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The Podcast Talent Coach podcast is dedicated to helping you transform your information into engaging entertainment, so we can turn your podcast into powerful, profitable relationships.

May 28, 2023

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR PODCAST INTERVIEWS

I was listening to a podcast interview today and got caught up in the nuances of the interview rather than enjoying the conversation. It inspired me to share with you these 7 ways to create better podcast interviews.

Podcast Talent Coach was created to help coaches create better content. I saw so many podcasters struggling to create an effective show, because they didn't know what they didn't know.

In 2009, I started listening to a lot of podcasts. At the time, there were about 80,000 podcasts. Many of them were hobby podcasts.

I had been coaching radio hosts for over two decades while programming various radio stations and building winning shows.

As I listened to these podcasts, I thought, "If only these hosts used a few of the tactics we use in radio, their shows would be much more effective at attracting an audience and growing their business."

That's when I started coaching podcasters. Over the years, I really started to focus on coaches and information experts. How can we create powerful content to build relationships with our audience and convert those listeners into clients?

This is what we had been doing in radio since the late 80s. Now it was time to help these experts do the same with their podcasts.

THE INTERVIEW STRUGGLE

The show today was making a lot of little mistakes. And, it probably wasn't his fault. He most likely had no one to show him the right way.

That interview inspired this episode. I don't want to see you make the same mistakes.

You have a powerful show that can grow your business if you create the episodes the right way.

I will share some specific examples with you. However, I don't want to reveal the name of the podcast in order to protect his identity. It is not my intention to criticize him. I simply want to help you improve.

So, let's get into the 7 ways to improve your podcast interviews.

PURPOSE

First, know the one thing you want to accomplish.

This particular interview meandered through a variety of questions with no real purpose.

This podcast is about building a business and creating great content. Here is the order of his questions.

  • Was there a point where you decided to become more popular?

  • How did the shift of balance of work happen?

  • When do you have time to create so much content?

  • How do you have so much time in the day?

  • If you had a different life partner, would it have changed you? (Guest says he won't speak in terms of "have to".)

  • Should single entrepreneurs focus on themselves and not try to have balance? (Again, guest says he won't use the word "should".)

  • How do you find the right partner?

  • Is there a financial number you have in your head that will satisfy you?

  • What is the dumbest thing you've ever spent your money on?

  • Is your brain that analytical when you do anything?

  • Why are you so bullish on AI?

  • What are the basic entry-level jobs when AI is taking them?

  • What do you think of the future of the race if everyone is perfect?

  • What are things people should let go of? (For a third time, the guest says he won't tell anyone what they "should" do.)

  • What is the one thing people shouldn't delegate? (Again, the guest says he won't "should" on anyone.)

  • Do you think people should find a career they're passionate about? (For the fifth time, the guest says he won't use the word "should". Finally, the host says, "You hate the word should".)

  • What is the biggest trait that has allowed you to get where you are now?

  • What would you tell people who don't have the luck you've had?

  • What's next for you?

That is roughly 20 questions with some dialogue mixed in. But it doesn't really go anywhere.

He starts with creating content. Then the questions move into finding a partner, the guests finances and artificial intelligence. They finally get into career and the future.

There was no single big takeaway from this conversation. We have no idea what the host wanted to accomplish.

If you want to make your interviews effective, decide what you want to accomplish before you start.

PREPARE YOUR GUEST

To improve your podcast interviews, prepare your guest.

You know your show much better than your guest. Don't leave it to your guest to understand your audience.

Before you begin your interview, describe your audience to your guest. If you want the interview to benefit your listeners, your guest needs to know the context of the conversation to tailor it for the audience.

Let your guest know if profanity is allowed, how the conversation will unfold, and where they should promote anything.

On this particular interview, the host kept making awkward jokes. There were times he would be facetious or sarcastic. The guest wasn't sure what to make of it.

Don't assume your guest has heard your show before. If there is something you do on the show, make your guest aware before the conversation begins.

STORIES

The third way to improve your podcast interviews is through stories. Ask open-ended questions that elicit stories from your guests.

This host asked a few questions that had the potential to elicit great stories from his guest. Here are a few:

  • How did the shift of balance of work happen?
  • What is the dumbest thing you've ever spent your money on?

When your guest tells stories, it engages your audience. Stories pull in your listener.

