How To Make Best Use Of Your Podcast Co-Host – Episode 136
Today, we will open the Podcast Talent Coach mail bag and answer a few content questions I have received. The first questions is about making effective use of a co-host. The second is about consistently helping your listeners with your content.
I would love to hear an episode on involving a highly effective style with a cohost. – Rick Sizemore – VR Workforce Studio
- Different point of view
- Distinct styles and perspectives
- Different voices
- One needs to be the leader
I was listening to a business podcast the other day. It is a show that is hosted by two marketing gurus. They typically offer business advice to listeners who write or call the show.
The hosts had received a question regarding unique ways to market a product. The listener had included a few methods he had used. Host number one rattled off his critique of the methods used and offered a couple of his own. Host number two basically said, “I agree with your assessment and really have nothing further to add.”
When a second host (or guest for that matter) isn’t offering any new information or differing opinion, the second host is unnecessary.
If your podcast involves more than one person on the show, you need to have a justifiable reason for each of you to exist on the show. When there are multiple voices on a show, each voice needs a role. One of the hosts is unnecessary if two voices are offering the same information, with the same opinion persona.
There are many podcasts hosted by two co-hosts. Many of those are successful, such as “On The Media” with Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, “Manic Mommies” with Erin and Kristin, and “Mike & Mike in the Morning” with Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg.
Not all two-person podcasts are structured quite as well as these. It seems two friends who have similar interests get together and start a podcast without much planning. The similar interests of the hosts seem to spawn similar opinions and positions on topics.
If you and I are hosting a show, and we are both saying roughly the same thing, one of us isn’t necessary.
A great example of two hosts that compliment each other well is “Mike & Mike in the Morning”.
Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg host “Mike & Mike in the Morning”. You can find the show broadcast on ESPN television and radio as well as their “best of” podcast online. The show recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary.
Both Mikes have an interest in sports. That is the commonality that brought them together. A general interest in the topic is necessary for the subject matter and foundation of the show.
The differing opinions create the magic within the show.
Mike and Mike come from very different background. Their different experiences have developed differing opinions, attitudes and approaches to various sports topics. These differences make the show compelling.
Mike Greenberg was born to a Jewish family. He grew up in New York City. Greenberg went on to study journalism. He worked his entire career in broadcasting, beginning in Chicago, the third largest city in the United States.
Mike Golic was born in suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He played American football in College while studying finance and management at Catholic university Notre Dame in Indiana. Golic played professionally in the NFL. He then began his broadcasting career after his playing career ended.
Where Greenberg approaches topics from the researcher/journalist perspective, Golic tackles those topics from the real life experience angle. Greenberg comes from the big city. Golic comes from the suburbs. Greenberg worked big-time radio in the nation’s largest cities. Golic made big-time hits on one of professional sports’ biggest stages.
There are multiple approaches you can take on a show with multiple hosts.
Good cop/bad cop is a common show structure.
This is approach would position one host as the nice guy. He is there to help. Always encouraging and supporting the listener.
The second host would be a bit of a jerk. He might have a big ego. This host would be in your face and telling you like it is. He wouldn’t necessarily be mean. However, he would be the antagonist in the show.
There is a three-person version of this called “The Dog, The Doll and The Dork”. This show involves the bad guy (the dog), the good guy (the dork) and the sweet girl to round it out (the doll). The female typically plays mediator between the two guys. This show is heard quite often on radio morning shows.
You can also see “The Dog, The Doll and The Dork” in America’s original version of “American Idol”.
Simon Cowell was “The Dog”. He was the bad guy with the big ego. Simon was the guy everyone loves to hate.
Paula Abdul played the role of “The Doll”. She was sweet while often siding with one of the two guys. She was very likeable. Paula was almost the antidote to Simon.
Randy Jackson was “The Dork”. He would often play the nice guy, even while providing tough criticism. You would hear Randy say something like, “You know you’re my dog, but that just wasn’t good.” Randy could be seen considering the feelings of the contestants.
