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How To Host a Unique Podcast Interview Every Single Time
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How do you get your guest to share their topic from a new perspective than podcasts they’ve appeared on previously? The key is to offer structure and guidance before you even press record. But the process doesn’t start there. Way before you get into conversation with your guest, you’ve got to get into conversation with yourself. In this session, Christina Barsi explains the three critical components that will drive the guiding framework that creates unique, authentic, and successful podcast interviews with your guests every time!
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How do you create a unique podcast interview every single time? How do you get your guests to share their topic from a new perspective that’s different from the other podcasts they’ve been on before?
I’d propose to you that the key is to offer them structure and guidance before you even press record.
This post is a transcription of one of the talks from our PodPros Quarterly Virtual event.
Why Do Podcast Guests Share The Same Story Everywhere?
Think about it for a moment, how many times have you Googled an upcoming guest on your show, only to find they’re covering the same topic every single time on every single podcast interview? Then, when you dig deeper, you discover the episode titles across all of these podcasts are the same!
Essentially, the guests are delivering the exact same interview on every podcast, despite the different hosts. Due to the guest being on autopilot, they really aren’t bringing anything new, meaning the podcast host themselves haven’t created anything new.
But guess what? Most of these guests are happy to share the same information and story as long as it serves their purpose. Which often is to sell a book, program or platform or share something going on in their world.
You don’t necessarily want them to share something different. Instead, what you need is for them to do it in a way that’s hyper-focused on serving your audience.
Suddenly, now you are the one who has a unique interview that is going to hit all three of these points of service, which are: you have to serve yourself and your purpose, your listener and your guest.
To accomplish this feat, you need to create a process to serve these three points and then carry it out in an authentic way. That’s how you get a truly unique interview from your fantastic guest.
With this in mind, the three elements to your guiding framework will be authenticity, service and clarity.
Before you can begin to fine-tune this process with your guest, you first have to fine-tune the conversation you’re having with yourself and the one you’re having with your listener.
This means revisiting your Why and doing that often.
Ask yourself: Why am I doing this podcast this way? Why am I still here doing this podcast this way?
This is a process of self-observation. Observe how you talk to your audience. Ask them for feedback. If you’ve had your show for a bit longer, you can create a survey to learn who they are and why they’re listening to your show?
What are they showing up for? Why are they there, and what are they hoping to get specifically from you? What are they coming back for?
That’s vital information to have. You might be surprised to discover that some listen to you because of how you make them feel—your essence, your voice, the way you talk about something. You’re going to lean into those things.
It’s okay to be aware of those strengths, even if it feels a little awkward to acknowledge them. It’s essential to know how you’re growing and how those strengths are developing as well. Becoming more aware of your strengths will create space for you to become more and more authentic. This, in turn, will help you serve your audience better.
Your authenticity is your strength.
It is what makes you unique, makes your show unique, and makes each interview with your guests unique as well.
On the other hand, even if you are a smaller show—whether you are just starting out or not—that’s still okay. Some of your listeners are probably people you already know. This can be family or friends that show up to support you no matter what.
Feedback is important
The good thing about that is you can also request feedback from them. Remember to ask them to be objective and share what about your content resonate with them. More importantly, you, what do they love about you?
Oftentimes, we’re the ones offering valuable information. We’re the ones doing all of the giving, and sometimes this doesn’t get reciprocated right away, or it takes time to hear back from listeners.
Therefore, you can reach out to your listeners either directly, through a survey or a Facebook group, etc., and ask them about what they love about you.
You’ll find this is also a great exercise in gratitude. It humbles us to hear these things, opens us up to receive, and thus completes the cycle
This process of observation and awareness is very powerful and can help you develop a path to horning your authenticity and craft as a podcast host
I recommend adopting this process and finding moments to do it for yourself as you continue to grow. The more you trust yourself, the more you’re willing to peel back those layers and come off as authentic.
This element of authenticity becomes your message, and in turn, becomes your brand. Remember, your brand is who you are at the core and what you really care about.
This is the perspective you want to speak from. You want to connect with a guest or your listener from this core place. As time goes by, you will become more and more consistent with it. And that’s the goal– to become more consistent with your messaging and fine-tune how you serve your purpose.
