Last time my post was about What NOT to do during your podcast interview, but this time I thought I shine the light on interviewers…podcast hosts like me and what you should look for before deciding to go on a podcast show to be interviewed.
I always say that not everyone is suited to every host and in turn, not every podcast host is suited to you – how you want to promote your business. One of the most important things you can do for yourself – apart form preparing for the interview, is to research the podcast host of where you’ve identified is right for you.
Far too often people get caught up in the listening numbers and ignore the fact that the host may not be the right person to interview them.
Why you ask?
Because if the host is not suited to you and verse versa, then you can:
(a) Very easily not be yourself because the host didn’t bring out the best in you – ask the right questions to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge
(b) Or you wouldn’t be your true authentic self during the interview because you were nervous.
If either was the case, then it wasn’t the best opportunity for you, because you’ve limited the chances of listeners connecting with you in the right way; and wanting either take up your service or buy your product.
I mentioned earlier that preparation is KEY. And researching your host is part of that preparation. You want the best possible opportunity to present yourself, your business – demonstrating your expertise, that will yield fruitful and tangible results.
Preparation starts with knowing exactly what you want to say to which audience and then identifying the best podcast shows and host that will help deliver those objectives – not the other way round. Once that’s done, here are a few things you should consider about the host:
How does the podcast host establish rapport with his/her guests? This is important. Podcasting is a more relaxed style of interviewing compared to traditional broadcasting, so it’s important the podcast host gets his/her guest to relax, be comfortable, so they deliver their best content. For me as a presenter, this is the first and foremost thing that I do because I know people are nervous – even those who’ve a number interviews under their belt! Every time you do an interview, you are going in front of a new audience, so it’s different every time.
It’s easy to check out the podcast host’s interview style by listening at random to the first few minutes of past interviews the host has done. Imagine it was you being interviewed; how did you feel? You may even be taken by the guest and host that you listen to the end. If in your gut, this is the kind of host you’d like to interview you, then you have found a match – of course they have to have the right listeners for you (that’s another post on it’s own!).
I know this might sound like such a ‘hassle’ for some, but from experience I know how badly some interviews can turn out just because the host and guest hadn’t established a good rapport from the on set.
How the podcast host engages
Once the rapport has been established, the next thing is how the podcast host engages with the guest throughout the interview. Do they let guests settle into what they have say; give them enough time to finish what they were saying and not cut them off because they were running out of time?
These things can throw even a seasoned interviewer off their game if the podcast host doesn’t engage properly. This could be because they have a set of prescribed questions they have to get through and are following a script.
To me, this kills any chance of a great interview. Admittedly I send questions ahead for my guests, they are just pointers so the guests feel comfortable and confident they are prepared. I very rarely follow the questions in any particular order; they are there to help me maintain an ongoing dialogue; and in some cases, I don’t look at them at all because the guest and I are getting along great.
Are guests allowed to be the expert?
This I have to say is my personal bug bear with some podcast hosts! I can’t see the point in bringing a guest on to the show and not allowing them be the ‘expert’ which was the reason you brought them on in the first place!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve unsubscribed from a podcast for this reason! I agree some podcast hosts maybe knowledgeable in that area as well, but courtesy should prevail and the guest be given the time and space to speak, without interrupting their flow.
My rule of thumb is if the podcast host is speaking for more than 30% of the time, then they are saying far too much. Are you as the guest going to be speaking for 70% of the time? Yes. With the right questions and preparation (on your part), you’ll have more than enough to say during that time, so don’t be nervous. And this doesn’t prevent both of you having a meaningful and interesting conversation.
Has the host done any research?
This is a balancing act for the podcast host! I think every host has to do a certain amount research on their guests, so they know enough about who they are interviewing. Seems simple enough, but you’d be surprised that some podcast hosts have not done enough research on their guest that the interview falls flat! Sometimes the bio sent by the guest is not enough.
As a guest, it’s easy to get nervous if the host is ‘irritated’ because you are not what they expected and or they have not prepared adequately. This makes them look bad and you even worse. You’d be the loser in that scenario – his loyal followers will just think he’s having a bad day, while you’d be thrown to ‘Neverland of the forgotten’! Ouch!
As an interviewer, there’s a certain amount of curiosity I have when I’m going to interview every guest. I know enough to hold a conversation and certainly enough to ask the right questions that gets them to talk, but I see myself as a listener as well who wants to get to know the guest a lot more. If there isn’t a certain amount of curiosity, the podcast host is not going to ask the right questions which would allow you to shine.
When you research, please pay attention to these ‘small’ things that can actually change your interview from being mediocre to be brilliant.
I hope you’ve found this helpful. Everything I’ve shared, comes from years of experience and hundreds of interviews I’ve done and continue to do. I’ve made mistakes too! Podcasting is a great way to connect with many people across the world and provide valuable content. What holds all this together is the podcast host.
Let me know what you think.
- How to repurpose your podcast interviews - November 10, 2015
- What do you look for in a podcast host? - November 4, 2015
- What NOT to do during your podcast interview - October 27, 2015
- Why do people hate the sound of their voice? - October 6, 2015
- Case Study: How to leverage your services with audio testimonials - October 1, 2015
- Ep 007: Discovering Indie Titles - August 3, 2015
- Marketing your book as you write - June 12, 2015
- Ep 006: Crowd Publishing your next book - June 12, 2015
- Ep 005: Book Reviews, Social Media and Marketing - June 3, 2015
- Ep 004: Integrating Amazon and Social Media with AuthorRise - June 1, 2015