Tips For Being A Great Podcast Guest

Congrats!  You got a request to be interviewed on someone else’s podcast!  This is huge on so many levels, but right now you might be freaking out a little because you aren’t completely comfortable with being the guest.  Perhaps you haven’t done a lot of interviews before?  Perhaps you aren’t comfortable with the technology?  Perhaps you just don’t like public speaking as much as the next person?  Wherever you land, you might be looking for a few simple tips to help make your interview go well.  

Take a few notes as you read through this simple list to prepare for your next guest interview.  I promise, it’s not as scary as you think!

  1. Listen first.  Listen to a few episodes of the show to get a feel for the length, flow, and any patterns.  Are there any common questions that the hosts asks each time?  Are there any common segments?  
  2. Prepare your message.  If the host provides questions ahead of time, take a few minutes to practice your responses.  Don’t necessarily memorize the responses, but practice them so that you can be direct and concise, while still sounding like you.
  3. Smile.  When you smile while speaking, it comes through in the audio.  Smiling can change the tone of an interview and help show your personality through a non-visual medium like podcasts.
  4. Listen to each question first.  Let your host ask their question in full and try to avoid interrupting them with any follow up comments or questions.
  5. Speak at a normal pace.  If you know you have the tendency to speak fast, be intentional to speak at a normal pace. Many podcast listeners will speed up the audio to be 1.5x or 2.0x faster.  
  6. Speak with confidence.  If you have to stand in front of a mirror and practice telling yourself you are a rockstar 20 times in order to be confident, do so!  Practice the inflection of your voice to sound confident.
  7. Have a good microphone.  A good microphone is worth the investment for many reasons, but any podcast host is going to be grateful you show up with a good one.  (I personally love the Yeti mic!)
  8. Find a quiet spot.  Keep the dogs somewhere else and look for a room that doesn’t have a lot of distracting sounds (echos, HVAC noise, street noise, etc.)
  9. Hydrate!  Keep a bottle of water nearby in case you need it during the interview.
  10. Focus on delivering value.  Try to provide valuable and actionable information for the listeners.  Always focus on what you are providing the audience first.  
  11. Don’t sell too hard.  A good host will provide you an opportunity to share a call to action or a way to stay engaged with your brand.  
  12. Be yourself.  Imagine that you’re at a coffee shop with a friend talking about one of your favorite subjects.  Just because there’s a microphone in between, doesn’t mean that you can’t be natural and real.  Podcasts are one of the best ways for people to feel like they know YOU.  Focus on sharing the real you, not some manufactured version of what you think people want to hear.  
  13. Promote.  A good podcast guest will promote the episode as much as they can.  Think of ways you can give back to your podcast host to thank them for featuring you.  Bonus:  It’s an easy way to showcase that you were a guest on someone else’s podcast!

But don’t take it from me only… Here are a few other resources with tips for guests:

77 Pieces of Advice for Podcast Guests from Hosts



How to Be a Great Podcast Guest

A Quick Word On Being The Host:

You might not be hosting the interview, but that doesn’t mean you can’t glean a few great tips from these articles on BEING a good host.  Take a few minutes to read through these to get a feel for what you should expect from a good host.  If you haven’t received valuable information you need from the host, you might be proactive and ask for it.  

The Art of The Interview: How To Conduct Awesome Interviews For Podcasts and Videos

5 Steps to conduct a superior podcast interview

Top 10 Tips for Conducting an Exceptional Interview—UPDATED!

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