The podcast Guest is a black woman with her hair up, reading notes, wearing a headset, talking into a microphone.

How To Be The Ultimate Podcast Guest

Prepare and Maximise Your Podcast Guest Appearance

As the host of “The Wise Why” podcast, I completely understand how important it is to create a comfortable and supportive environment for my guests before and during the livestream interviews. Whether you’re new to podcasting or have been a guest on several shows, it’s natural to feel nervous before recording or streaming your episode and worry that you will be a good podcast guest.

To ensure a smooth and comfortable experience for my guests, I always arrange a pre-stream call where I explain the podcast format, the interview style, and the types of questions I will ask them. During this conversation, I also ask my guests what information they want to share and what areas of their lives they prefer to keep private. This helps create a safe and open environment where my podcast guests can present themselves in the best possible way.

When you are invited to be a podcast guest, it’s a good idea to ask the podcast host or producer questions about the show’s format. Find out whether the podcast is pre-recorded or streamed live and whether it will be audio-only, video, or both.

Watching or listening to previous episodes is also a great way to understand the podcast’s style. Doing so will help you understand the types of questions you will be asked and ensure you are well-prepared for your appearance.

Promote yourself as a podcast guest, black woman using a megaphone.
Once you have confirmed the details of your podcast appearance or live interview, it is crucial to start promoting it. This presents an excellent opportunity to use your social media platforms and network to generate buzz and excitement.

Before your podcast guest appearance, you can encourage your followers to ask questions and invite them to join you live. This helps you take control of your performance and stay on topic, building your audience’s support.

It’s always a good idea to request a copy of the recordings after you’ve recorded or streamed a session. As a token of appreciation for your podcast guest’s time, I’m always happy to provide these. One way to keep promoting your guest appearance is by sharing sneak peeks of the episode and links to platforms such as Spotify or YouTube. Additionally, consider embedding the episode on your website or Linktree to increase further visibility.

Crafting Your Bio and Headshot

Having a short bio and headshot ready to send is a good idea if you are going to appear as a guest on a podcast. However, if your appearance is still several months away, wait until you are asked for it. The podcast team will focus more on upcoming guests and may only have time to review your information closer to your appearance date.

When you create your biography, it is essential to provide relevant information concisely. It should highlight your accomplishments, expertise, and credentials. Additionally, use a high-quality headshot that reflects your professionalism and personality. Avoid using distracting or overly casual backgrounds, and keep the focus on yourself.

It is important to ensure that the information in your bio is relevant and up-to-date. Consider including any taglines you use in your marketing content, as they may work well as an episode title or thumbnail description. Your bio and headshot are often the first impressions you will make on the podcast host’s audience, so make them count.

Dress for Success! A girl aged 8 dressed up in her Mum's clothes, holding a bag and wearing sunglasses
Dressing for Success

Wear professional and comfortable clothing When appearing on a livestream or audio podcast. What you wear can affect your energy. For instance, pyjamas may make you feel too relaxed, whereas a suit might make you feel constricted. You want to feel confident and comfortable to bring your best self to your podcast guest appearance.

When going on camera, there are a few things to consider. Although you will mostly be seen from the shoulders up, you should still consider what you wear. Avoid stripes and small or large patterns, as they can appear blurry on camera. Choose colours that complement your skin tone, but avoid white, as it reflects all light; black, as it absorbs all light; and red, as it bleeds on camera.

Additionally, pay attention to your jewellery and makeup. Even though your charm bracelet may be your favourite accessory, consider how much it can jangle and distract viewers, especially if they have no idea where the sound is coming from.

Navigating Technical Considerations

It’s important to consider the technical aspects beforehand to successfully appear on a podcast or live interview. I always ask my guests to join me 15 minutes before the livestream to adjust sound and lighting and ensure their camera is at eye level.

You should minimise potential technical issues when streaming from home by ensuring a stable internet connection, testing your audio and video equipment beforehand, and checking your lighting. Remember, your podcast guest appearance is an opportunity for personal branding, and this episode will be available online for years to come.

It’s best to avoid a blurry background if you will be appearing on video. Choose a plain wall, clear any clutter, create some space around you, and always double-check your microphone and camera settings. If you use a webcam, check if it has autofocus. This feature can be helpful, but if you move around a lot, it may cause blurring. You can download the camera settings or check your device to see if you can disable it.

If you are recording an interview from home, select a room with soft furnishings to help absorb any echoes. If you are in a room that echoes, consider investing in a microphone with gain control, testing it out in the space, and adjusting the gain setting to minimise the echo. In the recording software, ensure you have echo cancelling; if unsure where this is, ask the host.

Streamyard has recently added a new feature to reduce microphone background noise, and I have seen an improvement when this is on. Additionally, I use a wireless audio conferencing system with the Blue Yeti microphone, which works well. I do not use a headset.

When streaming, consider streaming at 720P with 60 frames per second. Although streaming at 1080P is optional, it requires more bandwidth and can cause issues. Although I record my videos for our YouTube channel in 1080P, I prioritise the frame rate over the resolution when livestream.

 

‘ Podcasting is a powerful medium that allows you to share your voice and message with the world in a way that is authentic and personal. ’

~Seth Godin

Setting Boundaries

It’s crucial to maintain authenticity during a podcast guest appearance or interview, but it’s equally important to establish boundaries and safeguard your privacy. Before the show, take some time to reflect on the topics you’re comfortable discussing and the areas of your personal or professional life that you’d like to keep private.

Communicate these boundaries to the host or interviewer, and feel free to steer the conversation in a different direction if it goes into territory you’re not comfortable with. Remember that you’re in control of your narrative, so there’s no need to share more than you’re comfortable with.

Appearing on a podcast is an excellent opportunity to share your knowledge, insights, and stories with a broader audience. By understanding the format, promoting your appearance, crafting your bio and headshot, dressing appropriately, addressing technical concerns, and setting boundaries, you can ensure you shine when you take the spotlight as a podcast guest or interviewee. With these tips and strategies, you can maximise your appearance on any podcast or Livestream interview, expand your audience, and achieve your objectives.

If you are still feeling worried or uncertain, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I am here to assist you in navigating any situation, whether it’s speaking confidently on camera or over the airways. I will help you stay on topic and guide you on what to say and how to say it.

Find Out More:Coaching On-Camera Technique, and Online Courses

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