How To Be A Professional Podcast Interviewee
By: Monica Wulff (Labs Manager, Sydney)
You’ve been asked to come on a podcast. That’s great, it’ll help raise your profile and build brand awareness, but if you don’t know what you’re doing then it could have negative consequences. Here are some fail safe tips for getting it right.
Before the recording
Be Sherlock Holmes
Before you say yes to coming on the podcast do your research. Find the podcast, listen to an episode or two and ask yourself:
- Does my business match the general theme of the podcast?
- Could I see myself adding value to this podcast?
- What do I think of the quality of the podcast? The recording quality, as well as the style of the show and the presenter?
- Is this podcast too big or too small for me to go on? Yes we all want to go on How I Built This, but would your product be ready for that much demand and interest? Also, are their only 3 episodes out and they’re all pretty terrible? Do you want to be associated with that?
If you don’t think the podcast is the right fit let them down lightly.
Clarity and preparation
The host wants to get the best version of you, so be prepared and do your homework. Ask for the questions a few days in advance and have notes with you in the recording. Also ask the ideal response format. Does the host want short and sharp responses, do they want a lot of examples?
Also, ask the host how it will be recorded. If it’s during COVID19 and it’s over Skype/Zoom you’ll need to be sure you’ve got the right equipment and space to record in.
And importantly, confirm prior to recording that you’ll get to proof it and request changes if needed. You want that final level of control, especially if the host asks a question you’re not anticipating and you’re not happy with your response.
Information on a platter
Have a professional photo and up to date speaker bio ready for the host. This way they’re not going to use an old photo (or one that you don’t like) and you are pretty much guaranteed they’ll introduce you exactly how you want to be introduced. Also, if you have a difficult name to pronounce make sure they know how to say it. This can be cleared through email or right before recording.
Attire and drink choices
For the recording it’s best not to wear earrings or necklaces because, as you talk and move, their sound could be captured on the recording which would make editing difficult.
Do not drink coffee prior to or during a recording session. Stick to water or tea. Podcast microphones are very sensitive and coffee creates a certain type of moisture that can be picked up on the recording.
During the recording
Microphone and head position
The host will check your levels and give you some direction about how close to sit to the microphone. If they don’t do this, ask them to, but they should. Try throughout the recording to keep your mouth position the same so that the voice recording is consistent.
Moving your body around or swinging your head from side to side can cause editing issues and may mean your best bits are left out. This isn’t like a normal 1:1 talk, you have to remain composed and mindful of the microphone.
Slow and steady
You’re excited, maybe even nervous about being on the podcast which is totally normal. When we’re nervous or excited we tend to speak really quickly. This doesn’t translate well onto the recording.
You want to sound as natural as possible, and in this case it’s deliberately slowing down slightly.
This will make it easier for you to take deep breaths, formulate what you want to say and get comfortable. After a couple of minutes you’ll be in a groove and the nerves will fall away.
Interrupt the recording
99% of podcasts aren’t streamlined live, so there’s a lot of post recording editing that gets done. This means you’ve got more control.
Say you don’t like the response you gave to a requisition, you can say ‘Hi, actually I didn’t like that, can I start again?’. Or if the host asks you a question that you answer, but don’t like your response you can say ‘I’d rather that question and my response is removed, it wasn’t great’.
You have the right to dictate how you’re represented in the podcast.
After the recording
You are just as responsible as the podcast for promoting your episode.
Prior to it being released already have your social media copy ready to go and what channels you want to promote via. The call to action should always be to listen to the episode, but you need to give people enough information that they want to do this. Where possible start a dialogue in the comments, such as on LinkedIn. This will help your posts get visibility.
Also, throw some love at the podcast’s social media handles. Tag people directly in the comments of the posts that the podcast released about your episode.
Find out in advance when the episode will be released and what social media channels they use and if there are any hashtags.
Make the impact everlasting
The podcast is a digital asset so you want to make it visible beyond the week it came out. Add the podcast logo and link to the episode on your website so that people who are interested in your brand can listen to it as well.
Pitch, pitch, pitch
Now that you’ve been on a podcast list out all the podcasts that you’d like to be on and start reaching out to them. You can link to the podcast episode so that the prospective podcasts can get a feel for you and your interviewee style.
Also worth noting, podcasts are generally operated by a team no bigger than 3 people, so chances are the host is reading the emails sent to the generic reachout@podcastXYZ.com email.
When you’re pitching yourself to a podcast, reference their previous episodes, as it shows you’ve listened to their podcast. Also, make it clear how and why you and your business fits well with their podcast.
Ok founders, you’re ready to get involved in podcasting. Can’t wait to hear the episodes you’re featured on, be sure to share them in the WeWork Labs #general slack channel