They never expect that they’re going to be laughing about something and sharing their knowledge at the same time. I’d like to think that’s what I’ve developed as a persona, a gracious and congenial host who does her homework and welcomes people and lets them be authentic people, real people and not just, “I’ve been doing this for twenty years.” “Talk to me.”

I have one more comment to make, and I’m really enjoying our conversation. I think the reason there is such a market for people telling their stories and people reading and buying those stories, whether they’re well-written or not, whether they’re valid or not, is that we’re all looking for direction. We’re all looking for guidance and direction. We welcome the opportunity, many people do, of hearing so-and-so is an expert. They don’t know that they need to know how valid that is. If they can offer a solution to this person, maybe on the surface, that solves a need. If somebody says, “I’ll help you get unstuck,” and people say, “I’ve been sitting here for three years and I’m not getting ahead in my career. My family is a mess.” I could help you get unstuck. Maybe that’s a light at the end of the tunnel or it’s the light at the beginning of the tunnel to get them started to think about doing something differently. There is a market for that. It’s just not my market.

I listen to different podcasts. One day I’m hot on something and then I’m like, “I’m over that,” so I’ll go onto something else. It’s more the connection. A lot of times it’s, “I’m not the only person that has this problem.” It’s that, “I’m not alone. I’m good with that.” 

That’s the validation. That’s the global or the blanket validation for me of why people want to write their story, because in writing it or telling it, they feel they’re not alone. The audience hopefully gets that sense of connection. Even if it’s just five minutes listening to somebody, watching them on a podcast like we’re doing or listening to the morning radio show, they’re feeling, “There’s somebody out there who maybe gets me or has been where I’ve been and I’m not alone.” I think that’s a worldwide need. I’m not going to get philosophical on you, but that’s a worldwide need right now. It does solve a purpose.

Where do we find you? This has been so much fun.

You and I connected. The first time we spoke, we were giggling and smiling. That’s what it’s all about. We’ve solved a little bit of the world’s problems because we’re two females who were not 25 years old, who know a little bit about the world and we’re able to talk to each other and have a good conversation. People can find me by googling, Bonnie D. Graham or look up aka RadioRed. If you want my business shows, google SAP Game Changers Radio, and you can find me. I have 46 series on Voice America World Talk Radio, In case anybody is wondering, a series is a theme show that has at least twelve episodes over the course of a calendar year. When I say I’m doing 200 shows a year, I’ve done for the past couple of years, that could be 13, 14, 15 series where each series is on at least a dozen times spread out over the course of the year. Most of my series are on once every 3 or 4 weeks, not every single week consecutively. That’s a lot for business teams that have other mandates to come up with guests and topics, but I do help them with that. I’m all over the place, just find me.

PRP 87 | Choosing Guests

Choosing Guests: The reason there is a market for people telling their stories, whether they’re valid or not, is because we’re all looking for direction and for guidance that we welcome the opportunity.


Thank you so much. It’s been very enjoyable. 

Thank you. By the way, is another place you can find me if you want to reach out. Juliet, I think you’re very special. I appreciate your time. Thanks for the invitation. You’re going to be on READ MY LIPS radio talking about your novel, so I’ll send you the promo and you can tell everybody to listen to you.

I’m excited. This one is not a novel. This is an actual business book, but I’ve written several novels, so this is scary. I’m jumping into a different genre. 

We will make it unscary. We’re going to have a good time. Thank you so much. Have a great day. RadioRed, signing off.


Important Links


About Bonnie D. Graham

PRP 87 | Choosing GuestsWhen Bonnie had to present an oral book report to her 7th grade public speaking class, she realized that she was no longer the shy, don’t-call-on-me student who wanted to hide at the back of the room. Fast forward several decades and Bonnie became a stand-up comedian and radio and TV producer / host “just for fun”. Beginning in 2011, she parlayed her enthusiasm into a business broadcast journalism career. As of 2020, Bonnie D. Graham aka RadioRed has created, produced and hosted more than 45 business-themed thought leadership round table radio series [200 live shows a year] and is still going strong, reaching a global audience of 1.8 million. In 2019, she discovered her passion for drumming and is now playing in two bands and producing/hosting an Open Mic twice a month. Bonnie continues to host her weekly Read My Lips Radio show, presenting live unscripted conversations with “creatives” – novelists, filmmakers, artists, musicians and publishers.


Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Promote, Profit, Publish Community today: