8 Ways to Become The Best Podcast Guest
From leaving any agendas at the door to being authentic, here are eight answers to the question, “Can you share any advice about how you can be a great podcast guest?”
- Leave All Agendas at the Door
- Have a Few Short Stories Ready to Go
- Put Yourself in the Listener’s Shoes
- Answer Questions With Concise, Actionable Information
- Know What the Host Likes
- Have an Organized Agenda With a Unique Story to Tell
- Prepare Your Space and Equipment
- Be Honest and Authentic
Leave All Agendas at the Door
Don’t come in with an agenda. Put all preconceived notions of how you want the episode to go. Listen well to the host and answer the questions asked, rather than trying to use a question to push a product, service or idea.
Let the conversation genuinely flow, but remember that it’s not your place to lead said conversation. Answer the questions honestly, revealing your personality along the way and you and your business will shine! In the process, both the podcast and your company will organically reap rewards.
Liza Kirsh, Chief Marketing Officer, Dymapak
Have a Few Short Stories Ready to Go
Podcasts are structured as long-form content, which makes lots of storytelling possible. If you want to be a great podcast guest, then have several great short stories ready to go. Actively listen for opportunities to tell each of these stories as answers to the questions the host presents to you.
You’ll come across as a much more entertaining guest, which will increase engagement for the show. This can translate to more downloads and longer listening time, and you will increase your chances of being invited back in the future.
Put Yourself in the Listener’s Shoes
A great podcast guest is someone who can help the host and their audience understand a topic. You should be able to express yourself well, keep your answers short and interesting, and use the opportunity to guide your listeners through something that you’re passionate about.
If you’re interested in being a great podcast guest, I’d advise you to put yourself in the shoes of a new listener. Let’s say you’ve never heard of podcasts before—what would you want to hear from a new guest? How would you want them to present themselves? What questions would you ask? How would they approach the conversation?
After you’ve done this, think about how it would apply to your podcast. If you can’t picture yourself listening to the podcast, then that’s a sign that you’re probably not ready to be on the show yet.
Answer Questions With Concise, Actionable Information
I’ve been a podcast host, avid podcast listener, and guest on dozens of podcasts, and what I’ve learned over time is great guests answer questions with concise and actionable information. They don’t over-explain or repeat themselves, and they present ideas or facts that listeners can do something with. They provide background, give the suggestion or fact the host was looking for, then explain what listeners can do with that information.
Know What the Host Likes
The key to getting the audience on your side is to get the host on your side. In the end, it’s about the audience. But the audience won’t tune in or stick around if the dynamic between guest and host (or hosts) isn’t revving.
Do some research on the host. Listen to some episodes before you appear. Try to get the hang of what their interviewing style is. Most importantly, talk about subjects that get the host engaged.
The host will ask questions but give answers that elicit follow-up questions that open the door for insightful and fascinating conversations. Take time to know the host. It will make the show more interesting and it will raise your profile.
Have an Organized Agenda With a Unique Story to Tell
Having an organized agenda with an original unique story to tell can make you a great podcast guest by setting the tone for the content you will present to the audience.
An organized agenda allows the podcast host and listeners to get a clear understanding of what topics you will cover during your time on the show, while a unique story gives listeners something that they can latch onto and remember.
Crafting an engaging story will help keep the audience interested and leave them with a memorable experience.
Prepare Your Space and Equipment
I’m the host of the High Volume Hiring Podcast and the co-host of the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces Podcasts. I’ve interviewed over 100 guests for these podcasts.
The biggest differentiator between podcast guests is their level of preparation. Almost all are subject matter experts and can speak well conversationally about their areas of expertise. But about half show up on time, in a quiet space, with solid Internet access, and use a good (need not be great) microphone and headphones or earbuds to reduce feedback.
The other half seem to think that the audio quality of a podcast doesn’t matter much. It does. It matters greatly.
Be Honest and Authentic
I’ve been on a lot of podcasts, and I’ve learned that the best way to be a great podcast guest is to be yourself.
If they ask you a question that makes you uncomfortable, or if you don’t know the answer to something they ask you, just tell them! Don’t make up an answer or pretend like it’s not an issue—it’s okay if you don’t know everything.
Of course, there are some things that are good to keep in mind before the interview:
– Know what your topic is about. If someone asks for an opinion on something, have one! But don’t give one if you don’t have one.
– Make sure your tech is in order! This is especially important if the host will not be in person with you during the interview.
– If possible, get familiar with their show before recording.