We explained the benefits of creating a business podcast; this blog tackles what goes into creating a podcast.
Hosting a podcast isn’t easy – in addition to equipment (another blog for another time), it requires practice, smart planning, knowledge about your intended audience, and a strong sense of self.
After you’ve chosen your podcast’s topic and direction (which could also be its own blog), consider these six things as you plan each episode.
Create killer episode titles
Like email subject lines, titles are the first impression people have of your podcast – use a title with a hook that draws listeners in and gives them a hint of what’s to come (without giving it all away).
Choose the best guests
A podcast guest can make or break an episode, so think carefully before you ask someone to join you. Ideally, guests will be knowledgeable, entertaining, and relevant, but consider your audience. Will the guest uphold the integrity of your podcast and provide the valuable content your listeners want?
Prepare yourself for the interview
Before the show, research your guest and become familiar with their work. Read their books, articles, etc., listen to other interviews they’ve given, watch videos they’ve created or been in, and gather as much information as you can.
With this information, you can create a loose “layout” of the podcast – a general direction for the conversation and possible questions. (But remember: conversation, not interrogation!)
Reach out to the guest, as well – do they have a bio they’d like to share? A headshot to promote the podcast?
Prepare your guests for the interview
Make sure the guest knows what the podcast is about! Consider sending them sample questions before the podcast so they can think through possible answers. At the beginning of the podcast, help them loosen up by asking personal questions or allowing them to share a story about themselves.
Engage your audience
Speak to your listeners as if they’re in the room with you; a podcast should feel like a conversation, not a monologue – even if you don’t have guests.
If you have guests, don’t drag them where you want to go – avoid an interrogation by asking questions that lead to a conversation.
Quick tips on asking good questions:
- Skip “yes” or “no” questions – they rarely yield insight or value.
- The ‘real’ answers are often a layer or two below what people initially share. Use “what” and “how” questions to dig deeper.
- To get a more thorough answer, use ‘mirroring’ – repeat the last idea in their sentence back to them as a question.
BE YOU! No matter how great your episode titles are, no matter how exciting your guests are, no matter how well prepared you are … none of it will matter if you’re stiff and unable to get into the role of host. Listeners want to connect with you, and they have a strong BS detector – they’ll know when you’re forcing it.
The above tips will help you create a good podcast, but ultimately listeners will tune in to hear the unique viewpoint only you can share – your audience desires to benefit from your knowledge, so relax and be yourself!