Tag Archives: guests

How To Find Great Podcast Interview Guests – Episode 165

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How To Find Great Podcast Interview Guests – Episode 165

another great interview guest
Erik K. Johnson with country star Zac Brown

The best podcasts are those that stand out from the pack. To get noticed, you need to make your show unique. When everyone else is creating podcasts with their interview guest, how do you differentiate your show from their podcast?

To become unique, find great podcast interview guests and ask great questions. Those two steps will help you create a solid podcast.
Last week we discussed great podcast questions. This week, let’s talk about finding great podcast interview guests.

I have been in radio 30 years. I have had the pleasure of interviewing great artists and musicians. I have talked with Zac Brown, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Mustane, Nelly and many, many more.

Erik K. Johnson after the interview with Lady Gaga

Through the years, I have learned to refine my interviewing skills and techniques. I have learned what works and what doesn’t, mostly the hard way through trial and error.

Most of these great artists came to me through the record label pushing their latest project. This made it easy for me to get them on my show.

I have also interviewed everyday people. These were guests from places like the ballet, the YMCA, the children’s theater, and the food festival. My job was to figure out how to make these regular people as interesting to the audience as the big stars. The key was to get the guests to tell great stories.

PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP

To help you with your guests, I have created a private Facebook group. This will be a month-long challenge to book great guests on your show. Let’s fill your calendar for the remainder of the year.

This group will help you find great podcast interview guests. We will share leads. I want to help you get the ultimate guest on your show. I want you to land your ideal guest.

If you want to be part of the private group, get details here.

Let’s talk about where to find great podcast interview guests. There are many places to find guest for your show. You want to always be looking.

In this episode, let’s talk about 15 specific ways to find great podcast interview guests.

15 TIPS

1. Ask every guest for two people who would benefit by being on your show

2. Post a link on your website with the guest criteria

3. Reach out to public relations firms that work in your niche

4. Be active in online groups

5. Explain it on your podcast

6. Reach out to complimentary businesses in your niche

7. Connect with people who write for publications in your niche

8. Keep the ask short – Gary V. “one question podcast”

9. Step up connections – find the people who know the people

10. Network at events

11. Talk to other podcasters about their best interviews

12. Find authors that you love

13. Find common people with interesting stories to tell

14. Ask your listeners who they would like to hear

15. Become part of the PTC Interviewing Facebook Group. We’ll share leads and hold each other accountable.

Interview Guest Challenge – Become part of the group. Let’s help each other find great guests.

Let me know how I can help. E-mail me at anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Please, Stop Talking – How To Conduct Great Podcast Intervews – Episode 164

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PLEASE, STOP TALKING – HOW TO CONDUCT GREAT PODCAST INTERVEWS – EPISODE 164

Start listening to your guest
Create Better Podcast Interviews – Copyright: baby / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you want to know how to create and conduct better podcast interviews? Stop talking.

Have you ever had a personal crutch or cliché that you used more often than you thought? It may have been something you didn’t realize until somebody brought it to your attention. Have you ever said, “Wow! I had no idea I did that all the time”? I’m here to tell you to stop it.

A good coach will tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. You need to hear this. When you are interviewing anyone on your show, stop talking. Ask the question, then get out of the way. Let your guest shine.

Here is an example. This is a recent question I heard during an interview.

Host: “Doesn’t money just really make you more of who you already were? It’s like money affords your personality to flourish, right? If you’re loving and generous and then you become wealthy, you’re going to be able to express more of that love and generosity to a greater degree. If you’re a jerk and you become wealthy, you’re just going to become become a colossal jerk. So, isn’t it really just an expansion of who you were at the core anyway? I mean, it’s not the money’s fault. It’s basically just a magnifier of it.”

Guest: “And it’s … that’s a good way of putting it. It just amplifies who you are, and makes it more apparent. It has a greater impact. Yeah, absolutely.”

This host kept talking to the point that he answered his own question. The guest had nothing left to say. The guest tried to paraphrase the same thing the host said, but couldn’t even make that happen. The host made his own point. The host’s question was seven sentences. The guest’s answer was basically, “Yeah.”

There are three points to remember when interviewing guests. If you keep these in mind, your guests will feel great about being on your show, and you will look like a brilliant host. Just stay out of your own way. Soon, you will be creating better podcast interviews.

 

1. KNOW THE ANSWER

Your job is to make your guest look great. You have invited your guest to your show to provide something you couldn’t provide alone. They have a story to tell. It is your job to help them tell it. Lead them to the punchline, climax or conclusion.

You need to do your homework prior to the interview. You need to know what makes your guest interesting. What will make your guest engaging to your audience? Find that story, and help your guest bring it to life.

The story will have a conclusion that you should already know. You’ve done your homework. You know what happens at the end. It is an art to help your guest tell that story without telling it yourself.

Prior to their appearance on the show, guests on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon are interviewed ahead of time by a show producer. It is that producer’s job to find the interesting story. If the producer discovers the guest was recently stuck on a roller coaster during a family vacation, Jimmy will tee it up. He will help his guest shine by asking, “How’s the family? Have you had time to get away with them lately?” Suddenly, the guest is off and running telling the hilarious story of the roller coaster.

It looks like Jimmy got lucky. Jimmy just happened to stumble across a great vacation story. Reality is homework. Jimmy already knew what would make a great story. His homework (or that of his producer) revealed the gold. He simply helped his guest get there.

Our host above knew the answer to his question. It was obvious by the lengthy set up. Unfortunately, he proved it rather than letting his guest flourish. The host could have simply asked, “Doesn’t money just really make you more of who you already were?” The guest would have been off to the races. The guest could have really explored that theory. The host would have looked like he has great questions. The guest would have looked like he knows his stuff. Everybody wins. Instead, we get, “Yeah, exactly.”

Know the answer, so you can let your guest shine.

 

2. STOP TALKING

Make your questions brief. If you want to make your guests look great, you need to give them room to spread their wings. Short questions will allow that to happen.

Ask your short question, then stop talking. If you are talking, your guest is not. Your listeners have come to hear your guest. Let the guest talk. If your listeners have come to hear you, your guest isn’t necessary. Stop wasting everybody’s time.

Many hosts feel the need to prove how much they know. Hosts want to display all of their knowledge to impress the guest. Unfortunately, this is a myth. By showing how much you know, you are only trumping your guest. If you appear to be the most knowledgable person on the show, your guest will feel uncomfortable. You will soon find it hard to get guests.

When you ask brief questions that make it easy for your guest to tell great stories, your guest will look like a star. He will truly enjoy being part of your show. Your guests will want to return. Word will spread. Your show will grow. Finally, your audience will love the new information and engaging stories.

Everybody wins when you talk less.

 

3. NO YES/NO

Ask open-ended questions. When you ask questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no”, some guests will take the opportunity to answer “yes” or “no”. Your interview will go nowhere.

Yes/no questions make it difficult for your guest to elaborate. When your guests tell stories, they become engaging. Stories are easy for your guest. Stories have natural flow. Elaborations take a lot of thought. Make it easy for your guest.

Our host above started with, “Doesn’t money just really make you more of who you already were?” All of a sudden he is faced with a yes/no question. He has forced his guest to elaborate. In order to help his guest, he continues with another yes/no question. In fact, he follows with two additional yes/no questions. Suddenly, his guest has nothing left to say.

The host knows that money simply makes you more of who you already are. He could have positioned his guest with, “How does money affect the core beliefs of an individual?” With that short question, the guest is now able to expound with his “more of who you already are” theory. The guest looks great. The host looks brilliant by somehow knowing that money affect the core of individuals. The listener gets to hear a great story.

Everybody wins when you stop talking.

 

It is your job to make your guest the star. That is the reason you’ve invited her to your podcast. She offers something to the show that you cannot deliver as well by yourself. Let her do it.

Lob that ball to your guest, so they can hit it out of the park. You don’t need to prove how well you can pitch. The goal is to let your guest hit home runs.

Make your guest look great. She will love you for it. Your listener will love you for it. You will learn to love yourself for it when your podcast begins to flourish.

If you want to create and conduct better podcast interviews, ask the question, then get out of the way. Please, stop talking.

I’m working on a new project on interviewing. If you would like to get early, inside information on it when I have it ready, sign up. I’ll keep you informed before everyone else.

 

Let me know how I can help. E-mail me at anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

3 Ways to Build Relationships At Events – Episode 161

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3 Ways to Build Relationships At Events – Episode 161

How to build relationships at events using 3 phases of before, during and after.
Copyright: kasto / 123RF Stock Photo

Building relationships is critical when it comes to growing your podcast or business. Whether you need interview guests on your show, business peers to help brainstorm ideas, or joint venture partners to help launch your products, connections are the foundation of all we do. One of the best ways to move your podcast and business forward is to build relationships at events.

Last week, we discussed the steps involved in creating new relationships. This week, we will focus solely on how to build relationships at events. With Podcast Movement coming in August, now is a perfect time to begin planning. (Use the coupon code sop10 to save 10% through School of Podcasting)

When I attended New Media Expo a few years ago, I developed a specific plan to be most effective over those three days. That plan included rekindling current relationships with longtime friends, strengthening relationships with casual acquaintances and developing new connections with other key individuals.

There simply wasn’t enough time to be able to meet everyone at New Media Expo. Therefore, I needed to be sure I met the right people. It is all about purpose and focus.

There are three phases when you build relationships at events. The process includes planning before the event, acting during the event, and following up after the event. Let’s look at all 3.

1. PLANNING

Have a goal/purpose.
Do your research. Research the attendees that fit your goal before the event. Find the individuals you’re hoping to meet (and impress).
Dress to impress.
Bring business cards.

2. AT THE EVENT

Have questions ready for every session you attend for the open Q&A at the end.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Don’t work the room. Focus on quality vs. quantity.
Don’t be afraid to join in the conversation.
Treat people like friends.
Consider their network – can you help each other make connections? Be a connector.
How can you help them?
Be yourself.
Have conversations.
Make an effective introduction – I am _(name)_, I help _(niche)_ do _(attribute/skill)_ so that _(benefit)_.
Listen first, then speak.
Ask a lot of questions.

Who are you?
What do you podcast about?
How did you get into that?
If someone wanted to get into that niche, where would they begin?
I’ve enjoyed our conversation. How can we stay in touch?

Swap business cards to stay in touch. Be sure you don’t use your business cards as spam by giving a card to every person you meet. Give them with a purpose.
Discuss commonalities.
Be specific.
Get to the point.
Don’t be a product-pusher. Seek to help.
Take notes about each meeting. Write on their business card.
Be friendly – smile, open posture, great handshake, show sincerity and interest and focus on how people feel when they’re with you.
Do not, under any circumstances, ditch a conversation partner for someone more “important.” Give your full attention.

3. FOLLOW UP

Follow up is critical. Reach out to them on the trip home. Have a purpose to reach out. Use this sample script:
I enjoyed our conversation at _______. Your story about ___________ was fascinating/intriguing/hilarious. Would you be willing to discuss _________/be on my podcast to promote your ___________/tell me more about _________.
Focus on helping them. This is not a time to sell.

Use these three phases to build new relationships at events you attend. Let these be thought starters. I would love to hear what other relationship tactics you use at events. Post in the comments below.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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.

Creating Powerful Podcast Interviews – Episode 147

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Creating Powerful Podcast Interviews – Episode 147

Erik K. Johnson after the interview with Lady Gaga
Erik K. Johnson after the interview with Lady Gaga

I want to teach you how to create powerful podcast interviews like the pros.

There are many reasons we interview guests on our podcasts.

