Make The Most Of Your Podcast Interview – Episode 138


Make The Most Of Your Podcast Interview – Episode 138

Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo


I’m working on a podcast series where I interview high achievers. What’s the “formula” for making an interview a good story? How long should it be? How do you keep the guest interesting …and helping you tell the story ….without encumbering the interviewer? Doug Piper

The secret to a great interview is to be a great listener. Be curious, and ask great questions.

“Tell me about a time you thought it was all over.”
“When did you realize this was the career for you?”
“Describe an obstacle that stood in the way of your success.”
“How did it all get started?”
“What player made the greatest impact on your coaching career?”

When you listen back to your interviews, listen like a listener. Ask questions in your head that a curious listener would ask. Write those questions down. When you are conducting your interview, don’t be so concerned about following the script or list of questions. Listen and ask natural follow-up questions.

How long should it be? As long as it remains interesting. If you find it difficult to ask natural questions, or you are no longer getting great answers, the interview is probably over. That might be 10 minutes. You may talk for an hour-and-a-half and feel like you could go another hour. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t.

– – – –

The gist of my podcast will be interviewing Veterans and sharing their life story.  I have realized I need to focus on taking folks from mic shy to semi-pro, or at least comfortable on mic, in a short time. Was curious your thoughts & tips.  Thanks again for all you do. It is one of the 3 podcasts I download from my phone every week. Means more when you realize I only have old school dial up at home.
John “Nimrod” in Michigan

Get your guest to forget they are being interviewed. Treat it like a chat over coffee. Create some small talk before you begin recording. Get them to do most of the talking during the small talk. They will get comfortable more quickly if they are talking instead of listening.

Help your guest relax a bit before the interview begins. They are nervous, because they do not know what to expect. The more you can describe, the more natural and relaxed they will be.

Let your guest know that it is acceptable to begin the answer a second time if they mess up. This little trick let’s the guest know that nothing is set in stone. When they know the answer can be done again, they are more natural. Surprisingly, you probably won’t have many that start again, because they become more relaxed in their answers.

If your guest is using a standard mic, ask them to stay close to the mic at all times. There may be times during the interview that you need to remind them. This will save you a lot of time in post-production.

As you get your guest to tell stories, they will begin to focus more on the details of the story and less on the mechanics of the interview. Stories are natural and require less thinking. When they are simply reciting data or facts, they need to be specific. This creates some nervousness with the concern of making a mistake.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to dig into interviewing tips and techniques to help you become a better interviewer. Next week, we will discuss the pros and cons of interviewing versus being interviewed. Which can benefit you more?
If you would like some one-on-one coaching, or helpful tools to help you create great content, find my information at

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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