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Productivity / Professional development

6 tips for being a terrific podcast guest

As the host of an interview style podcast I often have to tell my guest who have never been interviewed, let alone on a podcast the run down and how the interview itself works. Here are some tips to help you feel confident.

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1. Prepare

Like every good boy scout will tell you, be prepared! If you are nervous, being prepared may ease those nerves and build your confidence. The difference with a podcast interview is that the editor or producer will likely send you some questions before the day. You may not want to script every answer, but I would suggest read over these a couple of times, so you can have some idea in your head of what you might respond with or even jot some ideas down so that if you lose your train of thought you can come back to these points. By having these questions before hand, you also have the chance to speak with the podcasters and add or remove anything you would not feel comfortable discussing.

Do some homework. Listen to past episodes to gauge the type of questions they ask, is it conversational or more about the guest speaking, how long are the episodes on average. I like my interviews to be fairly organic though I send questions through prior other topics of conversation may arise and I treat it more like a getting to know you conversation with a new friend rather than an interrogation.

2. Escape the hustle bustle

If you work in a noisy environment or even from home, find a cosy space that you won’t be interrupted. Honestly the cosier the better, large open space can create an echo, and this will come through on the recording. If you are in an office close the curtains as this creates a “soft” surface and the noise wont bounce and echo (please forgive me if this is not the official sound jargon, I am no sound expert). A great place to record if all else fails is your car or a cupboard.

If you have small children who are bound to interrupt, ask for the interview to be around their regular sleep time or see if you can have someone watch them for the interview time. Personally, all my interviews are done in my spare bedroom at between 10.30 and 12 because without fail my son is down for a sleep during this time.

3. Tech tips

You don’t need to go and spend $200 just for one interview, I always mention this to my guests because now days we have access to great microphones on our phones. However if you are planning on doing a few interviews your could purchase something like the Samson Portable mic I have one and it gives great quality.

My main tip if you are using your phone is NOT to use headphones or speakerphone just speak as if it is a normal phone call. This stops echoing and the sound of your clothes rustling on the mic etc.

Your podcaster will direct you as to what platform they will record with… I personally use skype for my phone interviews as you can record on it and I know it works! If it aint broke it don’t fix it… well until I find something more efficient.

TECH TIP MUST DO’S – Charge your phone, turn it on silent or if you are hooked up to wifi turn it to aeroplane mode that way you will have zero interruptions,

If you will be doing a video recording (use a microphone like the samson) check you lighting etc before you start the interview make sure you feel comfortable with how you are sitting and looking.

4. Warm up and hydrate

I don’t mean grab a blanket… although maybe do that if your house or office is cold so you don’t have chattering teeth. I mean warm up those vocal cords make yourself a cup of tea (preferably without milk), avoid milk and soft drinks. Spend the morning sipping on water or tea. With all of this hydration, before you start your interview make sure you use the loo. You don’t want to be feeling uncomfortable half way through needing to use the bathroom.

*Here are some more vocal prep tips https://www.voices.com/blog/6-preparations-great-vocal-performance/

5. Speak clearly

As podcasts are all about hearing you and you story or what you have to say, you want to ensure every word is captured and understood. Speak clearly and slow down if you are a fast talker we don’t want to miss a thing. Remember you are getting to speak about something you are passionate about or have knowledge in, its not a year 12 oral assessment that you just want to get over and done with.

Check with the podcaster at the start of the interview if you say something wrong can you resay it. In my podcast I like to capture the stories without putting pressure for perfection so if someone needs to resay or add something at the end I am happy to do this because that way I am also providing the audience with the best possible interview I can.

6. Get Comfortable

Finally, you want to feel comfortable and make sure that you are getting across the real you. So if this means sitting in a pair of yoga pants or slapping on some red lipstick (even if no one is seeing you) do what makes you feel comfortable. If you have been sick, cough sneeze or blow your nose prior to starting the interview. Another great tip I have picked up along the way is to smile when you speak as you can hear it in your voice.

Podcasting is a great chance to get your message out in a new and different platform take advantage and use it to its full potential. And HAVE FUN

This post written by Samantha Meurant on LinkedIn and republished here with permission.

Samantha Meurant

is a city girl turned country lady, living in the small town of Cunnamulla in South West QLD. She is a mother of one, professional Artist and runs mindfulness and social art workshops across western QLD and online. She knows all of the good bits and the tough bits about making it work out west and loves to encourage and share inspiring stories from other women in the outback. Connect with Samantha on Facebook or Instagram.

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