Category Archives: Audience Relationship

26-Point Podcast Interview Checklist – Episode 142


26-Point Podcast Interview Checklist – Episode 142

Copyright: fotogestoeber / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: fotogestoeber / 123RF Stock Photo

Before we can create a powerful interview, we need to properly prepare. Great interviews do not simply happen. Engaging discussions rise from amazing preparation.

To help you prepare for your next podcast interview, I have created a 26-Point podcast intervew checklist for you. In this episode, I explain the importance of each step on the checklist.

  • Know your guest and what makes them tick
  • Communicate expectations to your guest
  • Send a prep sheet to the guest
    • Web address – both your site and their site
    • Time and time zone
    • Who initiates the call
    • How will it be conducted
    • Length
    • Focus & goal
    • Emergency back-up number
    • Outline of the interview
    • Target audience
    • Is profanity allowed?
    • When should they pitch their product?
  • Send reminders – 3 days, 1 day, 90 minutes
  • Know more than your guest’s bio – find interesting questions
  • Immediately notify your guest if the schedule changes
  • Be on time
  • Work weeks ahead, not the week the book is released
  • Create relationships before they are needed
  • Stick to the allotted time
  • Know pronunciations
  • Have web addresses and other info on hand
  • If you have prep info left over, you have done your job
  • Use the best parts of the interview
  • Record more than you need

How can I further help you with your podcast interviews? E-mail me at I will help you any way I can.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Help Your Listener With Your Podcast – PTC Episode 011


Help Your Listener With Your Podcast

This week we discuss how you can help your listener using your podcast.  There are four questions you can ask that will really help you focus your content.

Zig Ziglar had many great quotes. One of my favorite quotes is, “You can have anything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” How true that is.

As you turn your information into engaging entertainment with your podcast, keep in mind that helping people is part of the foundation of a strong relationship. If you take, take, take, your relationship won’t last long. If you are there to give and help, you will develop friends for life. (read more)

What problem does your listener need help solving?

Everyone has a problem.  You have knowledge.  If you can use your knowledge to help your listener solve a problem, you will begin to build trust with your audience.  You may not know it all.  However, you surely know more than some people.  Your listener is coming to you to learn something.  Teach and help.  Build that bond.

What are the greatest needs of your listener?

The best way to discover the needs of your listener is to ask her.  Before I launched this podcast, many people would seek me out for advice about speaking on the mic.  They could find tons of information covering the technical aspect of podcasting.  Very little was published about the art of the craft.

These people needed to find that confidence to speak into the mic.  Since they found very little help, they would imitate radio announcers they heard in the past using cliches like “Hello everyone in Radioland“.  Real people do not talk using those words.  That is when I knew I could fulfill a need.

What is your listener’s greatest fear?

Many people face the impostor syndrome.  They feel like they are kid playing dress-up amongst professionals.  They feel like they don’t belong.  They didn’t earn what they have.  Success has only come to them through luck.  This is the fear I help crush with my podcast.

Everyone belongs on a podcast.  You know more than most people about your subject.  Have the confidence in yourself to put it forward in a podcast.

Find the fear in your listener.  Help him overcome it.

What is the strongest desire of your listener?

Dan Miller of “48 Days to The Work You Love” book and podcast says, “You can make money selling what people need; you can get rich selling what people want.”  It is so true.  Think of the hot toy around the holidays.  Everyone is buying that, because it is what the kids want.  Everybody needs a toothbrush.  You can find a million of those on any given day.  Find your listener’s desire.

Let me know how I can help you.  E-mail me anytime at  I’d love to help you transform your content.

I have FREE worksheets available on the Podcast Talent Coach website.  There is also a workbook available that will walk you through each worksheet with detailed instructions.

Looking over my 4th quarter calendar, I have room to take on two coaching clients. My coaching clients receive a full show review each week.  Each client also receives one-on-one coaching over the phone by me for one hour each week.  Written notes are provide after each critique and call.  I am also available for unlimited e-mail correspondence.  It is all included in a simple, monthly retainer.

If you are interested in the worksheets, workbook or coaching, find further details HERE at

This week, find your listener’s great desire and start your next podcast at that point.  Let’s see what kind of results you get.

Can I Be You? …


Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyeurism. Eavesdropping.

Those are three main reasons people listen to your podcast. Tell stories to help fulfill those desires.

People dream about having a different (and usually better) life. They want to experience those things others are experiencing. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. People crave living the lives of others.

Your listeners want to live vicariously through you. They want to experience your success. They wish they had the courage to do the things you have done. Your fans want to be you in some way or another.

Voyeurism is a reason many people watch the shows they watch, listen to the stories they hear, or read the books they read. They want to experience the lives of others.

People eavesdrop on the conversations of others for the very same reasons. They can experience the life of others without the risk of failure. Eavesdropping doesn’t take the courage required to actually live the life.

By telling great stories about your experiences, you help your audience fulfill the desire to live vicariously through you. If your show contains audio of your feats and experiences, you allow your audience to fulfill their voyeuristic desires. When you interview people on your show, you allow your listener to eavesdrop on your conversation.

When your show is simply a lecture of your content, you fail to help your listener experience any of these three desires. Find new ways to deliver your material to your audience. You will make those important connections that turn into friendships. Those relationships will foster loyalty to your show. Your tribe will follow you wherever you go. That’s a powerful thing.

Tell stories of self-revelation. See where it takes you. You’ll be surprised how many people wish they could be you.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at You can also find tools to help you create great content at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Photo by adamr –

How Your Podcast Can Ruin Your Credibility …

How Your Podcast Can Ruin Your Credibility.

It happened in all of about thirty seconds. The reading of one e-mail and her credibility was shot.

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts. The host will occasionally answer e-mail questions from listeners. This particular show was no different.

Until this fateful e-mail came along.

By the end of the e-mail, the host’s credibility was shot.  The most unfortunate part was the fact that it could have been avoided even after the fact.

My latest post on the New Media Expo blog tells the entire story.  Check it out HERE.

Don’t let it happen to you.  The damage is much greater than it appears on the surface.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Avoid The Scoop …


Avoid the scoop.

(photo by pemotret)

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcom to the big show.”

It sounds like your voice is going up and down as if it is on a yo-yo.

Real people don’t talk like that. You are trying to build trusting relationships with your podcast audience. You want to sound real and authentic.

