Dear podcaster: I’m really glad that you were kind enough to invite me to be a guest on your show. It means a lot that you think my ideas will be of value to the community you serve. I really want to share a few things with you before we get started. (I’m blogging this because I want the universe to know, not just one person.) I run the risk of seeming a bit fancy or snobby. That’s not it. I’m more sad than anything.
Please adhere to your schedule
I love being able to say yes to your show. When I do that, I usually allot a very specific amount of time (usually no more than 20 minutes). If you run over into 30 or more minutes, you’ve just given me a reason why I should say no to future podcasters. I value my synchronous time highest of all, so by giving it to you for free, I’d like for you to value my time, as well.
Please do your homework
There’s nothing ever fun about feeling like you’re a complete unknown, no matter who you are. In my specific case, you have to work really hard not to know much about me. Most people in my world could tell you when I last went to the gym, how I’m feeling, when I went to bed last night, and more. It’s so easy to do a little googling. Really is. And for me in particular, feel free to start the interview anywhere but “so, how did you get started?” When you don’t do your homework, it makes me feel like you don’t really want to know much about me for the interview. It also makes you look very amateurish. This tells me that maybe I shouldn’t do podcast interviews in the future.
Please honor your audience
This one’s odd, but it seems that some podcasters come with no real sense of what value they hope to deliver to the people who will eventually listen to or watch the show. If you have the opportunity to interview a guest, it probably stands to reason that you might consider questions that will unpack some level of value to the people downloading your material.
Please be human
This happens with rookie podcasters, and I feel for you. You’ve got a list of questions. You are so nervous that you end up just reading them one after the other. Hint: if something interesting is said as an answer, maybe pursue that a little more, if it makes sense. The next question isn’t ever as interesting as a great follow-on question.
Related to this, if you know that someone (me!) has done a TON of podcast interviews in the past (I do about 5 a week at present), please don’t explain to me how an interview works, how you’ll add the intro and other information after the fact, etc. Fine if the person isn’t used to the format (they’ll usually say something), but I usually find myself listening to a speech every single time I’m interviewed about your procedures. It’s okay. I don’t need to know. Just interview me.
Again, I’m Not Bitching
I’m giving you something to think about. And mostly, I’m doing it because I really like the format. I use the format. I have a podcast of my own. I cofounded PodCAMP, for Buddha’s sake. I just want YOU to win. And so, those are my pieces of advice.