They are content experts.
They know more than we do.
Guests add depth to the conversation.
Interviews can expose your show to others.
Interviews can cross-promote your products.
Guests add additional content to your show.

If you are like me when I started interviewing big names, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed. I felt like I was a kid playing dress-up. Did I really belong with the professional interviewers? I wasn’t big time. Impostor syndrom was definitely kicking in.

You can learn how to be a better interviewer and be more confident.

We can avoid making fools of ourselves.

We can battle the impostor syndrome.

We can look smarter by surrounding ourselves with smarter people.

If you have been with me for awhile, you probably know my story. I am a bit of an introvert. I never dreamed of interviewing big stars.

My family had little money as I was growing up. However, I was surrounded by entrepreneurs. My mom baked wedding cakes in our kitchen to earn extra money for us. My sister owned a marketing firm. My aunt was a restauranteur. My uncle owned a jewelry store. My other aunt owned a craft store. Owning a business was in my blood.

My first business was selling gum at school out of my locker. I purchased a couple cases at a white elephant sale and made some extra 6th grade cash. I also earned money as a magician for kid birthday parties when I was in middle school. As kids, we would turn our garage into a magic show theater or haunted houses for neighborhood kids.

As I got older, I started selling christmas cards door-to-door from the back of Boys’ Life Magazine to earn slot car tracks and stuff. There was always something I was selling for scouts, band, and hockey.

Selling was just a means to an end. I never had any intention of selling as a career. In 7th grade, I set my sights on getting my architecture degree. My middle school and high school classwork all led to pursuing my college degree in architecture. However, I hated presenting in front of a crowd. My design presentations was the one part of my degree I dreaded most.

While pursuing my architecture degree, I became the music director of the college station. I started in radio part-time by accident. My brother worked for a station. He wasn’t home one day when his boss called looking for someone to work. He offered me a job. That lead to my first full-time job in radio paying $12,000 a year.

Since starting my career in radio, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs, Sarah McLachlan, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, the Samples, Big & Rich, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and more. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be here.

The radio stations I have run have also had huge success. One of the stations I program was named Station of the Year. The morning show I coach was named Personality of the Year. We have hit #1 in the ratings 3 years straight … twice with 2 different stations in 2 different demographics.

This success didn’t come easy. I learned from some of the best talent coaches in the business. Bill McMahon developed the Authentic Personality. Tracy Johnson coached Jeff & Jer in San Diego. Mark St. John originally put together Mark & Brian who had huge success in Los Angeles. There have been many others.

Over the 25 years I’ve been doing this, I have learned the traits of great interviewers. I have distilled that knowledge down to a process that is easy to learn and implement in your show.

I call it Powerful Podcast Interviews

POWERFUL is the acronym for the 8 attributes of great interviews.

P – Prepared
O – Obvious goal – know where we are going before we leave the station
W – Warm & comfortable – get your guest comfortable
E – Energetic – maintain momentum & get to the action quickly
R – Resourceful – give your listeners something more – lead magnet
F – Fun – the reason we do what we love
U – Unique & authentic – give them something the internet cannot while being real
L – Let them shine – make your guest the star

Do you wish you could sound more prepared, more organized and more like a true, professional broadcaster during your interviews?

Do you fear people will see you as someone simply trying to play the part of a professional?

Would you like to have more credibility while sounding like an expert rather than someone with a little knowledge of your topic?

I have been there. What started as something fun to make college money suddenly turned into a career.

Here I was, a college kid studying architecture, trying to pretend I was a professional broadcaster.

I had no idea what I was doing. It was all trial and error.

Now, 25 years later, I am trying to help podcasters avoid the growing pains I suffered learning by diving head first into the deep end and quickly figuring out how to swim.

The mistakes I made were plenty. By sharing my scars and battle wounds, along with the processes, tips and skills I have learned over the years of interviewing, I can help you fast track the road to great podcast interviews.

Over the past 20 years, I have been coaching radio talent and more recently podcasters with their shows. I have helped many radio shows reach the top of the ratings. My show has also been at the top for years.

YOUR OPPORTUNITY

Would you like me to show you how to create powerful podcast interviews step-by-step?

Would you like me to show you how to put each of these steps into action to make your interviews more effective?

I am looking to gather a handful of serious podcast interviewers to take part in an interactive interviewing workshop. During this intimate workshop, I will teach you each step in the Powerful Podcast Interview system and you will also have your interviewing questions answered.

You will come out of the workshop with a custom development plan and checklist for your interviews. You will learn how to turn your interviews into traffic for your show and website. You will have a preparation checklist for show. You will learn ways to make your interviews more entertaining and engaging. You will walk away with the key “dos and don’t” for every interview. I’ll even teach you how to be interviewed on other show. That’s just the start.

This workshop will be 5 consecutive Saturdays beginning January 7, 2017. Each session will last roughly two hours as we get through each step of the system.

If you would like to be part of this intimate workshop with 14 other serious podcasters, e-mail me today at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Paying for coaching is a difficult decision to make. You are investing in something difficult to measure.

When you pay for coaching, it isn’t like buying a tank of gas. You can see, feel and measure the benefit of buying a tank of gas.

To measure the benefit of investing in coaching services, you need to believe in yourself.

I want to help you take that first step. You have heard the overview in this episode. We have just scratched the surface. This workshop will dive deep into each step.

Look, my coaching isn’t for everyone. Podcasters that are serious about improvement and truly believe in themselves usually receive the most benefit. It takes commitment. And, it is priced to ensure only those committed take advantage of the opportunity.

My coaching fee is typically $95 per hour.

5 two-hour sessions would typically cost $950. However, I want you to succeed. I want to see you get committed to your improvement.

You won’t pay anywhere near that amount.

This five-session workshop will only cost you $97.

As a bonus, and to help jump start your transformation, I will include a free, digital copy of the Podcast Talent Coach Workbook. This book walks you through all of the Podcast Talent Coach worksheets with detailed instructions.

Want in? Join the workshop by e-mailing me today at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

LET’S MAKE IT EASY

To get you started, to help you see the power of podcast coaching, I’ll give you a money-back guarantee. If after the first two-hour session you don’t think the workshop is for you, just let me know and I’ll refund your entire tuition. No questions asked.

There’s no risk to you. If you don’t benefit, you don’t pay.

Am I crazy?

Not really. I offer this workshop, because I am a talent coach. I help podcasters transform their information into engaging entertainment and turn their podcasts into powerful, profitable relationships. Over the past 25 years, I’ve guided many broadcasters and podcasters to great success.

There is a good possibility my knowledge and experience can help you and your podcast. This workshop is designed to help us both.

I plan to record all five session to create a interviewing course that I will sell for not less than $200. That is twice what you will pay without the question and answer opportunity. Without the free workbook.

With that said, please understand that I am not offering a sales pitch in disguise. I promise not to pressure you or pester you in any way at all.

Now, WAIT A MINUTE.

Before we go any further, you need to know that I cannot help everyone. That is why I am limiting this workshop to around 15 serious podcasters. I can only be of benefit to people who:

1. have a podcast

2. are actively creating new content and interviews, and

3. are dedicated to making a few adjustments & improvements

If that isn’t you, enjoy my free content. I completely understand, and we’ll still be friends.

However, if you have the desire to transform your interviews and create a powerful, engaging podcast, here is what you need to do next.

If you meet this criteria, and you want to join me in this powerful interviewing workshop, no strings attached, simply e-mail me today. Send your request to join to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

I will review all requests on Saturday, December 16, 2016. I will then select the 15 or so podcasters to join me in this workshop.

Thanks for being part of this journey.

If you would like to be part of this intimate workshop with 14 other serious podcasters, e-mail me today at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s begin transforming your interviews today.

Put The Fun In Your Podcast Interviews – Episode 146

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Put The Fun In Your Podcast Interviews – Episode 146

One of 8 steps to Powerful Podcast Interviews
One of 8 steps to Powerful Podcast Interviews

Creating Powerful Podcast Interviews requires 8 key steps. One of those key steps is adding an element of fun.

Having fun is the reason we podcast. We love what we do. Podcasting requires too much time to continue if it isn’t enjoyable. Make it fun.

To maintain a sense of fun, add these ten facets to your podcast.

HAVE FUN

Make it a goal to have fun. We often get so wrapped up in getting through our list of questions that we forget to enjoy ourselves.

ENTERTAIN

We are here to entertain. People listen to podcasts to be entertained. Even if your content is informational or inspirational, your show still needs to be entertaining.

SHOW BUSINESS

This is show business. Your podcast should be both show and business. Even if making money is not your goal, you need continue to grow your show to attract guests and listeners. You need to grow to survive. You need both show and business to keep listeners coming back.

WORD-OF-MOUTH

If your guest has fun, word will spread. The leaders in your niche talk to each other. When you send out an invitation to be on your show, potential guests will check references. Earn the reputation of being a fun show. Word will get around.

SET EXPECTATIONS

Communicate to your guest what is expected of them. Where do you want the interview to go? Explain what you hope to accomplish in order to put your guest at ease. When your guest knows the expectations of the show and is given permission to loosen up a bit, they will be more likely to have fun.

STICK TO THE TIME LIMIT

Stick to the allotted time. If you told your guest the interview would last 45 minutes, be sure you wrap it up within 45 minutes. When you go over, it is disrespectful. Word will get around. If you go long, it will eventually become difficult to attract new guests.

SHOW RESPECT

If there are topics that are off limits or your guest has asked you to avoid particular subject matter, respect their request. Always treat your guest with respect. Once you break that trust, it will be very difficult to have fun during the remainder of the interview. Protect your reputation. Create an atmosphere of fun and not fear.

RELAX

Be in the moment during your interview. Relax and let the conversation happen naturally. You can edit any rough parts out at the end of the interview. When you relax, the fun will come naturally.

DON’T FORCE FUNNY

When you try too hard to be funny, it usually doesn’t work. When you force the funny, you will typically fall short. Let it all happen naturally. The funny will come.

FUNNY FOLLOWS FUN

The funny comes most easily when you are having fun. Have you ever been in a group of people who are having a ton of fun and everything seems funny? The dumb jokes and stupid things your buddy doing are all funny because you are all having fun. Funny follows fun.

Next week we are going to cover all 8 steps to creating Powerful Podcast Interviews.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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.

The Anatomy of a Podcast Interview – Episode 145

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The Anatomy of a Podcast Interview – Episode 145

Copyright: ivelinradkov / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: ivelinradkov / 123RF Stock Photo

On this episode, I review an interview podcast to help you understand how to evaluate your own podcast interviews.

Doug Piper from the Amazing Network allowed me to review one of his interviews. I can’t thank him enough for having the courage to allow me to provide a critique in front of everyone.

In this episode, Doug interviews Brad Jeffrey of CauseGear. It is a business impacting 250,000 people living in unfathomable poverty.

In my critique, I only play Doug’s questions. Those are the parts Doug can control. If you want to listen to the entire interview, find it here: http://youtu.be/fQKBjCtMzfY

Brad left a very successful family business, because he felt the need to serve others. His desire was to provide sustainable life change to victims of unfathomable poverty.

Throughout the interview, Doug does a nice job reframing Brad’s answers to guide the discussion. Doug pulls out the pieces of the answer to keep Brad focused on the direction of the interview. This keeps the momentum of the episode moving forward.

There are few places where it feels like Doug is reading some of his questions rather than letting it become a natural discussion. He could also use a little stronger call-to-action at the end of the episode.

If you would like this type of help with your podcast, you have a couple options.

First, Dave Jackson and I do a show called the Podcast Review Show. We invite podcasters on the show to have their podcast reviewed. It is an opportunity to get solid feedback from two experienced coaches on your podcast, strategy and website while promoting your show to another audience. Find that option here.

