How to Be a Stellar Podcast Guest
Podcasting is the new frontier in marketing and business communication. Everyone seems to have one or want to be a guest on one. Now, it’s more important than ever to know how to hone your message so that it lands well with your desired audience. Sharing your ideas effectively is simple enough, but it helps to keep a few key elements in mind. I’d like to share a simple six-step framework I’ve learned from my own journey as a podcast host and coach, to help you do just that.
I’ve had the pleasure to experience the world of podcasting first-hand though my role as an online coach/mentor for Seth Godin’s The Podcast Fellowshipand through the creation of my own podcast, KindSight 101, a podcast where you’ll hear from world renowned educational leaders about the mobilizing power of kindness.
Alongside a handful of other incredible coaches, I’ve had the honour of mentoring hundreds of people through the process of creating a podcast that aligns with their brand, message, and the change they wish to make in the world. Since my introduction to podcasting in 2018 as a novice, I’ve had many people ask for advice about becoming a better podcast interviewee. I’d like to share 6 tips I’ve learned that will guide your success and excellence in communicating your message even more effectively as a podcast guest.
6 tips for being a stellar podcast guest:
- Singular Message:Think about your central theme or message. Can you sum it up in a sentence or less? It’s helpful to first think of your ideal audience? Can you describe an avatar that represents the ideal customer or listener? What is your product or message for? What problem are you seeking to solve with your work? If you can answer those questions eloquently and clearly, it’s likely people will sit up and take notice.
- Stories:People learn and connect to one another through narrative. Warren Buffet once said, in his annual letter to shareholders, that leadership lies in the ability to tell a good story. The best podcast guests I’ve had respond to questions by telling a story first, then zooming back out to the learning or actionable strategy. Have a few stories “in the bank” that relate to several subtopics connected to your overarching theme and story of origin. Telling a narrative makes the idea stickier and connects people more readily to your message by engaging their emotions. People are emotional beings. It is emotion that often causes people to act. If you can tell a story that motivates people to take meaningful action (buying your product, visiting your website, starting a new habit), you’ve won!
- Strategies:Have a few actionable tips related to your big idea. Often, I find that giving people a three-step system, approach, or set of guiding questions can help anchor your idea to a corresponding action. You don’t simply want to inspire people, you want to transform their lives. They can only do that if you leave them with a roadmap or some instruction about what to do once they’re inspired.
- Sales:Understand the difference between self-promotion and value creation: For some people the idea of selling one’s products or brand feels like a shameful and uncomfortable endeavour. Every successful guest I’ve spoken to believes so deeply that their message or idea will improve the lives of the audience that they confidently approach the interview from the perspective that it’s their moral imperative to shine light on it. The result? More people feel compelled to buy the book, subscribe to their blog, purchase their merch or buy their course.
- Statistics:Statistics are a helpful way to reinforce the science and rationale behind your concept. It’s a tricky balance. Stats, if overused, can put people to sleep, but harnessed properly can wake them up to a shocking reality or paint a picture worth remarking. Keep a few basic statistics in the bank related to your central theme, but always make stats come alive by comparing them to something tangible.
- Summarize: Don’t forget to summarize your main points a second time. When we are listening to audio, it sometimes takes a few repeats to let an idea sink in. According to the book How to Give a TED talk by Jeremy Donovan, people need to hear a central message approximately three times before it anchors in their minds. Having a 2-4-word mantra that summarizes the concept, helps with the stickiness of the idea. For example, in my speaking, I often tell stories that come back to my central philosophy of “small act, big impact.”
The podcasting genre has become a favourite medium for entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, and dreamers to make their mark on the world by spreading their message and networking synergistically with like-minds. These days, anyone with a message, niche market, or obscure set of skills can share their expertise through audio. Unlike YouTube, podcasting lends itself to our current multi-tasking culture. You can listen while you run. You can listen while you do menial household tasks. You can listen and transform the experience of the once-soul-crushing commute.
At the last check in June 2019, there were approximately 750,000 podcasts in existence (up from 26 percent since 2018). That number continues to grow exponentially as there are approximately 547 new podcast shows launched every day! Compared to the 25 million YouTube channels that exist, podcasting is still relatively under-developed and presents some significant opportunities for growth. According to a recent Apple survey, approximately only one in two Americans has listened to a podcast, so this number is sure to grow in the coming years.
With the growing number of enthusiastic podcast listeners, being a podcast guest is a great way to share your ideas, sell your product, promote your book, and uphold your company’s brand.