Follow These Tips to be a Memorable and Valuable Podcast Guest
Appearing on a podcast is exciting. You get to spend an hour or two doing everyone’s favorite pastime, talking about yourself. Hopefully, somewhere in there as well is connecting with the host, sharing your story and inspiring the audience. To make sure you are as prepared as possible and get the most out of your experience, we’ve come up with four quick-and-easy tips to help you become a great podcast guest and knock it out of the pod park every time.
1. Know What Show You are On, and Why You’re On It!
If you’re booked on a show that you’ve never heard of, even just a quick glance of what the show is about, who hosts it and who their audience is can help you get the most out of your appearance and show up as a prepared guest (listen to an episode if you can). You can even ask the host what they are looking to get out of this interview, and if there are any segments you can be ready for. Maximize your appearance by having at least a light awareness of the show and host and you’ll be able to appeal more to their audience.
2. Be Strategic, but Be Authentic.
Even if the show you are on has a listenership of 30 people, that’s 30 potential new supporters and connections for you. Go in with the mindset that you bring your “A” game to every show, large and small, and show up with the same energy and respect. One small appearance can lead to something bigger, so make sure you have written down the one or two key points that you would like to get across in the interview. If you are promoting a book, album, podcast, etc., have your talking points ready to go when the guest asks you to plug your work.
Be strategic in how to book your appearances, so they make sense for what you are trying to promote. The audience will love you, but will most likely forget that your podcast is coming out in three months, so waiting until it’s ready for the world may be a better strategy. Communicate with the host to find out when your episode will be out, as it can also take months for episodes to be released.
3. Get Comfortable and Find Your Sweet Spot
If you are appearing on a show from a remote location, find a podcast spot that feels right to you. For some, it’s a fancy tech setup. For others, it’s wrapped up in a cozy blanket. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a good signal, a quiet area, a glass of water, your phone/computer is charged, ringer is silent and your voice is clear and strong. If you are in person, don’t be too shy to ask for a cup of water or bathroom break if it will cause you to be more confident and less distracted.
4. You Were on a Show! Now Tell the World!
Some podcasters (I’m in this camp!) feel that it is proper etiquette for a guest to share their episode, even if it’s just a simple Instagram story repost or retweet. Others feel that it would be nice, but there is no obligation. To me, the best guests are the ones who share their episode, even if it’s their own unique way. If it helps you feel better about sharing, ask your host if you can create your own graphics for the episode using their logo and your branding.
This one may get me in some pod-trouble, but unless there are legal or emotional issues with something you said during your interview, try not to overthink what you said, and don’t ask the host to edit out the good stuff. Insecurity and second-guessing ourselves can lead to us editing out the most compelling part of the interview because we feel vulnerable or too exposed. Many times guests will get very little or no say in the editing process and what you say is what goes out, so be sure you bring it up with the host before if that is a concern.
I asked a few professional podcaster friends and colleagues what qualities they consistently see in standout guests. Sir Christopher Denman from Mid Coast Media says that awareness of the moment is key. “You are there to do an interview, now be part of the fun!”
Check out our Editor’s Pick section on Blubrry for some inspiration for examples of both great guests and shows.