How To Screen Guests For Your Podcast.
Thinking of Hiring a Podcast Production Agency?
It happens to all podcasters at some point: an interview with a guest that goes horribly wrong. The guest was uninteresting because they blathered on and on about their own product, or because the sound quality was terrible. It’s not just a waste of time, but having to tell the other person that their interview won’t be shown is a pain.
This can be avoided by doing some advance planning, but once a podcaster has a system in place, they’ll be able to have consistently high-quality guest parts.
To ensure that each visitor has a wonderful experience, here are some tips:
Listen to some of the podcasts they’ve been a part of.
The ideal guest is someone who has previously been on another podcast as a guest. Look up any previous appearances they’ve had and have a listen to a few of them.
Just five minutes of two or three separate interviews can provide you a lot of information:
- Does the visitor have great sound? Sometimes a poor recording is the fault of the podcaster, but if it occurs in several interviews, it’s likely the guest’s fault. This is particularly true if they are calling from a noisy environment.
- Do they provide coherent responses to queries, or do they go off on tangents?
- They interrupt the interviewer?
- How much time do they devote to teaching the audience vs promoting themselves (or their product)?
- Are they engaging?
All of these questions may be addressed simply listening to an audio file for 10 to 15 minutes.
Have a pre-call
Pre-screening calls may be incredibly beneficial. It is essentially a dry run of the interview. It also helps develop the interview’s framework and themes.
These calls also assist to resolve any sound concerns ahead.
The disadvantage is that they need a great deal of time to arrange and conduct. Ideally, podcast hosts may screen guests by listening to their prior podcast performances. If, however, there are remaining concerns about the caliber of the visitor, a pre-call makes a great deal of sense.
Send audio-specific instructions
Guests who are not themselves podcasters do not understand what equipment they need to sound well on recordings. The instructions provided by hosts should be clear.
The presenter should mention that the visitor must talk into a dedicated microphone and not their laptop microphone. It helps to clarify what’s in it for them: they want to create a favorable impression, which requires high-quality sound.
Some podcasters even send a microphone to guests to ensure that the audio quality is high. That can sound like overkill for some podcasters, but it makes sense for major podcasts.
Do not expect anything to be obvious. It’s incredible that some podcast interviewees phone in from a noisy location like an airport. Request that the visitor be in a quiet location for the interview.
If the visitor does not have a suitable location for the interview, one possibility is to have them phone in from a walk-in closet. Echoes will be absorbed by the clothing.
Obtain their one-sheet and ask further questions.
Request that the podcaster provide you their one-sheet. A one-sheet is a one-page summary of the guest’s knowledge and qualifications.
If they do not have a one-sheet, request a detailed bio.
Armed with this knowledge, the podcast presenter should send tough questions through email (or during the pre-call) and observe the guest’s response.
One method is to inquire whether the visitor has any particular questions he or she would want the host to ask. This is a red signal if these queries are all about marketing the guest’s company.
Clearly define the podcast’s aim.
A guest interview should benefit three parties: the audience of the podcaster, the podcaster, and the guest. In that sequence.
Clearly communicate to the interviewee the objective of the interview. In most circumstances, it will be to educate the audience on a subject in which the visitor has extensive knowledge.
Some visitors use it as a chance to promote their goods or services. Only the visitor profits from this arrangement. It diminishes the podcast listening experience and results in the loss of subscribers.
Inform the guest that time has been allotted at the conclusion of the podcast for them to deliver a call-to-action, such as visiting their website, to avoid them from over-pitching. Explain that they should establish their credibility via an interview that focuses on educating the audience. Then, when the time comes to make a quick presentation, it will be more effective.
Ask how they intend to market the program.
One of the benefits of having a guest interview is that it can grow the podcast’s audience. A key goal is to get the guest to promote the show they are on to their own audience. This expands the podcaster’s reach.
Many guests promise the moon but fail to deliver when it comes to promoting their appearances. The more specific the host can be ahead of time about the guest’s promotion commitments, the more likely the guest will follow through on them.
Just asking them to “post to social media” is too general. Will they post a link to Facebook? Twitter?
Where should they link to–the podcast website or an Apple Podcasts listing?
Preparation takes time
The screening of visitors takes time. It may be simpler to just take a risk and hope the visitor works out.
But screening also assists the presenter in refining their questions, resulting in a concise, informative, and important interview. When the host prepares the visitor by screening them, everyone benefits.
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