Welcome to the second and final part of my series on podcasting – How To Be An Amazing Podcast Guest. The response to part one of this series – Pitching Perfectly to Podcasts – was incredible and I am so happy that so many of you told me how helpful it was to you. AND how it even helped you get appearances. Go you!
In this second part of the series I’m sharing with you how to truly shine after you’ve gotten the big yes as a guest, or even simply to get yourself prepared to make approaches. I hope you find it just as helpful as part one.
Follow the instructions given to you prior to your interview carefully. Read things properly and don’t leave them until the last minute to action. The beautiful people who assist me with The Priestess Podcast regularly have to go back to guests because of things like being sent photos that are not the right resolution or simply because someone has not read a clear instruction. Do yourself (and the podcaster) a huge favour and take your time with everything and getting ready. It’s a sign of respect and professionalism.
Use The Platform
Do not request the interview take place on any other platform than what the podcaster uses. If you don’t or won’t use that platform, please decline the appearance. They are using whatever they are using, (whether it be Zoom, Skype, phone etc), because it works for them. And therefore what works for them must work for you.
Do not demand the podcaster do anything. This is not your show. You are a guest. If you do not like the way they do things – you have the right not go go ahead with the appearance. But don’t get them to try and change something for you. They have a podcast (and potentially a very successful one) for a reason. You either trust the podcaster you have approached or been invited onto the show or you do not.
Get yourself good headphones or (preferably) a headset ahead of being on a podcast. Test them and ensure they are working well. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that just because you can Skype with your Mum well without them that means it will be ok for a podcast appearance. It won’t be. High quality sound is everything to podcasters. It is THE number one technical thing that makes a podcast sound professional and polished or not. Headphones/headset are an absolute must.
Be in a quiet room, preferably wiht carpet or rug under your feet to soften the sound of floorboards which produce hard sound and a lot of noise. Shut the windows and door. Sit as still as possible. Every bit of movement can create huge noise issues in your recording especially if what you are doing brushes against the microphone.
Don’t Rely on Editing
Assume your appearance will NOT be edited. This is very, very important. You must go into an interview with the mindset and preparation level that you are live and that not one thing will be changed after. Audio services for podcasts are not cheap. Unless major editing is required, podcasters won’t request they be done. Yes sometimes things happen (dogs barking, children crying, a stumble mid sentence) but editing them out is not as easy as you think. Go into your interview with every intention that you will not require editing of any kind.
Arrive to the interview calm and focused – not rushed, out of breath or scattered. It will show in your voice. Whatever lovely routine you usually do before you see clients, have a big meeting or simply want to be fully present for – do. When you arrive beautifully settled in this way you’re giving yourself every chance to shine.
No Food or Drink
Do not eat or drink while being interviewed. I know this seems like a given, but it’s happened to me many times and I know other podcasters as well. Every chew, every sip, every bite, every slurp – you may think is not a big deal and no one can hear…let me reassure you they can. Eat or drink what you need to prior to being interviewed.
Know Your Topic and Yourself
Ensure (like really, really ensure) you know your topic AND yourself. If someone was to ask you – tell us your story/how did you get started/where did this all begin for you – could you answer them in a way that was heartfelt, confident, accurate and professional? Without waffling or stumbling because you feel truly grounded in what you are saying? If not – practice. Get writing and practice saying such things about yourself out loud over and over again.
Not all podcasters will give you a set of exact questions ahead of your appearance. If they’re anything like me they are looking for a flowing, natural and organic conversation. Please say no to appearances and do not pitch yourself around anything that you do not feel you could have such a conversation about. If you have to have exact questions in front of you before going on a show it’s a sign that you’re not ready and need to get to know your topic/theme better first.
Precise and Powerful Communication
Be precise and powerful. Do not waffle. Practice. This is a conversation between you and the podcaster. It is not just you talking. And if you’re not sure you can do this get a friend to ask you some questions on the topic you are being interviewed about so you can practice. Aim to be generous in your responses and give value and insight, but also don’t take a huge amount of time to answer each question asked of you. Again – practice.
Be of Service Not Sales
When it comes to using your podcast appearance as a promotional vehicle for something you are selling – step cautiously. You must remember that your appearance on this podcast is about serving the audience of that podcast. How can you provide the most incredible value to people listening? That is your role. It’s not to sell anything. Very few podcasters I know are willing to permit guests to directly sell or promote their offerings on a podcast because it means the content is not timeless and it ends up being more about sales for the guest than service for the listeners. It also means that tight and specific scheduling is required which does not always go to plan.
Talking about a book is likely to be an exception because that is an evergreen offering people can purchase at any time and hopefully should have incredible wisdom within it directly related to the audience. Be careful of even THAT however as podcasters get approached by authors very regularly. There is a limit to how many episodes any podcaster can release that has a focus on a book.
If you don’t plan to share your appearance on someone’s podcast with your own community you truly have to ask yourself why you want to do it. The only reason I would know this to be is that you are using them as a vehicle to promote yourself to THEIR audience but then not prepared to inform YOURS. This is not ok. Pitch to or accept less invitations to go on podcasts if you’re not going to promote your appearance well – and simply choose the ones where you will. This is deeply important in all areas of business. Only step into things that you feel you can engage in wholly and with a mutual level of engagement with someone from both sides. If you can’t do that it’s a sign that it’s not for you and vice versa. And that’s more than ok. There will be someone or something else who is.
Be yourself. Above all else. You’re being invited onto a podcast most likely as an expert of some kind, but the thing you are most expert in – for always and a day – is you. Don’t try to be anything you think the podcaster or audience wants you to be. Just be you. And ‘just’ you is so so enough. Always.
Feeling ready? Tell me below what podcast appearances you have coming up or what you feel amongst these tips will help you most. If you follow these I wholeheartedly believe you will be an incredible guest who leaves a brilliant impression.