The next step is to fine-tune how you serve your listener.
Understanding who your listener is, why they’re listening, and what they’re showing up for when they listen can help you tailor your topic decisions.
How you ask questions to serve your listener is a pivotal part that will help you prep your guests to serve their purpose for coming on the show while also serving yours and that of your listener. More on that later.
For now, you should have a good sense of why you’re here, what people take away from you, what the guest is getting out of the experience when they listen to your podcast.
For example, maybe they learn a new idea or new way of thinking each time they listen to your show. Perhaps you make them feel normalized or safe.
The point is, knowing what your listeners’ takeaways are will allow you to communicate them to your upcoming guest.
Translate what your listeners love about your show to your guest so that they know what the tone is, what kind of feeling your listener wants to feel when they hear the interview, and the hard takeaways( again, new ideas, etc.).
Also, make sure your guest understands that they need to offer some actual actionable pieces to their technique, not just talk about it in general.
All of this will inform how you’re going to ask your guest to talk about themselves and their topic so that it becomes unique and tailored to your purpose, your brand, and your audience.
They don’t need to change who they are, their topic or theme, or whatever they’re showing up for. But they should frame it more specifically.
You’ve got to guide them, or else they’re just going to go into their autopilot and share the same thing they usually do.
Now let’s talk about how you can leverage all you’ve learned so far to prep your guest.
A few days before your recording date, you should schedule a 15-minute phone call with the upcoming guest. If you’re unsure they can meet all of your requirements, you can have this call before your book them.
You can do a video call, but personally, I like to do a phone call and keep it casual and simple without deviating from the objective.
Here’s a rundown of how I talk to my guests:
- First, I thank them for taking the extra time to chat with me for 15 minutes.
- Then I explain that the reason for the call is to build some rapport and discuss how we would like to approach our topic and theme to serve everyone best.
- Finally, I explain who my audience is and how they might resonate with the topic. I make sure to ask how they can present their topic in a way that serves my audience’s pain points specifically.
Here’s an example
I recently had a money coach on my show, Be Bold Begin. On the show, we focus a lot on getting things started. How do we transition into something new and begin that part of our lives? Basically, anything that falls under the umbrella of beginning.
So I explained to the money coach that a good portion of my audience are creative entrepreneurs or healers who struggle with their sense of value and worth in relation to their art and services.
Right away, she knew how to talk to them because I gave her that information. On our actual interview and discussion, she was able to really lean into this pain point.
I let the guest know that I’m also a very curious person. That means when they start sharing something that I find very interesting; we might go off on a tangent and flow a little more organically rather than stick to the Q&A format. So I make sure that they know that that’s my style as well.
One of my other goals is always to get the guest to feel open enough to share parts of their story that they haven’t shared before.
Those are the types of things that I’m looking for when I have this conversation.
Over to you
As you work around your own clarity and find more authenticity with this preparation system, you can yield that unique experience with your guests every time. This way, they’re not on autopilot and telling you the same story in the same structure and the way they always have.
Hopefully, you find new gems in the conversation that maybe haven’t been aired yet or released yet on anyone else’s show. All because your authentic self and their authentic self together is a unique combination that’s not going to be found anywhere else.
It’s your job to tap into that. It’s your job as the host to guide them on this path and to do it in a way that serves the purpose of the show. And that encompasses your purpose, your listener’s purpose, and the reason your guest is coming on your show specifically.
Want more amazing content on podcast hosting? Check out our PodPros Quarterly Virtual event.
To Wrap Up
The true key to creating a unique interview and, in turn, a consistent and unique show is your commitment to becoming your most authentic self.
You want to get really clear on this is because your voice is extremely valid, which means your authentic self is valid too.
The more you tap into that, the better you can serve everyone who is showing up for the show, including yourself.
About Christina Barsi
Barsi began podcasting & producing in 2013, she is the host of the podcast Be Bold Begin and the Founder of podcast production & development company Avant Haüs Media which believes in empowering creators and providing an easy and accessible path for their success. In 2022, she is launching a learning platform with courses designed for podcasters starting with a beginner course called “From Podcast-Curious to Clear, Confident & Launched”.