When you sound like a supermarket announcer, you sound fake. Your listeners will find it hard to trust you, because they know that isn’t really you. The audio they are hearing sounds like a character you are portraying.

Don’t let your voice bounce like a ball. You can be excited and enthusiastic. You can also be real and natural at the same time. Just be yourself.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

When the inflection of your voice bounces up and down, you will find it difficult to truly engage your listener. Be real. Avoid the scoop.

The Secret Reason People Listen To Your Show …



There is a secret, primary reason people listen to podcasts and radio shows.

The primary reason people listen to your show at all is companionship.

There are six secrets to providing a high level of companionship to your listener. If you add a little of each ingredient to your show, you will be well on your way to developing meaningful relationships with your audience.

The six secrets to companionship is the subject of my new blog entry on the New Media Expo Blog.

Check it out HERE.


Can You Hear The Smile? …


Can you hear the smile?

(photo by eyedear)

It may sound strange. It may sound hard to believe. But, it is true. Your audience can hear it when you smile.

If you want your listener to have fun and enjoy your podcast, you need to smile as you deliver your lines. The smile will come through in your voice.

Just like you can hear when someone has fear in their voice, you can hear joy in a voice.

When Adam Carolla is having fun with a guest on his podcast, you can hear it in his voice. When he is getting angry at the dues he pays the Screen Actors Guild, you can hear the frustration in his voice. When Adam is getting excited about his next opportunity to drive really fast, it is clear in his voice.

The voice is a very special communication tool. The nuances in your speech tell so much about the information being delivered. Your inflection is a critical part of your communication.

If you hope to get your listener excited about your content, you need to first be excited yourself. If you want to turn your information into entertainment, you need to sound like your content is entertaining you. A smile goes a long way.

When you don’t smile, you sound bored. Your content sounds boring. Your information will never become entertainment if you sound like you are simply going through the motions.

Remind yourself.  Smile. Your listener will hear it.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Your emotion will come through the speakers. When you sound excited about your content, your listeners will feel excited about it. That’s when you begin to develop influence.  Next time you are recording your show, ask, “Can you hear the smile?”

Avoid The Shiny Objects …


Avoid the shiny objects.

(photo by scantynebula)

In the past, I’ve suggested you incorporate stories in your podcast to truly engage your listener. To make your stories powerful, lead with a strong introduction that tells your listener exactly what to expect. Your first few sentences will tell your audience exactly where you are going with your tale.

Many podcasters find it fairly easy to lead with an intriguing introduction. The trouble comes as the story develops. Storytellers often find it difficult to stay focused on the goal of the story. They often get distracted and sidetracked following tangents that really have nothing to do with the story.

Let’s say the story begins with, “I found the deal of a lifetime at the mall this weekend.” You know exactly where we are going with this story. I’m going to tell you all about a great deal I found at the mall.

If we are in the middle of the story, we get completely derailed if I ponder, “Why do parents think they can just drop their kids off at the mall like it is a daycare?” This has absolutely nothing to do with the great deal I found. We are now running down a rabbit hole and need to figure out how to get back on track.

Your listener has a difficult time following your story when you get off on tangents. Your show becomes confusing. Meandering stories also waste time and limit the number of subjects you can address in any particular episode.  Stay on topic.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Make it easy for your listener to follow and enjoy your stories. Stay focused on the goal of the story. Avoid the shiny objects.

That’s Right, Of Course, Like I Said, Obviously …


That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

(photo by klikk)

If you find yourself saying “obviously” or “of course”, you are making one of two errors.

The first error is repeating yourself. If you are saying “obviously” because you feel everyone already knows the information, you are wasting your breath. There is no need to say it.

I may say, “The sun comes up in the East, of course.” Everyone listening to me knows the sun comes up in the East. There was no reason for me to point out the origin of the morning sun.

“Of course” gets thrown in, so it didn’t appear as if I were trying to teach you about the sunrise. I didn’t want you to think I just learned that. “Of course” plays it off and brushes it aside.

The second error is lack of confidence. You may want to sound knowledgeable to those who know the information. Yet, you know there is a segment of the audience unaware of the details. In this case, you’re just wasting words.

I may say, “The band will be at the arena Saturday night, of course.” Some may be aware of this performance. Yet, there may be members of the audience who haven’t heard the news. It makes sense to add the information.  “Of course” is meaningless.

The idea is to sound knowledgeable and credible to those that already know, while providing the information to those unaware. You simply need to restructure you sentence and eliminate the cliché.

“When the band is at the arena Saturday night, parking will be at a premium.” This sentence provides new information to both segments. I include the “arena Saturday night” portion for the new listeners while giving those already aware of the concert new parking information. Both receive a benefit.

When you include “that’s right” or “like I said”, you are repeating yourself. Your listener heard you the first time. Most people use these clichés to fill time while they think of the next thing to say. Avoid going in circles. Your listener will quickly become uninterested. Know where you’re going and keep moving forward.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Avoid the clichés. That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

6 Steps To Get Your Listeners To Stick Around …


I was a guest contributor this week to the New Media Expo and BlogWorld Podcasting blog.  It is an article longer than I usually write here.  However, the length allowed me to dig a little deeper into show structure.

You can read the full post here on the NEW MEDIA EXPO SITE.  I hope you enjoy it.  Be sure to leave a comment or two on the entry.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Talk To Me, Not At Me …


Talk To Me, Not At Me

(photo by Albo)

When you are podcasting, talk “to” your listener.  Don’t talk “at” her.  You are not announcing.  You are having a personal conversation and building a relationship.

Podcasting is an intimate conversation with one person.  The conversation is typically one person speaking into a microphone addressing another single individual.

There may sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people listening.  However, they are all listening by themselves.  Even in an automobile with others listening via communal speakers, the members of the audience are listening alone in their own head.  Each listener is developing their own unique, mental images.

Garrison Keillor paints fantastic, mental pictures for his listeners. On his show “A Prairie Home Companion”, Keillor describes Lake Wobegon as “the little town that time forgot, and the decades cannot improve,” and as the town “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” It is that idealistic, fantasy town where everyone wishes they lived. As you listen to his stories, you get the feeling that Keillor is talking directly to you personally. That approach is the key to personal connections with your listener.

Have a conversation directly with each individual listener collectively.  Put your listener in the moment.  Avoid addressing the group.  Instead of using “hello everyone”, use “hi, how are you?”  Make her feel like you are talking directly to her.  It will make your podcast relationship much stronger.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

When you are podcasting, talk “to” your listener.  Don’t talk “at” her.

