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January 2023
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In the Hot Seat

Put your skills to the test and learn how to be a great podcast guest.

By Greg Gazin, DTM


A strong performance as a podcast guest can help you establish your expertise as a thought leader in your field or industry and open doors to other opportunities.

To step up your game and be the best guest you can be, go beyond the minimum. Know your material, understand the audience, and be prepared. It’s the extra effort you put in beyond those basics that’ll help you really shine.

  • Take ownership. Reconfirm all the details with your host, including technology requirements. If you are connecting through online platforms like Zoom or Zencastr, agree in advance on an emergency contact, such as an email or phone number in case either of you has trouble connecting.
  • Provide the host with your most recent introduction or bio. If you’re promoting a book or an event, have the information at hand—dates, times, website links, etc.
  • Do your homework on the show and the host; you’ll be better prepared for what to expect. Listen to a few episodes to get a sense of the host’s personality, tone, and depth of knowledge on the subject.
  • Control your technology and environment. Make sure your surroundings are quiet. Turn your phone off or to “do not disturb” mode. Ensure your mic and headset are properly connected, and disconnect any unnecessary devices.
  • Use the time prior to the recording for any final clarifications or address any concerns. Don’t be afraid to tell your host if you are a little nervous or if it’s the first time you’ve been a podcast guest. They are there to ensure you succeed.
  • During the interview, be present and give your host your full attention. Avoid the temptation to check text messages or email.
  • Listen carefully to the questions, and if you’re unsure, ask the host to repeat or clarify. If you lose your train of thought, forget the question, stumble mid-sentence, or inadvertently talk over others, don’t fret. Stuff happens. Just pause to allow for edits and start again.
  • Be authentic. The best interviews are like a natural conversation. Notes and talking points can help, but avoid reading from a script.
  • Speak directly to the host rather than to an invisible audience. It may seem counterintuitive at times, but it connects better with listeners. Help the audience visualize your words—elicit emotions by using colorful words, phrases, and variations in your voice, and by placing the listener at the scene.
  • Make sure you leave your audience with a good solid takeaway or call-to-action, so they will feel their time was well spent.
  • After the interview, send a follow up note thanking the host. You can even ask for feedback. Make yourself available for follow up if needed.
  • Finally, once the interview is live, be sure to reciprocate by sharing the link on your social media platforms, your website, etc.

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