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Mistakes are a part of life. You can’t beat yourself up about them. Just try to do better the next time around for another podcast interview. After all, if you fear making mistakes, then you’ll never take any risks.
Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake, has never tried anything new.”
And, if you’re new to interviewing on a podcast, it’s easy to slip up. It can’t hurt to read up on how to prepare for a podcast interview as best you can if you’re just starting out or if you’re hoping to finetune how you currently interview.
Here are some mistakes that podcast guests make and what to do to avoid them.
1. Talking too much
If you love to talk, you might be a natural fit for a podcast interview. Just make sure that you are focused on delivering value to the podcaster’s audience. One way to do this is to ask the host what the audience would like to hear in advance. The host might even go a step further and solicit questions from their audience ahead of time.
Keep in mind, though you might be super excited about your topic and want to cram in as many details as you can, avoid being one big monologue. Unless the host gives you a full access pass to explain a lengthy process, tell a story or share insider tips, be sure to come up for air to allow the host to ask a follow-up question or go in another direction.
2. Interrupting others
I once listened to a popular podcast where the guest constantly interrupted the host. The host couldn’t even finish asking the questions without the guest trampling over the host’s words each time.
Though the guest might have anticipated what the host was going to ask, they assumed that the audience did too. Not only was it hard to follow, I thought it was rude. Though you might be excited to answer, let the other person in the conversation finish their thoughts.
If you’re on a panel where multiple people talk, it can be a little trickier to navigate if someone isn’t leading the discussion. No matter the scenario, allow others to get their thoughts across. It makes for a better listener experience.
3. Not talking enough
While talking too much is one issue, on the opposite end, not talking enough may put you in the dud category. It can’t hurt to outline some talking points about your topic and include some examples. Podcast host Andrew Wang of the Inspired Money Podcast believes “it’s good to have talking points prepared (in case you need it) but be flexible to go wherever the conversation goes.” He also points out that it’s an audio format that lends itself to telling stories. So have some of those in mind as well.
If small talk doesn’t come naturally to you, consider outlining a few things to say for that as well. For instance, when the host introduces you and says, “It’s great to have you” or something along those lines, consider going beyond a standard reply.
Though “Thanks for having me!”or ‘I’m just happy to be here!’ is acceptable, you can add another line or two to make it more interesting and keep the listener engaged. It’s also a great way to showcase your personality at the beginning and show the host that you took the time to listen.
Seasoned podcast guest and avid podcast listener Doug Nordman of The Military Guide explains “Start out by saying: ‘Thanks, and I enjoyed listening to your <insert episode here> with <another rockstar guest>.”
4. Lacking enthusiasm
If you don’t sound excited about what you are saying, why should others?
Though you want to be yourself and you don’t want to sound too over the top, try to use some inflection in your voice or at least pump up the energy a bit especially if you are soft-spoken or have a monotone voice.
Act as if you’re meeting up with a friend that you haven’t seen in awhile. You wouldn’t have to pretend to be happy to see them; you just would be. Take this same approach when you go on an interview.
5. Not doing your homework
Though sometimes you may get asked to get interviewed last minute and won’t have too much time to prepare, make sure you do some research about the show. This way, you can tailor your message to them.
If they have a website, look for an about page or read other information on the site. You’ll also want to listen to the show to get a feel for the tone and style.
Casey Fleming of TheLoanGuide.com couldn’t agree more. He believes you should listen to a couple of previously produced episodes before your interview. He adds, “Find out what topics and burning questions interest the audience the most.” He goes on to say that you might be able to address those questions during the interview as well.
Amy Connors Rutherford of GoWithLess.com also believes in preparing as best you can and suggests listening to at least one episode or two where the host interviews a guest. You can determine if the host asks the same questions of each guest. If so, she goes on to say you want to have answers in mind, but to remain flexible.
6. Sounding salesy
The host will usually introduce the guest. They usually ask about your services or mention what you do at some point, so you won’t need to blatantly sell during the show. They might even ask for details of what to say for the call to action at the end if you want someone to look for something specific.
Remember, it’s an interview, not an infomercial. Many times, if the podcaster finds that it’s just becoming a sales pitch, they will shut the episode down early. You risk not having the show published, and you leave the podcaster will a bad impression that can spread to other show hosts.
Though everyone is different and you don’t wan to over think things too much, try your best to follow these tips during an interview. Or, if you want more guidance and someone to find shows for you, consider getting a free consultation with a podcast guest booker for your individual needs.