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Create a Podcasting Workflow: Interview your Guests

podcast guest interview podcast workflow Sep 21, 2021

Create a Podcasting Workflow: Interview your Guests 

Many new podcasters tend to shy away from creating any kind of structure in their interviews. As a result, these hosts can become overwhelmed, the guests can turn the conversation away from the intended topic, and the struggles can become real quickly. To avoid the pitfall of disorganization in an interview, it is crucial to have a standard flow for your interviews. That is, hosts should have some idea of how they wish to structure an interview. In this fifth post of our podcast workflow series, we will discuss interview preparation and how to engage your guest in conversation. 


How do I prepare for a podcast interview? 

Preparing for a podcast interview involves a few steps. In this post, we'll dive deep into each of them so that you can feel at ease while having stellar conversations with your guests. 


Step One: Choose your episode topic. 


With the wide array of topics that have come to the microphones of podcasters in recent years, hosts must focus on topics within their podcasting zone of genius. To be the most effective host, you must know the subject matter you seek to cover. Some excellent ways to determine your topic include asking your audience for their preferences, conducting social media polls, and utilizing search tools, such as Answer the Public, to collect ideas. 


Step Two: Select your guest. 


Once you have a topic that you are confident will resonate with your listeners, you can move on to selecting your guest. Remember, the audience enjoys hearing from individuals who are well acquainted with the subject matter discussed. Whether your guest works in a professional role that is relevant to the topic or has lived experience and an engaging story to tell, you will want to ensure that the guest has the appropriate experience, education, or credentials, that the guest is fascinating, and that the guest can bring a fresh perspective to the topic at hand. 


Step Three: Do your research. 


Next, do your research. Make it your mission to discover as much information as possible about your guest, their story, and their experience related to the topic that you will be discussing. It should be the goal of every podcaster to bring a knowledgeable perspective to the microphone. In addition to being knowledgeable, you will also want to be unique. Ask yourself what differing perspectives you can bring to the table that your listeners have not yet heard. This will keep the audience engaged and interested in the conversations that are being had. 


Step Four: Ask outstanding questions. 


Think of yourself as a detective. Your goal is to ask questions that lead your listener to the bottom of an issue. These questions should be open-ended, compelling, engaging, and thought-provoking. When you interview someone, your focus should be on engaging both the guest and the listener. Guests who are vested in conversations tend to intrigue the audience and keep them listening and desiring further content in the future. To ask excellent questions, consider the six question types covered in the previous post: who, what, when, where, why, and how. These questions give the guest ample time to elaborate on a given topic. You will want to ensure that you utilize your interviewing skills to do things such as redirecting conversations, considering the perspective of your guests, and going beyond the surface in the questions you ask. Good questions often build on one another, for example. If you ask a question related to an event, you could follow that question with several clarifying questions to aid you in gaining details about the event. If you ask about an experience, you will want to provide your listeners with as many details as the guest is comfortable sharing. That way, the result of the interview will be an engaging conversation that holds the audience's attention and curiosity. 


Step Five: Wrap it Up 


After you have had an engaging, wonderful conversation, you will need to wrap it up. Ask your guest how the listeners can follow up and connect with them. Ask your listeners to complete an action following the interview. This is known as a call to action. Your call to action should be short, simple, and memorable. Here are some standard calls to action. 

Join an email list. 

Visit a website. 

Rate, review, or listen to another episode of a show. 


Thank you for joining us on the Spark Media blog today. For more Christian podcasting resources, be sure to join us on the Spark Media mailing list. We promise not to spam you, and we will only provide valuable resources. For more on the topic of interviews, be sure to check out our post on Asking Compelling Interview Questions. 

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