Good podcast interviews make for good listening. If your podcast show format is relying heavily on interviews, it’s good to be prepared by doing your research on the guest and having a plan for the direction you want to take the interview. Interviews can be intimidating and often get thrown off course, so the more you’re prepared, the better off you’ll be for when the interviewee inevitably throws you a curveball.
Start podcast interviews a little casual by getting to know the guest and their background. Don’t ask the heavy hitting questions right away. The more comfortable the guest feels the better chance you’ll have at getting great content out of them. If your guest isn’t one to elaborate, coax them into getting deeper by asking follow up questions such as; “How did that make you feel?” or “What did you do after that?” Be sure to listen to what the person has to say.
One common mistake is waiting for the person to finish talking, just so you can chime in with your thoughts, ideas and answers. Nobody cares about you, bro! The audience wants to learn about the guest. A great interview is like a conversation and the more you listen, the more you can draft follow up questions in your head. Truly giving a damn about what the guest is saying will allow the conversation to unfold naturally. “Yes And” them as much as possible. Listening is a skill you have to practice to get good at it.
Scheduling can often be tricky, because high performing individuals are usually extremely busy. In fact, when starting your podcast, you’re going to have to reach out to a ton of people and take what you can get. If you’re podcasting about motivational speakers, you’re not going to be able to get Tony Robbins on your podcast until your show is wildly successful. Even then you probably still won’t get him. Start small and reach out to the people that you know you can pencil in.
Not only will you have a better chance at landing these interviews, but, these types of podcast interviews will prep you for the larger ones that you’ll be able to get once your show grows. There are so many people out there with varying perspectives. Keep things interesting by reaching out to a variety of different types of people so that you can hear different takes on things as well as different ideologies. Everyone has a story to tell and they’re going to tell it in a unique way, that’s the beauty of podcasting.
Keep It Classy
Don’t embarrass yourself dude! Always be grateful for anyone that is willing to come on your podcast and do an interview. Your guests are taking time away from their schedule to do you a favor. Start on time and keep the time frame you promised.
There are differing opinions on asking a guest to promote the interview you did with them for your podcast. I’m of the mindset that cross promotion benefits your podcast/brand and their business/brand. Let them know when the episode will come out and give them promotional materials needed to make it easy for them or their team to plug in. In my opinion this benefits everyone and builds community.
But, realize that not all your guests will promote the show and the episode they were on. Perhaps they’re busy, forget, or just flat out don’t feel like doing it. That’s ok. The real aim of your podcast should be to crack into the minds of people you admire and want to learn from. They’re giving you content for your show and added value. You and your listeners learned from them. You gave them a platform to tell their story, but you still need to be the driving promotional force of your podcast.