What Makes A Great Podcast Guest Interview?

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(By Yann Ilunga) What should you think about and do to be an excellent podcast guest? And what pitfalls should you avoid? In this blog post, I’ll take a close look at six different pieces that make up the podcast-listening puzzle — and how to stand out, as a valuable guest, every time you’re featured on a show.

You’re A Well-Prepared Guest

One of the aspects that contribute to a five-star podcast guest interview is how prepared a guest is. You might be surprised but there are actually guests who don’t even know the host’s name or the title of the podcast.

Beyond these basics, being prepared means knowing the terminology that’s part of the show (Entrepreneur On Fire’s John Lee Dumas, for example, refers to his audience as Fire Nation), who is listening to you — aka the ideal listener — and what pain points he/she has.

Your Content Is Valuable (and Relevant)

This is pretty straightforward: every interview you do should provide value to the listeners.

You can either educate, inform, inspire, and/or entertain the audience. This is something that depends on your style, the format of the show, and so forth.

However, you should always keep the listener in the back of your mind and do your best to share content and advice that helps solve a problem they’re having or takes them one step closer to achieving their goals. And you should put everything you discuss in a context that resonates with the audience, from the words you use to the stories you tell.

In other words, even though you may talk about the same topic on different shows, the angle you cover it from, the terminology you use, and examples you share will vary, depending on the audience.

Chemistry Is In The Air

An interview is a conversation between two or more people. This means that, unless there’s a co-host or other guests, creating a great listening experience boils down to the interaction between two people: you and the host.

The interview shouldn’t be all about you. It should be about the explosive mix of your contribution and the host’s. This means you actually addressing and having a conversation with the host, and the conversation having a good flow.

The more chemistry there is, and the more authentic and personable the interview sounds, the more enjoyable and impactful it will be for a listener.

“Hel..lo?”

One of the ways to ensure the conversation is free flowing and pleasant is to actually sound good, audio-quality and Internet connection-wise.

What you say — your content — is key, but so is the way you sound when sharing it. Nobody is going to stick around to listen to an interview that sounds as if the host and guest recorded (or are broadcasting) from their respective bathrooms using a phone like it’s 1995.

And no, you don’t have to break the bank to have high-quality audio.

“Ah, um, like”

This next point is probably the one that will take you the most time to master.

In my work with clients, as well as on some of the podcasts I listen to, I often hear professionals share their advice using sentences that include a filler word as every third or forth word.

Saying things such as “um” and “like” on a regular basis can become a nuisance for the audience and can have a negative impact on their overall podcast listening experience.

You Offer A Next Step To The Interview

Ideally, the advice you share as a podcast guest doesn’t stop with the interview. The idea is to offer the listener a next step, something he/she can do to either implement what you and the host discussed on the show or to further unpack what you taught.

This last step isn’t only going to help you in terms of becoming a podcast guest who really stands out by providing value, but it will also help you have the podcast audience gravitate toward what you do and your community.

In my next post, I’ll dig deeper into this aspect and look at how you can use the “next step” to turn podcast listeners into email subscribers and even paying clients.

Yann Ilunga is a podcasting consultant and systems strategist. He’s the host of The Podcaster Lab and creator of what Forbes dubbed “Podcast Community to Join” — the Podcast Growth Mastermind.

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