There are now more than 700,000 podcasts and I suspect an equal numbert of daily live stream shows. And it’s no wonder that’s the case, as podcast statistics show that listening (and listeners) are on the rise. A larger potential audience = more shows, right?

And more shows = more need for podcast guests, as a large chunk of podcasts use an interview format (including our show UPLIFT)

Here is a little guide to being a great podcast /live stream guest. We wish you a powerful, heartfelt, UPLIFTING conversation, perfect audio, and no retakes! (Note: we have only had to do a retake once in the three years has been broadcast live)

Be a Great Podcast / Live Stream Guest:

Before the Show

Here are 3 things you should do before the interview commences:

  • Listen to  one or two full episodes
    • You want to have a feel for the cadence and rhythm of the podcast.
    • Note any consistent segments or “bits” the show uses
    • Many shows have a format that includes one or more segments that are the same every week. The UPLIFT podcast, for example, asks each guest the same question to close the show and has done so for nearly three years. As a podcast guest, you want to know what these segments are, so you’re prepared to participate.
  • Prepare at least three stories you can unfurl at any time
    • The truth is that being a great podcast guest isn’t about answering questions, it’s about telling stories. Make sure you have at least three relevant stories that you can tell whenever and however.
  • Do the requested podcast prep
    • The UPLIFT hosts (Neil and Sarah) ask their guests to complete a pre-show questionnaire to provide information and insights before the recording. This is the same system used by talk show hosts in the “pre-interview” with producers. For the UPLIFT, we have our guests complete this form (Biography) before each episode.

Be a Great Podcast / Live Stream Guest:

During the Show

Six things you should do during the interview itself:

  • Have the best possible audio set-up
    • Nothing kills a podcast like bad audio, and it’s made geometrically more difficult in multi-host and multi-guest situations where everyone is in different locations, calling in via the Web. Pay attention to the background noise (even air conditioning or heating hum), get yourself a good microphone.
    • Also, because more shows are using video snippets as promotional assets, podcast guests should always assume they will be on camera unless specifically told that is not the case. Get yourself a good webcam like the Logitech c920.
  • Use the host(s) name(s)
    • Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised. As a podcast guest, you are just that…a guest. Use the host(s) name(s) in some of your answers. Keep things warm and conversational. This is not a courtroom appearance!
  • Keep your answers concise
    • Almost all podcasts have an approximate recording length they are trying to hit. The UPLIFT show, it’s 59 minutes. As a podcast guest, you indeed want to tell good stories, but wherever possible keep your answers punchy and tight. This gives the host(s) air time and allows them to ask more questions and get to their standard segments, etc. without running short or having to rush the show.
  • Don’t ask for a do-over, unless….
    • The UPLIFT is broadcast live. Consequently, it is NOT possible to make edits while the show is being recorded. 
  • Reference prior episodes, if relevant
    • If you’ve listened to past editions of the show, it’s a nice touch to mention one or more of those shows, if it’s contextually relevant to do so in the conversation.
  • Have a specific call-to-action for listeners
    • It’s part of the show for the hosts(Sarah and Neil) to ask the guest(s). “Tell the audience how to connect with you” or such. The best way to handle this is to create a simple landing page ONLY for listeners of that show, and include a special offer. For example, when Neil or Sarah are doing the UPLIFT podcast we often have created landing pages for our special offers which we show doing the broadcast.

Be a Great Podcast / Live Stream Guest: After the Show

Here are 4 things you should do after the interview:
  • Send a thank you note
    • The podcast host(s) are helping you spread your message. Give them some love. Consider creating a thank you quick video and posting it to the host’s social media channels.
  • Promote the episode
    • The hosts (Neil and Sarah) ask our podcast guests to amplify the episode, helping them reach a larger potential audience. The UPLIFT provides shareable graphics to promote the episode on social media. Use them. Tag the hosts wherever possible in your posts.
  • Recommend guests
    • If you know other people who would be a great podcast guest for this particular show, recommend them to the hosts (Neil and Sarah). We Would appreciate the referral.
  • Ask for referrals
    • By the same token, after the show airs, send a quick email to the hosts (Sarah and Neil) thanking them again, and ask what other podcasts they know about where you would be a good fit as a guest. These referrals will help you get in the door with other shows.