Being a good podcast host isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of repetitions behind the mic to really master the craft. You might already have a built in audience for your show, or be in the process of building one, but if you don’t embody the curiosity, empathy and generosity it takes to win people over each week, your listeners will begin to tune out.
Podcasts are all about the transference of information, thus you have to be curious about a wide variety of topics to keep engaging conversation going. When you’re genuinely curious and passionate about learning, you invite your audience to adapt this same curiosity. You have to truly listen to the conversation and not think about responding for the sake of responding. A good host responds with good questions and give feedback, to keep an interesting dialogue going.
Showing an ability to understand and share feelings is another detrimental quality that all great podcast hosts embody. Often times your guests will be sharing personal stories, struggles and beliefs with you and you must be receptive to this emotional generosity. When you’re empathetic to your guest you create a comfortable enviornment. Your listeners will pick up on this sympathetic energy and will love hearing your explore it.
All great podcast hosts are organized. As a host, you have to be disciplined enough to have notes, bio’s, and sponsor information all within an arms reach. Often times you will be looking up information on your laptop or controlling the recording equipment during a show. You can’t let all these production tasks distract you from the conversation. Being able to handle this responsibility is essential to running a smooth flowing show that your audience will demand.
Nobody likes listening to a stressed out person. It’s imperative that you stay relaxed during recording sessions. Adopting a positive, loose and open demeanor is always inviting for your audience. Obviously the type of show you’re hosting will have an impact on your podcasting persona, but human nature dictates that we attract more when we are relaxed. Studies have also shown that those who speak slower are able to develop more concise thoughts. People will listen to you and pay more attention to you when you slow down.
Generosity is what keeps your listeners loyal and keeps them coming back for more. Give them a shout out on the air, read some of their reviews and answer their emails. Let them know you care. Freebies can also go a long way. Give them a code to download your ebook, give them 10% off of your products and services. It’s about giving back to your fans. They tune in each week and give you their time. Reciprocating that exchange of energy help you continue to grow your audience.
Be patient while you focus on honing your craft as a podcast host. Think about some of the above qualities as you’re recording week to week and you’ll begin to find your voice as a great podcast host.