How To Be A Great Podcast Guest
If you want to take your brand to the next level then there comes a time where you are going to be asked to be a guest on a podcast or you are pitching yourself to be on other shows. To help you on your journey I am going to share 5 tips to being a great podcast guest. And to frame this, I’m speaking specifically about being a podcast guest over the Internet via Zoom or Skype, which is common practice now. (Note: If you want to upgrade your podcast studio setup to make sure you look good then check this out).
But first, I want to give a caveat for something I am seeing too often out there. I’ve published 700+ podcast episodes, interviewing anyone from sports team executives to CEO’s of major companies to college students. Regardless of seniority, there is no excuse for your on camera presentation to not be buttoned up. I’m talking about having a messy background, low quality audio, poor lighting, showing up late, or your clothes looking disheveled. That doesn’t fly.
Remember, everything you do is a reflection of your brand. You might not think small details matter, but trust me it does. If you roll up to one of my podcasts with no thought into what you look and sound like, then what do you think that says to me and my audience?
Here are some simple tips to help you be a great podcast guest, regardless of seniority or budget.
5 Tips To Being A Great Podcast Guest
1. Have good audio. Don’t just show up to a Zoom podcast and talk to your computer. Audio quality is paramount in podcasting so do your host a favor and don’t sound like crap. I recommend purchasing a good microphone as it’ll allow you to sound clean and crisp (which is great for your brand and that of the host). At minimum throw in the headphones that came with your cell phone. You can also use Airpods or anything else that has a shred of a microphone. If you are looking for podcast microphone options for various budget levels I’ve got you.
2. Have good internet connection. Nothing is more frustrating to a host than having a guest that keeps cutting in and out of the podcast. It makes the audio and video quality poor, and kills the flow of communication. All this takes is a shred of thinking ahead of time. Don’t do the podcast in a cave or a remote area in the car. We all know areas where the connections aren’t good so find a place that is. Show up to the podcast as if you are going to be talking to the President or your favorite athlete. You wouldn’t have a poor internet connection if you were talking to them so don’t do it for other podcast hosts.
3. Have a good background. When your podcast guest’s background looks like they are doing it from a Motel 6 hotel room it immediately brings down the quality of the experience. I get that not everyone has a professional podcast studio setup, but all you need to do is be aware of what is behind you. Find a flat color wall or an area that looks normal. Because if I notice the background then guess who else will? The audience. This includes if you are recording the podcast at home. Don’t having laundry on the floor or hanging behind you. If it’s in your office, don’t have papers all over the place. This should be pretty common sense stuff by I’d say that over 50% of podcast guests screw this up.
4. Have good energy. You know what sucks for podcast interviews, the podcast host, as well as the audience? When the podcast guest rolls in with a 5 out of 10 energy level. I get it, not everyone is going to cruise in with the energy like they just played naked laser tag, but be excited for the opportunity. Your energy is transferrable and if your energy is low it shows the host how much you care, or a lack there of.
Here’s a simple thing you can do. When you roll up to a podcast, think about your energy on a scale of 1-10. Whatever number you are at (ex. a 6) then increase it at least 1. High energy personalities are more fun and interesting, which will lead to a better podcast experience for everyone.
5. Know your call to action. At the end of every podcast I ask my guests “where can everybody connect with you?” Don’t react like this is the first time you’ve ever heard this question. Expect that it is going to be asked. You don’t need to be a social media expert to confidently be able to drop at least one channel where someone can connect with you. God forbid you want the audience to engage with you afterwards, or you even have something that’ll add value for them. Nothing kills a moment more than when a guest says “I’m not on social media” and the proceeds to have no further way for someone to connect with them. That tells me they don’t get it.
Show up early to the podcast: Nothing drives me crazier as a host then when my podcast guest shows up late. I see it is a sign of disrespect and that they don’t value my time. Don’t make the host wait for you. Instead, show up a few minutes early. This will allow you to make sure your audio, video, and lighting looks good, and you can promptly start at the scheduled time.
Being a guest on others podcasts can be an absolute blast. It can help grow your brand, turn you into a thought leader, and create more impact. The key to making it successful is to be intentional and prepared for the experience. Have enough respect for your brand and that of the podcast host to show up like a professional. When you do great things will come from it, and you’ll likely be asked to be on more podcasts.
And one more thing. If you are jumping on other people’s podcasts then have you thought about creating your own podcast? If so I’d love to help you out on your journey. Click the banner below or download my FREE eBook on how to easily launch a podcast.