You can also get one-on-one coaching with me. These are private sessions. We work on your show together to improve your podcast and achieve your goals. You can get that information here.

Find my podcast, worksheets, workbook and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

26-Point Podcast Interview Checklist – Episode 142

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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 Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. I will help you any way I can.

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.

Why We Do Podcast Interviews – Episode 141

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Why We Do Podcast Interviews – Episode 141

Why Podcast Interview

Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

I was out for a bit. “Summer vacation.”

Actually, a change in my employment. You know I have programmed radio stations for the past 20 years. Well, recently my employer thought my skills were strong enough to take over our entire market.

I was recently elevated to Sr. Vice President of Programming for our 7-station cluster in our market. I now oversee the programming of all 7 radio stations with a few program directors working under me.

As I got up to speed with my new role, along with helping my coaching clients, the podcast took a little pause. We are now ready to roll again.

Thanks for those that reached out. Especially Dave Jackson, Alex Exum and a few others. It meant a lot.

POWERFUL PODCAST INTERVIEWS LIKE THE PROS

Why do we interview guests on our podcasts?

There are various benefits to having guests on our shows.

    • They are content experts
    • They know more than we do
    • The interview adds depth to the conversation
    • Interviews can expose your show to others, such as your guest’s tribe
    • Your guest can cross-promote your products
    • Interviews add additional content to your show

It is possible to become better at conducting interviews. When you work to improve, your entire show will benefit.

As you learn to be a better, you will naturally become a more confident interviewer. We can avoid making fools of ourselves and battle the impostor syndrome with a little work and education.

By conducting strong interviews, we can look smarter by surrounding ourselves with smarter people. This is a huge benefit of interviewing.

Growing up, I never envisioned myself creating a life in radio interviewing stars and other big names. I was quite introverted all the way through college. Radio became my career by accident.

Our family had little money while I was growing up. My family was full of entrepreneurs. They were all around me, because we were all trying to make ends meet.

My first business was selling gum at school. In junior high school, I bought a case of gum at a white elephant sale. I took that gum to school and sold it out of my locker. That was pretty decent money for a sixth grader.

As a kid, I also did magic shows and built haunted houses in our garage for the kids in the neighborhood.

Those early days of business lead to selling door-to-door as a kid. I sold anything I could. I sold for popcorn and Christmas cards for Boy Scouts, ornaments and calendars for band, candy for hockey and on my own. I sold sold all kinds of stuff.

It wasn’t the selling I enjoyed. It was the reward at the end that kept me going.

That reward was similar to the motivation I used when learning to speak in front of a crowd and interviewing others. I loved the outcome.

My radio career began while I was getting my architecture degree in college. I hated presenting in front of a crowd. However, it was a required part of the program.

As I was getting the degree, I was offered a part-time job running the board at a radio station in 1989. I then became music director of the college station. That eventually turned into a full blown radio gig.

My first full-time job in radio paid $12,000 per year. That wasn’t much. In fact, I had two other jobs just to make ends meet.

Over the years, I have interviewed Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, the Samples, Big & Rich, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and many others.

I have also taught others to interview. Radio stations I have programmed have been named “Station of the Year”. Shows I have coached have been awarded “Morning Show of the Year”. By learning the skills necessary to interview and engage, I have been #1 in the radio ratings 3 years straight … twice with 2 different stations in 2 different demos.

My success can directly be linked to my training over the last 25 years. I have learned from some of the best talent coaches in the business. Tracy Johnson coached Jeff & Jer in San Diego to huge success. Mark St. John launched the morning careers of Mark & Brian in L.A. There have been many others.

Over the 25 years I’ve been doing this, I have learned the traits of great interviewers. I have also distilled it down to a process that is easy to learn and implement in your show.

Would you like me to teach you? I just need to know what you would like to learn.

I would love to help you refine your interviewing skills. In the long run, my goal is to create an interviewing course.

To get this started, I need to know what you need to know.

How can I help you become a better interviewer? E-mail your questions to coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

When it comes to interviewing, where do you need help? What do you struggle with the most? Where are your hurdles?

I will incorporate your questions into the next few episodes. What would you like me to cover.

E-mail your thoughts and questions to me at coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Podcast Interview Terms You Should Know – Episode 140

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Podcast Interview Terms You Should Know – Episode 140

Copyright: baibaz / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: baibaz / 123RF Stock Photo

 

This week, we discuss 20 podcast interview terms that will help you speak the language when arranging, coordinating and conducting interviews with your guests.

Host – Interviewer

Guest – Interviewee

Prep – Show preparation

Prep Sheet – Preparation info for both host and guest

Advance The Interview – Coordinating the info in advance of the session

Outline – The guide for the host

Target Audience – The specific person who will listen and benefit from the show

Work The Mic – The technique of using a microphone, including distance from the mic and angle of attack

Pitch And Plug – Promote goods and services during an interview

Reminder – Reach out to the guest periodically regarding the interview

Bio – A brief history of either the guest or host

Pronunciation Guide – Instructions to properly say a name or phrase

Booking Agent – A person who works for either the host or guest to coordinate interviews

Call To Action – Asking the audience to do something

Forward Momentum – Keeping the conversation moving forward. Stories are a great way to accomplish this.

Funnel And Lead Magnet – The act of bringing prospective clients and customers into your buying process (funnel) using a free gift, such as a download

Non-Verbal Cues – Hand gestures (that the audience cannot detect) to indicate you would like to speak during an interview

Elevator Pitch – The quick speech that gets the prospect interested in hearing more

Reset – A point during the podcast when the host reintroduces the guest and topic in order to remind the listener of important parts of the interview

Recap – A summation of the interview sent to the guest after the session has taken place in order to thank the interviewee and help him/her promote the show
Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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.

Do You Gain More Podcast Engagement By Interviewing Or Being Interviewed – Episode 139

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Do You Gain More Podcast Engagement By Interviewing Or Being Interviewed – Episode 139

Podcast Junkies Interview

I was recently on Episode 88 of Podcast Junkies with Harry Duran. We had a great talk. We chatted about podcasting, architecture, magic and the New York Islanders. It was one of those conversations that could have gone twice as long.

Listen to Podcast Junkies HERE.

The podcast interview is all the rage. It seems everyone is doing them. So, which is better for your business, interviewing guests on your show or being interviewed on other shows?

The answer is … both. If you hope to spread the word about your show, you should both be interviewed on other podcasts while interviewing guests on your show.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both. Here are a few pros and cons of each.

INTERVIEWING

 

POSITIVE

Easier form of podcasting – content creates itself with a conversation
People come to you to hear the interview
You control the conversation
You control the dissemination of info
Guests can direct traffic your direction
Guests can become subscribers
Guests offer different info and perspective

NEGATIVE

Takes a lot of work to coordinate
Less flexible
Guests may not show up
Guests may do very little to promote your show

BEING INTERVIEWED

POSITIVE

You get in front of a new crowd – Expanding your reach
Less work with prep and post production
You can offer a lead magnet to new people

NEGATIVE

It is more difficult to convert new people into listeners
You do not control the interview
You do not contol when the interview is posted
You need to send people to another show to hear the content
Takes time and relationships to find opportunities
You do not contol the quality

 

If you want to grow your tribe, find great guests to appear on your show who will help expose you to their audiences. Then, find great podcasts on which to appear to expose yourself to other new audiences.

(I also mentioned The Podcast Review Show that I do with Dave Jackson. Find that HERE. You can find Dave’s podcast School Of Podcasting HERE.)
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.

Make The Most Of Your Podcast Interview – Episode 138

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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 www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Construct a Powerful Podcast Introduction – Episode 124

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How To Construct a Powerful Podcast Introduction – Episode 124

PowerfulPodcastIntroductions

(DOWNLOAD: Topic Development Worksheet)

On a recent episode of the Podcast Review Show that I do with Dave Jackson, we got into a discussion with a podcaster who struggles with the introduction of his show. This happens with so many hosts. How do you properly begin an episode? What are the important elements of a solid podcast introduction? What is the purpose?

We were talking with Doug Salamone of Mind Drippings podcast. On this particular episode, Doug was interviewing Taylor Pearson, author of “The End Of Jobs”. Doug said he was having trouble forming the introduction of his interviews.

Before you begin your show, determine what are you hoping people will take from the interview. What is the point?

Many podcast introductions are a waste of time. They host wanders into the episode rather than creating anticipation and setting up the content that is to come.

“Tell us a little about yourself, who you are and what you do.” It is such an overused first questions.

Do your homework. Know the important facts about your guest that support the topic. Provide those pieces of information right at the beginning. Then, hit the ground running with great questions.

Make your podcast introduction compelling. It should make your audience want to stick around for the payoff. I hear so many shows begin with their standard show open immediately followed by a bunch of housekeeping. Don’t waste the time of your audience. Your introduction should make a promise (tell the audience what to expect). You should then follow through on that promise (give them the content they expect).

Last week, we discussed the purpose of a strong podcast introduction. This week, I want to walk you through the steps of creating your powerful purpose and intriguing introduction.

These steps come straight from the Topic Development Worksheet online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

13 STEPS

What do you hope to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand?

What is in it for them?

Why is the topic relevant to your audience?

How will you make the audience care?

What is the source of the topic?

How will the source lend credibility to the topic?

What do you find intriguing about the topic?

What emotion do you hope to stir?

In what context will the story be set?

Where will you take the topic? Where will the story go?

What details will you use?

What is the one thing you hope your listener will remember about you/your show?

Write the intriguing introduction to your topic.

 

Before you begin your show, determine what are you hoping people will take from the interview. What is the point?

Do your homework. Know the important facts about your guest that support the topic. Provide those pieces of information right at the beginning in your podcast introduction. Then, hit the ground running with great questions.

 

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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.

8 Podcasting Tips & Tricks – Episode 115

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8 Podcasting Tips & Tricks – Episode 115

Tips & Tricks

This week, I would like to share a few podcasting tips and tricks I have learned over my 25 years of broadcasting. These tips will help you with your interviews, editing, voice and sound quality.

1. Stronger Interviews

Would you like to make your interviews stronger?

There are times when your guest is not great at thinking on their feet. Sometimes it takes a couple sentences before she really hits her stride with her answer to our question.

To make your interview content stronger, prepare the guest ahead of time. Tell your guest to feel free to pause a few seconds to gather his thoughts before he begins to answer the question. You will edit out the silence before the podcast goes live.

This little instruction will help your guest prepare much stronger answers. And, it will only take a little editing on your part.

Next, tell your guest it is perfectly acceptable to stop and begin his answer again. If your guest feels the answer isn’t as strong as he had hoped, he can pause 10 seconds for an easy edit and then begin again.

This instruction will also provide some peace of mind for your guest. Simply knowing he can start again can sometimes calm his nerves and help him provide stronger answers in the first place.

2. Land Great Guests

Land great interview guests for your show by positioning your podcast using the benefits to the guest.

Many podcasters send the invite e-mail to potential guests explaining how the audience of the show will LOVE the info the guest will share. That fact is only a third of the puzzle … and NOT the most important to your new friend.

Just like most everyone in life, your guest want to know what is in it for them. Lead with the headline. How will your show benefit your guest?

Once you have established the benefit to your potential guest, you can then share how the interview will benefit you and your audience.

If you want to land a great guest, make your show as appealing as possible to your potential guest by leading with the prize for them. Lead with the headline.

3. Better Interview Answers

If you want to get more from your guest and get deeper answers to your interview questions, do not be afraid of the pregnant pause. Many hosts panic as soon as the conversation stops.

Let the silence sit there for a few seconds. Just as you typically jump in when you hear silence, your guest will do the same. If you do not talk, your guest will speak up. It is natural.

