Fourth Day

How to be a great podcast guest

B eing a podcast guest is a great idea. It gets you, your ideas and your brand in front of new people – who can then share what you have to say with others.

From a public speaking perspective, it also gets you comfortable with being behind a microphone, and allows you to practise sharing your thoughts and opinions.

If you have never been on one before, however, your first podcast can be a little nerve wracking. So it’s worth getting a few tips from the experts to understand what will make you the perfect interviewee.

We asked Suzi Dale, director and executive producer at Story Publishing, to share some pointers on how to become a perfect podcast guest. Suzi is a former journalist and radio producer, working with the likes of BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 1’s Newsbeat, and has been previously nominated for the British Podcast Awards.

Here are her top five tips:

1. Prep (technically)
Make sure you have a good set up. You are in a quiet room, you’ve thought about your equipment, and tested it. Get yourself wired over-ear headphones, and a USB microphone. What you say will be heard more clearly and reflect your brand. And it’s much more likely you’ll be asked back.

2. Prep (for content)
Ask your host for questions or at least the areas they want to discuss. Write down some key messages you want to get across: calls to action and maybe some facts. But please do not script your answers. A prompt sheet is just that, a prompt. It will help you to be concise in your answers. If you read it, you will appear less convincing. Also, prep for the podcast and the host. Please listen to at least one episode so you understand the format. I’d suggest asking the host about the audience too, so you know how to talk to them.

"You have one attempt to engage the audience and keep them interested. It helps if you use stories to explain your ideas, what you do or how you work."
Suzi Dale Director and executive producer at Story Publishing

3. Be real
You are having a conversation so try to avoid using jargon or acronyms. Instead, explain things as if you are talking to a child. You have one attempt to engage the audience and keep them interested. It helps if you use stories to explain your ideas, what you do or how you work.

4. Listen
It’s vital that you pay attention to what’s being said and respond. Like any conversation, it will evolve, so really listen and move things along. This will not stop you from sharing your key messages.

5. Promotion
A great guest will always promote the podcasts they’ve been on. Podcast hosts love it when this happens. The podcast is often shared to a wider audience through social media channels; it’s really easy to share a link with your followers and encourage them to listen.

The author

Paul is Fourth Day's Head of Content , based in Manchester

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