written by
David Hooper

How to Properly Educate Podcast Guests About Recording Remote Interviews

Podcast Hosting Skills Podcast Production 4 min read

Communication is key when doing remote interviews for your podcast. The more guests know about what to expect, the better chance you have when it comes to getting a good recording from them.

The very best thing you can do to ensure you get a great remote recording for your podcast is to supply the equipment and let guests know how to use it. The second best thing you can do is make sure guests know how to use the equipment they already have.

Remote Podcast Guest Communication

Below are remote guest instructions from a “guest email” template used by podcast and radio engineer Stephanie Lesher. If you use remote recording software Zencastr, you may be familiar with parts of this email, which contain the company’s suggestions for how to best prepare for a remote podcast interview.

Even if you’re not a Zencastr user, this is good advice.

Remote Podcast Guest Email Example

We use a program called Zencastr which needs to be run on a laptop (it doesn't work on mobile devices) with either Chrome or Firefox as the browser. You'll need an external microphone (the better the mic, the better you'll sound) and headphones for recording. Please do not use the built-in mic on your laptop - I promise you won't like how you sound!

Here's the link for recording: [LINK TO CONNECT TO RECORDING SESSION]

More information below, let me know if you have any questions!

Also, if you have time to do a quick test before the recorded session please let me know.

Top 5 Dos

  • Do grab a pair of headphones and an external microphone.
  • Do connect your headphones and / or microphone before clicking on your recording link.
  • Do use Google Chrome or Firefox browsers. Other browsers are not supported.
  • Do wait for all audio healthchecks to pass before recording.
  • Do check your internet speed. We recommend a minimum of a 3 MB upload/download connection.

Top 5 Don'ts

  • Don't use a mobile device to record.
  • When you stop recording, don't close your recording window until your file has been fully uploaded and you see the message on your screen.
  • Don't run Zencastr through an incognito window or in private browsing mode.
  • Don't have extra tabs open on your browser. Close anything you don't need while recording.
  • Don't load other computer programs while recording.

Remote Podcast Guest Video Example

Lee at Content Monsta goes even further with recording instructions by backing up his emails to guests with this video:

A video is a nice touch as guests are often intimidated by the technical aspects of a remote podcast interview and showing them that you are not intimidating and available to assist with any problems can help to make them more comfortable with a sometimes stressful situation.

Never Assume Podcasting Knowledge

As a podcaster, you podcast a lot. Your guests likely don’t have as much experience.

I primarily interview musicians and others in the music business. These people have access to the equipment needed to record a successful podcast interview and many have used this equipment for their jobs. Still, I never assume.

Sure, a musician has likely been in a recording studio and uses mics on stage, but is he running the equipment? Not always. And especially not when he’s at the level of the people whom I interview.

Same for anybody in the public speaking business. These guys speak into mics for a living, but few do their own tech, because that is handled by a stage manager or engineer.

And many people with a ton of interviews under their belts have never had to do one remotely. It’s easy to walk into a radio or television station and do an interview that way, because the tech is taken care of.

But when you’re doing something from your home or office, you have to know everything about the recording process:

  • Which kind of mic to get
  • How to make the mic you have work with your hardware
  • How to make the mic you have work with a podcaster’s choice of software
  • How the location you’re being interviewed from affects what is recorded and how to modify it so that you create the best recording possible
  • What happens when something that worked well in the “test run” doesn’t work when it’s time to record

This is why you want to explain to guests exactly what is going to happen during their interview, walk them through the process as it’s happening, and be ready to answer questions should there be any problems.

You’ve Got One Shot To Get This Right

Moments only happen once. Sure, you may be able to recreate an interview by asking the same questions, but you’ll never be able to recreate a moment.

Don’t miss something because you’re weren’t prepared to record it correctly.

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