You’ve been asked to be a guest on a podcast!
It sounded fun and exciting when you signed up.
But now you’re getting nervous. It’s only natural. And while you’re not alone (Jill sweats bullets all the time and she’s not even nervous anymore,) we want this to be the best experience that you’ve ever experienced, ever.
What can you do to enjoy your podcast experience with Jill & Brad?
Listen to the podcast before you go on. Seriously.
Every podcast is a little different. Even if you’ve listened to, or been interviewed on, lots of podcasts in your life, spend 30 minutes listening to the show that you’re going to guest on. YOU will sound better. Hosts have patterns that they use with their guests and it’s good to know what those are so that you can anticipate ‘em, cooperate with ‘em, and not go into aural shock at any time. Listeners can tell.
Location, location, location.
We’ve all heard the difference between a show where the guest is calling in from a bedroom, from an iPhone, with their kids/dog/turtle barking in the background…versus the guest who is in a quiet conference room with a decent microphone. Use whatever headphones or microphone you have. But if you’re planning to guest on podcasts as a regular part of your marketing efforts, you might want to invest in something that makes you sound like Ryan Seacrest or Barbra Streisand (pick your flavor.)
For about $40 you can get the Samson Go Mic Portable USB Microphone or for around $80 you can get the Audio-Technica ATR2100. Both mics plug right into your USB port and both are directional meaning that they pick up your voice nicely without picking up all the noise coming from around the room. Invest a few bucks and you’ll sound like butter.
But whatever you are talking into, make sure you are in a quiet room. Turn off all noise makers (phones, computer beeps, jangly bracelets, wrappers, papers, things you tap on the desk — ALL. OF. THEM.). The fewer audio distractions, the more likely the audience is to hear what you have to say.
Bring your highest energy self.
Being on the radio (or a podcast) is not like a visit with a friend. All you have is your voice, they can’t see your facial expressions, hand gestures, or other body language. You have to do everything with your voice. So if you want to sound happy to be there, you need to amp up your energy. Stand up if you have to. Use your full dynamic range. Be expressive when you talk. The more engaging your voice, the more people will listen to your message. Nobody wants listeners to fast-forward the guest. Don’t be a victim of FFM (Fast-Forward Material.)
Get to the point.
Your audience likely isn’t there to hear you. This is not your audience, it’s the show’s audience. Be respectful of everyone’s time and get to the point quickly. This doesn’t mean you can’t tell a quick story to emphasize your point. But it does mean you can’t go off on tangents or introduce 7 points at once. Are you a talker? (You know who you are.) Does everyone tell you that they love your stories? (You know who you are.) This is not the place to show off that side of you. If you can make your point quickly the show keeps moving and keeps the listeners engaged.
Remember the rules of improv comedy? YES! And…
When you’re a podcast guest you’re co-creating a live thing with the hosts. It’s like doing an improv show. Neither of you knows exactly what’s going to happen next and you’re both invested it having it go well. So follow some simple improv rules:
- Yes, And.
When your host takes you someplace, go with them. They are driving the bus — you are a passenger.
Try to play along.
- There are no mistakes, only OPPORTUNITIES.
If something doesn’t go perfectly, don’t stress out — move on. You never know how that might sound later, or how it might come around later in the interview to create a laughing point. (If it’s truly terrible it can usually be edited out.)
- Controversy is great!
You and the host don’t have to agree all the time — disagreements (without being disagreeable) can make for great radio.
We are probably going to hang up on you.
Once the interview is over — well — it’s over. The host likely needs to move on to another guest and there might not be a lot of chit-chat. It does not reflect at all on how the hosts perceived your interview to be. It’s not about you.
Promote the episode when it comes out.
If you want to be heard by the most number of people and bask in the glow of the fame of the show, share the episode everywhere when it comes out. Share it on social media, in your email newsletter, on your website and on your blog. The more folks know about it the more valuable that experience is for you. The more feedback you will get. The more other podcast hosts are likely to hear you and invite you to be on their shows. The more your super fans will be in awe of you and send you free chocolate.
Being a guest on a podcast is a great way to get your message out to a targeted audience. It’s a marketing strategy that’s relatively low cost and gives folks a chance to hear your voice and get to know you. So go for it! And be the best guest that you can be.
Photo by Evan Forester