If the pause gets too long, you can always edit the audio. Take the silence out if it sounds unnatural.

If your guests provides a short answer, or you would like more, don’t talk. Allow that pregnant pause to encourage them to talk more. You will be surprised by the effectiveness of the pause. Not talking is a learned skill just like talking is a talent.

4. Have More Energy

If you want to better project your voice and sound like you have more energy, stand up while you record.

Many podcast “coaches” will recommend that you sit down, because it will help you sound more natural. These teachers unfortunately do not understand how the human voice works.

In order to project your voice, your diaphragm needs to work properly. Your larynx needs to be fully open. Your vocal chords need to have a sufficient oxygen supply.

When you stand, your entire airway opens to the extent that it can fully function. Your diaphragm can send sufficient air to your vocal chords. Your vocal chords will then need to do less work. Your voice will not get tired as quickly. You can project your voice with less effort.

When you sit, your abdomen is squashed. Your diaphragm does not have enough room to move properly. You then need to force the air through your vocal chords to create sound. In the end, your voice becomes tired.

Have you ever been at a cocktail party or networking event and found yourself saying, “Hey, let’s sit down so I can sound more conversational with you”? I didn’t think so.

If you believe you cannot sound natural and conversational while standing, just smile and stop yelling. Sitting has nothing to do with having a conversation.

5. Stop The Pop

If you want to avoid popping your Ps, talk across the microphone at a 30-45 degree angle rather than directly into it.

Your Ps pop when the burst of air from your mouth attacks the diaphragm inside the mic. When you talk across the mic rather than directly into it, the air doesn’t hit the mic so hard. This will keep your Ps clean.

6. Like Your Voice More

We often do not like the sound of our own voice. There are many reasons, many of them physiological.

There is one trick that will help your voice sound less bouncy, less singsongy, and less like a puking radio DJ. It is the way you use your headphones.

First, turn down the volume of your headphones. This will help you hear the natural sound of your voice.

Next, only wear one cup of the headphones leaving the other ear open. This will help you hear your natural voice without the enhancement of any audio equipment.

These two tips will help you deliver your content in a manner that is closer to your normal conversational voice.

These may not make you suddenly love your voice. However, your voice will sound more natural. This adjustment should help you like your voice just a bit more.

7. Cleaner Edits

Here is a quick tip to make cleaner edits.

In post production, we often need to remove parts of our audio. We might stop then start a sentence a second time. Other times we might simply want to remove an entire section.

The goal of a post production edit is to make the change unnoticeable to the listener. You want to avoid that audible bump or change in tone.

Let’s pretend you are editing a complete sentence out of your audio. The wave file would look like <last word> <breath 1> <bad sentence> <breath 2> <first word>. We want to remove the <bad sentence>.

Most people make the first edit between <last word> and <breath 1>. They then make the second edit between <bad sentence> and <breath 2>.

This leaves a final product of <last word> into <breath 2>. The audible clunk comes from the unnatural transition between a word and a breath that didn’t naturally follow it.

To make your edit clean, place your first edit instead between <breath 1> and <bad sentence>, keeping the original breath, with the second edit between <breath 2> and <first word>, eliminating the new breath.

This leaves the final product of <breath 1> and <first word>. The natural transition between <last word> and <breath 1> will cover the edit.

The way you inhale after words varies. They way you start a sentence with a particular vowel or consonant usually remains constant.

Give it a try. I think you’ll be surprised how clean your edits sound.

8. Better Audio

If your audio sounds like you are in a canyon or restroom, you need something to absorb the sound waves in your studio.

Many podcasters record in a spare bedroom or the basement next to the water heater. These rooms are not always the best recording environments. Your mic may pick up a lot of echo as the sound waves bounce off of the walls.
To deaden the room, you need some baffling. Before you go spend a ton of money on expensive baffling, try creating your own from comforters, blankets, packing foam or other household items.

Here is a link to a great video that will teach you how to build your own baffling. CLICK HERE.
Are you stuck? I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

What If I Get Too Much Engagement? -Episode 101

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What If I Get Too Much Engagement? (Listener Questions Part 2) – Episode 101

FITTING IT ALL IN

THANK YOU!

We have made it through 100 episodes. With your help, I have been creating this podcast for nearly two years. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On this episode, I want to finish the special show we began last week. This is part two of the questions I have received from listeners.

NEW PATHS

I have never had another person on the show. Up to this point, I have simply been sharing my 25 years of broadcasting knowledge with you.

For the 100 episode milestone, I invited a few listeners to join me on the show to share their questions about podcast content and creation.

The response and questions were so great, I had to split the show into two episodes in order to keep it to about 30 minutes each. This week is part two. If you missed the first half, subscribe to the show and give it a listen.

A few questions allow us to dive into some new material. A few help us explore a few topics a little deeper. There are even a few twists along the way.

FRIENDS & INSPIRATION

Here are the people who join me on this episode and inspire me to do this each week.

Kim SlusherDIStracted Life Podcast
“How do I stand out without being someone I am not?”

Alex ExumThe Exum Experience
“What’s the one mistake podcasters are making?”

Rem LavictoireThe Sci-Fi Movie Podcast
“How do I include listener feedback if I get too much?”
I truly appreciate all of the support you have given me over the past 100 episodes. This podcast would not exist if it wasn’t for you. Thanks for being part of this great community.

Next week, we will talk about defining your avatar and using that target listener as a filter for your content. Find that worksheet here.

-WORKSHEETS-
Do you have a question? I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

How Do I ___ On My Podcast? – Episode 100

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How Do I ____ In My Podcast? – Episode 100

How To

THANK YOU!

Welcome to Episode 100. With your help, I have been creating this podcast for 100 episodes.

On this episode, I want to do something special.

NEW PATHS

I have never had another person on the show. Up to this point, I have simply been sharing my 25 years of broadcasting knowledge with you.

Today, I have invited a few listeners to join me on the show to share their questions about podcast content and creation.

The response and questions were so great, I had to split the show into two episodes in order to keep it to about 30 minutes each.

A few questions allow us to dive into some new material. A few help us explore a few topics a little deeper. There are even a few twists along the way.

FRIENDS & INSPIRATION

Here are the people who join on this episode and inspire me to do this each week.

Dave Jackson – School of Podcasting
“How do you get used to talking to the wall when doing a solo show?”

(I also do a podcast with Dave called “The Podcast Review Show”. Wanna get reviewed? Click HERE.)

Steve Stewart – Money Plan SOS
“The impostor syndrome seems to be creeping in. How does somebody get into the right mindset where they actually feel like they can bring some value even though they may not be the best in the industry?”

Megumi Takeda – Working on her first episode
“Do you have any advice to help smooth out the moments when interviews come to a dead end line of questions and need to transition into another topic?”

David Freeman – Authors Pay It Forward
“What is the most comfortable level of preparation for a podcast interview?”

Next week, we will hear from a few other listeners with more great questions.

Do you have a question? I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Why Is Dumas So Successful? – Episode 096

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Why Is Dumas So Successful – Episode 096

Thanks for the e-mail

Thank you!

Thanks for all the e-mail over the past few weeks. Seems my four-episode series on interviewing really got you thinking. Such great questions have been filling my inbox.

We will talk about a few of the interviewing questions on the episode this week. We will also discuss how to remove crutches from your podcast.

Here are a few of the questions …

RELATIONSHIPS

Erik, as I am listening to WTF’s Thursday episode when he was recapping the behind the scenes of the President’s visit, I thought it coincided with your episode this past week cause he was talking about how long the process took.

(Marc) Maron’s producer said exactly what you said about keeping up great relations and communications even if the interview didn’t seem likely to happen.

I love your podcast. Keep up the great work.

-Kim Slusher
www.DIStractedLifePodcast.com (A podcast about Walt Disney World travel.)

 

PODCAST MOVEMENT

Erik, quick note to say I’ve been enjoying your podcast on interviewing people. Will you be at Podcast Movement?

-David Hooper
www.redpodcast.com (A podcast about Real Entreprenuer Development.)

 

WHY IS DUMAS SO SUCCESSFUL?

Erik, I just found your podcast, and heard two shows about how to interview. I agree with your concept, but I wonder how does a show like Entrepreneur On Fire –John Dumas–do so well? I listened to his show for a while, but I don’t find it interesting anymore. And yet he is doing so well and clearly successful. What do you think?

-Thanks. (Name Withheld)

 

REMOVE THE CRUTCH

Hi, Erik! Big fan of the show, sir! Best help out there for podcasters that want to be better broadcasters! I find myself saying “like” way too much. How can I stop?

-Mike Seay
www.dorktownpodcast.com (A podcast with comedy, interviews, discussions and more.)

 

This week, we get into all of that and more.

Thanks for the great e-mail. Your questions truly help me shape the content of the show. Keep them coming.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Six Tips To Land Better Podcast Interviews – Episode 095

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Six Tips To Land Better Podcast Interviews – Episode 095

Image

How do you land the big interview guests? This is part four of my series on interviewing.

In Episode 092, we talked about interview priority #1. We talked about making your guest look good. When you make your guest look good, everyone wins.

In Episode 093, you learned two steps to powerful interviews. To create unique interviews, be sure you ask creative, interesting questions. Then, be sure to actively listen to the answers.

Then, in Episode 094, we discussed the three skills of great interviewers. To create engaging content that stands out in the sea of sameness, great interviewers learn to lose the script, know their guest and not just the bio, and keep the interview focused on the guest.

Before we get into finding guests for your show, let’s talk a bit more about great questions. When you develop the ability to find engaging, unique questions, you are well on your way to creating a podcast that will stand out.

Turn Over The Interview Rocks

How do you find great questions for your guest during your interview? Look in unlikely places. If you want to truly engage your audience, you need to ask engaging questions of your guest.

The guest’s website or news release is a decent place to get familiar with your guest. However, if you only use these common sources for the basis of your questions, you will be asking the same questions every other interviewer is asking. Your interview won’t be different and will not stand out from the crowd.

One source I like to use is the people traveling with the guest. Ask your guest’s traveling companion if anything amusing has happened lately. It will sound wonderfully spontaneous when you ask about it during the interview.

Country artist Miranda Lambert once joined me on my show before her performance as opening act for Kenny Chesney. Before she arrived, I asked her record label representative what she had been doing lately. He told me she had injured her leg night hunting a few days earlier.

After Miranda and I exchanged typical interview pleasantries, I said, “It looks like you have a little limp in your step. What happened?” She really wasn’t limping and was a bit surprised that I had noticed.

Miranda now got the chance to tell me a great story about falling down a small ravine while night hunting with her husband Blake Shelton. It was a wonderful question that included a story about her well-publicized relationship with Blake without asking typical interview questions. I didn’t ask, “So, what have you and Blake been up to lately?” I’m sure she gets questions like that often.

Be unique. Be original. Make your interview engaging for your audience and guest. Turn over the interview rocks.

Fish For Interviews With Bigger Bait

How do you land that big guest for your podcast? Here are a few 6 useful tips.

1 – FIND THE INTRODUCTION

Find people that know your prospect. See if they will introduce you.

Just the other day, a radio colleague came to me seeking an interview with Taylor Swift. I have interviewed her a couple times. He knew I was able to make an introduction for him.

2 – THE GATEKEEPER’S FRIEND

There are times when big names have people that run their schedule. This could be a personal assistant. It might be a booking agent. You need to make friends with these people.

In the music business, I always go through the record label. I need to create a strong relationship with that person in order to be at the top of the list when interview opportunities come about.