Think Like A Fan …

Think like a fan.

(photo by jjmaree)

There will always be new people joining your podcast. Never take your audience for granted. Never act like you have been there and done that. Your listener is still enamored by your celebrity status and ability to do what you do. Be humble. Be real. Be just as amazed as your listener is by the things you get to see and do.

Help your new listener get up to speed with your podcast. Inside jokes only make your new listener feel like they are not part of the group. You want your podcast to feel inclusive. If a new listener feels like they are being left out of the inside jokes, they will leave quickly. Your listener will feel unwelcome. Nothing will keep them around if they feel left out.

I recently heard a host on a podcast say, “I don’t do this to grow the audience. I just do this for fun.” It should always be fun AND grow the audience. Rarely is your audience size staying the same. It is either growing or shrinking.

You will always have listeners that go away never to return. If you aren’t doing something to grow new listeners to replace those that are leaving, you will soon have no listeners. You might as well be sitting in a room talking to yourself. There will be no need to record your material, because there will be nobody listening.

Help your new fan get familiar with the show quickly. Make it easy to understand and get involved. Include your listener. If you need to bring up something a new listener wouldn’t understand, explain it. There is never a reason to include an inside joke. A joke that needs to be explained is rarely funny.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Be excited about what you do. Think like a fan.

Are You Important Yet? …

Are you important yet?

(photo by tofi)

The most important marketer in a person’s life is someone they know, like and trust.

This is the primary reason word-of-mouth is so powerful. The recommendation that comes from word-of-mouth usually only comes from a friend. A friend is someone you know, like and trust.

If the recommendation comes from someone you don’t know, the message is no longer word-of-mouth. The suggestion is now called “marketing”, or “sales” or “a pitch”.

If you want the call-to-action within your podcast to be effective, you need to build that trusting relationship with your listener. From your stories will come self-revelation. This will allow your listener to get to know you. By being yourself and sincere, you will become likable. Finally, if you continually help your listener get what they want by putting their interests first, you will build trust.

On The Dave Ramsey Show, Dave helps people with every call he receives. Out of six or eight calls and e-mails he answers in an hour, he may mention his books, websites or seminars once. He will always mention his “baby steps” philosophy. However, he will rarely suggest people buy his products.

Dave reveals many personal things about his past and his family. The listener gets to know him. He is often blunt and honest. Dave’s tough love makes him likable. The help he provides his callers builds trust. These steps make Dave’s manta become a true following. His listeners spread the word to the point where The Dave Ramsey Show has around 5 million listeners.

If you have built a true friendship with your listener, where they know, like and trust you, your call-to-action will be powerful. Spend time creating that relationship between your brand and your listener. Then and only then can you effectively use word-of-mouth.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are you important yet?

Selling Is Easy, Right? …

Selling is easy, right?

(photo by friday)

I was listening to the latest interview CD that accompanies each issue of Success magazine. Publisher Darren Hardy was talking with Founder and President of Piranha Marketing, Inc. Joe Polish. During that interview, Mr. Polish proclaimed great marketing makes selling easy and unnecessary.

You may not be selling in the traditional sense of products or services in exchange for money. However, you are making a call-to-action within your podcast. It may be selling for money. It may also be inviting your listener to come again, asking him to visit your website, requesting that she join your mailing list, inspire him to get involved with a cause or any other action. It all involves selling yourself.

Polish’s statement was bold. As he went on to explain himself, Polish made perfect sense. In fact, his comments were very similar to the marketing and branding information we’ve been discussing with regard to your podcast.

In summary, Polish said great marketing gets people properly positioned, so they are pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified, and predisposed to do business with you (or act on your call-to-action). Great marketing therefore makes selling easy and unnecessarily.

If you have truly engaged your listener and created that strong relationship we’ve been discussing, the selling should take care of itself. Selling becomes difficult when you are trying to get your listener interested. Selling before your listener is motivated is a challenge. Trying to sell to a listener that isn’t qualified is hard work. If your listener isn’t predisposed to taking action, you will need to sell hard.

When you have taken the time to build the relationship, your listener will be pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified, and predisposed to do business with you. They will be ready to buy. Selling, in terms of convincing your listener to buy, will be unnecessary. The marketing and engaging relationship created with your podcast will have your audience ready to act upon your call-to-action.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Selling is easy, right?

Do They Remember? …

Do they remember?

(photo by lesscholz)

When you consider the options podcast listeners have, the importance of creating a powerful brand really becomes apparent.

I searched iTunes for podcasts about hockey. There are hundreds of hockey podcasts available. Thousands and thousands of episodes exist that deal with hockey. You can find various topics, including drills, NHL teams, coaching, fantasy hockey and many more.

How do you stand out? How do you get noticed?

Your listener needs to remember your podcast, so they can return and listen again. That is the way to build a following. It really doesn’t matter how many people listen today. What builds a strong podcast is the number of listeners that come back the next time, and the next time, and the time after that. You build your audience slowly by getting more people to listen to this episode than listened to the last episode. Get your listener to remember to return.

Using your brand to create strong relationships with your listeners is critical to the health of your podcast. If you are bland, you will get lost in the sea of average. There are over 100,000 podcasts available for consumption. Most of them are average or worse. If you refine your content, turn your information into entertainment, and transform your podcast into powerful relationships, you will easily stand out from the crowd. It is a must not only for your success, but your mere survival. Begin your brand today.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

When it comes time for your audience listening again, do they remember?

Emotionally Powerful? …

Emotionally Powerful?

(photo by hvf)

A successful podcast is built on a strong relationship with the listener. It could be called a tribe as defined by Seth Godin in his book of the same name. The strong relationships with your listeners begin to develop your brand. You can then monetize your brand and associated relationships with an effective call-to-action. But it starts with the brand.

Powerful brands are more than just recognizable names. Powerful brands are full of emotion. A brand is a collection of perceptions, creating emotional connections, while consistently delivering on a promise. The more powerful the emotional connection, the more powerful the brand.

Take a moment to think of some very powerful brands and the associated emotions of the rabid fans of those brands. Nike. Volkswagen. Star Trek. Starbucks. Apple. Harley Davidson. Fans will go out of their way to interact with their favorite brand. These brands are unique, because they create powerful emotions within their fans that are not found in ordinary brands.

