Do you love to talk? Do you like to tell stories? Most of us do, but there’s a time and a place to love the sound of your own voice. Conducting an interview for your podcast is not one of them.
Whether you’re a podcast junkie or love browsing radio stations, you probably have a favourite presenter. But have you noticed how some presenters engage with their own voice far more than the person they’re interviewing?
Keep the focus on your guest
When a presenter is constantly bringing the focus of the interview back to himself or herself by telling a personal story or insisting on incorporating their opinion into every statement, it’s frustrating to listen.
If you’ve advertised you are interviewing a particular talent, then the audience will choose to listen because they want to hear from your guest. You represent the listener and become their voice-piece. Essentially you’re asking the questions the listener would ask if they were in the studio themselves.
“You are simply a facilitator, who is there to extract the best information you can with the right questions and responses”
But what are the right questions and how important is it to prepare questions for a podcast interview?
To prep or not to prep?
During my days as a radio producer, I had a presenter who refused to do any preparation before an interview. I would give him a detailed profile of who the guest was, what they did and why they were on our show. I’d prepare a lovely list of starter questions the presenter could use as prompts to attain the information from the talent. Essentially I did everything for him apart from conducting the interview myself. But he would always refuse to prepare for interviews. His reason? He wanted to come from the listener’s perspective, by beginning the interview knowing little to no information and gradually discovering more as it progressed. Make sense?
Yaro Starak agrees with this concept; he would never prepare questions. Instead he would focus on extracting the story behind the person being interviewed rather than delving straight in.
I get the logic, but you could also argue that with more preparation comes better questions, allowing you to eliminate the ‘fluff’ and get straight to the ‘meat’ (the heart of the story/main point of the interview).
Why not become a guest on Brand Newsroom?
In Brand Newsroom we feature various interviews with guests, recently Chief Strategy Officer of Content Marketing Institute, Robert Rose. We encourage participation and invite you to get involved as a guest on a future episode, especially if you’re working in company communications or content marketing within a brand.
What’s your view on preparing for a podcast interview?