Podcasts have been around for decades, but they’ve really exploded in popularity over the past few years. It seems like everyone has a one—on every topic under the sun. You may have even been invited to guest star on a podcast by now!
In a fast-paced world, podcasts make for a quick and easy way to share knowledge, stories, and new ideas on-the-go. They’re great for delivering high-value information in a conversational, laid-back format, which is why many experts have gravitated toward the medium—and why many podcast hosts frequently extend offers for experts to come talk on their shows.
However, being a great podcast guest requires more work than just showing up and having a conversation. You can’t just wing it and hope your charisma carries you through. You need to bring your A-game: come prepared and turn on the charm if you want to leave lasting impression on the audience.
It can be daunting to learn a whole new communication medium, even one as conversational as a podcast. But don’t worry! We’ve got you here at WriteForMe. Let’s dive into some best practices that will help you shine on the mic.
1. Research the Podcast Beforehand
Like we pointed out earlier, you can’t just show up and wing it. Podcasts may seem laid-back and loose, but they’re like a duck swimming: underneath the cool, calm, and collected body you can see, the bird is furiously paddling away. It takes a lot of prep to seem so natural and in-command!
Start by researching the podcast before you come on as a guest. Listen to a few episodes to get a sense for the flow, topics, and tone. Take note of the host’s interviewing style and the types of questions they ask their guests. This will give you an idea of what to expect during your appearance.
Also check out the podcast’s website, social media pages, and any other resources they provide for guests. This can give you insights into the show’s branding and style, and any guidelines or expectations they have.
Similarly, do a little research into the podcast’s audience demographic. This can help you tailor your message to resonate with listeners and keep them engaged.
Doing your homework shows that you’re invested in the podcast and its audience—which makes for a more engaging and impactful conversation.
2. Prepare Your Content
Once you’ve done your research for your guest appearance, it’s time to start crafting your talking points for the podcast episode. The host asked you on for a reason: consider what unique perspectives or experiences you can offer that add value to an audience’s listening experience, be they anecdotes, expert insights, or practical tips.
One of the strengths of podcasts is that—when crafted well—they flow conversationally. Avoid prepping rigid scripts that don’t allow for flexibility or spontaneity. Pepper in some stories, jokes, and vivid imagery to engage the audience and make your content stand out.
As it’s an auditory format, practice delivering your content out loud before the podcast appearance. This will help you feel more confident and comfortable when it’s time to record. We also don’t often write like we speak; reading aloud will help you catch any awkward phrasing before you hit the mic.
Remember to keep your talking points concise and clear, and avoid using industry jargon or technical terms that may leave the audience out of the loop. A bit of prep work can make sure your message sticks—and might even get you invited back!
3. Technical Considerations
In addition to podcast research and content prep, it’s essential to consider the technical aspects of your appearance as a guest. This includes getting the right equipment and setting up a quiet, distraction-free recording environment. At minimum, you’ll need a reliable internet connection, a good microphone, and headphones to monitor your audio.
When choosing a mic, opt for a model that offers clear, high-quality sound without picking up background noise or interference. If you don’t have access to professional-grade equipment, a USB condenser mic or a headset with a built-in microphone makes a decent alternative.
Consider where you’re recording as well. The quieter the better: maybe a dedicated home office, or a room with minimal ambient noise. Turn off fans and other noise sources, and close doors and windows to minimize external sounds.
Always test your equipment and internet connection before the podcast appearance. Things go wrong sometimes—but you’d rather catch a mistake before you’re recording. If it’s your first time using the setup, consider doing a trial run with a friend or family member to get feedback on your audio quality and make adjustments.
4. Promotion and Follow-Up
So you’ve made it through your first guest podcast appearance. Great! But the work isn’t necessarily over. Your message is out in the world—but it takes some promo and follow-up to connect it with audiences.
Being an active participant in podcast promotion also helps you build a relationship with the host—you might become a regular feature!
For starters, make sure you promote the episode on your own social media channels and website. Share the link to the episode, along with any key quotes or talking points from your appearance. This is cross-promotional: you’re gaining access to the podcast’s following; you’re also putting your regular audience in touch with the podcast.
Be sure to also send a follow-up email to the host, thanking them for the opportunity and offering any additional resources or insights. This is relationship building 101, and increases your chances of being invited back as a guest.
By the same note, stay engaged with the podcast and its audience after your episode launches. Respond to comments and feedback on social media and other channels; this can help you build a following and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry or niche.
Want To Be Interviewed for Our Podcast?
Podcasts are everywhere—their ubiquity makes them a perfect vehicle for getting your message out into the world. Guest starring on a popular podcast can put you in touch with audiences who might never have found you if they hadn’t heard your episode while in line at the coffee shop, or doing laundry.
But being a great guest takes some prep work—and finding the right podcast match! As always, WriteForMe can help. On our Business Ninjas series, we interview the best of the best—asking clients and partners how they grow their business, their successes, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Have some key insights you want to share with the world? Give us a shout—let’s get you on an episode ASAP.