How To Prepare for a Podcast Interview - Get Your Guest Onboard
You care about audio quality.
You’ve done everything to get great audio production value to the very best of your ability.
The challenge? Making sure that your guest sounds as good as they can!
Here are some easy wins to get the best audio quality out of your guests.
Your guest needs to understand that you take recording your podcast seriously.
Taking your podcast seriously does not mean that you have to be serious, especially if you happen to have a show that aims to be conversational and natural. Taking your podcast seriously means that you care about your content, your audience—and your guest. You set the foundation that they are welcome and can make themselves at home, but also respect the space.
In podcasting it looks like this:
- A quiet space—Remind your podcast guest that this is an audio experience and sound is important.
- Wearing headphones—Let your podcast guest know that when one doesn’t wear headphones it often creates an echo on the audio track.
- Timeline—Communicate that you will start on time and end on time because you respect their time and attention.
Technology can be overwhelming, so the compact and planned nature of your communications is vital.
- Help your guest feel comfortable with the remote software that you’re using (Zoom, Squadcast, Streamyard, etc.)
- In clear, simple steps, lay out what to expect during the interview.
- Make sure that if you are using video or are live streaming, you prepare your guest so they know they will be on camera and ready.
- Bandwidth and internet connection matter—communicate how to check internet speeds and optimize what they have.
Preparation & Education Tactics
- Send an email response (if they email you back)
- Provide as much clarification as possible for any questions or concerns regarding the initial email.
- Use these questions to begin building knowledge base articles or tutorials that capture the answers your guests need. Then, you can just refer them to the link.
A mixture of emails, PDFs, easy tutorials and/or checklists sent in a timely, manageable fashion will do wonders to make your guests feel comfortable and prepared.
The good thing is that once you figure it out, you can systematize and automate so you can easily do it over and over again.
Below is an example email sequence I’ve used for recording with a guest. Each email addresses bulleted key features.
Use it as an email sequence template and adjust as necessary.
After interview date has been set:
- Send an intro email
- Thank your guest for participating
- Attach initial tech checklist as a PDF (or add 5 key points in the body of the email)
- Explain the importance of optimal audio
- Invite them to ask questions
- Send an intro email
When recording with remote guests remember this:
No matter how much you or your guests prepare, because you are dealing with technology, things might not go 100% as planned.
Make sure that you are prepared for a full-on failure and what steps to take if:
- The remote recording platform keeps crashing
- Connectivity is spotty
- There are software/hardware fails
Creating one contingency plan, even if it’s as simple as providing a link to reschedule with a follow up “I’m sorry” email can do wonders to create rapport with your guest as well as let them know that you respect their time.
Elsie’s Power Tips
Build a remote recording FAQ
Each time you send out emails, note the biggest questions that you get from your community regarding the tech set up. Use them to begin building a tech connection FAQ knowledge base of tutorials that will facilitate the education of your guests and community in the future.
Interview Quick Hits
- It will ease the mind of your podcast guest if they know exactly what they are getting into.
- If you want, send them a few of your more complex questions to think about ahead of time.
- Ask them if they have something particular they would like to talk about.
- Let them know the format of the show!
- Check with your guest to see if they have a time constraint. Honor their time and yours.
- Test your set-up prior to the interview to ensure it is all running smoothly.
- Technical difficulties will not only eat up time, but they can significantly change the energy/dynamics between you and your guest.
Finally, if you are looking for details on exactly how to record a podcast remotely, read this article dedicated to making you and your guest sound the very best possible.