Facts and information is boring.

There are three things you need avoid during your interview.

Avoid numbers. It can get confusing and hard to follow in audio form.

Next, avoid multiple guests who sound the same unless you use their names often during the interview. This helps the audience follow along.

Finally, avoid questions that can be answered with one word, like yes/no questions.

Here are a few examples of questions our host asked that can be answered with one word:

  • Was there a point where you decided to become more popular?

  • If you had a different life partner, would it have changed you?

  • Should single entrepreneurs focus on themselves and not try to have balance?

  • Is there a financial number you have in your head that will satisfy you?

  • Do you think people should find a career they're passionate about?

Instead, you can ask the same questions like this.

  • Tell me about the point in time where you realized becoming more popular online would grow your business.

  • How were your business results different with former relationship partners than it is now that you've found your wife who enjoys business as much as you?

  • Where was your attention focused with regard to work/life balance when you were a single entrepreneur?

  • What satisfaction did you get when you reached your last financial benchmark?

  • How does passion for a career determine success in business?

Shape your questions to create stories on your podcast.

CONVERSATION

The fourth way to improve your interviews is to create a conversations by listening.

If you noticed in the list of questions earlier, there were five times the guest had to say he didn't speak in terms of "should".

The host finally noticed after the fifth time. It appears he wasn't listening to the answers. He was just getting through his list of questions.

Three powerful questions combined with active listening will create a powerful interview.

One possible group of questions could be where were you, what transformation did you experience, and where are you today. You simply need to ask great follow up questions to fill in the gaps.

When you listen, you'll discover great questions you didn't even consider asking.

STRUCTURE

That leads us to the next way to improve your podcast interviews. Have a beginning, middle and end to the structure of your interview.

Like we just discussed, you could use where were you, what transformation did you experience, and where are you today.

A process could be another structure. What is the first, next and last step to take. Give me an example of success. End with, "Where do I start?"

Once you have your purpose and know what you would like your listener to take from the podcast interview, create an interview structure that will get you there.

GREAT GUESTS

Nex, make your guest look great.

So many hosts sound like they want the guest to recognize how much they know. The host will give the entire story of the guest and then ask a question.

When this happens, the guest has nothing left to say. The host just gave the entire story.

When you know the story, set your guest up to look great.

I once had the pleasure to interview country artist Miranda Lambert when she and Blake Shelton were a couple. Before Miranda joined me, I was having a conversation with her representative from the record label.

The rep told me Miranda had recently hurt her knee. She had been night hunting with Blake Shelton and got hurt.

Host often say, "I heard you hurt your knee night hunting with Blake Shelton. Tell me about that." Well, what is left to say? You just gave away the punchline.

Instead, I used that information to let Miranda tell a great story. It sounded like this.

YOUR EXPERTISE

Finally, leave time to demonstrate your area of expertise. If you want your podcast interviews to help grow your business, you need to look great without taking away from your guest.

To do this, offer some great content from you before the interview starts.

Don't record this while the guest waits. Instead, edit the pieces together in post production.

Include a great call to action. Get people to take their first step with you. Then, use the interview to support what you just taught.

GET STARTED

I hope this helps. These seven steps can help you create powerful and effective podcast interviews.

If you would like to get even more help with your interviews, check out my course "How To Crush Your Next Podcast Interview Like A Radio Pro... Without Decades Of Training And Hours Of Preparation".

If you are a podcaster who conducts interviews with guests on your podcast, this course is for you.

Others can copy your information, interview questions and formula. But when you use the principles you will discover in this course, you will create unique interviews unlike any other.

In this program, you will learn …

  • Why we conduct interviews

  • Your personal why

  • The essential elements of unique interviews

  • 17 most powerful interview questions

  • How to ask great questions

You can see the full course at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com/crush.

Inside the course, you will hear examples just like the one I played for you from Miranda Lambert. I ask pop artist Jason Derulo what he loves about interviews. There are examples with Carrie Underwood and more.

These are the exact strategies I have used over the last three decades interviewing superstars like Lady Gaga, Zac Brown, Mariah Carey and more.

You can see the full course at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com/crush.

 

Would you like information on coaching with Podcast Talent Coach? Apply for a free podcast strategy session with Erik K. Johnson by clicking HERE.