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Be A Podcast Guest

One of the benefits of being on podcast is the ability to connect with people who you might not otherwise be able to connect with. By building a loyal audience around a particular niche focus, you have something of great value to offer to others. Exposure to your community.

Tips To Improve Your Podcast Interviews

1-Dress for your interview.

Thatʼs right. Think of the recording as business casual meeting over coffee. Sit up straight, be comfortable, but dress for success. This will make you a more attentive podcast guest.

2. Prepare your message.

Your message will be stronger if it’s at the forefront of your mind while you record. To prepare your message, STAY ON TOPIC of celebrity photography then and now. If you like,  jot down a few notes to refer to, but don’t prepare a script. Keep it natural and conversational.

3. Speak S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Nothing will sound worse than speeding through your message at warp drive. Gather your thoughts, then speak slowly and clearly. Remember, we have all age groups who listen to the podcast, so keep them in mind. Speaking slowly will help a listener understand you.

4. Use a good(-ish) mic, if you can.

Buy a decent microphone. You don’t need to spend a lot – a $50 Snowball microphone is great. Also wear a headset or earbuds because this will reduce the chances of an echo on the recording.

You don’t need to invest in a $600 microphone to be a good podcast guest, but do be aware that a podcast is an audio medium, and a podcast is judged by the quality of not only its content but its audio. So if you have a mic, hook it up and use it—your host will appreciate your attention to sound quality and be more likely to invite you back. You can also look into a headset with a mic. If a mic isnʼt possible, you can try the built in mic on your computer, BUT, YOU MUST BE AS CLOSE in to the mic as possible. Make sure you’re speaking clearly and directly ACROSS the mic, to avoid PLOSIVES from the letters B & P. Try to sit still and don’t touch anything. Don’t thrum your fingers on the table, don’t lean back in your chair. JUST BUY A USB MIC! They are not expensive, and MUCH better than a headset with a microphone. GO STRAIGHT INTO YOUR BEDROOM WITH YOUR PHONE. WHY? SEE #5

5. Pick a QUIET, sound absorbing  room

Bedrooms are perfect, with lots of pillows, quilts, and closed drapes. Got carpet? Even better!

Lots of thick Turkish towels stacked around your computer if your not in your bedroom. I hope no one thinks I have some kind of thing for towels. Or maybe I do, and I should just be OK with it. Either way, when you’re recording your side of the interview from an office or desk or anywhere with lots of hard, flat surfaces and 90-degree angles, do what you can to dampen the sound. Those hard, flat surfaces create a tinny, echo-y sound. Dampening helps create a richer, more intimate sound for listeners. THE BEST YOU CAN DO IS BE IN A CLOSET FULL OF CLOTHES OR YOUR BEDROOM WITH YOUR LAPTOP PR PHONE. ALL THAT MATERIAL HELPS TO DEADEN THE SOUND. Lay a towel over any hard surfaces in the immediate recording area, close the curtains over nearby windows.

6. Hydrate!

Drink a glass of water 20-30 minutes before your interview, and be sure to have a beverage such as room-temperature water or warm tea on hand while recording. Or wine, if you’re recording after a particularly long day. You might even want to apply lip balm before recording. Dry mouths and lips tend to make “mouth sounds”—those sticky, clicking, smacking sounds that are irritating and unpleasant for listeners.

Finally, please warn your host before sipping so that they can be prepared to cut out any unpleasant slurping sounds, and refrain altogether from snacking or eating while recording. (Seriously—the audio of someone chewing is pretty revolting.)

7. Hit the water closet

Use the bathroom before you start recording.

Like my dad used to say before car trips, “Even if you don’t think you have to go, try anyway.”

8. QUIET ON THE SET!

Banish the pets (and maybe the kids, friends and significant others) while recording8

I’ve recorded several episodes where my guest and I are in the midst of a riveting and meaningful conversation when suddenly a torrent of barks tears through our conversation. It’s distracting for you and your host, unpleasant to listen to and even potentially frightening or startling for your listeners.

9. Be on time.

It’s just polite. Hopefully, your host will pay you the same courtesy.

10. Turn off your phone.

Or put it into Airplane Mode. Either way, if your phone begins ringing or vibrating, even if it’s just a brief interruption that can be edited out, the natural flow of the conversation is lost and the listener’s engagement in what you have to say is diminished or broken.

11.

Think of it as a coffee date, not an interview.

I’ve noticed that my best interviews are always the ones where both parties are fully engaged and invested in the conversation. The world falls away and all focus goes toward you and your message. To get this effect, treat your recording session like it’s a coffee date instead of an interview—not only will it help with nervousness, but it will improve the quality of the conversation with focus and intimacy.

 

12. Be aware of, um, body sounds.

Lip smacking, sudden explosive coughs or other bodily sounds are generally awkward and unpleasant to listen to. Be mindful of these sounds, and perhaps excuse yourself or mute your microphone (if possible) before release. So to speak.

13. Take notes

Feel free to take notes or doodle while you chat.

I always find that I am more attentive and mindful during a conversation when I’m taking notes. It helps me remember points I want to make, questions I want to circle back to and even the other person’s name.

14. Use your host’s name.

Podcasting is all about intimacy, authenticity and personal connection. Help foster these qualities and add a natural element to the chat by using each other’s names. Establish before recording with your host what you would like to be called, whether it’s an honorary title or simply your first name.

15. Fillers

Try to avoid using fillers by saying “um”, “ahhh”, and “you know”.

This one’s hard, even for seasoned podcasters. Just know while you’re recording that it’s natural to be a little nervous, and since it’s (probably) not a live recording, you can take all the time you need to think, breathe and remember how awesome you are. Your host can easily edit out silences later.

If you’d like to go the extra mile (and improve your public speaking skills while you’re at it), take the time to identify what your “fillers” are ahead of time. Common fillers are “um”, “kind of”, “ahh”, “like”, “you know” and “sort of”. If you are mindful of your tendencies, fewer of them will slip out during recording.

16. Say thanks.

Good manners will get you surprisingly far in the interview world. Be sure to thank your host at the end of the interview and be gracious throughout.

17. Promote the episode when it goes live.

Here’s a secret: No matter how popular their show, podcasters are just as hungry for amplification as you are. Make it a win-win and promote the heck out of your episode when it goes live, whether it’s via social media, word of mouth, your website or your email list.

 

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