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Advice from 30 Podcast Hosts About How to be a Good Podcast Guest
Table of Contents
As a podcast host and guest, I am always looking for ways to improve my podcasting game. So I decided to turn to the pros to learn more about how I could become a better podcast guest (and help others become better at it as well). I asked a single focusing question on my LinkedIn,
“Podcast hosts, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to podcast guests?”
I received 112 responses during the lifespan of the post. Out of those 112, I picked my 30 favorite/most helpful responses to share with you in this post. Whether you’re an established podcast guest or new to the game, you’ll be able to take some things away from this post! ?
I’ve broken the responses I received into categories so you can follow along, they are in order from beginning to end of the podcast guesting journey. Here are the 7 categories that I’ve broken this post into:
- Care About Your Gear
- Pre-Interview Preparation
- Getting Into The Right Mindset (Just Before The Interview Begins)
- During the Interview (Conversational Tips)
- After Recording The Interview
- Continued Education
Let’s go ahead and dive into advice from 30 Podcast Hosts About How to be a Good Podcast Guest
Care About Your Gear
“CARE about the quality of your own audio. That means if you are going to be on podcasts regularly (or even just one time) invest the funds needed to represent yourself well from an audio perspective. It will serve you and your host (and his/her audience) well too. The ATR2100 or Samson Q2U mics are winners for a very reasonable cost.” – Carey Green
Here are links to both of these mics on Amazon: ↓
Two other podcasters jumped in to re-enforce this point. (Having a good mic and sound quality is SUPER important!)
“Buy a proper microphone.” – Molly Ruland
“Never rely on built-in mic and speakers: external headsets at all times when a professional mic isn’t an option!” – Ana Xavier
Podcasting’s Palestinian Princess contributed her thoughts as well:
“Many podcasters will ask you to fill out a form. This can get burdensome. Create a Google Drive or Dropbox folder with approved pictures, logos, bio, key links, book summaries and other materials so that you do not need to fill out the same information over and over again.” – Hala Taha
“Ask the host if their are any specific questions that always get asked during or at the end of every episode so you can be prepared to answer them and know when the conversation is winding down.” – Ina Coveney ?
“Have an idea of the value you would like to bring the guests. This can be well accomplished by listening to previous episodes of the podcast before the interview happens.” – Dallin Candland
“One piece of advice I would say for a podcast guest is check out a previous episode of the podcast you are going on. This will help the host know that they know what type of questions will be asked and that works for the guest also. They know the flow and the style of questions will be asked. They can prep themselves in a way to make the conversation flow and feel natural.” – Alex Burket
“Listen to a few episodes to get a better understanding of what the podcast is about and who it’s for. Then come with a few great stories that you haven’t shared anywhere else.” – Andrew Wang
☝ The friendliest face award goes to… Andrew Wang! ?
“Know your core 1-5 messages you want to convey & walk into the interview with clarity about what value you are offering to listeners (new knowledge? motivation/inspiration? entertainment/comedy? etc). Clarity is key & putting yourself in the position of the listener by asking questions like, “What would I gain from listening to this episode?” is a game changer.” – Kari Raquel
“The best advice I can give the guest is to take the time to listen to a few episodes before coming in the show. Understand the flow of the show, the cadence of the host and who the show is aimed at and more importantly why. The more you can have the end listener in mind and how you can help them succeed as a guest, the better the show interview will go.” – Ben Baker
Getting Into The Right Mindset (Just Before The Interview Begins)
“Come on with the mindset of being authentic as possible and adding value not just simply plugging the whole time and overloading each answer/talking point with your product, service, etc. Showing who you really are helping connect to who you are looking to attract.” – Roman Prokopchuk
“Take time to build relationships, to understand what creates meaning and value for an audience, and how you can work with hosts to collaborate on building engaging and enduring content together. Involve the host in this process rather than offering canned pitches or simply replaying THE EXACT SAME talk on every show you appear on.
