You’ve decided to start a podcast for your business. You have the overall topic, the equipment, and maybe even a few guests lined up. But how do you make sure your content is actually worth listening to?
Podcasts are a unique medium. Unlike blogs, white papers, and webinars, podcasts feature conversations. Therefore, in order to make listening to your podcast worthwhile, you must have compelling conversations with your guests.
But what makes for a “compelling” conversation?
The Person Behind the Profession
One of the benefits of podcasting is that recording compelling interviews doesn’t have to take a lot of prep. But doing some research on your guest is good practice.. It’s important to gain enough background knowledge so as to not spend time reiterating basic information about your guest. Background research doesn’t just have to be about their area of expertise, though. Look at their social media accounts to see what they’ve been up to in their personal lives. Without being creepy about it, take note of recent vacations, pets, favorite sports teams, and so on. This way, you have an easy way to break the ice once you actually sit down with them. The guest relaxes, you relax, and you’re ready to have a great conversation.
Not all of your questions need to be serious. It’s important to talk about the actual topic, but be open to asking a fun question or two. For example, you might ask the guest about a “fun fact” about themselves or about what they’re currently binge watching. This goes back to helping your guest relax, and it connects them more to your audience. You could even go so far as to create a signature question you ask all your guests to solidify your brand and create continuity between episodes
Elaborate, Elaborate, Elaborate
Keep questions open-ended (“why” and “how” questions instead of “yes or no” questions) to get the conversation flowing, and ask follow-up questions to prompt your guest to drill down into more specific and, ideally, even more interesting insights. For example, you could say, “You mentioned x, could you elaborate on that a little more?” This keeps the conversation flowing and shows your guest that you are actively listening to what they’resaying. It’s okay to deviate from your original questions if you’ve found a related avenue your guest is passionate about, but don’t forget to…
Stay On Track
As the interviewer, you have the power to steer the conversation. It’s important to let your guest do a majority of the talking, but if you notice they are straying from the original premise of the podcast, don’t hesitate to reel them back in. Listeners are tuning in to hear about your guest’s expertise, not a vaguely related tangent. Never interrupt your guest, but find a creative way to bring their rambling back to the main focus purpose of the interview.
With these tips under your belt, you’re on your way to hosting a successful podcast!