Preparing Your Guests for the Interview
This is part of a four-part series exploring how podcast guests have huge value to you and your show, and how properly leveraging that means you need to ensure they perceive value in having appeared on your podcast. These are tips on what left podcast guests feeling positive about their appearances… and what didn’t. We’re sharing these findings as a free resource to help you be the best podcaster you can be – for your guests.
Once you’ve booked your guest, it’s time to go the extra step in ensuring a beneficial experience for both of you by preparing your guest before you hit ‘record’. Getting the right guest on your podcast is the first step but leveraging that guest’s time so the conversation is on point and the recording is professional are subject to your level of preparation.
Provide all the details of their appearance to your guest up front. Not only the date and time of your recording session, but also the interview link and/or physical location, how you’ll conduct the interview, and how long it’s anticipated to take. Allow your guest to know exactly what they’re in for: an hour-long Zoom session or a 90 minute in-person studio interview are very different experiences to anticipate. It’s also vital to address any off-limit topics with your guest – both on their end and yours. This would include whether your podcast is clean or explicit so your guest can prepare their language accordingly. And on the technical side, remind your guest to wear headphones and use a microphone if they have one. Cover all the bases for the best recording possible.
Sometimes guests request questions in advance. It’s best not to give them specific questions for the simple fact that you want conversation to flow naturally. You don’t want a guest to show up and read pre-prepared answers that stifle the give-and-take nature of discussion. However you can, and should, let your guest know the topic (or topics) you’ll be discussing and key points you hope to raise. Consider sending your guest a questionnaire so they can give you more detailed background information to reference. This is also a great place to ask them if there is anything they specifically want to be asked, or don’t wish to discuss.
Finally, do your guest homework. Collect the information you need from them to promote them seamlessly after the interview. Get a bio from them, especially if they are appearing as an expert in a field. Get their contact information and any relevant links they’d like included in your show notes. Ask for their social media handles so you can tag them appropriately. Get a headshot to use on social media or in your episode cover images.
Preparing your guest beforehand not only ensures a seamless experience for you both, but goes a long way to making the guest comfortable and more likely to share openly. It also sets you up not just for a successful interview but quality promotion once the episode is set to air.
How Well Are You Doing?
Curious about how well you’re doing at providing a great podcasting experience for your guests? Book a consultation or reach out to us by email to discuss a potential audit of your podcasting practices and how you could take your podcast to the next level.