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Effective Podcast Interviewing

So you found a really great guest for your podcast. 

This could be the needle moving episode you're looking for. 

Now, how do you make sure you don't blow it?

Effective podcast interviews have these three things in common. And they start with you, the host. 

  • Comfortable guest - The comfort level of your guest will depend on how organized and prepared you are. Enter the conversation having done significant research on your guest, so you aren't caught off guard. Take control of the conversation early on, that is your responsibility as the host. Take at least 5-10 minutes before hitting record to get to know your guest on a more personal level. Ensure they are comfortable and make sure you give details on your podcast's release date, target audience, and next steps for them. With clear direction, the guest will feel more comfortable and prepared to be at their best. 

  • Open Ended Questions - A closed ended question only requires a short answer. Now, many good guests will still take closed ended questions and run with them, delivering a great response regardless. But don't make them. Lead them into stories and insights you know they will enjoy sharing. Do this through asking open ended questions about their experiences or expertise. Ask them to tell stories. Invite them to share some of their personality. There's nothing wrong with asking them to, "tell me a little more about....." Ultimately, this will lead to more thorough answers that are valuable to your audience! 

  • Speak to their strengths - Lead the guest into speaking about what you brought them on to speak about. Oh, and let's take a step back. Be clear up front about what you're bringing them on to speak about. Now, it's perfectly alright to make small talk and have some fun with the episode. But don't derail too much and shortchange the guest's expertise. If it feels right, dive right in with the first question. Skip the formalities and get to the point. Also allow the guest to give a call to action about their work that ties in with what they've been talking about. 

And, one final word of encouragement - you got this! 

Don't overthink it. Ultimately, enjoy being with your guest and make sure you learn something too. 

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