So you’re going to be a podcast guest? Here’s how to prepare.
In the first two parts of this series, we explored the importance of selecting the right host, format and soundscapes for engaging storytelling. We even shared insights on the critical, but often skipped, step of promotion. But we missed something. Before you even hit “record,” how do you prepare to participate in a podcast? Here are our tips for preparing to be a guest on a podcast. Spoiler alert: It’s not as simple as just showing up.
Know your stuff, but keep it natural
While it’s important to come to a podcast prepared to speak on the topic, it can backfire if you’re too prepared or scripted. Overpreparation can come across as inauthentic. While scripted conversations work well for shorter-format interviews, people will be hard-pressed to listen if it’s a longer conversation (15 to 45 minutes) that sounds like a PR spot. Podcasts are meant to be a conversation, so don’t come to the recording with a fully fleshed out script.
Mistakes happen, that’s why we edit
If it’s not a live recording, mishaps can be edited out. Guests tend to loosen up when they know they don’t have to worry about vocalizations or slip-ups. Depending on how the podcast is being recorded, edited and formatted, you can (and should) consider removing ramblings and mispronunciations. If you’re nervous about participating, consider working with a colleague, friend or family member beforehand to talk through the questions to make you more comfortable.
Be ready to deviate
While you can come ready to speak about the questions that were provided prior to the interview, be ready for some curveballs. With many podcasts stemming from organic conversation, it’s typical for a line of questioning to go down a different tangent. Don’t panic if the host goes down an unexpected path. If the conversation is going well and feels natural, let yourself go with it.
Play to your strengths
Podcasting is a different experience for everyone, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re a great off-the-cuff speaker, prep lightly and go in confidently. If you love research, listen to other episodes of the podcast you’ll be on and learn more about the host to get familiar with their interview style. If you’re a writer, prepare strong written answers that you can use as fallbacks when you’re reaching.
And above all else, listen to podcasts! You can’t write a press release without knowing what they look like. You can’t design a website without browsing a great one. If you’ve never dipped your toes into podcasts before, find a few you like that are similar to the one you’ll be appearing on and listen to the format, tone, structure and content. Knowing the format will help you immensely when it comes to feeling prepared and comfortable.
Interested in exploring more ways to harness the power of podcasts?
Let’s talk. Our team can help set you up for success.
About the Author
Allison’s career has specialized in food communications, with a focus on food commodities and producer marketing programs. She has created strategic integrated marketing campaigns for high-profile commodity accounts, including The Incredible Edible Egg, The Pork Board, The Mushroom Council and Got Milk?
At Bader Rutter, Allison led the teams that developed breakthrough content for Corteva Corporate Communications, including the millennial moms blog, Platewise, and the popular podcast, “The Growing Debate.” Bringing narratives to life through dimensionalized and differentiated content is what makes her happiest.
After work, you’ll most likely find her on her spin bike or cooking for friends and family.