If you have been a fan of podcasts, you probably already have a favorite podcaster. Chances are you became a fan because they can make any discussion lively and interesting and there's never a dull moment when you listen in. It is also likely that they are very knowledgeable about the topics they discuss and you are able to learn many new things each time you tune in.
In a perfect world, all podcasters should possess those qualities. However, we don't live in a perfect world. That being said, there will be podcasters who still struggle when it comes to presenting their shows and doing interviews. If you are an aspiring but new podcaster, it would be safe to assume you can relate to this dilemma.
Fortunately, even if you struggle with podcasting the first time, it does not always have to be that way all the time.
If doing interviews is not your forte, here are some things you will surely find beneficial:
At the recently concluded FinCon, renowned podcaster Steve Stewart shared his formula of hosting a podcast interview that will make you sound like a pro even if you're a complete newbie.
Welcoming your guests sets the mood for the interview. The more enthusiastic you are, the more they would feel appreciated. Keep in mind that they gave you an hour or two of their precious time. Make it worth their while! Make sure they are also comfortable and at ease so the rapport will follow.
Engaging in a little chitchat with your guest at the start of your podcast interview is fine, just as long as you don’t get carried away in the conversation. Steve points out that it’s crucial to transition into what he calls the “meat of the interview” within the first 5 minutes of the show. Otherwise, you’ll have to edit a lot—or even the whole—conversation after.
Of course, we know that listening to the guest is a given. Unfortunately, sometimes, we never truly listen. Making a deliberate effort of listening to the guest rather than focusing on what to ask next should be something you need to be mindful of. It's the polite, courteous, and professional thing to do. You can also use the answers given by the guest to transition smoothly to the next question.
At the same time, your guest may point out something fascinating that you want to emphasize, or something a bit confusing that may need more clarification. The only way you can pick those up is through proper listening.
One of the common myths you’ve probably heard when it comes to doing podcast interviews is not allowing any dead air during the conversation. This may be applicable for solo shows. But when it comes to podcast interviews, Steve assures that dead air is fine.
Allowing dead air can help minimize the risk of interrupting your guest while still speaking. Dead air also gives you the chance to think about the next logical question to ask. Also, it helps make your guest feel even more comfortable because you are, in fact, indirectly telling them that it’s okay for them to pause for a moment and collect their thoughts before speaking. Besides, you can always edit them afterwards.
Steve suggests that telling your guest how you can relate to what he or she just said is another great way to ensure the conversation flows smoothly. This can also come in handy if you find yourself caught in a situation where you’re finding it difficult to think of the next question to ask.
Steve points out in this video that podcasters should edit their podcasts. Since listeners chose to spend some of their valuable time to tune in, make sure you make it worthwhile for them. Create valuable content. Get rid of unnecessary nuisances. Have seasoned podcast editors like Podcast Engineers take care of the edits so you know you are able to present something that is of topnotch quality.
Nothing can be more frustrating and annoying than to go through a great podcast interview with your guest only to find out that you forgot to hit the ‘record’ button. It sounds funny, true. However, even Steve admits this has happened to him.
To make sure that this does not happen to you, he suggests that you start recording even before you begin the interview session. It’s okay if there is a bit of dead air and separate conversation that may be happening in the background. You can always edit those out after.
Be the subject matter expert and OWN IT! Go bold or go home. (This one's literally from Steve)
If you have any tips to add feel free to share them in the comments below.
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