3 – WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

To score a guest interview for your podcast, you need to begin by explaining how the interview will benefit your prospective guest. The fact that your audience will love it has no bearing. It really doesn’t matter to your guest if your show or your audience will benefit from the guest’s appearance.

When your guest makes the decision whether to appear on your show, they will only consider how the appearance will benefit them personally.

Are they promoting a new book? Do they have a new product available?

What is in it for your guest? Make it easy.

4 – SHOW THEM WHAT YOU’VE GOT

Provide your prospects some examples of your great work. If you have endorsements, share those as well.

Create a short sizzle reel containing some of your best work. Provide some social proof that they won’t be alone in accepting your invitation.

5 – SIZE ISN’T THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS

Many podcast hosts use their audience size to lure guests. If you have a reasonable audience size, surely use it to your advantage. However, don’t stop there. You may be overlooking many other ways you could benefit your guest.

You could offer to give your guest exposure on your website. You may have visitors to your site that do not listen to the show. Promote your guest on the site with a link to their content. This will be an additional benefit.

Mention your guest and interview in your blog. Again, your guest will be reaching additional audience. You are helping them spread their message beyond your podcast.

Your audience for any one of these avenues may be small. However, when you combine the benefit of each distribution method, your proposal for the interview will be more appealing to your guest. Use every audience you have to your advantage.

Offer to promote the interview and your guest’s information to your mailing list. You may have many people that receive your newsletter who may never listen to your podcast. By including a link to your guests website in your mailing, your guest will reach additional people. Take credit for that.

6- DON’T TRIP OVER THE NAMES YOU DROP

Play to your guest’s ego by dropping a few names. If you have had other notable guests on your show in the past, let your guest know. Tell your prospective guest they will be among good company. They will feel more comfortable saying yes to your request.
Use these six tips to help land some of those elusive, big guests for your podcast. Before you know it, you will be chatting it up with some of the best.
If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach podcast, please spend two minutes to do so. I would truly appreciate your generosity. Click the link and then the subscribe button in iTunes.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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.

3 Skills of Great Interviewers – Episode 094

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3 Skills of Great Interviewers – Episode 094

3 Skills of Great Interviewers

(This is part 3 of a 4-part series on interviewing.)

So many podcasts sound similar. The same guests. The same questions. The same answers. The sea of sameness.

As a podcasters who conducts interviews, how do you stand out? How do you make your interviews different and unique when compared to the others in your genre?

Podcasters that create powerful, unique, engaging interviews possess common traits. After coaching radio talent for over 2 decades and conducting my own interviews for 25 years, I have learned the skills that are necessary to conduct great interviews.

There is good news. You can easily learn these skills and begin to rise above the rest of the vanilla interviewers.

Let’s go over all three skills.

Lose The Script

When you are interviewing a guest on your podcast, be real. Be present in the moment. Truly listen to the answers your guest is giving. Your next question may come from that answer, and the question many be nowhere in your notes.

As you prepare for your interview, don’t script your questions. When you have a script, you will be too focused on the script and less attentive to the answers of your guest. Lose the script.

Instead of scripted questions. follow bullet points. Be prepared for your interview by being familiar with the material. Have an idea of the questions you want to ask. Review your bullet points to the point that you are ready to ask various questions about a single topic that might come up during the interview.

Be sure to make your questions succinct. A long-winded question is hard to follow for both your guest and your audience. Ask one short question. Let it lead into another short question. It may take three questions to get to the same answer as it would with your one long question. However, three short questions will be easier to follow and digest by your audience.

If you are concerned with following a script, you won’t allow yourself to explore unexpected twists and turns presented by the answers of your guest.

Television hosts such as Jay Leno and David Letterman used a list of questions on their blue cards that were previewed and screened by a show producer. The host may have started with one of those questions. They would then let the interview flow on its own. If the discussion hit a lull, Leno and Letterman would revert back to one of the bullet points on the card to restart the conversation.

You will never saw either of these hosts ask the card questions in order, in full or in a vacuum. The interview became organic and developed according to the answers of the guest. Your interview should do the same.

Know Your Guest, Not Their Bio

If you are only familiar with the bio of your guest, you will ask the same questions every other interviewer has asked. Your guest will be bored. They will provide the same lame answers they have given on every other show. There will be very little content here to engage anyone.

Instead, do a bit of research on your guest. When searching for your guest on the web, don’t stop at the first page. When skimming articles about your guest, don’t just look at the first few paragraphs. Find the unique material deep within the article.

When you have discovered something of interest about your guest, don’t tell them about it. Let your guest tell you the story. Throw them the easy pitch that they can hit out of the park. You don’t want your interview to sound like the Saturday Night Live bit where Chris Farley interviewed Sir Paul McCartney, leaving McCartney the only option of answering “yes” to Farley’s question.

Let your guest shine. Just because you know the details of the story, you don’t have to reveal that you do. Ask the question in a way that sets up the story so your guest can tell it. You will both look great.

The bio of your guest will give you common information. If your listeners know anything about your guest, they will probably be familiar with the content of the bio. Instead, do your homework. Know the guest, not their bio.

Keep Yourself Out Of The Interview

When you have invited a guest to appear on your podcast, your listener is interested in hearing your guest. Your guest is the star.

If your listener wanted to hear what you think about the subject, there would be no reason to have the guest on your show. You could simply disseminate the information by yourself. There is no problem if you want to provide the information yourself. Just simply save your guest the time, effort and dignity by leaving them at home.

Many hosts want to show the guest how much they know about the subject. This will sometimes come in the form of long, detailed questions. The host will fill time with personal stories that display their knowledge.

Unless you have invited your guest to debate you on a topic, as an interviewer, your job is to make your guest look good. Don’t invite the guest if you simply want to show how smart you are. Ask your guest questions that will allow them to tell great stories.

David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and the other great talk hosts use their monologue to address any topics they want to discuss. When they bring their guests on the show, they ask questions that will elicit great stories. Then, they sit back and listen.

Do your homework. Ask wonderful, open-ended questions that set up great stories. Then, sit back and listen. Keep yourself out of the interview.
I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

2 Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093

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Two Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093

Little Big Town

Last week, we discussed the #1 priority of your interviews. That episode was part one of a series on interviewing.

This week, I would like to share with you the two steps to take in order to create powerful interviews.

Over the 25 years I have been on the radio and coaching radio talent, I have had the opportunity to interview many, many people. More importantly, I have had the chance to discuss the art of interviewing with celebrities, managers, coaches, consultants, radio talent and many others in the industry.

Time and time again, I hear the same thing. There are two elements that create successful interviews. Now, you can use these two steps to create great interviews on your podcast.

Don’t Ask That Question

If you have a decent guest on your podcast, they have probably been interviewed many, many times about the same subject. Popular guests often get bored with the same questions being posed to them over and over again. To make your interview truly engaging for all involved, find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener.

Often, you will hear a host ask their guest stale, typical questions. You know the questions. “So, how did you come up with the name of your latest project?” You may hear them ask, “What have you been up to lately?” Guests truly dread these questions. They serve no real purpose, yet everyone asks them.

I have had musicians confide in me off the air how much they hate doing radio interviews, because they are all the same. When I once asked a question taken from the band’s website, my guest said, “Oh, I see you’ve read my bio.” He called me out right there on the air. Most hosts take the easy way out and just skim the bio or news release and take their questions straight from there.

Using typical methods lead to stale questions. “When does your album come out?” “Where did you get the name for the band?” “How did you guys meet?” Pop group Ben Folds Five began making up answers for the question “Where did you get the name for the band?”. In fact, they almost had a different answer every time the question was asked. They had to make the interview interesting for themselves.

Every guest is looking to benefit in some way from the interview. Usually, they have come on a show to promote their latest book or new product. You can help them do that without asking painful questions.

Let’s say you are interviewing a musician who has a new album coming out on July 1st. You ask, “When does the new album come out?” Your guest will instantly think, “Didn’t this guy do any homework before he set up this interview?” Your guest will also be saying in his head, “Oh, not this line of questioning again.”

Instead, make your questions interesting. Ask, “When you album comes out on July 1st, what will you be doing to celebrate?” You could also ask, “The album is released on July 1st. Who have you slipped some advanced copies to?” How about asking, “When the album hits stores on July 1st, where will you go buy your first copy?” Believe me, every artist buys a copy of their first album in the store. They just want to see it on the shelf.

By asking creative questions, you’ve helped the guest promote their goods without sounding stale. You have also avoided the mistake of stealing their answer. Be unique.

Country artist Little Big Town was recently a guest on my show. By reading information about the band on the internet, I knew all four members have kids. I also knew all of the kids travel with them when they tour. I could have asked, “What are the names of your kids.” How about, “Is it fun traveling with the kids?” I’m sure they get asked all of the time.

By getting a little creative, I asked the members of Little Big Town, “When the kids travel with you guys, what is the craziest kid thing you have on the bus?” They had just purchased a new kiddie pool for the summer that would fit on top of their gear. They also have a pink pottie for toilet training. It gave them a great opportunity to talk about their kids without asking the same, lame questions.

Keep your interview engaging. Be creative. Find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener. By all means, don’t ask that question.

Did You Really Hear That?

When you are conducting an interviewing on your podcast, really listen to the answers your guest is giving. Don’t be in such a hurry to move on to the next question. Engage with your guests in order to make your show engaging for your listener.

I’m sure you probably think you are listening. In reality, you are probably thinking about the next great question you can ask. Even if you aren’t asking it, you are preparing the question in your head.

Stop. Be in the moment. Really listen to the answer of your guest. Let the answer spark your next question. If you truly listen to the answer, you will then ask the next logical question your listener is asking in their head.

When you are more concerned about the next question rather than the answer coming your way, you will miss the magic. Your guest could be giving you great question leads that you won’t find in their bio, on their website or in their news release.

If you don’t make it through your entire list of questions, nobody will know but you. The goal of the interview is to engage your audience. It doesn’t matter if that takes three questions or twelve from your list.

In every interview, intently listen to the answers. Did you really hear that?
To create powerful interviews, ask unique questions and then actually listen to the answers. Your podcast interviews will improve and be better than most other interviewers in your niche. Using these two steps will help you create engaging content and a respected podcast.

 

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Podcast Interview Priority #1 – Episode 092

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Podcast Interview Priority #1 – Episode 092

I recently received an e-mail from Bill Frank. He discovered me at NMX2015.

Bill was wondering how my coaching may help him with his interview show. I thought you may be having the same question.

This week, with the hope of helping you improve your interviews, I would like to begin sharing some of what I have learned while interviewing guests on the radio for 25 years.

You can find Bill Frank at brainstorminonline.com. His show in iTunes is called “Brainstorming with Billy The Brain“.

Make ‘Em Look Good

When you have a guest on your podcast, it is your job as the interviewer to make the interviewee look good. You are the professional. You know everything there is to know about your podcast. Your guest is new to your show. They may even be new to interviewing. Help them.

When you help your guest get comfortable and look good, you help them successfully promote whatever it is they came on your show to promote. They will be grateful for that. Your guest will see the benefit of being a guest on your show. You will develop a reputation. That success will help you book even better guests in the future. Word will spread.

There are a three steps you can take to help your guest look good.

No Yes/No

First, ask open-ended questions. This will allow your guest to convey the information they have come to share. If you ask yes/no questions, your guest will be stuck trying to figure out how to get his point across. It will also be easy for him to simply say “yes” and leave it at that. You will then be the one trying to find the next point to make. Open-ended questions allow your guest to elaborate on their subject.

What’s In It For Me?

Second, know why your guest is on your show and help them make their point. Do a short pre-interview before you start the show. Ask them about the important points they would like to hit. Then during the show, ask them questions that help them make those points. If your guest tells you their spouse really had a huge impact on their success, ask them about their biggest influences in their success. Make it easy for them.