Ordinary brands lack emotion. Keds. Buick. Battlestar Galactica (either one). Dunkin’ Donuts. Hewlett-Packard. Honda. The powerful emotions are not present for most people in these brands.  Even the websites of these brands lack the emotion of the powerful brands.

An amazing book entitled “The Power of Cult Branding” by Matthew W. Ragas and B. J. Bueno describes the Seven Golden Rules to cult branding. Emotion is the key to all seven. Social Groups, Courage, Fun, Human Needs, Contribution, Openness, and Freedom. All emotional, not functional. It’s not the best, biggest, brightest, loudest, or #1 product. Cult brands are focused on emotion, not hype.

If you want to turn your podcast into a powerful brand that you can monetize with a strong call-to-action, stir emotion every time.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Is your podcast emotionally powerful?

Are You Shouting? …

Are you shouting?

(photo by Tobkatrina)

You can’t shout your way into a person’s trust circle. They only way to gain trust is to add value. Give them something they can use. Building trust is the foundation of revenue generation for your podcast.

As you build trusting relationships with your podcast, continue to ask yourself, “How am I helping my listener?” Continue to give, and the trust will develop over time.

When you begin every discussion with your products, needs or wants, people will tune you out. You will begin to sound (and be treated) like advertisements for used cars. Shouting doesn’t work. Your listener won’t care and will rarely return.

Serve first, many times over. Then and only then can you effectively sell.

Shows like the “Dave Ramsey Show“, “48 Days To The Work You Love” and “No More Mondays” are all designed to help their listeners first. Sure, they all have products to sell as the end result. However, they never begin with their product. The discussions on these shows always begin with the listener’s needs in mind first.

As you prepare for your show, find great ways to help. Your help may simply come in the form of entertainment. You may serve as companionship for your podcast listener. Help them find other forms of companionship as well. If your podcast is only one hour weekly, there are 167 more hours in the week that aren’t occupied by your show. Your listeners will surely need more companionship to fill a few of those hours.  Help your audience fill those hours, too.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are you building trust, or are you shouting?

Is It An Ad For Everything Else? …

Is it an ad for everything else?

(photo by crystalvenus)

Media consultant Mark Ramsey had a fantastic blog post this week regarding the monetization of podcasts.

Mark says:

“In the world of these upstarts (the world we all now reside in), anyone can create media and the goal isn’t necessarily for the media to be monetizable but for the media to enable the monetization of other things.”

As long as podcasters see their show as entertainment first and advertising second, a podcast can go a long way to building a brand.  Adam Carolla does an amazing job at this.  He is very entertaining and uses his podcast to promote all of his other ventures.

Entertainment could mean companionship, advice or any other form.  If podcasters make the mistake many advertisers make by beginning with the product features rather than product benefits for the listener, their podcast will be no more effective than their advertising.

A great podcast can help build a great brand if the intent of the podcast is to help the listener in some way.

Read Mark Ramsey’s great blog here:

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Is it an ad for everything else?

Are You Building Credibility? …

Are you building credibility?

(photo by bakalusha)

Just the other day, I heard a podcast host answering a listener question about a website. The host said, “Click on the ‘FAQ’ tab. I’m not sure if it is above or below the video.” Now, let’s think about this answer. Before the show began, the host knew he was going to answer this specific question. He knew the steps to take in order to solve the listener’s problem. In preparing, he apparently stopped there.

Instead of taking notes and knowing the exact details regarding the answer, he just freestyled and sounded uninformed. In doing so, he sounded like he wasn’t quite sure of the answer. It would have taken him 2 minutes to pull up the website before he began to record and jot down a few notes regarding the answer.

Listen to a podcast like “48 Days To The Work You Love” by Dan Miller. In the show open, Dan lays out the exact e-mail questions he will answer. He has all of the information at his fingertips for each detail he intends to give. He doesn’t stumble. He doesn’t guess. Dan knows exactly what he is going to deliver to his audience. He is prepared and sticks to his plan.

That is what I mean when I say “be prepared”. Get the details down. Stumbling makes you sound unsure of your answer. Nailing the details will give you credibility and make you sound like the expert you are.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are you building credibility?

Are You Using Cows? …

Are you using cows?

(photo by lisavan)

The unexpected is amusing, delightful and memorable. Being direct assumes your listener cares about your marketing message. They don’t. Your listener cares about his or her needs, wants and desires. Attract their attention by doing the unexpected.

To engage your podcast listener and create a relationship, you need to be memorable. In order to be memorable, you must be unique. Be distinct, unusual, and unexpected. If you sound like every other show, you will not stand out and get noticed.

Chick-fil-a could have easily become another fast food restaurant lost in the sea of mediocrity. Founder Truett Cathy wouldn’t let that happen. The company pays great attention to the details and does the unexpected at every turn.

The Chick-fil-a mission statement is “Be America’s Best Quick-Service Restaurant.” Sure, every fast food joint wants to be the best. Few are willing to put in the work.

One Saturday, we were on a road trip. We were passing through Des Moines, IA at 8:45p as we pulled into the mall to grab a quick bite. We discovered the mall would be closing at 9p. As you can imagine, most restaurants in the food court were cleaning up. We were one of two parties there to eat.

We stepped up to the Chick-fil-a counter and apologized for cutting it so close and causing them extra work. The gentleman behind the counter assured us it was no trouble at all. We received our (fresh) food quickly and grabbed a table in the middle of the food court.

About five minutes later, the same Chick-fil-a employee (a teenager) came to our food court table to make sure everything was alright. This was a mall food court. Few fast food restaurants ever check on you in their own establishment, let alone a mall. You especially do not receive this sort of attention 10 minutes before closing.

That wonderful and surprising level of service is the norm at Chick-fil-a. They always take the extra step to surprise and stand out. The unexpected effort is carried through to the careers they offer, the scholarships they provide to their employees and the process of accepting partners and franchisees.

The company uses cows in their commercials to promote chicken sandwiches. The Chick-fil-a website even has a special section devoted to the cows. When a cow parachutes into a football game promoting chicken sandwiches on a commercial, it us unexpected. Chick-fil-a is memorable.

If you can create unique, memorable experiences for your listener by incorporating the unexpected, you begin to create powerful, meaningful relationships.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are you using cows?

Are You Spending Time On The Right Things? …

Are you spending time on the right things?

