Do you spend hours in conversation with your guests just to get one juicy story out of your guests? Have you ever wondered how talk show hosts and professional podcasters manage to get the best stories out of their guests in such a short time?
It’s not magic. It’s called pre-production.
Simple Podcast Interview Tips Used by Last Night TV Hosts and Pro Podcasters
In the world of NPR or late night talk shows, there’s a team of people making sure that the host knows just the right thing to ask the guest to trigger the perfect story. You know, that funny anecdote or that time when something surprising happened that led to their aha moment.
If you want to keep believing it’s magic then close your ears (or rather, stop reading) because I’m going to reveal the BIG secret behind how these perfect setups come to be.
Yep, a producer or assistant producer calls up the guest BEFORE the interview and asks them all kinds of questions, digging around for that perfect story or fun anecdote that will be a ‘clipable’ moment in the show.
And then, they will tell the host to ask specifically about that time when…
AND THEN, they tell the guest that the host might ask about xyz story at some point, so be prepared (not rehearsed, prepared).
And that is how the magic trick is done. Take that Penn & Teller.
Now, you are probably thinking two things. 1) I thought you told us not to tell the guest what questions we are going to ask and 2) I don’t have a freaking associate producer to do all that extra work ahead of time!
Okay, okay… one thing at a time.
You are right (and paying attention – I like that!) I caution against giving your guests the questions in episode 31 and also in episode 164 and I stick by that. Preparing them for the flow of the interview (including that the host ‘might’ ask about that time you xyz’d) is not the same as giving them your questions ahead of time.
And, 2) not having a team of crack producers is no excuse… you just need some efficiency. One of the best ways to work around this is to have potential guests complete a questionnaire ahead of time. Be sure to ask for specifics on the stories so you know how to ask the question in such a way that it will trigger them to tell the story. Don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions about a certain story by email. This will help the guest feel clear about the details and it will help you create the perfect set up question.
If you want to up your interview game, then steal this strategy from the pros.
Or, take advantage of a free 15-minute coaching call with me, your podcast performance coach. Get on my calendar NOW!
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