You value shines when have an understanding of how to relate your messaging in a wide variety of ways from different angles. Create a unique value opportunity from every show you appear on.” – Jeffrey Besecker
☝ Jeffrey is one the kindest human beings you’ll ever meet. He appreciates everyone for who they are… Human beings. ❤
My advice to a guest is simply be open. Yes, be prepared with your few key talking points. However, being open to a conversation and not feeling forced to jam those talking points in makes for a more fluid conversation and enjoyable experience. In short, relax! – Steve McGrath, Jr.
“Relax…..its just a chat.” – James MacPherson
During the Interview (Conversational Tips)
“Come from a place of gratitude.” – Jordan Paris
“Be upbeat and energetic. Sound like you REALLY want to be on the podcast even if you don’t. Regardless of who you are and how many followers/subscribers you have, many listeners might be learning about you for the very first time. This is your opportunity for more clients/sales etc. Make it a good first impression, otherwise you can turn people off from you and your business.” – Mark Wishnia
“Be confident but Don’t be salesy!” – Dr. Travis Parry
☝ Dr. Travis Parry is a ROCK STAR. Check out this interview he did:
“Be willing to give yourself to the process, relax and have fun! It’ll make for a more relaxed and conversational chat.” – Syya Yasotornrat
“Be yourself because everyone else is taken and just tell your story.” – Peter Griffiths
Being a podcast guest is *nothing* like being a cable news TV guest. When you are used to speaking in sound bites you will have to retrain yourself to suddenly provide longer answers that can fill up an hour of time.
This can be a major adjustment for many people. Media training should include being trained on how to speak on that particular medium. Ie. For ex, in cable news you may frequently see guests speaking over each other- in podcasting- you do not want a guest speaking over a host because it makes for garbled audio and an unpleasant listening experience.
When I media train clients on how to be a great podcast guest, the number one thing I always say is: a good interview is like a game of ping pong. Back and forth. If the host says a few words and you speak for ten minutes, that is *not* ping pong. – Kristen Ruby ?
“Think about personal stories related to the topic we discuss. It illustrates better your answer to a question or the point you want to make.” – Diogène Ntirandekura
“Make sure to include practical takeaways and tips that will enhance someone else’s life as and make sure to tell stories.” – Agnes Bilik
After Recording The Interview
“Leave reviews for your favorite shows. This helps inform the content creation for the podcast host!” – Misty Phillip
Two responses that really impressed me were from Billy Samoa Saleebey and Billy Dees. I think you’ll enjoy them as well. Here they are:
Video from Billy Dees:
What Podcasters Want From Guests
Many people are being told by social media marketers that part of their strategy should be to go on the podcast circuit. That’s great if it fits your needs. However, there are two things podcasters want; good content and to sound good.
And last but not least… A friend of mine put together the following and I thought the points were great, so it’s a great recap if much of what we’ve covered here.
The Podcast Guest 10 Commandments from Billy Samoa Saleebey:
- Know Thy Audience: know who that podcast serves. Make it a goal to be one of that show’s best guests of all-time (listen to at least one episode, read reviews, website)
- Thou are the Expert: remember why you were brought on the show
- Thou Shall Break Things Down: share things step-by-step (actionable – 1, 2, 3) so they can be easily applied
- Thou Shall Not Be Vague: don’t hide information because it’s “sacred” – share freely and BE SPECIFIC!
- Thou Shall Not Record Bad Sound: record in a small carpeted room, with soft surfaces, USE AN EXTERNAL MIC!
- Thou Shall Listen: pay close attention throughout the interview, especially to the question, and answer it directly/succinctly
- Thou Shall Not Bore: stories about your life may be interesting, but people want to know WIFM (What’s in it for me) – be sure your story has a payoff that provides value
- Thou Shall Have a POV: what is your unique perspective or “point of view” that people will remember you by?
- Thou Shall Not Over Plug: be subtle about plugging your products/services. Don’t let it dominate the conversation
- Thou Shall Help Promote: share the episode with your network, reply to comments on posts
There you have it! Advice from 30 podcast hosts about how to be a good podcast guest.
If you wish to discuss any of there in more detail, please join the discussion (link below). Focusing on becoming a better guest on podcasts is important for two reasons. First, because it helps expand your reach and influence. Second, because it helps add value to the podcast host and as a result, helps the people who are listening to that show. Ultimately, that’s why we all do this! To impact and help others.