(photo by Alancrosthwaite)

Many podcast hosts work to spice up their podcast with big words. They try to sound important and impressive. Self-aggrandizing words like “best”, “most” and “number one” usually go in one ear of your listener and out the other. Most people are too skeptical to believe statements of that nature.

People will only pay attention when they care. Focusing on you will not make them care. You need to begin with your listener. Pay great attention to their wants, needs, fears and desires. Tie those basic desires to your content.

When creating your show, you should spend time on what your listener is hearing rather than what you are saying. You don’t need big words or oversized claims to get your point across. You simply need to entertain your listener with wonderful stories.

On his show, Dave Ramsey uses listener calls and e-mails to address the concerns of his audience. He dispenses financial advice with words and concepts that are easy to understand. He has given memorable names to the elements of his strategy, like “baby steps” and “emergency fund”. He makes his listeners care by starting with their fears and desires. He then makes his information easy to understand. Dave is focused on what his listener is hearing.

Make sure you listeners are receiving your message. Say it in different ways. Use common language. Engage your listener with vivid yet familiar words.

Work to refine what your audience is hearing.


– I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.


Are you spending time on the right things?

What Did You Reveal Today? …

What did you reveal today?

(photo by photoblaz)

When you tell stories on your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Vivid details are critical elements of great storytelling.

Details are more believable than generalities.

Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.

Details put your listener in the moment helping them envision your story in their mind.

Garrison Keillor, in one of his “Stories From Lake Wobegon”, describes a woman who endures crushing loneliness and town gossip. Keillor says, “She got into bed with a dying man – so she could sing ‘Abide With Me’ in his good ear”. You can see the details in your mind. Envision the man’s hearing aid. Can you hear the song? There are so many details in that one sentence, many of which aren’t even described.

Lake Wobegon is a fictitious place, yet is believable due to the details. The story details reveal what Keillor finds amusing. The story is also vivid enough that you can see it in your mind.

That’s the wonderful thing about audio. Everyone sees their own personal, mental images in their own way. Those differences add to the enjoyment and entertainment of the story. Each listener can enjoy the unspoken details in their own way. They are not at the mercy of the interpretation of a movie director.

Tell great stories. Use vivid details. What did you reveal today?

Are You Delivering What They Seek? …

Are you delivering what they seek?

(photo by VITALIJLANG)

People listen to podcasts, the radio and other audio for companionship. They don’t want to drive alone. People have an inner desire to be around other people. Companionship is the reason people listen to your podcast, even if you are selling something. Your listener will always ask, “What’s in it for me.”

Make your listener feel comfortable, as if she is spending time with a friend. When people listen to guys like Adam Carolla, they feel like they know him. Women feel like they could actually hang out with Ellen DeGeneres when they watch her show. Leo Laporte comes across as your friend when you listen to his tech podcast. Each of these shows are about that comfortable connection.

When you make your listener feel comfortable, they will come back time and again. You are their companion. Are you delivering what they seek?

Are You Defending? …

Are you defending?

(photo by Sloth92)

When you defend the status quo, you never do anything new. You will also find it hard to get noticed. You are doing the same thing everyone else is doing. You will blend in. You won’t stand out.  You won’t truly engage your audience.

Creating meaning relationships with your podcast audience requires that you be remembered.

Be different and bold. Instead of looking for reasons why your idea won’t work, find all of the reasons your idea will be great. Get inspired. If your reason to avoid the challenge is the fact that no one has done it before, you’re drawing the wrong conclusion. The fact that it hasn’t been done before is exactly why you should be doing it. Be different.

Oprah Winfrey had done her show for years as “the father of my child left us / I need a paternity test / crying on tv” show. Once everyone else began doing the same thing, Oprah flipped it. She even created a book club … on television! Who would have ever given that a shot at success? Her status quo went right out the window. She rode it all the way to the bank.

Jerry Springer, on the other hand, just added some chair throwing and hair pulling and took the whole thing in the opposite direction. Bigger, better and bolder than anyone else. He too stands out.

Your experience makes it even harder to avoid the status quo. Your preconceived notions created from everything you’ve seen in the past makes it difficult for you to see things in a new way. You only know what you’ve seen in the past. suddenly, you are telling yourself, “That will never work. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.” Avoid your past.

Be creative and get noticed. Are you defending?

Risky Stands Out …

Risky Stands Out.

(photo by Hurricanehank)

As we develop meaningful relationships with your podcast, we in turn build credibility that will support your call-to-action within your show. To develop strong relationships, you need to create engaging entertainment that will get you remembered by your listener. To be remembered, you must stand out.

You stand out when you are loved. You are remembered when you are hated. You fade into the background when you are plain, vanilla and trying to not upset anyone. If you don’t stir strong emotions, you are easily forgotten.

When we create, we expose our perspective. We open ourselves to criticism. It is natural to want your thoughts, views, art and creation to be accepted by everyone. To avoid being disappointed, we often play it safe.

The fantastic, memorable personalities are usually both loved and hated. Rush Limbaugh is loved by the conservatives and hated by the liberals. Dave Ramsey is loved by the conservative investor and hated by credit card companies, whole life insurance salespeople and high-risk investors. Dr. Laura is consistently critical of her callers. Yet she receives more callers than she could ever handle on any given show.

Safety lacks creativity. It is risky to be truly creative. However, that is really the only way to get noticed. Safe blends in. Risky stands out.

People Buy Benefits …

People buy benefits.

(photo by Studio)

Your podcast should contain some sort of call to action. You might ask the listener to visit your website. You may ask them to contribute to a cause. Selling your product is a definite possibility. Simply tuning in again is a call to action. Whatever it happens to be, the call to action is part of the relationship building process with your listener.

In your call to action, be sure to sell benefits, not features. If you are selling a cookbook, the large print, stain-free cover and fact that it will stay open are all features. The ease at which the cook can read the book at a distance, the way it will stay clean to hand down to the next generation and the time they will save with the hands-free help it provides are all benefits. People don’t buy products. They buy what the product will accomplish.

How often does Starbuck’s promote their fine coffee bean. The answer is very little. Starbuck’s spends their time creating the Starbuck’s experience. They market the way Starbuck’s makes you feel. They aren’t promoting the warmth, color and robust flavor of their coffee. They create a relationship and true experience. They sell the way the coffee experience makes you feel. It is the barista, the smell, the music, the drink names, the cup, the sleeve, and even the lid. It isn’t warm, dark caffeinated beverages.  Their story says, “Every day, we go to work hoping to do two things: share great coffee with our friends and help make the world a little better.”  Benefits, not features.

