As a radio presenter, I have conducted over 300 interviews and also done several other interviews at a number of events and on behalf of clients. I don’t say this to brag about the number, but to point out that I have had a good opportunity to observe why some interviews go differently than others.
I always enjoy my interviews. Always. Admittedly, some more so than others; and most of that is down to preparation by myself, the guest and the chemistry between us. I don’t believe people are boring or what they do or say is boring; it’s just about finding the right things to ask and how much the guest is prepared and willing to engage. It’s a choice.
In my eBook published earlier on this year ‘How to use podcasts to promote your book‘, I talk about how certain things determine the outcome of an interview and having done some interviews over the last couple of months, I thought I highlight a few things.
For my show Dream Corner, I’ve always sent some basic questions to all my guests. There are pointers so they know what direction the interview will take. I want them to be comfortable, confident and well prepared for our time together. I know not everyone (presenter/podcast host) does this, but my goal for every interview is for my guest to do well and be proud of the interview when they listen back to it.
Truth be told, not everyone reads my questions and or prepares ahead of the interview – they tell me; and most of the time, it’s obvious to me. I remember about a year ago I was scheduled to interview a guest and said I was going to send some questions her. She said she didn’t need them and she would be okay. I was actually nervous because my gut told me it wasn’t going to go well; and it didn’t! When she realised the direction I was going in, she got nervous because she wasn’t prepared to answer some of the questions. So it wasn’t as good as it could have been. She asked me what I thought at the end of it and I was honest. I said it’d have turned out better if she had some pointers.
While I say this as what NOT to do ahead of an interview, here are two other things not to do DURING an interview:
1. Answering a question with a completely different answer
As an interviewer, this is one of the most frustrating things that can happen during an interview. I actually had to stop an interview when the guest went completely off tangent, and was on her own agenda to promote her business. I told her that she was missing out on an opportunity to connect with listeners if all she wanted to do was jump straight to the point where she could promote herself. The questions I set are designed to give every guest an opportunity to talk about what they do, but I find that some guests think they will miss an opportunity to sell themselves, and jump start the process.
Going to an interview with an agenda of just promoting yourself or your business wouldn’t be offering listeners value. If the listeners are the right ones for you, then you should know and plan ahead properly, so it’s seamless when you promote you and your business.
2. Round in circles to the answer
This is closely relates to the above point, but equally annoying! If you’ve planned the content you want to share, then this shouldn’t happen. I understand it can be easy to make this mistake, but this is why planning ahead of an interview is KEY. Especially if you’ve received the questions or you have sent pointers ahead to the interviewer about areas you are okay to speak about.
The challenge with this is, you loose your listeners and the interviewer, and by the time you finally get to the point which you’ve been asked, it’s no longer relevant or people – including the interviewer have either forgotten that was the question asked or lost the thread of it.
There’s an art to interviewing as I’ve found and questions are the cornerstone to having a good, great or bad interview.
If you are lucky to get questions ahead of your interview, make sure you write some bullet points of key things you want to say which will offer value to listeners. It’s easy to get ‘lost’ in it all when you are comfortable and enjoying yourself and or when/if you loose your footing and trying to get things back on track. Podcast interviews are important to you and your business, but make it work for you in the best possible way.
I hope these simple points help. Have I missed anything else out? You can check out ‘How to use podcasts to promote your book‘ for more tips, suggestions and strategies for your interview.
- 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