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So, you’re going to be a guest on a podcast?

That’s great!

Podcast “guesting” can be a great platform for demonstrating your expertise or sharing the story of your small business with a fresh audience.

No matter where you are on your epic journey, you’ve got a story to share and there are people who want to hear it. Better yet, there are people who want to LEARN from it.

But, before you jump into that meeting and the host hits the record button, I’d like to share with you just a few tips for making the most of your podcast interview.

1. Listen to a few episodes

It pays to listen to a few episodes of the podcast you’re going to be featured on. You’ll want to know how the host handles his or her guests. Doing so will make you feel comfortable with the host’s interview style, and also lets you mimic the tactics of better guests on the podcast.

Things to listen for:

  • The introductions (how the host asks you to introduce yourself
  • How the host sets up the topics
  • Does the host interrupt or let guests go on?
  • How do the better guests sign off?

2. Think of it as a conversation with a friend, not an interview

The best interviews are always the ones where both parties are fully engaged and invested in the conversation.

The world falls away and all focus goes toward you and your message. To get this effect, treat your recording session like it’s a coffee date instead of an interview—not only will it help with nervousness, but it will improve the quality of the conversation with focus and intimacy.

3. Prepare your message

Talk to the host beforehand and formulate a theme for the conversation or a list of topics, questions, talking points, etc. Have some notes prepared and refer to them during the conversation, but don’t write a script.

Remember, it’s just a casual conversation with a friend, so ultimately you want it to sound that way.

4. Use a good microphone

Podcasts are judged not only by the quality of their content, but also by the quality of their audio. Sometimes it’s difficult to get good audio using only the built-in microphone on your computer or device. So, if you have a microphone (mic) – hook it up and use it.

Ask your host for recommendations and instructions if you don’t already have a mic.

5. Use headphones or earbuds

Eliminate “feedback.” No, I’m not talking about the “you did a great job” kind of feedback. I mean the echo that is recorded when your mic picks up the audio from your speakers. Or, even worse, the gut-wrenching high pitch “squeal” you hear at the neighbor’s amateur garage band concert.

You can eliminate the chance of recording this acoustic faux pas by using headphones or earbuds. Don’t worry about looking dorky – this is audio, not video.

6. Find a quiet space for the meeting

Speaking of audio – nothing can ruin the audio experience more than a spouse rummaging through the room, kids screaming, or dogs barking in the background. Make sure you’ve prepared a quiet space for your conversation — I cannot overstate the importance of this point.

Nobody wants to hear your neighbor cutting their grass while you’re trying to describe your business.

7. Have a drink

No, not alcohol. Have a glass of water a few minutes before your meeting. Then, have something to sip on during the conversation – but be mindful of “sipping” noises.

Dry lips and mouths tend to make “sticking” or “smacking” noises that can be difficult to edit in post-production.

Ok, on second thought, have a glass of wine, too.

8. Turn off your phone

This should need no explanation. But we’re still going to explain it anyway.

When we say “Off”, we mean OFF, not just on vibrate. Not only can it be an audible distraction, but a visual one, as well.

9. Take notes

Listening is an activity. In fact, nothing is more active than listening. I find it helpful when I’m interviewing guests to take notes occasionally while they’re talking. This way, I can remember points to come back to without interrupting them. Feel free to do the same while the host is talking.

10. Promote the episode when it goes live

There is no better way to thank your host than by promoting the episode to your network. No matter how popular their show, podcasters are just as desperate for amplification as you are.

Make it a win-win and promote the heck out of your episode when it goes live, whether it’s via social media, word of mouth, your website or your email list. Send your message out to the world in as many ways as possible.

Well, there you have it – a checklist for making your podcast guest experience a great one.

Now, go out there, have fun, and be an awesome guest!