Recording a podcast is a lot like going to finishing school.
At least, that’s what I like to tell David Wolf (my wonderful producer) whenever he gives me advice on how to sound more polished and professional during the show.
Last week we had an interesting discussion about how to sound like an authority, even when you’re bringing in guests who might be more recognized in your field.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m interviewing someone on my podcast, it’s because I consider them to be an expert and I want to listen to what they have to say.
But, as David has pointed out, it’s easy to lose control of the conversation, have an episode that wanders in the wrong direction. It’s the host’s job to keep the conversation going in the right direction and make sure that it’s interesting to listen to.
Here are three of David’s tips that have helped me host a podcast with authority.
- Prepare your intro and out-tro messages ahead of time and practice. I personally have a low-key speaking style and so I have to ramp up the enthusiasm when introducing people. It doesn’t feel “natural” but it sounds good.
- Think of questions that will get the guest to share information that your guests will care about. Before the guests come on the show, spend time asking yourself why you want to introduce this person to the listener. What will the listener gain from knowing this guest? Once you have that clear in your mind, write out your questions.
- Create a sense of form and structure with your episodes. Just like news programs and talk shows have regular segments that give the show a predictable flow, you can add sections to your shows too.
Being the host of a podcast has been a great experience. And the lessons that I learn in “finishing school” go with me when I’m out and about in the business world.
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And if you think you’d be a good guest on my show, send your idea to email@example.com.