“American Idol” is currently not as strong, because they’ve lost the role identity of each judge. When you watch the show, you really don’t know what to expect from each judge. Is Randy going to be the nice guy or suddenly play the part of “the Dog”? Roles are inconsistent from show to show.
There are many other varieties of show roles. You could use nerd/jock where one host has “studied it” and one host has “done it”. Liberal/conservative is an option if you can find a co-host with the opposing point of view. Corporation/entrepreneur could offer diverse points of view on business. Male/female is pretty clear. You simply need to select the differences that work for you.
Think of some of the best duos in history. What makes them different (and therefore valuable)? McCartney & Lennon. Abbott & Costello. Siskel & Ebert. Bert & Ernie. Sonny & Cher. Milli Vanilli. Ok, maybe not that one.
Each member in those great partnerships offered something different than their teammate. Often, that difference was the opposite of their counterpart. Sometimes, it was simply a different approach. Find those differences that make each of you unique.
The goal of your show is to entertain your audience. Listeners have come to your show to learn something, laugh at something, or be amazed by something. Your job is to create compelling content.
Debates and differing opinions are a great way to stir up emotion with your audience. It doesn’t always need to be an argument. Multiple hosts simply need to offer different information. If both hosts are offering the same content, one of you are just wasting the time of your audience. You are repeating yourself when you could be dishing up new content.
If you host a show with multiple people, find each individual voice and use those differences to entertain your audience.
How can I help others with every show. I am so grateful for your show, keep up the good work, I point all my podcasting friends your way! You have a devoted fan on Oahu, if you need any ideas for family adventures on Oahu…. I’m your Man! – Dave Tupper – Kids Adventures Hawaii
Start with the goal of your show. What is it that you want people to take from this particular episode? How will your content help them?
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “what’s in it for me?”
Your audience will be asking this very question every time they tune into your podcast. Your introduction better tell your listener exactly how your topic will affect them. You need to hook them right at the beginning with an intriguing introduction. If you don’t hook them early, they will be gone in search of something more captivating.
When your audience knows what is in it for them, they begin to care. Making your listener care is the only way to get them to listen and more importantly come back again.
As I was listening to a podcast recently, it suddenly hit me. How does this apply to me, and what am I getting out of this podcast? I was having a tough time answering those two questions.
It was an entrepreneural podcast. The host and guest were recounting the launch and growth of the guest’s company. It was a decent story. There were a few highlights about growing out of a basement and finding industry partners. The most interesting part of the story was the fast growth of the company.
After twenty minutes of the show, it hit me. I really have nothing in common with this tech company. The stories being told were very specific to the guest’s company. Most of all, neither the guest nor the host were making the connection between the tale of the company and lessons that could be gleaned by the listener. They were not incorporating the audience into the show at all.
To truly engage your audience, you need to make the listener the star. Nobody wants to watch your home movies unless they are in them.
Your listener doesn’t need to be part of the show to be the star. The content could give them hope, help them envision the future, or relate to their situation. You need to help them make that connection.
The key question is “what’s in it for me?” Your listener isn’t attracted to your podcast by your content. They listen to your podcast because of what your information can do for them. They don’t buy products. They buy benefits.
If your podcast is only focused on you, your product, or your guest without making a connection to the listener, the size of your audience will shrink. Engaging content must be listener focused. Keep your audience engaged by making your listener the star.
Connection, put them in the show, one-on-one communication and teaching without being condescending.
This week, check out the free video I have on PodcastTalentCoach.com about one-on-one communication. We discuss how to make your listener feel like they are part of the show and that your content is specifically for them.
Next week, we will start a series on interviewing. How do you make the most of the time with your interview guest? What is more effective at attracting traffic, interviewing others or being interviewed? In the next few episodes, we will cover that, along with interview terms, and tips to help create powerful interviews.
You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.
Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.