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PodSchool Podcast | How to be a great podcast guest

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Tips for podcast guesting like a pro

So you’ve been pitching yourself out as a podcast guest on other shows and someone has said yes!

How do you make sure you bring the best quality content possible so the host loves you and people listening want you as a guest on their podcast as well?

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A great podcast guest listens to the show

This is something you should do before you’ve even pitched yourself because you want to pitch an idea that perfectly fits the content a host is doing already.

Once you’ve been accepted you want to listen to the host’s interview style and also take note of what previous guests have brought to the table.  Especially what’s worked and what hasn’t.

That way you’ll know what you’re in for and you’ll also have a sense of the kind of content that adds the most value to the show.

How to pitch yourself as a guest on other podcasts

Read

A great podcast guest asks for topics but not questions

As an interviewer there’s nothing worse than a guest who’s been given the questions ahead of time and then freaks out anytime anything is asked that wasn’t on the original brief.

When you’re a guest on a podcast you want to be prepared but not over-prepared.

The best interviews are the ones where you’re able to have a relaxed conversation that can go off-script if something more exciting happens.

If you’re expecting things to go a certain way it’s hard to be fully present because you’re trying to remember what you’ve prepared rather than being in the moment.

Some podcast hosts might send you questions as a matter of course but if they don’t, don’t demand them.

Ask for enough information so you can make sure you’re fully prepared but then be ready to go wherever the conversation takes you.

How to get the most out of your podcast interviews

Read

Great podcast guests offer themselves up for a pre-interview

This is not only helpful for the host because it gives them a chance to refine their questions for the actual interview but it can also be really helpful for podcast guests too.

Ideally, you don’t want to be meeting the host for the first time when you’re about to press record.

A pre-interview can give you a chance to build rapport so you’re way more comfortable during the actual interview.

Should you conduct a pre-interview with your podcast guest?

Read

Great podcast guests care about audio quality

If you’re already hosting your own podcast you should have a good podcast microphone but if you want to be a podcast guest it’s a good idea to buy a mic because you want your audio to sound as good as possible.

That also means you need to think about where you record.

Your recording space has a huge impact on audio quality so make sure you stay out of echoey rooms and away from hard surfaces like floorboards and tiles.

Also make sure, if you’re recording via a remote recording platform, you’ve shut down all the other programs so nothing goes “PING!” in the middle of the interview.  And that you’ve turned off everything that might be making noise like an air conditioner or a buzzing hard drive.

How to record high-quality audio at home

Read

A great podcast guest waits for the interview files to upload

If you’re being recorded via remote recording platform you’ll need to keep the session open until the audio uploads to make sure nothing gets lost.

Don’t make the mistake of exiting when the host says goodbye in the interview because you might end up with no audio and that’s never a good thing.

How to record a podcast remotely

Read

A great podcast guest shares the show with their network

After the podcast is finished make sure you email the host or their producer to get them to send you any links or assets for social media once the episode is live.

This will help get their show in front of your audience just like the interview helped you get in front of theirs.

If they create images for social media that don’t fit your brand or don’t sit right on your feed, feel free to create your own via a free tool like Canva.

How to promote your podcast

Read

Great podcast guests return the favour

If the interview goes well and you think they’d have great content to offer your audience why not ask them to be a guest on your show?

By inviting them on your podcast that’s one less episode you need to think about!

Got any other great ideas for how to promote your show?  Write them in the comments below!

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Hello! A few weeks ago, I did an episode on how to get yourself featured on other podcasts as a guest and I had a lovely lady called Andrea email me and ask me if you do get a spot on somebody else's podcast, how can you make sure you're a good guest? Andrea, this is music to my podcasting ears because if you’re already thinking about how you can provide great content for somebody else, you are streets ahead of so many others who just think “Great! My voice on another show means more listeners for me!” If you want to have the biggest impact when you are featured on somebody else's show, you do need to think a lot about what you're bringing to the table. If you nail it and you're a fantastic guest, you will not only probably be asked back on that show, but there are probably people listening who have other shows that who think “I want to get them on my podcast!” So it is a good idea to be thinking about how you can nail this before you sit down in front of a microphone.
One of the things you should do when you first get accepted as a guest is to flag with the host about whether they could send you an outline of the areas you will touch on so you can make sure you're prepared. Please don’t demand a question. Most hosts aren't going to want to give you a list of their questions and it’s not because they want to trip you up. The reason is because there is nothing worse than sitting down with a guest who has prepared everything and then when you ask them something in the moment they freeze because they haven't prepared for it. That's not what you want in an interview. You want to be able to go where the wind takes you when you're sitting down with somebody, so you want a guest to be prepared but you don't want them to be wedded to a script. I've had that happen so many times, and it’s very difficult to get any kind of natural chemistry going. Some interviewers will happily send the questions through ahead of time but if your interviewer isn't that person, don't push for it.
The other thing you can do is suggest that you are happy to have a pre-interview if the host or their producer wants to chat to you ahead of time. That can be a very useful tool to have as an interviewer because it helps you work out where the best areas are so you can just focus on those in the interview rather than wasting time. But it’s also great for you because it means you can build rapport with the person who’ll be interviewing you.
You also want to make sure you’ve got a decent microphone. If you’re hosting a podcast you’ll have one already but if you aren’t and you want to be a guest on people’s podcasts you’ll be a much better guest if you sound good. You can grab a really simple USB mic for under $200 and you also want to think about where you record because that will have a big impact on the quality of the audio as well.
Don’t make the mistake of being a guest who feels they need to be overly formal either. The best podcast interviews are ones where the guest feels relaxed and comfortable so whatever you can do to make that happen whether it’s practising the interview with a friend or doing some meditation beforehand will be a good thing. The whole point of pitching yourself to other shows is that ideally, you want the people listening to those shows to come and check out your podcast and the only way they’re going to do that is if you come across as relaxed and natural.
After the interview is over, make sure you ask them for links to the show and any assets they have so you can share it with your audience. If they give you images that don’t suit your brand just make some new ones in a free tool like Canva. While you’re on their show to get in front of their audience you also want to make sure you’re helping get their show in front of a new audience too and sharing the show will help that. And if you really enjoy the chat and think the host might have some useful advice or content for your audience, why not invite them on the show? You probably don't want to have them on one week after you’ve been on their show but bringing them in in a few weeks or months can give you a little bit of content as well.
Oh, one more quick trap for young players. If you’re being recorded via remote recording platform make sure you stay on the call until the audio of the interview has uploaded because on some platforms if you leave the session to early you’ll lose the audio and no one wants that.
I hope that's helped you think about how to be a good guest when somebody kindly invites you on their show. You can check out my online podcasting course, PodSchool, for more in-depth help with your podcast, where I take you step by step all the way from idea generation to monetisation. You'll find all the details at PodSchool.com.au. I'm opening the course up again at the end of September, so if you jump on the website and pop your name down on the waitlist you'll get an email as soon as the course opens again. Thanks so much for listening. I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

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