written by
David Hooper

7 Strategies for Being a Great Podcast Guest

Media Training 3 min read

When Megan Barry was mayor of Nashville, she had an affair with the police officer in charge of her security detail.

When she got caught, she tried her best to stay in office.

She was a good mayor. What she wasn't good at was media.

Below is an interview she did with a local reporter when she was trying to save her job. It's a great example of what you shouldn't do during an interview, whether it's on a podcast or other media.

How To Be A Better Podcast Guest

Below are seven things you should consider when guesting on a podcast. There are three things you should do and four things you shouldn't do.

Megan Barry screwed up all of these. Had she been better at them, she might still be mayor of Nashville.

What You Should Do During Podcast Interviews

  1. Slow down.

    Being hurried during an interview makes it look, at best, like you have somewhere else to be, and at worst, like you’re trying to avoid what’s being asked.
  2. Give complete answers.

    This entire interview is one soundbite after another, which frustrates listeners who want details and adds to its already too fast pace.

    The questions being asked here are not closed-ended, but that's the type of answers that were being given. When you answer questions like this, listeners think you're hiding something.

    You need to "land the plane" when answering questions. In other words, answer the questions being asked.
  3. Pause slightly before answering a question.

    Give your answer a little breathing room. Pausing before you speak helps your words to stand out from those of the host and makes it easier for people to pay attention to them.

What You Shouldn't Do During Podcast Interviews

  1. Don't talk over the guy asking questions.

    At best, talking over the guy asking questions makes it look like you’ve got a prepared answer or aren’t listening. At worst, it makes it look like you’re trying to shut him up.
  2. Don't make excuses if you want to be seen as a leader.

    Megan Barry had an affair. There was international travel involved, some with just her and the police officer with whom she was having that affair. Her "aggressive schedule" isn’t the issue here.

    If you're being interviewed on podcasts because you're an "expert" at something, act like an expert.
  3. Don't try to change the subject when you're guilty – own it.

    Megan Barry had an affair. She wanted to move on and the city of Nashville wanted to move on. It was up to the city when that happened though, not her. If she wanted to speed up the process, she should have answered the questions people were asking her.
  4. Don't respond to multiple questions with, "As I just said ..."

    You sound like an asshole. You need the audience on your side, not against you.

Your #1 Goal As A Podcast Guest

There are a lot of things to consider when being a podcast guest. You want to make the host look good, you want to deliver great information that's helpful to listeners, you want to be entertaining and interesting to listeners, and you want to be likable.

But the number one thing you should focus on is something that combines all of these things – you want to leave listeners with a complete and satisfying experience. You can set the foundation for this by following the seven "rules" above.

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