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If you’ve never appeared as a guest for a podcast interview, when you first sign up, you might not understand exactly what to do. Scratch that. You might be in over your head (or just feel that way in the moment.)
The instructions may mention recommended equipment you need to use or a link in an email you’ll need to click on to connect you with the podcaster, etc.
Before you send an urgent mass email or panicky social media announcement to all of your friends asking for help, stop and try these tips first. They can get you quickly up to speed on what to do and how to make your podcast appearance a success.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind if you’re new to podcast interview appearances.
1. Read the Podcaster’s Guidelines
Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” This quote applies to podcast interviews too. When you initially book your podcast interview, the podcast host might send you guidelines.
Read everything over shortly after they send them to you. You want to get a sense of how involved they are so you can leave yourself ample time to figure everything out. This will help the interview run more smoothly.
If there’s anything you don’t understand, you can create a list of questions you might have. Try your best to figure anything out on your own before turning to a search engine or other colleagues for help.
2. Practice clear communication with the host
If you have a question that you think will take hours to figure out or there’s a procedure you’re unclear about, it can’t hurt to ask the host directly. Understand that what you ask may very well be a frequently asked question and the podcast hosts are usually helpful with assisting in advance.
The podcasters want you to do your best on their show. I’m sure they rather have you ask way before the interview instead of trying to figure it out the day of the interview.
Also, if you have any requests or prefer to add some talking points to the interview, be sure to communicate clearly with the host so they can accommodate your needs by the time of the interview.
3. Show up to the podcast interview prepared and on time
Make sure that you follow instructions carefully and arrive promptly for the interview (even if it’s taking place online). If the host takes time to go over questions with you in great detail, showing up to the interview without the appropriate equipment, asking them to explain the directions again or emailing last minute too reschedule (unless it’s a real emergency) is rude. Don’t be surprised if they don’t reschedule with you.
Being unprepared or asking the same questions that they already answered at the last minute shows a lack of respect, in my opinion, especially if they took time out of their schedule to read your book or review a course you’re promoting.
On the day of the interview, get set up in advance. Leave yourself at least 15-20 minutes (or even longer) to get settled. Plug in your equipment and test your audio quality, make sure you have a strong internet connection, minimize noise, etc.
You don’t want to risk showing up late. Tardiness can put a kink in the podcaster’s schedule especially if they record multiple interviews back-to-back. Though technical difficulties happen, try to avoid any glitches that you can control yourself the day you are supposed to record the show.
4. Watch tutorials on Youtube
If you have enough time to research before your interview, look up tutorials on Youtube to at least get an overview of how to get started. Many podcasters use Skype. If you’ve never had a reason to use it before, it may sound harder than it looks. It can’t hurt to watch a step-by-step tutorial on How to Use Skype.
If the host uses RINGR, you can expect a message through an email invitation with details. Though you might receive a message that tells you to download the app, it is not required for a guest. You can use the app without having to download it.
Just note that RINGR will start recording as soon as you connect with the host. The host will most likely cut that part out of the show, but it’s something to be aware of beforehand.
There are many simple tutorials on YouTube and sometimes just watching a video allows you to gauge the level of difficulty. Whenever I try something new, I like to watch multiple videos to gain clarity and soak in multiple tips from different people.
5. Practice on Zoom, Skype or any other requested platform
Tutorials are great for showing the sequence of steps you’ll have to take to get set up and started. I still think it’s best to practice a few times to get your bearings.
If you’ve never been on a podcast or are new to recording a different way, it can’t hurt to practice setting up or hopping on a call with a friend in advance. You can get a general sense of how to use it before the actual interview.
At times, podcasters might record on other platforms that you never used before such as Uber Conference, Zencaster, Zoom, etc. Depending on your experience and comfort level, it can’t hurt to try it out to get comfortable.
It will ease your nerves to do a test run, and it might even spur other questions you wouldn’t know to ask had you not fiddled with it beforehand. You can also jot down notes to remember when you’re on the real call.
6. Learn to prep for video appearances as well
As I mentioned, Zoom is another way that podcasters record shows. Podcasters sometimes use it to record a video interview. They often air the video on Youtube and use the audio portion for their podcast.
Make sure you find out in advance. You might need to prepare a little more. You don’t want to scramble in the moment.
Recording on video can be more involved. You might have to take extra steps such as making sure you have an attractive, neat-looking background, good lighting and appropriate attire. You might have to order equipment online that might take a time to arrive.
This is why it’s important to read any guidelines far in advance or take the initiative to research and ask questions. Join a Zoom Meeting for a Podcast Interview or any other platform.
Think of it like driving directions before GPS and Google Maps existed. In the past, if you needed to go somewhere you’ve never been, you often did a “dress rehearsal.”
You would drive to the place beforehand to avoid potentially getting lost. You could also take mental notes of landmarks, winding roads or even write down additional information to improve upon any directions you received.
Do the same to prepare for an interview. Write down the steps in order or take any notes to help you remember what to do when the time comes.
The Bottom Line
Though it may take require some extra preparation, appearing as a podcast guest can help you grow your business, become an authority in your field and even give you an unexpected confidence boost when it comes to appearing in media. Having people listen to you share insights on a podcast interview can be invaluable. Use the tips mentioned to reap the benefits of appearing as a podcast guest.