At this point I’ve been a guest on 80+ podcasts, and I’ve also recorded over 70+ podcast episodes.
Here are my top nine tips on how to be a great podcast guest:
1. Be overly gracious.
No matter how big a deal you are, nor how small a deal the host is, say “Thank you so much for having me on!” at every opportunity, including before, during, and after the recording.
2. Get decent equipment.
I use a Heil PR40 mic with a pop filter (see my complete podcast equipment list). 9 out of 10 times the host interviewing me will say “Wow! You sound so much better than my other guests!”
NEVER use the built-in mic on your laptop or phone. Even earbuds are better than using the mic that’s built into your laptop or phone.
3. Get a good sound environment.
You don’t need a studio.
Anything to absorb sound will help.
I have rugs on the floor, tapestries and a few foam tiles on the walls, and furniture.
Or…put your head in a closet with a blanket draped over you while recording. You will sound awesome!
4. Research the host.
Two minutes of research can make all the difference, especially if you discover you have a personal connection like a shared hobby, mutual friend, or former geographic location.
5. Research the show.
Listen to an episode or two.
Not much time?
Listen on 2x speed.
Get a feel for the format.
6. Get clear on exactly how the podcast will be recorded.
Don’t wait until 5 minutes before the show to find out the host didn’t specify in the invite he sent you whether this is via phone, Zoom, Skype, using Zencastr, or what.
Also verify whether video is part of the deal, there’s nothing like showing up in your pajamas without having showered to realize it’s all being taped for the world to see (it’s happened to me more than once). Silver lining = you’ll get major authenticity points from the viewers.
7. Come with talking points.
If the host is terrible, be prepared to make the episode shine anyway.
Know what you want to say, and make sure you get it in there even if the hosts loses his train of thought or doesn’t have very good questions.
Note: Out of the many interviews I’ve done, I’ve never had a bad one, so don’t stress too much. Often, the best podcasts are nothing more than a casual conversation roughly following a certain topic.
8. Don’t talk too much.
Silence is ok.
Pausing is ok.
If you feel like you’ve been going on a bit long, wrap it up and give control back to the host. Don’t make them interrupt you.
9. Promote the episode
Before you’re interviewed you can post on social media or in your newsletter to say “I’m going to be on XYZ show, subscribe and listen in!”
Right after the show you can say “I was just interviewed by so and so for the XYZ show where we talked about such and such, I hope you subscribe and listen when my episode comes out!”
When the episode is published, say “So and so interviewed me for the XYZ podcast where we talked about such and such, give it a listen!”
I posted a shorter version of these tips on my LinkedIn profile a while back and got some tips in the comments there.
Speak into the mic! It’s hard to remember to stay on the mic (especially when you’re not used to it), but it makes editing WAY easier if you do! – James Laurain
Make sure you laugh at least once. A genuine one. No laughter=boring podcast. I always try to get the guest to laugh at least once on all my episodes. Makes the tone more friendly as well as provide a good cold open for me when I’m editing. – Kyle Weckerly
I might add that you better laugh at every one of the host’s jokes!
Each show has diff style & particular audience so good to know this when tailoring what you’re saying. – Alina Ghost
I’ve had a few guests do something above and beyond which was a nice surprise – Daniel Daines-Hutt sent me a recording of the interview already edited and processed (something I usually have to do which takes time). Tim Soulo gave 10 listeners his course for free if they tweeted a takeaway from the show. Another example, when I was a guest on John Lee Dumas‘s show I did some SEO research and gave him a ‘free’ SEO tip for his website. So find something you can offer that has value for the listeners/host and you’ll definitely be memorable 🙂 – Dan Shure
Smile and have fun! – Lisa Fenton
This is more than flippant advice–if you smile while on a podcast (or on phone calls) it changes your voice in a way that is noticeable to listeners. It also changes your attitude and you will sound more positive. Smile more, it could change your life.
What else do you think makes a podcast guest great? Tell me in the comments.Liked it? Share it!