Top 10 tips: how to prepare for a podcast interview as a guest speaker
09 August 2019
Were you recently invited to speak on a podcast? Congratulations! You obviously have the insight and personality to motivate the podcast host to invite you on. Half the battle is won.
Next up, prepare for that upcoming interview. How do you go about doing that? Here are some tips on how to be a fantastic podcast guest and how to prepare for your interview to ensure it is professional, engaging and fun.
We have included some insightful and valuable feedback from the dynamic duo over at Edmonton’s local podcast, The Project of Now to get the podcast host perspective on these points.
How to prepare for a podcast interview as a guest speaker:
1) Listen in
Research the podcast you are going on by listening to three or more episodes. This will give you an idea of how they work and the format of the show. It will also provide insight into the hosts personality and structure of the conversation they like to have.
“The dynamic is completely different when the guest spends the time getting to know us. The conversation goes deeper. There’s a noticeable difference for us and the listeners. Overall, it’s more engaging and revealing. It’s fleshed out. Substantial. A new form of entertainment.” – Sabina
2) Prepare notes and key messages
Ask the podcast hosts if there are a list of questions they would like to run through during the show. If there are any, you can request a copy of the questions and run through them before the interview. This could also be an opportunity to prepare a few notes and key messages you would like to touch on during your interview.
“We always enjoy the opportunity to learn, so any tips or insights that are practical are always welcome. There’s always an opportunity to add value in this way.” – Sabina
3) Determine the location
Find out how the podcast interview will be conducted. Will it be in person, over the phone or through video chat? If the podcast will be over the phone or through video chat, ensure you have proper connection and are in comfortable and quiet space to speak. This will also play into the next point…
4) Pay attention to your audio
If you are conducting your interview via phone or computer, ensure there is no background noise or distractions. If the audio sounds horrible, listeners will likely be distracted and not pay attention to the meat of the podcast. Also, podcast hosts may not be inclined to promote it as much if the sound is off.
“We prefer in person as we can control the audio and know our equipment. If you do it through video chat ensure equipment will produce a decent recording; it doesn’t have to be high end, but should be clear with limited background noise — always test equipment first.” –Nathan
5) Be yourself
Podcasts lend themselves to conversation. Crack jokes, don’t be afraid to laugh and have fun. Your personality and insight are what matter and the reason why you were invited on in the first place. It doesn’t have to be all business, show some emotion.
“The most rewarding conversations are the ones that demonstrate vulnerability and self-acceptance. Perfection is unrealistic. It’s also boring. What makes you stand out is your imperfection.” – Sabina
“Yes, just go with it, be happy to be there telling your story. If the podcast host doesn’t ask you a question regarding something you want to talk about, bring it up anyway; it is your time in the spotlight.” –Nathan
6) Avoid the elevator pitch
Podcasts are about telling stories. It isn’t the right platform to make a robotic elevator pitch. It won’t engage the hosts and won’t engage the podcast audience. You can still insert key messaging (main points you would like to mention) but ensure the messaging is being inserted naturally into the conversation, when the timing is right.
“Never underestimate the intelligence of your listeners. They know when they’re being sold something. Approach it from the perspective of how you can be helpful.” – Sabina
7) Learn how to pronounce the hosts name
This may seem obvious, but it needs to be said. It is critical to go into your podcast interview knowing the host name and knowing how to properly pronounce it. It would come across incredibly unprofessional if you say the wrong name during your interview.
“Knowing someone’s name is the first step in opening a door to connection. It shows you listen or read and care to get it right. It’s respect.” – Sabina
8) Be courteous of the hosts time
When you are booking a date and time with the podcast team, make sure you can keep that commitment. Anticipate travel time and traffic for in person interviews to ensure you arrive on time. If circumstances change and you are unable to attend, provide enough notice (as much as you possibly can) to cancel the podcast.
“Being thoughtful, respectful and considerate will only work for you. We remember those that put in the extra time. Guests may not reap rewards from good manners, or grace right away; but it creates a strong foundation for their character as a professional. We remember those that leave a positive impression. We have referred business, or made recommendations to others out of these conversations.” – Sabina
9) Find a way to relax before you start
Conducting a podcast interview can be intimidating and nerve bending for some. Taking a few minutes to collect yourself and calm your nerves before you start can make a huge difference in your conversation delivery and voice. Try some breathing techniques or a quick meditation to lower your heart rate and collect your thoughts. Avoiding caffeine, stimulants and alcohol can also help with going into your interview feeling relaxed.
“We’re willing to work with you to make you feel comfortable. After all, the more comfortable you are, the better the conversation is going to be.” – Sabina
“Don’t eat a large meal before, I am always at my best fasted.” — Nathan
10) Spread the word
When your interview is complete, ask the host when the podcast episode will go live and if they can share the link with you before it does. Help share your story by posting the podcast link to your social media. This is a great way to cross promote the podcast and to increase listenership. You did all that hard work conducting the interview, now it’s time to spread the word.
“This can get super creative, fun and can lead to other collabs! We love working with guests that are excited and enthusiastic about creating opportunities.” – Sabina
Blog Post submitted by Chamber member bSocial Communications Inc.
Interested in receiving some podcast preparation guidance? bSocial Communications offers public relations consulting and key messaging development.