Want to improve your podcast interviewing skill? This post is for you!
We just concluded the first Bali Podcasters Launch Mastermind here in Ubud. We have three new podcasts born in October, 2015, Yay! The third week of our month long course covered interviewing techniques. I want to share with you the list of the top 25 podcast interview tips from the course. If you want to know more about podcast coaching with me, you can check it out here.
1. Ask open ended questions, don’t give options in your question (i.e. was it this? or this? or this?). Keep your questions brief and then shut up.
2. Say Yes, and. In Improv comedy, the number one rule is to say Yes and build in what the other actors give you. Use this idea to keep the interviews building.
3. Do a Pre-interview. When you don’t know the guest personally, this is the fastest way to get to know them and how the will sound in the interview.
4. Rehearse your questions so the come out of your mouth cleanly. When asking follow up questions, take a moment to say them smoothly.
5. Take notes – you aren’t on live TV so you can make notes for yourself about follow up questions, topics that come to mind, quotes that you like, and times in the audio you want to go back to (if there was a loud noise you need to cut for example).
6. Be genuinely interested and ask good follow up questions. If you are curious about your guest, your listeners will hear that you care. Follow up questions show you are listening, and help get the real juice for your listeners.
7. Ask questions that get to the core of their experience and let them reflect. My favorite questions: Really? How did you feel about that? What didnâ€™t you expect about that? Can you talk about a moment when you had a rapid career acceleration? Who inspires you? What are you curious about right now?
8. Work on bringing up your energy. You can laugh loudly and be an exaggerated version of yourself. A good warmup before the show can help with this.
9. Dial in your warm up routine – mine includes: vocal warmups, hot tea, dancing, rehearsing questions, listening to comedy podcasts. Block of 30-60 minutes ahead of time for this and start dead on time to respect their schedule.
10. Think about what your audience wants to hear and ask questions for them. When I Interviewed Budi Vooght about making a career as a musical artist, I has a previous guest, Rapper Jonny Freesh in mind.
11. To get more specifics, ask for examples and case studies. See if you can get them to break down their ideas into a simple step by step processes.
12. Make sure you allow time after the interview for wrapping up. This is when I ask the golden question: who else do you think I should talk to or interview?
13. Practice your segues , comments – cool awesome are not diverse enough
14.Â Experiment with standing and sitting interviews – I like to stand so that I can think on my feet. Set up your environment in advance how you like it – I try to make sure I have the room cold and the fan on becase I get so excited I start sweating.
15. If possible, do them in person or with the video turned on – when you can see facial expressions its helps the communication.
16. Make sure you get their name pronunciation right before the interview starts and ask if they have any questions and explain the flow. Give them a 5 second count in to begin the interview.
17. Scheduling: Send reminders in advance with your Skype ID, start time in their time zone, expected interview length, questions and topics, ask for a photo for the shownotes, etc.
18. Give a good introduction of your guest for your listeners, donâ€™t have them introduce them selves or their accomplishments. Make sure you audience knows why the should be listening to the guest about the topic you have chosen.
19. Set your research routine. Read your guest’s about page, book, twitter feed, and blog posts. What are they thinking about in the last few weeks?
20. Understand the field and the bigger ideas and tensions at work. Of course, it is easier if the interview is in your niche already – this was especially apparent in my interview with Chris Mcdougall since we have a broad overlap in endurance, evolution, and human geography.
21. Talk to people who know the interviewee and ask them what you should talk about – I did this before my interview with Vanessa van Edwards and got the inside scoop on her newest research on happiness.
22. Plan your ending question – wrap up the interview on a high note.
23. You are your own producer during the interview – you need to get the right pieces of the story, so know your goal for the interview
24. Ultimately, a podcast is about entertainment, education, and inspiration. So how can you pull out the guest’s humanity? Can you get people to reflect on their experience? Can you make the conversation more intimate?
25. Listen to your episodes after you record them, paying attention to your questions and filler words so you know how you sound.
Did I leave anything off? Let me know your favorite interview tip or interview questions in the comments below!
If you want to know more about podcast coaching with me, you can check it out here.