How to be a good guest on a podcast

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Podcasting is fun, easy once you get into it and people even listen – sometimes at least.

I sometimes do solo shows like this one about the abundance of terrible billboard. Other times I have a guest like when we talked about running in the dark. And sometimes I’m the guest.

Guests matter. So much even The Onion pokes fun at it: Report: 250 Million Americans Still Need Guests On Their Podcasts This Week

Ha. But the reality is that if you are in marketing, communications or one of the subject matter experts at your company at one point you will be asked to be on a show! It may have happened already.

Here are my tips and I use these when I go on shows:

Know your areas

I know what topics I can speak on and I even know how to get back to them when hosts ask me wildly unrelated questions. I should go into politics? LOL.

“Physics? Yes, good storytelling can be used in physics to get important information out.”

Have starter questions

I’m a big fan of organic and highly conversational podcasts. Just talk and have a conversation. That’s exactly what we did on this “what’s a database?” show.

We had a topic and then just talked about it.

Some shows – when they are super technical for example – need starter questions though.

Ask the host to send a few questions or write some yourself as a suggestion. Remember, they don’t have to use them so no whining when they don’t!

Be real

I know everyone says that but it’s true. Just be a human. Since most of my readers are humans that shouldn’t be too hard but it can be.

Talk conversationally. Your insights will show off your intelligence.

Mistakes happen

Sometimes when we catch them and they are bad, just pause and start over. Make a note for the editor to cut the stumble.

Sometimes we don’t catch a slip and it’s hard to edit out.

For a show about the Tampa Bay Riverwalk I said “7,200 feet” and not “steps.”

I ended up saying it correctly a few sentences later so decided to just let it pass. Like a Hollywood movie when a cut didn’t work! Hey, if they do it at times I can too!

Technology

Always call in 5 minutes early to make sure your technology works. With tools like Zoom this is becoming less of a problem, but still good.

Once on: Ask the host how you sound? It doesn’t sound hollow or anything else less than desirable, right?

Wear headphones or speak directly into a mic. Absolutely no speaker phone. If your boss must listen right now ask if they can call in and be on mute!

That’s actually not an uncommon request! I often have PR reps from guests on mute.

You are always recording

Chit chat is fine but just assume that the whole thing will be used. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want on air.

Should I listen to myself?

That’s up to you but I know few people who actually like hearing themselves. I hardly ever listen to myself.

Once it’s published

Once the show is live make sure to share it on your social channels. Being a guest on a podcast as the expert is also a good branding move for the experts.

Conclusion

Podcasts are a way to share your story and I usually agree to be a guest. I hope my tips are helpful for when you are a podcast guest.