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How To be a Podcast Guest Superstar

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 5.04.14 AMAs a podcast co-host on The Pharmacy Podcast Network, (and as someone with a face for radio – LOL!) I’ve probably hosted somewhere between 50–100 guests by now. I am NOT an expert — yet. However, I know when I spot an awesome guest or idea for the show, I want to help and make the guest sound like a rock star that he or she is and bring value to our 65,000 listeners! So, here are a few tips on how to rock a podcast…as a guest. Ready?

Before:

  1. Say yes, IF you have something to discuss — Most podcast hosts will have a reason why they want you on your show. For example, right now I’m working on a miniseries for pharmacists considering going back to school after pharmacy school — b school, c school, and i school, etc. As I reach out to my network and ask for people to participate, I have something specific in mind for them. If you’re comfortable speaking about the topic they want you to discuss, go for it! Now, there are proactive approaches in reaching out to podcast hosts when you’re pitching an idea or wares, but that’s worthy of a separate post, if not an entire book.
  2. If you say yes, make it EASY for the host who gave you the shot — A good host will keep telling you the next step. My second step after reaching out and the guest saying yes is booking a time and sending proposed questions with the appointment time. As a good guest, this means booking the appointment easily. Don’t go back and forth forever trying to find a time. I’ll also state in the defense of my brothers and sisters in podcasting as hosts: many of us podcasters out here don’t have the luxury of doing podcasting as a full time day job either, so try and be flexible if the podcast host has a weird schedule. For example, I can’t podcast during the 9–5 most of the week because I have another day job. Also, DO NOT CANCEL unless you absolutely have to — podcast co-hosts have a lot of guests, recordings, series and topics to juggle, and when you cancel, that can throw a huge wrench into a production schedule. Bottom line: be easy to work with and don’t be a diva here!
  3. Prepare and practice — Just like anything, one gets better with preparation and practice. This includes being a podcast guest! Ask for your questions beforehand, and review them. Also, practice giving answers that don’t drone on. Also, when you’ve finished your thought and answered the question, remain silent so the host knows they can move on to the next question. If there’s a question on the list you aren’t comfortable answering — have the host strike it prior to recording. Also, if you can’t come up with a good answer on something, suggest a change to the question on something you prefer to answer. (For example, I had a guest once who said s/he didn’t really read books when asked what book s/he was reading at the time. AWKWARD, and not to mention — it made her/him sound ignorant and unprofessional. Help the host help you be the rock star that you are by making the questions better in advance.)
  4. Listen to a few episodes — It’s important to listen to a couple of episodes of the podcast you are a guest on, because nothing looks worse than a guest saying they haven’t listened to the podcast nor understand the format and timing of it. Gauche. Please don’t be that guest. Professional podcasters will send you a guest dossier in advance — study it and understand how it will work. How long is a typical episode? What is the format? How does the host lay out the show? Know all this before you skype the day of with your podcast host.
  5. Join or connect to the podcast online — To be a great guest, you’ll follow the host and the podcast at social media portals, and pay attention to episodes upcoming. Jump in and share your awesomeness with your tribe that you’ll be on a podcast soon!

During

  1. Have a glass of water for recording — The last thing you want to do is cough into the mic a bunch of times — H2O to the rescue!
  2. Wear a headset — you want to cancel all the background noise. My iPhone headset plugged into my macbook does a decent job on recording — so be sure to get somewhere quiet, turn off the gadgets and nervous shuffling behavior, and wear a headset so you can be completely focused on the conversation.
  3. If you fumble, pause, and start over — Professional podcasters will have editing as well, so if you hiccup or derail while answering a question, just pause, ask for a do over, then re-answer the question. Watch the “likes” “uhms” and other space fillers.
  4. Stand up – your voice will be more supported and it should cut down on squeaky chairs or nervous habits as background noise. Podcast guesting is partially a performance.
  5. Thank the host and be conversational — The interview or chat shouldn’t make you sweat! Just make it a conversation. Use the host’s name during the recording.

After

  1. Share the URL to the podcast — Being a podcast guest helps you! You should share that you’re a thought leader in your arena by sharing the link to the podcast — through social media, your email footer, on your LinkedIn profile, and even via embed code on your website (if you have that capability and if the host will share the code with you).
  2. Send a thank you note — Podcasters aren’t the best about sharing their snail mail addresses, but if you can find one, send them an old fashioned thank you note. If not, an email will do. Yes, include your business card too — and let them know you’re ready to help them again in the future, especially if you want to be a return guest. I would say 99% of guests never do this. Here’s your opportunity to be part of the the 1%!

That’s it! It’s fun to be on the other side of the mic as a guest — because hosting is a LOT more work than being a guest. Guests have the easy part! So, enjoy being a guest on the podcast, and help the host help you shine like the rock star that you are!

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