Set Them Up

Lastly, get out of the way. You don’t need to show your guest or your audience how much you know about their topic. It is their topic. So many hosts ask long, elaborate questions proving just how smart they are and how much they know about the subject. If the host knows it all, there is really no reason to have a guest. (see “One Of You Isn’t Necessary“.) Ask great questions because you know so much. That ability will make you look much better than actually knowing.

Using our previous example of spousal influence, you do not want to say, “Your wife played a huge role in your success with her support. That must have been a real help to you.” You just stole his thunder. You’ve only left him the option to say, “Yes” and make some menial points.

Instead ask, “Who was the one person other than yourself most responsible for your success?” You’ve created some anticipation for your audience. You’ve also just thrown him a softball that he can knock out of the park with a fantastic answer about his wife. He looks great for having such a stellar answer. You also look great for asking such a brilliant question. Everybody wins.

Help your guest succeed. Allow them to answer great questions. Most of all, make ’em look good.

If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach podcast, please spend two minutes to do so. I would truly appreciate your generosity.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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.

6 Ways To Land Big Interview Guests – Episode 080

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6 Ways To Land Big Interview Guests – Episode 080

Taylor Swift

Many podcasters conduct interviews as part of their show. If you fit that category, and you are like most of us, you probably struggle to convince those top shelf names to make an appearance on your show.

What is the trick? How do you land that big guest for your podcast?

Let’s face it. Asking a busy, successful entrepreneur to give up an hour of their time to give you an interview is a tough ask. Their time is money. How can your podcast be more valuable than their other options?

Here are six useful tips to help land those big names.

FIND THE INTRODUCTION

Find people that know your prospect. See if they will introduce you.

Just the other day, a radio colleague came to me seeking an interview with Taylor Swift. I have interviewed her a couple times. He knew I was able to make an introduction for him.

Use the same process to help yourself.

THE GATEKEEPER’S FRIEND

There are times when big names have people that run their schedule. This could be a personal assistant. It might be a booking agent. You need to make friends with these people.

In the music business, I always go through the record label. I need to create a strong relationship with that person in order to be at the top of the list when interview opportunities come about.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

To score a guest interview for your podcast, you need to begin by explaining how the interview will benefit your prospective guest. The fact that your audience will love it has no bearing. It really doesn’t matter to your guest if your show or your audience will benefit from the guest’s appearance.

When your guest makes the decision whether to appear on your show, they will only consider how the appearance will benefit them personally.

We were able to help a very sick young girl meet Taylor Swift … from her hospital bed.

Lolo was a young 11-year-old girl. Her wish was to see Taylor Swift in concert. She was getting tickets for Christmas. However, when Taylor came to town, Lolo was in the hospital fighting for her life. She was in Children’s Hospital fighting leukemia.

I passed along Lolo’s wish to Taylor’s record label. It wasn’t only the story that got Taylor. I know she loves giving back in very special ways. The Taylor Swift tour was coming through town for two days. I knew there would be some down time the day of the second show.

I made it as easy as possible for Taylor to make Lolo’s dreams come true. That is exactly what happened. You can see the story here:

What is in it for your guest? Make it easy.

SHOW THEM WHAT YOU’VE GOT

Provide your prospects some examples of your great work. If you have endorsements, share those as well.

SIZE ISN’T THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS

Many podcast hosts use their audience size to lure guests. If you have a reasonable audience size, surely use it to your advantage. However, don’t stop there. You may be overlooking many other ways you could benefit your guest.

You could offer to give your guest exposure on your website. You may have visitors to your site that do not listen to the show. Promote your guest on the site with a link to their content. This will be an additional benefit.

Mention your guest and interview in your blog. Again, your guest will be reaching additional audience. You are helping them spread their message beyond your podcast.

Offer to promote the interview and your guest’s information to your mailing list. You may have many people that receive your newsletter who may never listen to your podcast. By including a link to your guests website in your mailing, your guest will reach additional people. Take credit for that.

Your audience for any one of these avenues may be small. However, when you combine the benefit of each distribution method, your proposal for the interview will be more appealing to your guest. Use every audience you have to your advantage.

DON’T TRIP OVER THE NAMES YOU DROP

Play to your guest’s ego by dropping a few names. If you have had other notable guests on your show in the past, let your guest know. Tell your prospective guest they will be among good company. They will feel more comfortable saying yes to your request.

If you conduct interviews as part of your podcast, use these six steps to land the bigger names. It will not happen overnight. However, consistent fishing with this better bait will surely land you some larger fish.

 

I’m speaking at NMX 2015. Save $100 on your registration with coupon code Ejohnson20 when you use my affilate link HERE.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Seven Things Your Guest Won’t Tell You (And How It Can Save Your Interview) – Episode 075

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Seven Things Your Guest Won’t Tell You (And How It Can Save Your Interview) – Episode 075

EJ & Lady Gaga
Posing with Lady Gaga after our interview

If you conduct interviews on your podcast, a solid reputation as an interviewer is critical to the health of your show. Your guests will share information about you and your show. Today, I would like to share with you seven things your guest will not tell you. In the long run, these tips could save your interview and podcast.

Our world of Podcasting is not that big. There is a good chance the big players in your niche know each other. Your reputation will typically precede your interview request. Work to make it great.

As podcasting continues to grow, booking services will become more and more prominent. These are people that work as the liaison between podcasts and guests. Agents like this are wide spread in radio. They are just beginning to get used in podcasting.

(Find guest resources HERE.)

Your reputation to these individuals will be critical if you hope to continue to attract great guests.

When you send a request for an interview dropping some names of past guests, your prospect will do a little research to see if your request is worth their time. Your past actions will speak louder than your words.

Over 25 years in radio, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Mariah Carey, Jason Aldean, Sarah McLachlan, Big & Rich, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, and so many others. With each interview, I have learned something new. I get a little better each time.

A few interviewing lessons have been learned the hard way. There have been times I have made a fool of myself. I am hoping I can save you the trouble.

Here are seven things your guests won’t tell you.

Introduce Me Like You Know Me

When you bring your guest on your show, your introduction sets up the entire interview. Your knowledge of your guest gives your guest credibility and tells your listener why they should care.

By opening the interview with “tell our listeners about yourself”, you are basically saying, “I did not care enough to learn a lot about you, so why don’t you handle this part.”

Open the interview with a quick elevator speech that tells your listener why they should care about this particular guest.

A Quick introduction does three things. First, it tells your guest that you care about them. Next, it doesn’t waste the time of your audience or guest. Finally, it sets the tone and direction of the interview. Hit the primary points you want to discuss in the interview to guide the interview.

Don’t Simply Refer To My Bio

Make your guest feel special. Do more research than their About page on their website.

Your listeners can read the website of your guest. Take time to go deeper and find other great information about this person that has taken time to appear on your show. Create unique questions.

This will keep your audience and guest engaged in the interview. It also shows you are truly interested in your guest, what they have done and what they have to say.

Benefit Me As Much As I Benefit You

Your guest has come on your show, because there is something in it for them. They could be pushing a new product or book. Maybe they are feel they can gain new audience.

The interview does not need to be one big commercial for your guest. However, it should benefit your guest in some way. If your guest gets great value from appearing on your show, word will get around.

The benefit you deliver doesn’t need to end with the interview. Benefits could include your newsletter, your website, social media and many other possibilities.

Don’t Ask The Same Questions

If you are asking the same questions your guest has answered on every other interview, your interview will most likely be less than engaging. Uninspired questions receive uninspired answered. Build the reputation of asking unique questions that excite both your guest and audience.

Actually Listen To My Answers

Listening is an art. By listening to your guest’s answers, you can ask fantastic follow-up questions. It becomes an engaging conversation for your guest.

When you simply ask the list of questions you have written down, your guest doesn’t feel valued. You are not listening to anything they say. This would be similar to asking someone a question and then going in the other room while they answer, only to return to ask another question. Incredibly frustrating.

Your list of questions is only a tool to guide the interview when necessary. Let the conversation ebb and flow. Find great nuggets in the answers of your guest.

Value your guest by intently listening to their answers. You can always edit.

If you Say 30 Minutes, Stick To 30 Minutes

Keep your promises. Nothing is more frustrating than overstaying your welcome.

Your guest is busy. They have planned out their day. When you delay them and negatively affect their schedule, your reputation will suffer.

If you need a 30-minute interview, as for 45 minutes to conduct the interview. Leave yourself a little time for small talk at the beginning and a wrap up at the end. If you can end your 45-minute block in 40 minutes, you will get the reputation of being respectful and courteous.

Don’t Make Me Jump Through Hoops

Your guest is doing you a favor by appearing on your show. When you demonstrate the benefits they will receive, the playing field becomes level. This is the ideal situation.

If you make your guest do a ton of work before they can be on your show, you are using up any goodwill your benefits may have created.

Things that make it difficult for your guest to be on your show are inflexible scheduling, lots of questionnaire paperwork to complete before the show, difficult technology necessary to conduct the interview, the need to provide a lot of background information before the show, and requiring your guest to visit a website to complete forms, upload data or do anything else that takes up their time.
The more you conduct interviews, the more your reputation will spread. Become known as the interviewer that is respectful, engaging and caring. When you ensure you have avoided these seven pitfalls, you will on solid footing to attract better guests in the future.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Interview Resources – Episode 070

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Episode 070 – Podcast Interview Resources

Podcast Interview Resources
Podcast Interview Resources

Two e-mails came in recently that might help you with your content. This week I would like to share a few podcast interview resources, to help you create better podcast interviews. We will also review the benefits of an outside perspective.

The first e-mail comes from Josh.

Podcast Interview Resources

Hi Erik, Really enjoying the show.

Question. I’ve been interviewed on many different podcasts and I’m amazed how often I’m asked identical questions to those asked of every other guest that appears on their show. I understand as podcasters, there’s always so much work to do. The research required and creating unique questions can be a scheduling challenge – but this feels so lazy to me to just rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. When I think of some of the best interviewers I know, I can’t imagine they would *ever* do this.

In addition to your podcast, coaching, and resources, are there any books you would recommend for how to be an awesome interviewer? I’d love to recommend them to many of our peers in the podcasting world – and quite frankly, this is a skill that I would love to grow in.

I know you recently covered interviewing – but I would love to hear your take on this practice, in particular, and would love to hear even more on the subject!

Many thanks,
Josh Elledge – 90 Days to Abundance podcast – SavingsAngel.com
Everyone has their own approach. In my coaching, I always encourage podcasters to develop their own style.

A “one-size-fits-all” approach to interviewing rarely leads to unique questions or answers. When an interviewer follows a script, they miss the opportunity for great follow-up questions. Let the conversation flow naturally. Don’t simply stop at the list of typical questions.

If you make yourself truly present in the interview, you will listen to and hear the answers your guest provides. You will then ask the natural follow-up questions your listener would ask if they were sitting right next to you.

Remember, you can always edit out the pauses. If you hit a dead end and need to look for another question, a quick edit will make the interview sound seamless.

Interviewing might very well be my next book.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find the one perfect resource for interview instruction. Over my 25 years in radio, I have accumulated tips from many, many people.

There are a few good radio books that touch on interviewing as part of an overview of radio programming and talent development. Two radio books I would recommend are “Creating Powerful Radio” by Valerie Geller and “Morning Radio” by Tracy Johnson. Both have been influential on my coaching style.

There is also much to learn from the greats. I have found wonderful tidbits in the autobiographies and biographies of Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite and Larry King among others. Learn more about the interviewers and reporters that you enjoy.

