Having a podcast is an excellent way to get your voice heard. Moreover, if done well you can amplify your voice by having others on your show. If done poorly, bringing guests on your podcast can dilute your unique message, that even your fans will unsubscribe. One way to ensure the guests add value to your podcast is to prepare them for success. Below are four tips to help you prepare your guests so they always amplify what you want to say.
TIP #1: The best way to prepare your guest for your show is to tell them what to expect. Before you record with your guest they should:
- Know a bit about your podcast
- Easily be able to join you for the recording
- Know why you are having them on your show
- Understand what you’ll be talking about
Below is a sample email to a potential podcast guest on the non-existent True Believer Crime Podcast. Notice that, while farcical, this includes all of the information recommended above. Feel free to use this as a template next time you have a guest on your show…
Dear Mr. Spider-Man,
Thank you for agreeing to be on episode 616 of my podcast, True Believer Crime Podcast. My podcast looks at the people who are framed for violent crimes and presents alternative theories of the case. I’ve been producing my show for three years, and while we have not overturned any charges legally, we do have a large podcast following and can guarantee that your case will trend on Twitter with #spidermanwasframed after the episode release.
As you prepare to come on my show, here are a couple of past episodes that you should listen to so you understand the tone and format of the show. Please listen to Episode 411, Information On Why Tigers Can’t Eat People. Please also listen to Episode 500, Listener Feedback From Prison. Listening to these episodes will allow you to gain insight on the quality content and attitude that our listeners have come to expect.
Recording your episode will be easy. Just click on this link at 8:45 p.m. EDT next Tuesday and follow the on-screen prompts. If you have any issues connecting, please give me a call at (212) 555-1212. When we start recording I will introduce you. Is there anything in particular that you would like me to say? Some guests provide me with a quick bio that I read. Feel free to send me anything you would like before our recording time. If I do not receive anything from you I will write your introduction.
I want you to be on my podcast because your story is exactly the kind of story my listeners like to hear. You say you were framed for murder and can tell a convincing story of self-defense. While we may talk about your amazing strength and your ‘Peter Tingle’, if they come up in discussion, I would like to limit our discussion to the facts and your perspective of your case as much as possible.
During the interview I plan to ask you the following questions:
- Are you really Peter Parker?
- Why do you think you were framed?
- Tell me about the events of that day.
- What would you if all the charges were dropped?
Those are the questions that will drive the interview, however, I will probably ask you follow-up questions to drive deeper discussion. I do edit the interviews so if we talk about anything that you do not want to be released on the podcast, feel free to let me know after we record.
Lastly, on every episode, I ask for guests to share their contact information. Feel free to share any email addresses, websites, social media handles, etc. that you would like. If you would not like your contact information in the public domain, feel free to ask that listeners simply contact me and I will forward their messages to you.
Again, thank you for agreeing to be on our podcast. If you have any questions before our recording time, simply let me know.
Notice how that email helps to prepare the guest for the podcast and answers questions that they may have. Taking those steps and then asking them to reach out with any further questions reduces their anxiety and allows them to better focus on what they want to say during the interview.
TIP #2 The second tip is simple, ensure your guest sounds great. You do this by assuming that your guest knows very little about recording and talk them through the techniques and technologies so they will sound their best. Ask them if they are:
- Comfortable with the technology you will be using to record.
- Ask them, “I will be connecting with you via a Zoom meeting. Have you used Zoom before? Will you be able to click the link I provide and talk to me that way? Do you have reliable internet access or telephone service?”
- Comfortable with the environment they will be in when they record
- Ask them, “Where do you plan to be during our interview? Can you be in a quiet room with limited distractions?”
- Comfortable with the quality of the microphone they will be using to record
- Ask them, “What microphone will you be using for the interview? If you plan to use your telephone, what kind of phone is it? Do you have a microphone you can connect to your computer?”
- Comfortable with how to use the microphone they will be using to record
- Ask them, “Have you been on a podcast before? The recording sounds best if you keep your microphone close to your mouth but not so close that you are breathing directly into the microphone.”
TIP #3: The third tip seems nonsensical. Do not run through your Q&A with your guest before you record the show. Doing so can yield negative results.
Often, either your guest will seem overly rehearsed or your responses to their stories may seem too prepared. Of course, you can build rapport with your guest before you record but avoid in-depth discussions prior to the interview for more authenticity on your show.
TIP #4: Lastly, prepare your guest to share the podcast episode after it is released. Make sure that your follow-up message to your guests has these three components:
- Express gratitude for them being on your show
- Share links and instructions for them to share your episode
- Extend opportunity for a continued relationship
Below is a sample follow-up email to a guest that offers all of this information. Feel free to use this as a template…
Dear Mr. Spider-Man,
Thank you for being on the True Believer Crime Podcast. I hope you found your experience enjoyable.
I just released your episode titled, ‘No Mystery Here, Spider-Man Was Framed.” and I am already seeing significant downloads! As promised, below are links to the episode for you to listen and share if you feel that is appropriate.
Here is a link to the episode on my website, notice the detailed show notes here. You may want to share this link to spur listeners to action: www.truebelievercrimepodcast.com
I hope you agree that this was an excellent podcast episode and appropriately highlighted your current situation. If you would like to work together again, just let me know. I am sure my audience would like to hear from you again.
You must prepare your guests to be on your show, this is an important step to ensure they bring their best self to the recording. Fully preparing your podcast guests before you record makes for a great interview. But, make sure to not over-prepare your guests, over-preparing your guests results in them sounding robotic and rehearsed. Feel free to personalize the above templates to help bring out the best in your guests.