5 secrets of super podcast hosts
Got guests? Get the most out of your next interview.
No matter how charming or extroverted, every podcaster needs time to refine their hosting skills, especially when it comes to nailing the art of the interview. It can make or break a great podcast. Luckily, you have the intimate nature of the platform on your side. Super podcast hosts tap into this to get their guests to really open up and reveal some pretty personal things. When listeners feel like they’re a fly on the wall, eavesdropping on a conversation between friends, that’s the magic of podcasting!
Want to get the most out of your next interview? We’ll help you tackle those nerves, build a rapport with your interviewees, consistently book compelling guests, and get on other pods yourself. Here are 5 secrets of super podcast hosts.
1.They have their own style
It doesn’t matter if you’re channeling Barbara Walters or Marc Maron, your interview style will not only depend on the format of your show but your personality. If you have a knack for making others feel just as laid-back as you or you’re a straight shooter who likes to get right to the point, play up your strengths. Establish how you’ll approach each interview. Will you be getting personal with guests or keeping it professional? Will you learn everything about them first, or go in as a blank slate? Get practicing now by starting with your inner circle — the friends or acquaintances you feel the most comfortable with — before wooing your guest wish list.
2. They’ve perfected their pitch
Because a super host is only as good as their guests, put together a target list that focuses on quality over quantity. Do some initial research before reaching out with a personalized note. It could be casually sliding into their DMs or a sending a formal email. Demonstrate how your audience aligns with theirs and offer them the opportunity to plug upcoming projects. If you believe there’s a unique angle you can take on their latest accomplishment, or you learn of an interesting fact about their past you would like to explore — tell them. They want to hear what’s in it for them, but they also want to know that you won’t be asking the same questions everyone else asks.
3. They’re prepared
A super host is a prepared one. Even though it’s pretty awesome to meet face-to-face, most podcast interviews don’t happen IRL. Thanks to the magic of Skype and audio editing, you can accommodate guests’ busy schedules and still end up with an episode that flows seamlessly. Get a scheduling system in place. Plan a few months in advance to ensure ample time to coordinate, record, and edit, while giving you a buffer in case anything goes awry. Right before showtime, double check all your equipment and get the conversation flowing with some ice breakers so you can naturally ease into the interview.
4. They show love
Step out of the limelight and let your guests shine. Formulate your questions in a way that lets them tell their story rather than just stating facts. When you start to get off topic then you can gently guide them back on track. Even if your discussion revolves around serious topics, keeping everything relaxed will result in an authentic-sounding conversation. Your guests will appreciate this just as much as your listeners. If they had a great experience being on your show, they are more likely to open the door to more potential candidates.
5. They seize opportunities
You’re building your network and some street cred — now it’s time to turn the tables. Guesting on other podcasts is an effective tool for aiding discovery and building audience. Tap into past guests who have their own podcasts. If you listeners really dug the interview, or your audiences are complementary, or if you just had a ton to talk about, let them know you really think their audience would be interested in x, y, and z. You can also offer up your expertise when pitching prospective guests. Before you try to pitch, your goal should be to add value not to sell. Trading content for content should be a win-win scenario.