Over the years, I have learned quite a bit about the business and art from two individuals. Dan O’Day is fantastic at creating audio that moves people to act. Mark Ramsey is a brilliant mind that asks wonderful questions about the future of the medium.

Two podcasters have provided great content with regard to interviewing on different episodes. Check out “The School Of Podcasting” by Dave Jackson. You will also find great information with “The Audacity To Podcast” with Daniel J. Lewis.

Most interviewers have their own style. The commonality amongst the greats is the natural sense of curiosity. You will find that you ask wonderful questions during an interview when you let your curiosity take over.

Podcast Coaching

Hi Erik,

My name is Rudy Vaughan and I began my podcast several weeks ago. I’m on episode 3 now. It’s called the Word Outreach Podcast, which focuses on ‘Encouragement for the Christian Walk’. Each episode includes a missions emphasis with missionary interviews.

I’ve listened to your podcast for about 6 months and found you through your buddy, Dave, over at SOP.

I appreciate your content, coaching and enthusiasm!

Rudy
Thanks for the great feedback, Rudy.

Congratulations on your launch. Getting started is quite a big step. Many people plan and plan and plan without ever launching. Keep on creating.

Thanks for including Podcast Talent Coach as part of your learning. I am honored to be part of your journey.

Coaching is an important tool for improvement. Whether you get that from one-on-one coaching, group coaching, podcasts, books, blogs or another podcaster, let feedback help you.

Having a partner help you with your podcast can do two primary things for you. First, an outside perspective on your content can help you see things you do not see. Then, coaching can hold you accountable for progress.

Dave Jackson and I host The Podcast Review Show. We invite podcasters to appear on the podcast to have their show reviewed and their website critiqued. We also provide feedback on their business.

I am happy to hear that you are finding value with my content. Keep publishing your episodes. Let me know how I can help.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Interview and Co-Host Tips – Episode 066

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Podcast Interview and Co-host Tips – Episode 066

Podcast Interview Tips

Do you have a podcast that involves multiple people? This week, I’ll answer two listener questions to help with podcasts that involve interviews or co-hosts. You can always e-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

We discussed interviews a bit in Episode 059 – Solution to Boring Guests. I offered ideas to salvage an interview that lacks any entertaining value. That content was focused on the guest. Our questions this week focus on you the interviewer. We will discuss podcast interview and co-host tips.

Interview Nerves

I would love to know if you have any tips on how to curb anxiety when you’re getting ready to interview a big personality. While my big personalities can’t touch yours, I’ve noticed that it takes me a while to loosen up and relax sometimes. Sometimes if I chat with them a little before the interview starts, that helps. But I never want to waste their time, and sometimes you just get the feeling they want to get to it so that they can go about their day. Am I still talking? Thanks, Erik! -Patrick Keller – BigSeance.com

This is a great question from Patrick. In fact, it is one question I get quite often.

First, understand that interview butterflies are natural. Find some comfort in knowing that most every interviewer feels some nervousness the minutes before the talk begins. It is very similar to public speakers.

You’re not the only one.

There are four things you can do to get over the jitters. These should help you a bit to calm the nerves before the interview.

Prepare

Make sure you have your interview plan ready. Be knowledgable about your guest. Have at your fingertips any details that you will need. Create a map and know where you are going. Ensure you know what you hope to achieve with this particular interview.

Preinterview – Explain the process

Before the interview, have a quick chat with your guest. Let them know exactly how the interview will run and what they can expect. This will not only put you at ease, it will make your guest more comfortable and open.

Understand you are helping them

Your guest is on your show, because there is some value to them. Guests typically do not appear on podcasts out of the goodness of their heart. They are interested in expanding their brand by being on your show.

You have something to offer your guest.

Podcast guests are marketing their goods or services to your audience. You are putting them in front of a group of people that can expand their reach. This is a huge opportunity and benefit to them. You aren’t simply taking from them. Find comfort in knowing that you are helping each other.

Really listen and be involved in a conversation

Many podcasters get wrapped up in thinking of the next question and fail to listen to the current answer. Have a dialog instead of a lecture. Truly listen to the answers your guest is offering. Those answers tend to lead to amazing follow-up questions.

By getting heavily involved in the conversation, you will take your mind off of your nervous butterflies.

Bumping Co-Hosts

Our next questions involves co-hosts.

Hi. On any of your podcasts do you have guidelines on how to stop hosts talking over each other? 
Cheers – Brian

This is another question I hear often. It takes a lot of practice to avoid stepping on your guest or co-host. I have five tips to help you clean up the discussion.

Develop hand cues

When one host wraps up their thought and is ready for the other to jump in, a simple hand cue can help make a smooth transition.

Be aware of each other

If you are truly listening to your co-host speak, you will be less concerned with jumping in to offer your point of view. Allow your co-host enjoy the limelight until they are ready for you to speak up.

Know who will serve as the director

On a podcast with multiple hosts, it is critical that one host drives the bus. With a director, all members of the show know who will call the shots to keep the show moving in the right direction.

The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast is a great example of this. Even though all three co-hosts have equal roles on the show, it is obvious that Rem is directing the show. Give it a listen. You can see how smooth their podcast typically runs.

Know who is leading

If you use a intriguing introduction as I describe and teach with my storytelling worksheet (available at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com), your co-host will know exactly where the story is headed. This leads to fewer interruptions by co-hosts. Respect the story.

Respect the mic time of each other

Everyone will receive their fare share of mic time. Try to be less concerned with offering your viewpoint and allow your co-host to enjoy the spotlight. Your time will come. If your co-host is on a roll, let them roll. When the podcast is entertaining, you both win. It doesn’t matter which host offers the punchline.

I hope those tips help clean up the flow of the show. There are many other ways to calm your nerves. When it comes to talking over each other, it comes down to finding a process comfortable for you and your partner.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Solutions To Boring Podcast Guests – Episode 059

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Episode 059 – Solution To Boring Guests

Boring Conversation

Thank you so much for all of the great feedback recently. I am happy to hear this content is having a positive effect on your show. You are truly beginning to transform your information. Congratulations.

This week, I would like to share two notes with you hoping you can use the information and answers as well.

JOURNALING

Hi Erik,

Just a quick note of thanks for your latest episode of ‘Podcast Talent Coach’ where you talked about story telling and using a journal as a tool. Somewhat skeptical that it was something I needed, I sat down yesterday and gave it a shot, using the 5 minute time limit you mentioned and writing my thoughts out using a pen and paper. I did this to capture something personal that I could use in my next episode of ‘Evolution Talk’. I am extremely happy to say that it worked. I was able to produce a couple of powerful thoughts for the show that I am certain I would not have captured otherwise. Suffice to say, it’s now going to become part of my show preparation for every episode going forward.

Just wanted you to know that you are making a difference.

Kind regards,
Rick Coste
Writer,Producer,Podcaster
http://evolutiontalk.com
http://philosophywalk.com

 

Thanks so much, Rick.

If you missed the past two episodes, you may want to check them out as a series. In Episode 057, we discuss the four elements of storytelling. In Episode 058, we explore how to explore your personal connections within your stories and use those connections to build trust with your listeners.

It is a common feeling of skepticism. When I first learned the method of journaling to discover my own personal connections, I found it a bit hokey and beatnik. After journaling for a bit of time, it became natural. There is true power in discovering your personal connections.

If you would like help creating your journal entries, mining them for personal connections and turning those connections into powerful, engaging content, shoot me an e-mail at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

BORING GUESTS

Hello Erik,

I have a question for you about interviews. I’m sure you have had the opportunity to interview many popular music artists over the years in your radio career. Have you ever had to deal with someone who was not very cooperative? Comes across as a bit annoyed or just doesn’t put any effort at all into the conversation?

Is there anything you can do to get them to actually give a substantial answer without coming across as being rude? Especially when it is an artist that you may be a fan of?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks!

J.D. Sutter | Porchlight Family Media
New Media Consultant & Content Producer
http://porchlightfamilymedia.com/

 

Thanks for the note, J.D.

This is a common problem with podcast guests. There are times when we have such high hopes for and expectations of our idols. When we finally meet them, they simply are not as amazing and flawless as we had built them to be.

When you get a podcast guest on your show who is less than excited, there are a few possible reasons for their sourness. They could be having a bad day. Maybe they just got off a bad interview. It is possible they don’t enjoy being interviewed.

One thing to remember is that it is your show. You are in control of everything. It is your responsibility to make sure the content on your show is the best it can be. Make your podcast guest the star. Set them up to look good and everyone wins.

Here are six suggestions to improve an interview with a troublesome podcast guest.

1. Make sure your interview style is top notch so they see you as a professional. This includes before, during and after your interview.

2. Be sure you are asking unique questions. Know the hot buttons of your guest. Talk about things that stir their passion.

3. Take your guest off guard. Pull something out of left field.

4. Ask your guest “list” questions. For instance, “What are the three most important things to remember when booking a gig?”

If your guest simply won’t cooperate …

5. Don’t use the interview on your podcast as a traditional interview.  Create a narrative and insert drops from the interview, similar to the news shows like “60 Minutes” or “Dateline”.

6. Cut your losses. Sometimes people have a bad day and just need to move on. Cut the interview short, thank your guest for their time, and find a better interview.
Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

2-Person Podcast Tips – PTC Episode 038

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2-Person Podcast Tips

A few notes before the episode this week. I am speaking at the Podcast Movement in Dallas August 16th and 17th, 2014. It is a national podcast conference that has an amazing roster of presenters and speakers. It is less than $135 (including fees) for the standard ticket before June 1, 2014. I would love to have you join me there using my affiliate link. Get your ticket by clicking the logo in the bottom right corner online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Dave Jackson recently invited me to join him on the Podcast Review Show. You can find the show and listen at PodcastReviewShow.com. Each week we invite a podcaster on the show for a critique of the entire business from content to website to revenue opportunities.

If you would like to be featured on the show, click the “Get Reviewed” link at PodcastReviewShow.com.

 

Joining a two-person show forced me to review my tips for shows with multiple hosts. How do you maintain the level of quality and professionalism? How do you maintain the focus without running down rabbit holes and getting lost?

Most of these tips apply if you are a solo podcaster or only have guests on your show.

There are five areas to develop for a show with multiple hosts.

 

Define Each Role

  • Select your partner carefully
  • If you are the same, one of you isn’t necessary
  • What is each expected to bring to the show

 

Responsibilities During The Show

  • Who drives
  • Who sets up topics
  • Who cues others

 

Smooth Flow

  • Develop hand signals to avoid talking over each other
  • Use chat if can’t see each other
  • Use names of each host to allow listeners to follow along
  • Use a show clock so each host knows where the story is headed
  • Begin stories with your intriguing introduction so your partner can follow

 

Other Work

  • Decide who handles other tasks like booking guests & post prod
  • Equal sound quality
  • Use similar equipment
  • Record on separate channels for processing & post prod

 

If It Ends

  • Create an agreement before you begin
  • What happens to the show if someone wants to leave?
  • Who owns the content if someone leaves?
  • Who owns the business & clients?
  • “Oh, it will never happen. We’re married/best friends/brothers.” It happens all the time. Don’t fool yourself.

 

Plan your show before you begin. If you are already creating content, it is never too late to start. Start planning today.

This week:

1. Define the roles of each member of your show and put it in writing

2. Start using the names of those on the show

3. Create an exit plan for the show if it should end

 

Next week we will discuss how to prepare for a show. We will review topics like how to get over prelaunch jitters, how to use your notes, and what should be included in your prep outline.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Fish For Interviews With Bigger Bait …

 

Fish for interviews with bigger bait.

