"In the world of podcasting, great interviews are like gold." - Pam
When it comes to podcasting, the quality of your interviews can make or break your show. As someone who has been a host for interviews for PWIC (Powerful Women International Connections), I understand the significance of honing your interviewing skills. In this blog post, we'll explore mastering the art of podcast interviews and tips for being a confident host.
Preparing for the Interview:
Before you hit the record button, thorough preparation is key. Just like in the movies, where actors immerse themselves in their roles, podcast hosts should delve deep into their guests' worlds. Take the example of the popular podcast "How I Built This" by Guy Raz. He meticulously researches each guest's journey, making the interviews insightful and engaging. To ace your interviews, understand your guest's background, the topics you'll discuss, and what kind of questions will resonate with your audience. (For an indepth look into how to analyze your audience, see my blog post on Audience Analysis.)
Building a Connection:
As they say in the movies, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." Building a connection with your guests is the heart of a successful interview. Start by acknowledging them for their achievements and expertise. Treat your guest as you would a friend or family member – with respect, empathy, and genuine interest. Create a comfortable atmosphere, and your guests will open up like never before. For more on how to engage your audience, see my blog post on Engagement Techniques.
Effective Questioning Techniques:
In the wise words of Albert Einstein, "The important thing is not to stop questioning." Crafting the right questions is an art. Pose open-ended questions that encourage in-depth responses, and avoid leading your guests down a specific path. Well-phrased questions can unearth valuable insights, enriching your content. For instance, asking, "Can you share your experience with our audience?" opens the door to a wealth of knowledge. You can also ask your guest if they have any questions that they suggest you ask.
Just as in life, interviews can throw unexpected challenges your way. Remember, it's how you handle them that matters. Take inspiration from podcasts where hosts gracefully managed difficult guests or topics. Stay composed and respectful, even during interruptions or disagreements. Your ability to navigate these situations reflects positively on your professionalism. I really like the advice from Stacey Harris of Uncommonly More, a podcast production agency, who says, "You can absolutely stop the recording, stop the interview, stop the conversation, and say, 'You know what, I really want us to refocus so let’s take a step back.'” Realign your goals, realign your flow, talk to the guest and start fresh. Stacey goes on to say that you can prevent these type of challenges by having a clear understanding of your goals for every podcast and communicate those goals to your guest.
The interview doesn't end when you stop recording. A thank-you email to your guest goes a long way in maintaining relationships. After it's recorded and edited, promote the episode across your platforms and engage with your audience to create buzz. Take proactive steps to leverage your interview's potential, whether through collaborations or additional content.
In summary, successful podcast interviews revolve around preparation, connection, effective questioning, and post-interview actions. As you embark on your podcasting journey, remember that these skills are learnable and can significantly impact your show's success. I encourage you to apply these tips to your interviews and share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Happy podcasting!