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Autopsy Of A Podcast Interview

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(By Troy Price) Recently I heard a podcast interview that I would like to discuss. It was perfect. However, since we are in a world that is True Crime/Medical Drama obsessed, I thought I would explain why this interview was so dang good like I was writing an autopsy report (I know that the word ‘Autopsy’ usually applies to a review that happens after something undesirable happens, but would you read an article titled, ‘Post-Implementation Review Of A Podcast Interview’?)

SUMMARY OF INTERVIEW HISTORY Dave Jackson interviewed Gary Arndt on Episode 854 of the School of Podcasting podcast.

The School of Podcasting podcast is a long-standing podcast about podcasting. On the show Dave frequently shares interviews he conducts with others in the podcasting space so that his listeners can hear about his guest’s experiences in their own words. This episode is like many other interview based episodes except it is implemented perfectly.


EXTERNAL EXAMINATION Upon review, the interviewer: - Did not start the interview by saying, “Please introduce yourself.” - Presented the interviewee’s relevant credentials and experience as new topics as they were discussed. - Asked follow-up questions that lead to responses that provided additional information on the topic being discussed or responses that provided needed clarification. - Talked less than the interviewee during the interview. - Concluded the interview without any off-topic questions, awkward silences or announcing, ‘Well, we are running short on time…’. - Ended the interview by asking about the interviewees contact information and existing body of work.

INTERNAL EXAMINATION During an email exchange with the Interviewer on 11/28/2022, I asked him to share the internal process he followed to share this interview with his listeners. He responded:

“For me, I run into people who think “a conversation = podcast = money” (and um yeah, no).  When I heard Gary on another podcast and heard some of the work he is doing I wanted him on my show. My goal was to show that Gary isn’t winging it and that his show is growing because it’s good (not just because he is paying for promotion). I also wanted to point out that it is work.

I had done an episode about not following best practices and the fact that Gary doesn’t really have a niche was interesting as well. So I binged a few of his interviews and this episode was me walking Gary through his greatest hits. He has some great insight.

So it was a matter of asking a question and getting out of the way.”

CLINICOPATHOLOGIC COORELATION It is obvious that Dave had researched Gary’s history in the industry and his current body of work. So much so that he was able to fully introduce Gary at the beginning of the interview. Further, Dave was able to guide the interview towards topics to which Gary could speak. Additionally, due to his research, Dave knew what Gary had talked about on other podcasts and asked follow-up questions when Gary’s answers to him were not as complete or as clear as Gary had offered on other podcasts.

Dave has interviewing skills that were in full display during this interview. When he heard Gary speak for the first time on another podcast, Dave wanted to interview Gary for his show. During the interview Dave stayed on topic as he interviewed Gary (being considerate of his listener’s time). While Gary shared his podcasting successes, Dave never tried to ‘One Up’ his guest by sharing his own past successes. The focus always stayed on the interviewee. Dave also spent time in post-production so that the recorded interview did not include the cursory pre and post interview chit-chat. Dave kept his listener’s experience in mind throughout the entire process.

Lastly, Dave ended the interview concisely.

SUMMARY AND REFLECTION What I learned from this autopsy: Gary Arndt has developed an amazing podcasting business and is willing to share the details of his experience. Most of what he shares is engrossing and applicable. I know this because of Dave’s interviewing skills. Of course you should listen to Episode 854 of The School Of Podcasting podcast because of what Gary shares, but you, as a podcaster, should also listen to hear how Dave conducted a perfect interview.

Remaining unanswered questions: The only remaining questions are, “What did you learn from how this interview was conducted? And, How are you going to change your interview technique based on what you learned?” Answer these questions for yourself and share your insights in the comments below.

Troy Price is the co-founder of Front Porch Studios in Berea, Kentucky. He has been involved with podcasting for over a decade. Listen to his show “Podcasting Tips From The Front Porch” HERE.

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