(photo by Canon56)

To score a guest interview for your podcast, you need to begin by explaining how the interview will benefit your prospective guest. The fact that your audience will love it has no bearing. It really doesn’t matter to your guest if your show or your audience will benefit from the guest’s appearance. When your guest makes the decision whether to appear on your show, they will only consider how the appearance will benefit them personally.

Many podcast hosts use their audience size to lure guests. If you have a reasonable audience size, surely use it to your advantage. However, don’t stop there. You may be overlooking many other ways you could benefit your guest.

Offer to promote the interview and your guest’s information to your mailing list. You may have many people who receive your newsletter who may never listen to your podcast. By including a link to your guests website in your mailing, your guest will reach additional people. Take credit for that.

Play to your guest’s ego by dropping a few names. If you have had other notable guests on your show in the past, let your guest know. Tell your prospective guest they will be among good company. They will feel more comfortable saying yes to your request.

You could offer to give your guest exposure on your website. You may have visitors to your site that do not listen to the show. Promote your guest on the site with a link to their content. This will be an additional benefit.

Mention your guest and interview in your blog. Again, your guest will be reaching additional audience. You are helping them spread their message beyond your podcast.

Your audience for any one of these avenues may be small. However, when you combine the benefit of each distribution method, your proposal for the interview will be more appealing to your guest. Every audience has value.  Use the access to the audiences you have to your advantage.

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

Be sure to explain every benefit your guest will receive by accepting your request for an interview. Stack your benefits to make them more appealing. Fish for interviews with bigger bait.

Would The Evening News Air Stories That Are Not Edited? …

 

Would the evening news air stories that are not edited?

(photo by ginaellen)

Why do podcast hosts air a show that hasn’t been edited? No other producer in show business would publish their content without first editing it. This is entertainment. Your show should have an introduction, body and conclusion. The content should lead somewhere. To make your podcast compelling, you must edit your show.

If you do not edit your content, you will sound like an amateur. If you edit it well, the podcast will sound polished and professional.

If you don’t edit your interview, your guest will sound less like an expert. Help them shine. Edit out the “ums” and “you knows”. Make them sound great. When you do, they will be proud of the interview and spread the word. (It goes without saying that you should never makes edits that make your guest say something they are not.)

Add elements to your show that create excitement. Remove the parts of the show that take away from the professionalism. This is show business. Your podcast is supposed to be engaging and entertaining. If you are simply airing raw audio, you are delivering lack-luster content that could have been polished. There are too many weeds left in the grass.

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

Your podcast is a show. Make it sound that way. Edit every show to deliver the best content possible. Would the evening news air stories that are not edited?

Lose The Script …

 

Lose the script.

(photo by sandrarbarba)

When you are interviewing a guest on your podcast, be real. Be present in the moment. Truly listen to the answers your guest is giving. Your next question may come from that answer, and the question may be nowhere in your notes.

As you prepare for your interview, don’t script your questions. When you have a script, you will be too focused on the script and less attentive to the answers your guest is providing. Lose the script.

Instead of scripted questions, follow bullet points. Be prepared for your interview by being familiar with the material. Have an idea of the questions you want to ask. Review your bullet points to the point that you are ready to ask various questions about a single topic that might come up during the interview.

Be sure to make your questions succinct. A long-winded question is hard to follow for both your guest and your audience. Ask one short question. Let it lead into another short question. It may take three questions to get to the same answer as it would with your one long question. However, three short questions will be easier to follow and digest by your audience.

If you are concerned with following a script, you won’t allow yourself to explore unexpected twists and turns presented by the answers of your guest.

Television hosts such as Jay Leno and David Letterman have a list of questions on their blue cards that have been previewed and screened by a show producer. The host may start with one of those questions. They will then let the interview flow on its own. If the discussion hits a lull, Leno and Letterman will revert back to one of the bullet points on the card to restart the conversation.

You will never see either of these hosts ask the card questions in order, in full or in a vacuum. The interview becomes organic and develops according to the answers of the guest. Your interview should do the same.

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

Don’t script your interview. Instead, use a short list of bullet points, and be familiar with the subject matter. By all means, lose the script.

Know The Guest, Not Their Bio …

 

Know the guest, not their bio.

(photo by Mil)

If you are only familiar with the bio of your guest, you will ask the same questions every other interviewer has asked. Your guest will be bored. They will provide the same, lame answers they have given on every other show. There will be very little content here to engage anyone.

Instead, do a bit of research on your guest for your podcast. When searching for your guest on the web, don’t stop at the first page. When skimming articles about your guest, don’t just look at the first few paragraphs. Find the unique material deep within the article.

When you have discovered something of interest about your guest, don’t tell them about it. Let your guest tell you the story. Throw them the easy pitch that they can hit out of the park. You don’t want your interview to sound like the Saturday Night Live bit where Chris Farley interviewed Sir Paul McCartney, leaving McCartney the only option of answering “yes” to Farley’s questions.

Let your guest shine. Just because you know the details of the story, you don’t have to reveal that you do. Ask the question in a way that sets up the story so your guest can tell it. You will both look great.

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

The bio of your guest will give you common information. If your listeners know anything about your guest, they will probably be familiar with the content of the bio. Instead, do your homework. Know the guest, not their bio.

Keep Yourself Out …

Keep yourself out.

(photo by zen2000)

When you have invited a guest to appear on your podcast, your listener is interested in hearing your guest. Your guest is the star.  Keep yourself out of the interview.

If your listener wanted to hear what you think about the subject, there would be no reason to have the guest on your show. You could simply disseminate the information by yourself. There is no problem if you want to provide the information yourself. Just save your guest the time, effort and dignity by leaving them at home.

Many hosts want to show the guest how much they know about the subject. This will sometimes come in the form of long, detailed questions. The host will fill time with personal stories that display their knowledge.

Unless you have invited your guest to debate you on a topic, as an interviewer, your job is to make your guest look good. Don’t invite the guest to appear on your show if you simply want to show how smart you are. Ask your guest questions that will allow them to tell great stories.

David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and the other great talk hosts use their monologue to address any topics they want to discuss. When they bring their guests on the show, they ask questions that will elicit great stories. Then, they sit back and listen.  Learn to do the same.

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

Do your homework. Ask wonderful, open-ended questions that set up great stories. Then, sit back and listen. When it comes to interviewing, keep yourself out.

Turn Over The Interview Rocks …

Turn over the interview rocks.

How do you find great questions for your guest during your interview? Look in unlikely places. If you want to truly engage your audience, you need to ask engaging questions of your guest.

The guest’s website or news release is a decent place to get familiar with your guest. However, if you only use these common sources for the basis of your questions, you will be asking the same questions every other interviewer is asking. Your interview won’t be different and will not stand out from the crowd.

One source I like to use is the people traveling with the guest. Ask your guest’s traveling companion if anything amusing has happened lately. It will sound wonderfully spontaneous when you ask about it during the interview.

Country artist Miranda Lambert once joined me on my show before her performance as opening act for Kenny Chesney. Before she arrived, I asked her record label representative what she had been doing lately. He told me she had injured her leg night hunting a few days earlier.

After Miranda and I exchanged typical interview pleasantries, I said, “It looks like you have a little limp in your step. What happened?” She really wasn’t limping and was a bit surprised that I had noticed.

Miranda now had the chance to tell me a great story about falling down a small ravine while night hunting with her husband Blake Shelton. It was a wonderful question that included a story about her well-publicized relationship with Blake without asking typical interview questions. I didn’t ask, “So, what have you and Blake been up to lately?” I’m sure she gets questions like that often.

None of this would have happened if I had just read Miranda’s bio, website and news release.  If you want great questions, dig a little bit.

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

Be unique. Be original. Make your interview engaging for your audience and guest. Turn over the interview rocks.

Make ‘Em Look Good …

Make ’em look good.

(photo by Piksells)

When you have a guest on your podcast, it is your job as the interviewer to make the interviewee look good. You are the professional. You know everything there is to know about your podcast. Your guest is new to your show. They may even be new to interviewing. Help them.

When you help your guest get comfortable and look good, you help them successfully promote whatever it is they came on your show to promote. They will be grateful for that. Your guest will see the benefit of being a guest on your show. You will develop a reputation. That success will help you book even better guests in the future. Word will spread.

There are a three steps you can take to help your guest look good.

First, ask open-ended questions. This will allow your guest to convey the information they have come to share. If you ask yes/no questions, your guest will be stuck trying to figure out how to get his point across. It will also be easy for him to simply say “yes” and leave it at that. You will then be the one trying to find the next point to make. Open-ended questions allow your guest to elaborate on their subject.

Second, know why your guest is on your show and help them make their point. Do a short pre-interview before you start the show. Ask them about the important points they would like to hit. Then during the show, ask them questions that help them make those points. If your guest tells you their spouse really had a huge impact on their success, ask them about their biggest influences in their success. Make it easy for them.

Lastly, get out of the way. You don’t need to show your guest or your audience how much you know about their topic. It is their topic. So many hosts ask long, elaborate questions proving just how smart they are and how much they know about the subject. If the host knows it all, there is really no reason to have a guest. (see “One Of You Isn’t Necessary“.) Ask great questions because you know so much. That ability will make you look much better than actually knowing.

Using our previous example of spousal influence, you do not want to say, “Your wife played a huge role in your success with her support. That must have been a real help to you.” You just stole his thunder. You’ve only left him the option to say, “Yes” and make some menial points.

Instead ask, “Who was the one person other than yourself most responsible for your success?” You’ve created some anticipation for your audience. You’ve also just thrown him a softball that he can knock out of the park with a fantastic answer about his wife. He looks great for having such a stellar answer. You also look great for asking such a brilliant question. Everybody wins.

Help your guest succeed. Allow them to answer great questions. Most of all, make ’em look good.

Develop A Goal …

Develop a goal for your show.

(photo by Epixx)

As you develop your podcast, you need to determine what you hope to accomplish with the show. What will the show be about? What do you hope to make your audience feel? Is there some call to action you wish to make your listener take?

After you have developed the goal for your show, stick to it. All content on your show should support your goal.

If your goal is to help consumers get out of debt, don’t spend a lot of time discussing your favorite, new CD. Your listener has come to your show expecting you to deliver on your promise. If you tell her you help people get out of debt, deliver that content to her. When you start discussing anything other than that, your brand promise is tarnished. She will be headed elsewhere.

In Correy Webb’s “My Disney Podcast”, Correy discusses all things Disney. He discusses cruise adventures, visits to the parks and other traveling tips. If Correy suddenly began discussing the poker game he had with his buddies last weekend, you would be disappointed. Poker isn’t the reason you’re listening. His Disney promise would be broken.  You are now unsure what you will receive next time you listen.

A great brand is built slowly with strong consistency. Deliver on your brand’s promise. However, before you can deliver, you need to develop a goal for your show.

Make It Interesting By Being Interested …

Make it interesting by being interested.

It really is the easiest way to engage your audience. When you are interested in a subject, your audience can hear it. You can’t fake enthusiasm.

When you are selecting topics and guests for your podcast, find those that really strike a chord with you. Look for material that really gets you excited. When you are truly interested, your listener will take notice. Your excitement will come through the speakers. The excitement will also be contagious.

Being authentically interested in a topic will naturally make you find interesting ways to approach the subject. As you interview that guest you’ve been dying to get on the show, your questions will have an edge of anticipation to them. You will ask great questions that elicit great answers. You will surprise your listener with content they don’t expect.

To create those great “oh wow” moments when you surprise your listener, be authentically interested. When you surprise your audience on a regular basis, they are entertained and engaged by your content. An entertained and engaged audience will keep coming back for more. Make it interesting by being interested.

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.