Find the true benefits of your podcast and product. Then, promote them heavily. People buy benefits.

Their Voice Will Always Be More Meaningful …

Their voice will always be more meaningful.

(photo by Yanc)

One major purpose of your podcast is to foster relationships with your listeners. Many use e-mail, texts, tweets and posts to interact with the audience. The podcast host will read these on the show.

Unfortunately, these methods of communication put distance between you and your listener. It is much more compelling to hear the words of another individual in their own voice than it is to hear someone else tell the same story (or ask the same question). Written word loses the passion when it is read from an e-mail. The inflection, meaning and emotion is always different when read by another individual.

A scripted e-mail lacks spontaneity. When read, an e-mail will always make less of a connection than your listener actually asking the question in their own voice. Less of a connection equals less of a relationship.

Be creative in finding ways to use the voice of your audience. You might use voicemail or ask listeners to submit audio questions through your website or by e-mail. Similar to the way Clark Howard occasionally answers financial questions on “The Clark Howard Show“, you could record questions using a “man on the street” style with a quality, handheld recorder.

There are various ways to capture the voice. Be creative. Stockpile some great questions that you can use over the course of a few shows to cut down on the work it takes to collect the questions. Begin truly engaging your audience and creating meaningful relationships by using their voice. Their voice will always be more meaningful.

Are You Following The Four Steps? …

Are you following the four steps?

(photo by Rcaucino)

I listened to Chris LoCurto’s “Entreleadership” podcast today. He made a great point that everyone is a salesperson. You’re always selling something. You could be selling your product, your service, your ideas, or yourself. You are selling to your clients, your boss, your employees, your future date and your kids.

What caught my ear was the four essential steps present and necessary in every sale. The four steps must be followed in order for the sale of everything. If one step is skipped, it will derail the entire sales process.

The four steps in the sales process are qualify, rapport, educate and close.

I began to wonder how many podcasts view their show as selling. Beyond that perspective, I wondered how many actually understand and use the four selling steps. The answer is probably not enough.

Your podcast is selling something. It could simply be your ideas. You could be selling an actual product. You are most likely at least selling your listener the idea of listening again. Be sure you follow the four steps.

The qualification step will probably occur in the description of your show. If your show is about gardening, you probably will have a difficult time attracting someone not interested in gardening. They are not a qualified “buyer”.

When you get your listener to tune into the show, begin building rapport. Friendship comes from self-revelation. Help your audience where you can.

Next, education your listener. Explain what problems are solved by your “product”. Explain the importance of solving those problems. Explain how you have succeeded in that process in the past. Help your listener solve their problems.

If you have completed the first three steps successfully, the close should be easy. It should handle itself. The first three steps have found a qualified “buyer”, developed a relationship with that individual, and explained to your listener how you can help them. If the close is difficult, you have probably made a shortcut through one of the steps. Make sure each step is fully executed.

Are you following the four steps?

Out Of Self-Revelation Comes Trust …

Out of self-revelation comes trust.

(photo by Vatikaki)

If you wish to have your audience/listener/customer act on your call-to-action (sales pitch, invitation, read your blog again), you must first create trust. People buy things from people they trust.

A person will only trust you if 1.) they believe you have their best interest at heart and 2.) they believe you trust them.

A relationship moves beyond acquaintance to friendship when trust is developed.

People will believe you trust them when you reveal things about yourself to them. Your revelations show you trust the other person to hear you without judgement.

If you give first, your counterpart will be more likely to give in return. If you show trust, they will eventually show trust in return.

When you tell great stories in your podcast, you begin to develop strong relationships with your listeners by revealing details about yourself and trusting your audience with those details.

Howard Stern reveals his inadequacies often on his show. Domino’s Pizza revealed their missteps in their latest ad campaign. When Oprah Winfrey revealed her personal issues and troubles, people loved her even more.

Create a trustworthy, solid, effective brand by telling great stories. Out of self-revelation comes trust.

Be On The Same Level …

Always be on the same level as your audience.

(photo by Hornpipe)

When you’re creating a relationship with someone, you never want to act as if you are better or above the other person. Even if your position allows you opportunities that your counterpart may not receive, you must be humble about those experiences. People like other people who are similar to themselves.

Because I am on the radio, I am incredibly fortunate to get the incredible opportunity to meet many musicians. I am very lucky.  If I were to brag about these fantastic experiences, I would appear arrogant. It would sound as if I believe I am better than you. I would not be very likeable.

Maintain your humility during your podcast. Keep yourself on the same level as your audience. If you have an opportunity to interview someone famous, be as honored and excited as your listener would be.

You are building a relationship with your listener. Be likeable. Be on the same level as your audience.

Make Them Forget …

Make them forget.

When your audience is listening to your podcast, make them forget they are listening to a recording. Take them to another place. Make your storytelling so strong that their imaginations put your listener in another time and place. That’s what great storytelling is all about. That’s what great relationships are all about.

People seek entertainment to escape from reality. They want entertainment like movies, concerts, television, radio and podcasts to make them forget about all of their problems. Entertainment that succeeds will take the audience member to some other place and time.

When you record your podcast, you need to create that wonderful theater of the mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading fiction or talking about gardening, put your audience in the moment. Take them away. Make your listener forget they are listening to a recording.

Be Yourself …

Be yourself.

A great podcast is a great relationship. It is just like creating a great brand. In order to develop that solid audience relationship, you must be yourself. You can’t fake it.

When you try to be someone or something you are not, you will not sound authentic. Eventually, the truth will come out.

Have you ever met someone you had admired from afar, only to have them do something that didn’t fit with your image of them? Maybe it was a baseball player, or a movie star, or a politician or a musician. You met them with great expectations of an encounter with your hero only to find out they were rude and average. It turned out they were only being who they thought they should be for the public when really they were someone completely different in real life.

Everyone has their flaws. That is what makes them human. Howard Stern has flaws. He makes his flaws part of his radio show. Domino’s Pizza admitted the errors of their ways with their cheap, low quality pizza. They laid it out for the world to see in their marketing. Your listener will accept your flaws. They will feel like you are “one of them” when you admit to your flaws upfront. Don’t be afraid to expose yourself.

