Use These Tips to Become a Better Podcast Interviewer (and Turn Your Podcast from Good to Great)
I bet you think that good podcast interviews are all about good questions. What if I told you that great interviews happen between the questions?
On this episode, I share 5 tips that will make you a better interviewer. These are some of the best practices for podcast interviews.
Improve your podcast interview skills with these 5 tips:
1. Really Listen. One of the greatest skills you can develop as a podcast interviewer is to shut up and listen. It’s great to have questions and be prepared for your interview but if you don’t want that interview to sound cookie-cutter, then you need to participate. I mean, actively listen. As in, don’t be thinking about what your next question or comment is going to be as your guest is answering your question. Listen. Lean in. Get curious. This is the only way you are going to discover the gold. You know, those little nuggets that come from asking follow up questions, challenging your guest, or asking them for an example or story. The trick to is to know when to chase that curiosity and when to stay the course. You can’t pull on every thread or your interview is going to be disjointed and probably waaaaay too long. You want to keep the flow going which brings me to my next tip.
2. Don’t Interrupt…too much. Sometimes it can be compelling if you interrupt to clarify things but don’t make a habit of it. If you interrupt too much it can annoy the guest (which will lead to the conversation getting uncomfortable and THAT will also make the listener uncomfortable. Speaking of the listener…
3.Represent Your Listener. Keep your listener in mind when you are doing the interview. If your guest says something that your listener might be curious about, or want more information or clarification on, ask. This is the third tip for being an awesome podcast interviewer – represent your listener. You will have your listener wrapped around your finger if you always seem to ask exactly what popped into their head (or exactly what they didn’t know they were curious about). And, your audience will love it if you identify them in your question as a way to frame the question. For example, you might say, ‘my listener has toddlers at home, so they don’t really have time to do what you suggest, how can they fit it in?’ You’re letting the listener know in that moment that you’re doing this interview for them! They will love you for it. This is why it’s so important for you to know who your listener is!
4. Edit. This might not feel like it’s about interviewing but it is. Knowing that you can and will edit shifts how you conduct your interview. When you feel a guest has wandered off into left field, you can relax knowing that you will edit it out. And, you can frame up the next question without referencing the crap you’ll be cutting out. Structuring that ‘re-entry’ question is a very important skill to have and it will make your editing process a lot easier (and nobody will know that you cut out your guest’s 10-minute diatribe). Just be careful not to over-edit – you still want it to be natural.
5. Let There be Silence. There is so much value in a pause. It might be comedic, awkward, or heartbreaking. Leaving pauses in can help you maintain the emotion of the conversation. It does an amazing job of pulling your listener in. Or, pulling them back in because let’s face it, all podcast listeners get distracted. There’s nothing like a bit of dead air to bring your listener’s attention back to the podcast.
Apply these simple tips to your next interview and I guarantee that you will not only have a better conversation but you’ll end up with a much better podcast that your listeners will love and share. Interviewing is a key skill and even the pros know that you have to constantly improve at your craft.
If you loved this episode and you want more tips, I’ve created an episode power binge list just for you! Grab your Power Binge List for Podcast Interview Skills here: https://podcastperformancecoach.com/power-binge-guide-podcast-interview-skills/
I hear from my listeners all the time that they love how binge-able my podcast is so I thought I’d make it even easier. Happy binging!