Over the last few years, I’ve recorded many podcasts for The Trainers Training Company with the lovely Ginette Tessier and featured on a number of other podcasts, so I thought I’d share my top 10 tips for being a brilliant podcast guest.

Why be interviewed as a podcast guest?

Podcasts have changed the way that we consume information. There are now more than two million podcasts worldwide and it’s predicted that, by the end of 2022, podcast listeners will account for 20.3% of all internet traffic. Already, we each spend an average of seven hours a week listening to podcasts.

Podcasts bring conversations into our living rooms, our cars, our dog walks, and our trips to the gym. They feel immediate, even intimate, as they invite us to listen in.

If you’re offered the opportunity to appear as a podcast guest, it could be a fantastic way to raise your profile as a trainer and reach new audiences for your future marketing.

Podcast guest with microphone in front of laptop

So, how can you be a brilliant podcast guest? Here are my 10 top tips:

1.      Think of it as a coffee date

Although you’ll be featuring as a podcast guest in a professional capacity, podcasts are all about human connections. I tend to think of talking to a podcast host as being more akin to a coffee date with a friend than an interview. In my experience, the conversation needs to flow and be fairly informal.

2.      Ditch the pitch

Following on from this, listeners will want to hear you sharing genuine stories and experiences rather than bombarding them with a marketing pitch. You can still relate things to your expertise as a trainer but it needs to feel like a natural part of the conversation, not a pre-rehearsed line (although, that being said, it is helpful to think in advance about some things you might want to say).

3.      Listen to a few previous episodes

Unless you’ll be appearing as a guest on a brand new podcast, try to listen to one or two past episodes (at least). What is the style and structure like? What sort of questions does the host ask? What sort of stories could you share that might be a good fit?

4.      Do the prep

The podcast host may well send you some questions in advance to help you prepare for your interview. If they don’t, try reaching out to them for some pointers about what they’d like to talk to you about. It’s also a good idea to ask them about their audience and what might resonate with them.

If you do have some questions upfront, definitely take them seriously and prep around them.

5.      Use the best quality mic that you have available

As you’ll probably be interviewed remotely for your podcast guest appearance, it’s important to have the best sound quality possible at your end. Ideally, this will entail using a good quality microphone in a quiet room. It’s OK if you have to use your phone or laptop mic – just try to avoid walking around or being somewhere with background noise as this will be distracting for listeners.

6.      Remember it’s OK to stumble over your words

I know that some people have a real block about appearing on podcasts because they’re worried about not knowing what to say, stumbling over their words or saying the “wrong” things. I used to worry about these things too sometimes. Honestly, though, it’s fine to make mistakes. Podcast listeners aren’t tuning in for a pre-rehearsed performance. They want to listen to real people having real conversations and sometimes that includes stumbling over what you want to say.

7.      Turn off/shut out distractions

You’ll want to give the podcast interview your full attention, so make sure your phone is switched off (or on Airplane mode, at least) and that you’re not likely to be disturbed by your pets, kids, significant other or anyone else. Although interruptions are unavoidable sometimes, a torrent of dog barks can be quite startling for listeners, so it pays to plan ahead, even if it means getting someone to take your dog for a walk or amuse the kids while you’re on the podcast.

8.      Hydrate!

Do you get a dry mouth when you’re nervous? I know I do! Apparently, the best way to prevent this and protect your voice is to drink plenty of water about 20-30 minutes before the interview is due to start and then to have a warm drink by your side when you’re speaking. Just be conscious that people will be able to hear you drinking, so try to mute your mic whenever you take a sip.

9.      Know and use the podcast host’s name

Remember to use the podcast host’s name. It shows that you’re focused and engaged with the conversation. If you’re not sure how to pronounce the host’s name, try to find out in advance or ask them at the start of the interview and then write it down phonetically so that you get the pronunciation right throughout your chat.

10.  Promote the show and your appearance as a podcast guest everywhere

Once the podcast is over, promote it to your audience. Talk about it on social media, in your newsletter, on your website, and in your email marketing. The podcast host will appreciate the exposure and it should help them to widen their audience. It’s the best way to say thank you for featuring you.

Over to you! Do you have your own podcast? Have you ever been a podcast guest? Is it something you’d like to do? I’d love to hear more about your thoughts and experiences. Drop a comment below.

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