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How to prepare for a podcast interview [Be a good podcast guest]

Simone Cunningham_ How to prepare for a podcast interview [Be a good podcast guest]

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So you’ve been offered a spot as a podcast guest. Fabulous!

Now all you have to do is wait for the day of the recording. Right? No. Not so lucky. 

Your work isn’t done yet. There are some essential tasks you need to do to help ensure everything runs smoothly on the day, so you can be a good, or should I say, awesome, podcast guest.

I’ll also be sharing my free Podcast Guest Checklist which will help you before your next guest spot, you can download that later. 

I have a lot of great tips to share with you, so be sure to keep reading.

 

Listen to the podcast

 

3 ways business owners can be an awesome podcast guest

 

 

Being a podcast guest is a great way to boost your authority and get more eyeballs on you and your business.

I’m all about making the most of every opportunity, so in this episode, we cover the 3 ways business owners can be an awesome podcast guest.

 

Podcast guest tip 1: Do your research

 

Listen to the podcast, research its host and their audience

 

Hopefully, this goes without saying. But I’ll say it anyway.

Make sure you’re familiar with the podcast, and by that, I mean you’ve listened to more than one episode, and are well-informed about the host, and their audience. 

If you’re not, be sure to do your research well before your scheduled interview.

Check out their social media and their website, looking for clues about what content their audience is interested in.

The more familiar you are with the host’s work, the better your interview will sound on the day of the recording. 

This knowledge will help you build rapport with the host and their listeners. 

If you can refer to something that was shared in a previous episode or work into the conversation something you’ve learned about them that you find interesting, your credibility is instantly boosted in the eyes of the audience and the host.

 

Checklist activity 1

  • Start by reviewing the host’s website, social media, and listen to as many of their podcast episodes as possible. 
  • Your goal is to research their background, see what they sell, and the value they offer to their listeners.

Related blog: How to craft better podcast and video interview questions: 3 tips

Or listen to the podcast below.

 

 

Prepare unique answers ahead of time

 

Most podcasters follow a particular formula when they interview, which is useful because you can predict certain questions that will be asked and prepare your answers accordingly.

Even podcasters who try to be unique have signature questions they like to ask their guests, so as part of your research, look for that in their previous episodes.

When answering a question about your background or origin story, keep it brief. 

Only share the major highlight or turning point that relates to you NOW, not you 5 or 10 years ago.

Interview questions may include: 

  • What’s been your biggest challenge? 
  • What was your biggest mistake? 
  • What’s your favourite quote? 
  • What’s your favourite book? 
  • Or, what is the last book you read or are reading now? 
  • What do people get wrong? 
  • What is your favourite tool/advice? 
  • What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self? 
  • Do you have any final words for our listeners?

There are many variations of these questions, but you’ll find you feel more at ease on the day if you have some answers prepared in advance.  

Remember, you can also reach out to the podcast host and ask them to send you a list of potential questions or topics they would like to discuss. They’ll be more than happy to help you out. 

This is something I highly recommend, as your idea of what the interview will be about may be very different from theirs.

 

Checklist activity 2

 

  • Ask your host if they have a list of interview questions they can send you or a rough idea of topics they would like to discuss. 
  • Tell them you would like to prepare to ensure you give the best interview possible, and I’m sure they’ll be glad to assist.

 

ask your host-content marketing

 

Podcast guest tip 2: Prepare with your audience in mind

 

Keep it conversational

 

The podcast host has invited you onto the show for a reason, and it’s to have a conversation, not listen to a monologue.

Many guests forget that when you answer a question, it’s best to keep it brief. 

I’m obviously not talking about answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’. You need to elaborate and answer the question, but you shouldn’t feel the need to explain everything in detail.

Giving long explanations can be uninteresting for listeners and may not be useful for them. 

If a podcast host wants more information or would like you to explain something in greater detail, they’ll ask. 

Also, don’t be afraid to ask them if they would like you to explain something in more detail. You could say ‘did that explanation make sense’ or ‘would you like me to give you more information?’

You can also help your host through the interview by giving them interview pathways to choose from. 

For example, give them two options to talk about. Say something like, “would you find it useful to talk about the misconceptions around burnout?” or “would it be more helpful if we dig a little more into the triggers?”.

Let the host be the judge of what will be useful for their audience. 

This will make you look professional and show you’re keen to provide value.

 

Checklist activity 3

  • Practice answering your questions with answers that go for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Resist the temptation to explain everything. Instead, think about what would be of value to the audience. 
  • Remember to ask the host for guidance, and offer options. Would you prefer to discuss this or that?

 

Related blog: 3 ingredients for a compelling PR story pitch [Plus email template]

Or listen to the podcast below.

 

 

Offer practical tips to take away

 

People who are listening to educational podcasts want to gain actionable insights that they can incorporate into their life or work.

It’s important to take the time to write down a few practical tips or actions you recommend listeners take. 

Are there any particular tools you suggest using, books to read, or thought leaders to research or follow?

This part isn’t about selling them on your courses or asking them to book a call or sign up for your email list. 

You want to talk about some tangible things they can do right away that will help them. 

Your host will appreciate this, and so will their audience.

 

Checklist activity 4

 

  • Start to keep track of all the useful tools, interesting books, thought leaders you follow and websites you use daily in your business. 
  • What could you share that would be valuable and relevant to this particular podcast audience?

 

keep track of all the useful tools

 

Podcast guest tip 3: Be proactive

 

Suggest questions to your interviewer

 

You might be thinking, “Isn’t that the host’s job?” 

Well, it is. But clever podcast guests have worked out that by making the lives of the hosts easier, you also open the door to a better interview for yourself.

And more importantly, you’ll be discussing topics that are helpful to your business and the audience you want to reach.

In an email to the host, suggest some ideas you would like to discuss in a short summary and why you think their listeners would be interested. 

Keep it conversational and tell them that you really want to focus on providing value to their audience.

If they don’t like your ideas, they may suggest a different approach. However, the silver lining to this is that you know up front what the interview will be about. 

There’ll be fewer surprises on the day of recording.

 

Checklist activity 5

 

  • Start a spreadsheet with suggestions for interview segments. 
  • Group them under topic headings, with a list of relevant questions below. 
  • These are your podcast talking points. 
  • You can draw on these segment ideas when you are pitching to podcasts or when you are suggesting questions for your next interview.

 

Ask your interviewer questions

 

Again, this might sound strange. However, remember what I said at the beginning, that a podcast interview is actually a conversation.

If you think of a question to ask the host during the interview, don’t be afraid to ask it at a time that feels natural. It adds to the authenticity of the episode.

Asking questions also gives you the opportunity to see if your conversation is providing value to the audience. 

Ask the host if they would like to hear more about one topic, or if another topic would be better. 

This is helpful for both you and the host, as you’re providing the listener with content they’ll really be interested in.

 

Checklist activity 6

 

  • Make a note to practise active listening during the interview.
  • During the interview make a note of a question you have and come back to it at a suitable time or break in the conversation.
  • Consider in advance what content or topics could provide two possible options for discussion. Again make a note of that for your interview.

 

In summary

 

How to prepare for a podcast interview [Be a good podcast guest]:

Podcast guest tip 1: Do your research

  • Listen to the podcast, research its host and their audience
  • Prepare unique answers ahead of time.

Podcast guest tip 2: Prepare with your audience in mind

  • Keep it conversational
  • Offer practical tips to take away.

Podcast guest tip 3: Be proactive 

  • Suggest questions to your interviewer
  • Ask your interviewer questions.

 

[Infographic] How to prepare for a podcast interview

 

For a visual summary of today’s blog read the infographic below.

 

How to be an awesome podcast guest

Source

 

[Download] Podcast Guest Checklist

 

Don’t forget to download your free Podcast Guest Checklist here. It’s a summary of the tips and activities that you can refer to before your next podcast interview.

 

Ready to get booked on podcasts?

 

Discover my new PUBLICITY BOSS 1:2:1 live online training options, which include public relations and thought leadership training to maximise your media coverage and publicity opportunities in podcasts, videos, social media and online publications.

Over 3, 6 and 12-week structured sessions, we develop your PR strategy, targeted plan, PR story and podcast pitches and more so you can start getting booked now.

These are practical training sessions where we work directly on your business’s publicity needs. No time is wasted. We get it done!

Learn more by booking your free 30-minute chat today.

You can also email me by visiting my website contact page or by clicking here.

 

Want more public relations and content marketing tips?

 

For more great resources about public relations, interviewing, podcasting content creation, content marketing, and video marketing be sure to check out my new podcast series ‘Improve Your Content in 7 Minutes’ by clicking here, or find me on your favourite streaming app.

If you want to learn more about pitching your story to the media listen to my first podcast episode, 3 reasons why your media pitch gets ignored or deleted

Related blog: 3 reasons why your media pitch gets ignored or deleted 

 

 

Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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