When your listener discovers you are something other than the character you portray, the bond of trust will be demolished. Your relationship will be forever damaged.

Build a solid brand. Be yourself.

Be Consistent …

Be consistent

To create a solid brand, you need to be consistent. Consistent with your message. Consistent with your promise. Consistent with your image.

When you think of great brands like McDonald’s, Coca Cola and Nike, you can see the evidence of solid consistency. When you walk into McDonald’s, you know exactly what you will get. You’ll get inexpensive hamburgers fast. It doesn’t matter if it is a McDonald’s in Missoula, Montana or Mexico City, Mexico. The brand will be the same. You may experience some small differences in the menu. For the most part, you’ll still get hamburgers, french fries and a Coke. And of course the Big Mac. If you head into a McDonald’s and suddenly find fish n chips or bratwurst as the main entrée, your trust in the brand will be destroyed. You won’t be sure what you’ll get next time you visit.

Your podcast must be just as consistent in order to create a great brand. Your listener must know exactly what they will get each time they listen. They come to your show to receive your promise. Deliver every time. Deliver consistently.

Consistency doesn’t mean lack of variety. It simply means that you always deliver your promise, on your mission statement. McDonald’s offers different sizes. They offer chicken and fish sandwiches. You can get McNuggets. Whichever way, it is always inexpensive food fast when you want it. And the burgers are always there.

You are creating a brand when you are creating your podcast. You need to deliver consistently each time your listener tunes into the show. Foster that strong relationship with your audience. Be consistent.

Nobody Wants To Watch Your Home Movies …

Nobody wants to watch your home movies unless they are in them.

If your entire product and marketing strategy is focused on you, it will be very difficult to retain listeners. People are interested in themselves.

Your customer is not interested in your product. She is interested in what your product can do for her. The content of your podcast must relate to your listener at all times. Make sure you position your content from the point of view of your listener.

Focus on your listener. If you are discussing a new truck, your listener doesn’t care that it can pull 10,000 pounds, is the best-selling or is the most dependable in its class. He wants to know if it can pull his boat, if he can load it up with lumber, and if he can be sure he won’t get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Tell him why your features are important to him.

You are wasting your time and listener relationship if you are only focused on you. Nobody wants to watch your home movies unless they are in them.

Focus On Helping Others …

Focus on helping others.

Zig Ziglar has many great quotes. One of my favorite quotes is, “You can have anything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” How true that is.

As you turn your information into engaging entertainment with your podcast, keep in mind that helping people is part of the foundation of a strong relationship. If you take, take, take, your relationship won’t last long. If you are there to give and help, you will develop friends for life.

Ziglar is a great example of helping people. His speeches always offer great tips to improve your life, sales or attitude. He also sells great books, CDs and other products. However, most of his time is spent on helping others. There is a lot of free Ziglar information available. He helps others, and eventually sales come his way.

Get what you want out of life. Focus on helping others.

Put Your Audience In The Story …

Put your audience in the story.

If you truly want to engage your listener, put her in your story. This doesn’t mean create a fictitious part of your story where she becomes a fake character. Include details that are so vivid that your listener feels like she is right there in the moment. Stir the passion within your listener with great emotion.

You have probably seen a movie like “Silence of the Lambs” where you completely lose awareness of your surroundings as you’re sucked into the scene. It may have been a movie like “Casablanca” where Rick and Ilsa say goodbye at the very end. Those are two great stories that put you right there in the moment.

Stories told by great storytellers do the same thing. Garrison Keillor is probably one of the best storytellers of our time. When listening to this story, you can see the guy Keillor describes in a few short seconds. He includes great lines like, “… In the midst of drinking a Bombardier at the Moonlight Bay Supper Club and she’d gone off with him to the Romeo Motel.” The story is short, yet the details are vivid.

If you can create details so vivid that your listeners can almost feel them, you can truly put her in the story. Your listener will be fully engaged. That is where information becomes entertainment. Strengthen your relationship with your podcast listener at every opportunity. Put the audience in the story.

Stories Define Your Character …

Stories define your character

I’m not simply talking about your integrity. By character, I mean all of the attributes that create you, as in character in a play.  Your stories help define who you are as a person.

The purpose of your podcast is to attract an audience. Whether you want to monetize that relationship, encourage a call-to-action, or simply create an audience for your ideas, creating the audience is where you begin.

The stories you choose to tell reveal how open you are to others. Your openness is a sign of trust. Trust is a big piece of a relationship. Reveal things about yourself through your stories and you’ll begin to build trust with your listener.

The details you include tell your listener what you value. If the listener feels you value things they too value, you solidify the relationship. People like to hang out with similar people. If your values are opposite of your listener, you may also attract them. It is like a love/hate relationship. They may dislike it, but they continue to listen. For example, this often happens when talking politics.

What you find entertaining will be evident by the stories you tell. Since people like other people who have similar tastes, revealing those things you find entertaining will also build the relationship.

Stories also have the power to demonstrate your vulnerability. Stories can show that you are a real person. Your listener will see you as approachable. They also may begin to see you as a friend. That is when true relationships begin to form.

Next time you watch a late night talk show, notice how the great, memorable interviews contain great stories. Robin Williams and Billy Crystal being interviewed by David Letterman are great examples.  Interviews that focus on facts and information rarely cut through. Those guests come off more as a lecturer than as a friend. The guests that tell stories appear more personal, warm and friendly. Their stories reveal things and help you feel like you know them personally. Take note next time you watch.

Foster a relationship with your listener by revealing things about yourself through stories. Stories will define your character.

Thanks For Listening …

Thanks for listening. I appreciate the help you give me.

It is such an easy way to strengthen your relationship with your audience. They have given you something they can never get back. That is their time.

Show your appreciation. A simple thank you will go a long way with your listener. If they know you are honestly grateful for their time, the chance they will listen again goes way up.

It must be honest and authentic. You can’t thank them in a gas-station-attendant-I’ll-never-see-you-again kind of way. You must deliver it from the heart. It should be the kind of thank you that you would give a stranger who stopped to help when you ran out of gas

Your listener is your lifeblood. Without your listener you have no podcast. She has many, many choices when allocating her time. Let her know you appreciate her for spending her time with you.

… And thanks for listening.  You’ve done a ton for me just by being here.

Trust Can Be Monetized

Trust can be monetized.

