Tips and tricks to prepare for your first podcast interview.

Over the past 2 months, I’ve joined in as a guest and as a host on various podcasts. It’s been an exciting learning experience and I wanted to share some of my tips for podcast guests that may help you if you’re getting prepped for your first recording.

  • Quiet Space: Make sure there’s not a lot of background noise. Try to be indoors and in a quiet space. This of course can be difficult but if noise does occur, some Podcast editors can cut it out. Your best bet is to repeat what you were saying so that if they can’t cut out the noise, they’ll still be able to include that portion of the recording.
  • Equipment: You truly don’t need all the fancy microphones/setup to be a podcast guest. Headphones with microphone work best. Try to find a set that has a microphone close to your mouth and that’s adjustable.
  • Snooze Notifications: Try to turn off computer alerts, your phone buzz/ring, or any other items that may ‘go off’ unexpectedly. My Slack and email alerts were a constant distraction during my first recording. Lesson learned.
  • Answer Prep: Ask your host for a list of potential questions. Do your best to prep to answer the questions but know that they may go off on a tangent to elaborate on something you’ve said. That’s ok! I often spend some prep-time (15 mins) answering the questions with bullet points so that I know what specific items I want to mention during the podcast. Don’t over do it. There really are no wrong answers.
  • Stumbles: If you get tongue tied or something just didn’t sound right during the talk, it’s ok to stop, go back and repeat yourself. It’s actually helpful to the editor if you pause a bit before you repeat yourself. Try not to summarize when you repeat yourself. It loses authenticity and sometimes the context is missed by the listener.
  • Um’s and Ah’s: Filler words get the best of many of us. I notice it more when editing a podcast than I do when listening to one. My only tip here is to try to be conscious of your filler words and instead of saying them, pause. This again can be edited. Um’s and Ah’s are natural to most of us.
  • Make Conversation: Many podcasts are structured as guest interviews. This allows the host to ask a question and the guest to respond. I’ve found that when you are the guest, you often just wait for the next question instead of helping the interviewer move to that next question. If you spend a minute answering a question, instead of just stopping at the end you can ask a question back to your interviewer. This allows for conversation to flow. Some good questions back are to your interviewer include: “What do you think, [name]?”, “That’s my experience with x, what is your experience [host]?”, “So, [host name], did that help clarify what I was saying?”

By no means is this a comprehensive list of podcast guest tips. Share your tips in the comments below and I’ll add to this article over time.

Last but not least, here are my 2 favorite podcasts of recent (shameless plugs!):