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(By Traci Long DeForge) An amazing interview can land you clients, lead you to new networks, fortify your community, and accelerate your credibility! Podcasts are essentially conversations – something everyone does on a daily basis. But if you believe in the power of podcasts, you have to hone the simple act of chatting and develop it into a skill that can open doors to new opportunities. Transform yourself from a casual speaker into a purposeful communicator using the tips below.
Stuck with questions? Ask your listeners. Crafting questions can be overwhelming, especially when there are so many angles to approach an episode. When in doubt, ask those who will listen to you – your audience. They’re the ones interested in the subject matter. They’re the ones with loads of questions. With a podcast that answers their queries, you’ll be able to add value to your episodes and boost engagement with your community. It increases your value to listeners and gives them more bang for their buck!
Know your guests. Do your homework. Research your guests – their backgrounds, work, and even their networks. This will allow you to craft better questions, know your interviewees better, and forge a stronger connection with them. It also makes the guests themselves feel valued that you went out of your way to make them comfortable. This research may give you access to their networks which can up the promotion of your business, help land new clients, and even obtain new guests.
Be in flow with your guest. A podcast is a conversation, not an interrogation.While it’s recommended to prepare questions, you don’t have to strictly stick to these questions. Flexibility in this area goes a long way toward establishing a good flow and exchange of information. When your guest answers, it’s best to use that response as context for your next question. This psychologically lowers the defenses of guests, getting them to actively and continuously participate to have a more natural discussion. As the host, you have the responsibility to set the mood of the episode, so when you bring in good energy, your guest will mirror that too. This subconscious energetic exchange not only strengthens your connection with guests, but also raises your credibility with listeners.
It’s okay. Pause first. The cardinal rule, in any discourse, is to listen. Listen to the guest and to your own thoughts. How? Pause. Unfortunately, most people avoid listening. Sometimes, it may be due to nerves, trying to seem confident, thinking of what to say next, the time limit, or the fear of sounding awkward. Remember: Your priority is the conversation. If needed, allow yourself – and your guest – to pause for a moment, collect or continue your thoughts, then find your rhythm again. This breathing space makes room for better insight and improves the flow of the discussion. And besides, if your podcast is on demand, you can edit out the pauses.
Guide your editor. You can be the best interviewer around, but it won’t register for your listeners if your editor doesn’t know how you want your words to be delivered. Do you prefer a clean, smooth transition into each topic? Or do you want to include the “ums” and the “uhs” to seem more relatable and natural?
Before choosing a long-term editor, test them out to see if they can capture what you envision. It may take some time before you two find your rhythm, but when it gets to a point where they can already predict what you want, the returns are exponential! And if you are your own editor, you’ll have a smoother, faster workflow.
Have a strong Call To Action. After researching and preparing completely for the interview, don’t just upload the episode and expect more clients to rush in. People are busy and will likely lose the momentum created by the podcast. Podcasters should direct listeners to the next steps, especially those who podcast to promote their services. Given all the insights you and the guest presented, what should the listener do next? Is it to work with you? Is it to use your services? Is it to continue the conversation on social media? Have clear calls to action so your listeners stay connected with you in between episodes. This also builds your community further and markets your business to a wider set of people.