As a guest on a podcast, you have a unique opportunity to share your expertise, tell compelling stories, and connect with an engaged audience. To help you make the most of this experience, we have compiled a list of tips and insights for optimizing your remote interview. These guidelines cover the pre-session, during the session, and post-session phases, as well as recommendations for promoting the episode upon publication. We hope you find this guide helpful in having a successful and enjoyable podcast appearance. Let's dive in!
- Microphone: Unless provided equipment by the host, set up the best audio recording hardware you have available. Avoid wireless headphones or business headsets, as microphone quality is often subpar. If possible, invest in a podcast microphone like the Zoom ZDM-1 Podcast Mic Pack, the Audio Technica AT2020USB+, the Rode NT-USB Mini, or the Elgato Wave:3. All four of these mics connect via USB. If you'd like a headset with a great mic, consider the Rode ATH-100M.
- Headphones: Wear headphones or earbuds. This will prevent your microphone from picking up the host's voice coming through your speakers.
- Camera: If you'll be on video, use the webcam or camera recommended or provided by the podcast producer to maintain a consistent look on the show. Arrange the interview space to ensure optimal lighting. Natural light is preferable, so sit near a window. Soft artificial light, such as a ring light, also works well. Ensure your background is clean and professional. The producer will work with you to accomplish all of these lighting elements, but bonus points for getting some of this prepped prior!
- Location: Find a quiet room with good acoustics; your office is often suitable. Avoid outdoor locations, as noise from the wind and birds can be distracting. Consider recording within your home.
- WiFi: To ensure a stable connection, plug your computer directly into the internet or choose an area with excellent WiFi.
- Power: Use a computer plugged directly into the wall. If not possible, charge your devices beforehand to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the session.
- IT Managed Systems: If you belong to an organization with IT-managed devices, confirm with the IT department that you can plug in external microphones and download any necessary drivers. Ask your IT department to whitelist Riverside.fm or the chosen remote video interview recording platform to avoid issues accessing your webcam or microphone.If you cannot resolve IT issues, consider using a personal computer or even a smartphone with a USB microphone (with the right adapter) as a last resort.
- Noise Processing: Turn off any noise software or post processing service (echo cancellation, noise suppression, remove background noise). Software to disable includes Windows Audio Enhancements, Krisp, and NVIDIA RTX Voice.
- Notifications: Also, disable any software notifications, such as email or messaging apps (I'm looking at you, Teams-users), to minimize distractions during the interview.
- Listen: Familiarize yourself with the podcast by listening to a few episodes. Note recurring questions and the host's interview style.
- Audience: Consider the podcast audience and tailor your content to their interests. Consult the host for insights on listener demographics.
- Stories: The night before, reflect on relevant memories and stories to share during the interview. Jot down a few notes to trigger your memory. Storytelling is essential for a successful podcast episode, so the more stories the better!
During the Session
- Turn off your phone to avoid distractions and, again, disable any software notifications.
- Keep a glass of water nearby to avoid a dry throat. Remaining hydrated will help you maintain clear speech throughout the interview.
- Thank the host at the beginning, and use their name throughout the conversation.
- Have your notes or talking points handy but avoid reading from them verbatim. Instead, use them as reminders for essential topics or specific data you want to mention.
- Reference earlier episodes when relevant to the current discussion.
- Don't be afraid of silence. Pausing to form a clear sentence is better than using filler words. If comfortable, consult a close friend to identify any filler words you typically use and practice eliminating them. Some podcasts edit out filler words and gaps while other podcasts leave them in; every podcast is different, so if you're wondering about this, ask the host.
- If promoting a product or service, discuss it with the host prior to the interview to ensure a smooth introduction to the topic.
- Reflect on the conversation, identifying areas that you spoke well about and any sensitive topics that should be removed from the published episode. Discuss these with the host.
- Provide details for how you would like to be described in the episode, along with any necessary links.
- Offer future guest ideas to the host if you know people. Hosts love getting referrals.
- Share the episode with your friends and family.
- Share the episode on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tag the host and podcast accounts to spark engagement and conversations.
- If applicable, include the podcast episode in your email newsletter, providing a brief overview of the topics discussed and the motivation for following the podcast.
- If applicable, share the episode with relevant industry groups, online forums, or communities.
- If desired, request the podcast host or producer to provide an audiogram or video snippet to promote the episode. Share these snippets on social media for a more engaging promotion.
- If desired, thank the host publicly on social media for the opportunity to be a guest on their podcast, building goodwill and fostering a positive relationship.
If you have suggestions for how to improve this guide, reach out! This is a "living document" and will be updated over time. Bookmark it. Pass it around. Send some feedback.