How to be a GREAT podcast guest

A few simple steps will get you ready to shine. Choose what works for you.

As a host, I’m trying to make a show my listeners love and I’m trying to make you sound good. Help me by doing your part before we chat. The rest is easy. I’ve been hosting The Strategy Inside Everything podcast since 2017 as well as being a guest on dozens of other shows. I’ve learned a few things that will help you.

Fans of this show and new people who may discover our discussion via search or recommendation are about to give you 40 minutes of their attention. How do you want them to hear and see you?

I use Zoom to record my show. It’s amazing and very forgiving. But garbage in=garbage out. I expect guests to meet me half way on sound quality if we can hope for a show people will listen to–especially in high-powered headphones.

Look, I know you probably aren’t calling in from your own personal sound booth or recording studio. Here’s a few basics that can help you sound like you are.

First, take steps to minimize echo and reverb. Try to find a room that isn’t full of glass, metal, tile and reflective surfaces. If light bounces off of a surface, so does sound.

TIP: Cover your desk or table with a blanket or towel

TIP: If you have to be in an echo chamber, pull down the shades over windows, hang towels or blankets where you can and stand canvases or cardboard in corners.

Microphones matter. I’ve been lax on this in the past an paid the price. You need an external mic, you can’t just speak into your laptop (and for god’s sake, not into your phone). In an absolute pinch, your smartphone headset will do ok, but isn’t the best.

TIP: Mics are cheap, you don’t need a $500 mic and I don’t expect you to invest just to talk to me. You can get this, this or this from Amazon for under $50. You know you want one anyway.

TIP: Drink some water about 30-60 minutes before recording and have some on hand when we record. Mute your line if you take a sip, or if you cough.

TIP: Avoid jangly jewelry or clothing that makes a lot of noise. Yes, you can hear it.

microphone, podcast, guest, host, interview

TIP: Turn off your phone and the notifications on your laptop. Good conversations come from focus. This is actually a life tip. You’re welcome.

Prepare – I’m an extremely casual host. I normally don’t send notes. But when I go on a show, I make notes of what I think I want to say. I come up with examples and find stories to share to make myself interesting to listen to. Takes an hour. Well worth it.

TIP: Sound like a fan. We’ve got thousands of listeners. They know the rhythm of the show, and they can tell when someone has never listened before. And they don’t like it. I want you to be likable. Listen to a couple episodes before you come on. Subscribe. Give the show 5 stars. Leave a review.

Finally, we’ve got a great audience. They’re into the show and they download to learn. My team and I promote the show (and you) like a lunatic. Reciprocate. Promote your appearance, retweet mentions, participate in the conversation. Play along. Doing so will help your show get to more ears and earn you invites to more shows (so you can make more use of that new microphone).

Featured episode of The Strategy Inside Everything: