Podcasting is a phenomenon that millions of people gravitate to every day for information, inspiration, and entertainment. According to convinceandconvert.com, 112 million people listened to a podcast at least once in 2017. There are many different types of podcasts that are out there to listen to, and one of the most popular formats is that of the interview podcast.
It goes without saying that an interview podcast consists of a host/hosts and a guest, typically an expert in a particular field, going back-and-forth in a question format to deliver valuable content for those listeners. As a podcast host, myself and having done hundreds of interviews, not to mention the hundreds more I’ve listened to, there are five essential elements, in my opinion, that is essential to delivering an excellent podcast interview.
Here are the 5 essential elements you need to deliver a spectacular podcast interview:
1. Do Your Research
Nothing can kill an interview faster than when one party is not prepared for other, especially when that individual is the host. It is vital that you do your research on the guest you are bringing on your show, not just to produce the most value out of your podcast, but to ensure that you get the very best out of your guest as well.
Search their website, find out their most recent event, product launch, or topic they are “hot” on. Also, know what motivates them and what they are most interested in offering to your listeners. This is a show of professionalism and will garner respect from your guest and provide a traditional format to build your podcast show around.
“You just need one person to listen, get your message, and pass it on to someone else. And, you’ve doubled your audience.” – Robert Gerrish
2. Create Pre-Interview Rapport
Experts, influencers, and famous individuals typically have someone book them on shows, especially on podcasts. More times than not, there is a limited amount of interaction with the host and the guest before the taping of the podcast. By creating pre-interview rapport through social media outlets, emails and video chats, you can help build more familiarity with your guest and offer a more comfortable and relaxed interview. Some guests will be more accessible to create this type of rapport with than others; however, don’t stop yourself from trying.
3. Don’t Be Too Scripted
There is a difference between having a format versus having a script. Don’t be the podcast host that interviews their guests straight from a script. It will create robotic type answers from your guests and quite frankly, will be boring. At the same time, scripts can take away from the authentic emotion that interviews can provoke. This type of passion and raw feeling in the answers and even the question asking process, is essential to help the podcast stand out and keep the guest interested.
4. Be Yourself
Do not, I repeat, do not try to be any other type of podcast host than that of yourself. Your guest booked your show because of you, the kind of show you host, and because you have a unique audience that YOU can introduce them to. You aren’t Lewis Howes, John Lee Dumas, or Gary Vaynerchuk. They have created podcasts because of who they are and stayed true to their style of interviewing, and you must do the same. It’s ok to want to emulate the success of others but don’t do it to the extent of losing your voice.
“A podcast is a great way to develop relationships with hard to reach people.” – Tim Paige
5. Speak To Your Audience
Don’t just do an interview to do an interview. Make sure the interactions between you and your guest have your audience in mind. I have seen some hosts poll their listeners for certain types of questions they would like for them to ask the guest and, even set up some podcast episodes to be during a live format for instant guest to listener interaction. The podcast should mean just as much to your listeners as it does to you. That is how you know you are reaching your audience and creating the most impact possible.
I hope your podcast is already rocking and doing great however, if you feel you are missing an element to take your podcast from good to excellent, try implementing these five tips and become a first class interviewer. This alone can help take your podcast to a whole new level.