Structure is necessary for your podcast in order to build consistency and trust with your fans. The audience expects specific elements each time they listen to your show. They expect your style to be consistent. Your audience expects the host to be the same for each show. You must deliver to that expectation to build trust with your fans. This trust is where podcast monetization begins.

Think of McDonald’s. When you order a Big Mac at McDonald’s, you expect it to taste exactly like the last Big Mac you purchased and ate. That is true whether you purchased your last Big Mac at the same restaurant, across town, in another state or around the world. You expect it to be consistent. If the Big Mac you purchased today suddenly has mustard and sauerkraut on it, you would be a little hesitant to purchase another next time. You know what you want and want what you know. You want consistency.

Your audience desires the same consistency from your podcast. The consistency gained from the show structure helps the audience feel at ease and comfortable with the program. If your listener is new, she is brought up to speed quickly when you tell her what to expect. If the listener is a returning participant, your introduction causes him to say to himself, “Oh, yeah. Exactly how I remember it. This is the right show.”

If you are watching the news and suddenly there are two new anchors along with different people doing the weather and sports, you will wonder if you’ve somehow stumbled upon the wrong channel. It will feel uncomfortable. It isn’t what you expected.

Consistency helps your audience feel at home. Work to achieve it every time. Consistent structure builds trust. Trust can be monetized.

Make Your Listener The Star

Make your listener the star.  It is your show.  You know the plot.  When listeners are involved in your show, it is always your job to lead your guest and make them the star.

There are many ways to incorporate your listeners into your show.  Live interviews, live calls, recorded voicemail messages, and e-mail are a free of the possibilities.  Incorporating listeners into your podcast gives  your entire audience a vested interest in the show.

With guests, you must remember you always know more about your show than they know.  You know the goals of your show.  You know the plot and strategy.  You are always on the show.  They are new.  Lead your guest.

Phrases like “great question”, “I’m glad you mentioned that” and “I didn’t realize that” make your guest feel they are adding to the show … as long as you are authentic and sincere in your comments.  It also make you look unselfish.

Financial guru and radio host Dave Ramsey is great at guiding his listeners.  When a caller begins to ramble on, Dave will always step in with, “How can I best help you today?”  That is a great way to say, “Get to the point.”  You need to remember that your callers are not professional broadcasters.  They are not sure how to adequately edit their question while still providing all of the necessary details.

Edit your content to make your listener look good.  Just as you do not need to answer every e-mail you receive on your show, you do not need to read the entire e-mail either.  When you are using voicemail and e-mail questions, edit them before you use them.  Keep the essence of the question while eliminating the unnecessary details.  Nobody will fault you for editing a 4-minute voicemail message to a great 30 seconds.  In fact, they will probably thank you.  The edited call is still the call as long as you aren’t changing their words and intentions.  Your show is entertainment.  Edit is as such.

When interviewing a well-known guest, make it easy for them.  Open with great questions for which you already know the answer.  Talk hosts like Jay Leno and David Letterman have producers that do a pre-interview with their guests.  They will ask their guest, “If (host) asks you about ____, what will you say?”  The producer then puts the great questions on the blue cards for the host.  The host may not know the answers, but the guest is prepared for the question.

If  you know your guest has done some amazing things, ask them about it.  Then, let them answer.  I hear so many hosts interview guests as if they are trying to show the guest how much they actually know.  In turn, they answer the question as they are asking it.  “You just released a book detailing ways to reduce your work week by half by outsourcing many of your tasks to companies like X, Y and Z.  It has already sold 100,000 copies.  That’s great.  Tell us about it.”

This poses 3 problems.  First, the guest now has very little to say.  The question was already answered.  Second, the host looks like a know-it-all.  Finally, what’s the point of having the guest on the show if you already have all of the answers?

Let your guest shine.  Lob them softballs that they can hit out of the park.  You will look brilliant for asking such fantastic questions.  Your guest will love being part of your show, because you make them look so good.

You and your show become great when you make your guests and listeners the star.

Audience Of One

As you are creating your podcast, treat your audience like you are talking to each person individually.  This is critical when creating a trusting relationship with your audience.

I hear many shows address their audience as a group with comments like “hello everyone” or “hey guys”.  Each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual.  Audio is a very personal medium.  Many times, they are listening with headphones.  It is just you and her.  Talk to her just like that.

Addressing a crowd on the radio began when radio began.  As radio was just being created, station owners needed content to broadcast.  Radio programming began with rebroadcasting live, theater events.  The person on the stage would address the crowd as “ladies and gentleman”.

As radio progressed, live audiences were eliminated.  However, people on the radio continued to address the audience as a group.  It was fitting.  The family still gathered around the radio before television was introduced to the family room.  An on-air personality could address the audience as a group and be justified in doing so.

Radio then became a personal medium.  The television replaced the radio as family entertainment.  In-car and headphones became the preferred method of radio listening.  Each listener was now creating images and visions in his or her own head that were unique to their imagination.  Their thoughts were different from those of any other listener.  The conversation was now between the person on the air and the individual listening.

Unfortunately, radio personalities continued to address the listener as a group.  “It has always been done this way.”  The disconnect began.

Podcasts are even more individualistic than radio.  Most people select a podcast because of their own tastes.  Groupthink does not play a factor as it would to select a movie or television show for the family.  It is one person listening on their own to a show that interests them.

If you are talking to your listener as if they are in a group, using plural terms like everyone and you guys and you all, your listener will wonder who you are addressing.  They will think, “You guys?  I’m listening by myself.  Who are you talking to?”  In the end, they will not follow your call-to-action, because they will think someone else in your “group” will handle it.  Talk to an audience of one and build that relationship with each listener individually.

Talk To Me, Not At Me

When you are podcasting, talk “to” your listener.  Don’t talk “at” her.  You are not announcing.  You are having a personal conversation and building a relationship.

Podcasting is an intimate conversation with one person.  The conversation is typically one person speaking into a microphone addressing another single individual.  There may sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people listening.  However, they are all listening by themselves.  Even in an automobile with others listening via communal speakers, the members of the audience are listening by themselves in their own head.  Each listener is developing their own unique, mental images.

Have a conversation directly with that individual.  Put your listener in the moment.  Avoid addressing the group.  Instead of using “hello everyone”, use “hi, how are you?”  Make her feel like you are talking directly to her.  It will make your podcast relationship much stronger.