Are you a podcast host and have interviews that you’re just too embarrassed to publish?
Either because the conversation was awkward, you struggled to build rapport with the guest, and it felt like you were pulling teeth with a guest who was hardly able to string two sentences together?
Or, perhaps you had one of those guests who wouldn’t shut up and they ended up just sounding like an informercial.
You’re certainly not alone.
I remember one of my guests on my very first podcast back in 2008, my co-host opened the conversation with “tell us about yourself…” and 20 minutes later we couldn’t get a word in edgeways.
Thank goodness over the last 14+ years and interviewing 1,000’s guests, hosting round tables, panel interviews, virtually and in-person – I’ve learned a lot of tips and techniques that have enabled me to interview and produce a stellar show even when interviewing the most difficult of guests.
People come for the content of your show, however they return for the host, – YOU, so when you understand some of the unique characteristics and approach you bring to your interviews and can do that with purpose to create an environment and experience your ideal client and audience member appreciates and values – they’ll come back.
Here are 3 tips on how to best handle the guest who won’t stop talking – like the guest my co-host and I made the mistake of asking: “Tell us about yourself…”
If we had known these 3 tips – we most likely would have avoided the 20-something minute introduction by our guest.
I had a coach/mentor who used to say: An ounce of framing is worth a pound of re-framing, which is similar to the old saying I’m sure you’ve heard: Prevention is better than cure.
It’s the same when it comes to your preparing your guest so he/she knows exactly what to expect.
Here’s a few of the things I include in my guest preparation process:
- I let my guest know to keep their responses concise so that the conversation continues to be compelling for listeners with insights and information they can’t help but want to listen to;
- I also let my guest know they will have plenty of opportunity to share more about their services and how best to connect with them at the end of the show – therefore averting any need for them to continuously be promoting themselves or their ‘wares’ during the show.
In the thousands of guests I’ve interviewed, many of them have commented they’ve appreciated and been impressed by how we help them prepare so they knew what to expect.
Preparation is key!
When I first started podcasting with my show, Career Success Radio – I learned this valuable lesson from another podcaster who had a recruitment podcast.
When it came to his show, he was lethal. He challenged his guests, almost to the point where I’d cringe. However, that was his style and his audience and even guests – loved his direct and controversial style.
His guests knew exactly what to expect and they came armed ready for combat, so-to-speak.
This podcast host would often say: “Hey, this is MY show and I can share my views and I’ll challenge your views if I don’t agree with them.”
There was a valuable lesson in that.
Our podcast was OUR podcast – NOT the guests. YOU get to make the rules and set the tone for your show.
And, if the guest wanders outside of the guidelines, you have the right to jump on in and make sure they get back on track – even if that means you have to interject and interrupt the guest. In your style and approach.
It’s YOUR show! Don’t let the guest take over – they are NOT the host. You are!
So, what happens if you’ve prepared the guest and told them to keep their responses concise, you’ve tried to interject, however they’ve continued to speak, and speak, (and speak).”
Say their name and stop. For instance, “Hey John!” Repeat yourself until they do stop. It works a treat.
Then, once they stop, you can jump in and redirect the conversation back to where you want to focus.
These 3 tips have worked well for me, and failing that, I’ve often joked, there’s always the mute button. Thankfully, I’ve not had to resort to that extreme yet.
Let me know how you go. Have another question about interviewing guests you’d love more insight on? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll answer it in an upcoming article.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to build your confidence in interviewing so that you’re able to create a unique and uncopyable listener experience – check out my Interviewing With Purpose Course.