Interviews are compelling content for podcasts. These are unique and refreshing. These help you deliver expert advice to your audience especially when you are interviewing someone who is an expert in his field. Doing interviews also increases your authority in your niche.
A good interview has flow, value, and sincerity. It provides your audience with information presented in an engaging way. An interview can be fun and creative, especially when done right.
However, interviewing is a skill that has to be developed and mastered. Not everyone is great at it and it can be a source of pressure. You don’t want to run the risk of making it sound stiff and awkward. Yikes! As a podcaster and an interviewer, you need to guide the guest in such a way that no point is left unsaid.
To do an exceptional interview, here are the elements needed and how you should weave these into a great podcast show:
As the popular saying by Benjamin Franklin goes: by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Preparation is key. Do your research and know the topic you will be discussing. Get to know your guest and find out what he knows and does better than anyone else. If he has books or has written articles for big publications, take the time to read these. Listen to previous interviews, as well. Understand who this person is so you can make a proper introduction and ask the right questions.
Knowing everything about your subject is just the first step to a good interview. However, your podcast is all about your audience. Find out what about this topic and guest will benefit your audience the most. This ensures that you are delivering value to your listeners. Always see things from their perspective in order to tailor the interview to their benefit. This also helps in making the interview a success.
Once you’ve done your homework, get down and gritty with the questions. This part will make or break your episode. A good interview is about asking the right questions. Make a list of questions that will serve as your path throughout the interview. These should be based on the subject that you will be discussing and on your guest’s knowledge.
Organize and group them according to topics. Don’t forget to trim the fat! Edit the list and focus on the more important queries. Your questions must be open-ended with three possible follow-up questions. Remember that this is not a fixed list that you need to stick with. It should be flexible depending on how the interview will go.
Before you hit record, chat with your guest first. Create small talk to make him feel comfortable and to establish a pleasant environment for him. This is also the time where you go over your show and give the timeline. Ensure that you make him feel relaxed and let him know that he can always answer again in case he messes up. This is especially helpful for microphone-shy guests. This lets them loosen up so you have a more natural flow of conversation during the interview.
Never allow yourself to take over the interview. You might be tempted to blabber and talk about yourself because it is your show. However, you have to give your guest the opportunity to talk with no interruption. Unfortunately, there’s a fine line between being engaged in the conversation and being rude.
Listening is probably the best-kept secret on conducting amazing interviews. Pay attention to what your guest is saying and ask follow-up questions. Truly listen and be engaged during the interview. It is easy to drift off mid-conversation. This is a common issue among interviewers.
You might find yourself tuning out while you’re waiting to move on to the next question. Be curious and ask the right questions, especially if there’s something you want your guest to clarify. This makes the conversation more natural.
Remember to relax and breathe. You might lose your cool and composure especially when you’re interviewing a popular resource person that you look up to. Just breathe and don’t panic.
Don’t make it sound like a stiff interview. Keep the environment casual and cool, like you’re just chatting over coffee. Make sure that the other person is also relaxed. This encourages him to be more candid and open up more about the topic and his personal experiences. Having such candor in an interview creates a lively conversation that will lead to a better content for your audience.
This is our formula for creating an awesome interview. Never forget that interviews are supposed to be fun and dynamic. Make them as comfortable as you possibly can.
So, how do you make your interviews flow? What questions do you ask that excites your guest and your audience? Comment below and let us know what you think!
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