Some of you reading this have never been a guest on a podcast, others may have been a guest and felt less than spectacular. This post is for you. If you already feel like you’re a great guest, you can skip this post and I’ll see you back here on Monday.
I hosted my first podcast episode back in 2013. Since then, I’ve hosted more than 200 episodes each ranging from 20 minutes to almost two hours.
I’ve had guests who were profoundly verbose, and those who would succinctly answer a question and then revert to silence awaiting the next question…and everything in between. I once had a guest so ill-prepared that halfway through the interview, I stopped and kindly let them know that I wouldn’t be able to use the interview.
In addition to hosting, I’ve also been a podcast guest more than a few times.
After hosting these conversations and being a guest on other people’s shows, I’ve learned a lot about being a great podcast guest.
Today, I want to share with you my top 5 tips to help you be a phenomenal podcast guest.
Guests with the gift of gab are preferable to the ones you have to pull answers out of. However, guests that give you a 10-minute life story when you ask them to introduce themselves are less than ideal.
Podcasts with guests are typically conversations, not lectures. When giving your answers, remember that the host may want to pick up on something you’ve said so, as a guidelines, try to keep all answers less than 3 minutes.
Every Podcaster is different. Some prefer a free-flowing conversation and others are more scripted, so this is one you may want to ask the host about prior to the show.
When you ask the host questions, the conversation has a more natural feel to it. This could be something as simple as a clarifying question or something deeper where you ask the host their opinion about something that you just said, or a question you just responded to.
Routines and Improv: Have both
I dislike interviewing someone who is just going through their standard book-launch-Podcast-tour material. Once someone else has recorded that interview, I want something different.
Each conversation with a guest should be unique and not just a copy-paste job of the last interview. As a result, you should have both, pre-prepared material AND the ability to go “off-book” and improvise.
My favorite conversations, and I assume the favorite of other Podcasters, are when at the end of the show, the guest says “I’ve never told that story before.”
A guarded guest is unfulfilled potential. I’m not suggesting you reveal your deepest, darkest secrets, but the more open and vulnerable you are, the more connection you invite from the audience. What do Podcasters want? An engaged audience.
By coming to the show ready to give yourself, you are giving a gift to the Podcaster’s audience. I know we all appreciate that.
Promote like hell
Last, but not least, and possible even first, is to be the best damn promoter of the episode that Podcast host has ever seen. Out of 127 (and counting) episodes of Shareable, I can still pick out the best promoter from the entire run. Their ability to bring in new listeners will forever reserve a special place in my heart. Here’s exactly how to do this…
1. Rate and review the show
Go to iTunes, and rate the show 5-stars and leave a review.
It helps tremendously. That social proof is everything.
Ideally, you should listen to the show before your interview, find a few nice things to say about the show and leave a glowing review.
Subscribing to the show helps improve the show’s numbers and is generally a good signal to the Podcast network that the show has traction. This is further improved when you…
3. Listen to your episode
Podcast platforms nearly all track listener data: how long you listened, did you stop, did you skip, etc. These signals help the networks to gauge a show’s popularity and stickiness. When your episode comes out, open it in your podcasting app, hit play, and play it all the way to the end.
4. Share the episode
Letting other people know about the show is how Podcasters gain new subscribers. Help them do that and you’re a friend for life, and even more likely to be recommended amongst Podcasters.
5. Share it…again
Sharing it once is cool, but sharing it again a few days later is even better. Podcasters need all the help they can get finding new subscribers. Help them out.
These are my 5 best tips for being an amazing Podcast guest.
What did I miss? I’d love to hear from other podcasters and from phenomenal podcast guests.