#HowToPodcast 3: How to Be an Effective Podcast Host (Without a Ton of Expertise)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Logan shares the framework that will help you become an effective podcast host, even if you have little-to-no interviewing experience or if you aren't a subject matter expert on the topic.

Following this 3-step process in the pre-interview conversation, before you hit record on your podcast interview, will set you (and your guest) up for success:

  1. Establish rapport & make your guest comfortable.

  2. Provide an outline for the interview.

  3. Tell your guest exactly what to expect when you hit record.

Check out the blog post that unpacks this framework in even greater detail:

How to Do a Pre-Interview for Your Podcast


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A relationship with the right referral partner could be a game changer for any BEDB company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more. At Sweet Fish Mediacom you're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vannerd truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BEDB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweetish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the CO hosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear...

...stories from behind the scenes of our own business will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well? Maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the B tob grows show. I'm your host for today's episode, Logan Lyles to, rector of partnerships here at sweet fish. This is going to be another how to podcast episode in one of our new series that we've recently started and really excited to share this one with you guys today. I did a linkedin post on this about a month or two ago and it was something that really helped me as I started as a new host on be tob growth, and it's also something that lines up well with a question that I get with a lot of prospective clients and new customers that I'm working with these days, and it's how to be an effective podcast host, especially if you don't have a ton of expertise...

...in the subject matter. And you know, James will be one of the first to tell you that. You know, multiple years ago when we started be to be growth, he was no expert in be to be marketing and I can tell you I have interviewed marketing and sales leaders that have quite a bit more experience than I do on this show, but yet I feel like each of us have been able to be an effective podcast host to deliver content that still valuable to our audience. So I wanted to break down a framework that we use in the pre interview conversation for all of our interviews on be tob growth. If you are a podcast host today or you're thinking about a podcast in the future, I think this could be very helpful as you think about hosting your own show. As many of you probably know, at sweetfish we're very bullish on you know, even though we do pretty much everything else...

...for our clients to help them produce a show, the one thing that we don't do is host the show for them, and that's for a very specific reason. One we want our clients to own the thought leadership and the branding that comes out of having their own podcast and to we're very passionate about the relationships that you can build with your guests, and so we want our clients to own that relationship on a first degree level as they interview, you know, oftentimes their perspective clients or perspective referral partners on their podcast. So want to break this down and I think it can be. It can be helpful, for instance, especially if you're covering maybe a highly technical area. I've been working with some clients lately in the Cyber Security Space and you know, obviously highly technical. And maybe someone on the marketing team is planning to be the host of the show and maybe they're not at the expertise level as you...

...know, the founder of the company, or maybe they're CTEO or someone on the technical side, but they want to interview chief security officers, thought lead leader's in the cyber security space, and so naturally there's this trepidation of how is someone on the marketing team who doesn't have the expertise level of the guests that we're going to have on how are they going to be an effective host, and I think this framework helps in situations like that. So there are really three steps to the pre interview conversation. So you know, we use a tool called UBER conference to record our interviews for Bob Growth and once the guests logs in, we have about five to ten minutes where we chat with the guest before we hit record and start the actual interview that's going to be published. And we've got a three step framework that I use on a regular basis for these interviews to break down this conversation to make sure that I set myself up and the guest is set up to deliver the best content possible.

And so these steps are one, you want to establish rapport and make your guests feel comfortable to you want to provide an outline for the interview so that both of you know exactly what to expect. And then three, you want to make sure that, in addition to the framework of the conversation, the guests knows what to expect in kind of the intro and wrapping up the conversation after you've hit record. So let's break these down one by one. So in the first step in building rapport, one of the first things I've gotten in the habit of doing is when one of our guests logs into Ubercomference, I, you know, say hello, greet them, but one of the first things I say is, Hey, we're not recording yet. We're going to have a few minutes to chat before we hit record and start the actual interview. And I started doing this because actually I had people kind of stop and pause and ask me, are we live yet? Are we recording yet.

So I've actually skip this a couple times and then got that question again. So I've really tried to make it a regular habit to remind them, Hey, we're not recording yet and then ask some open ended questions that make them feel comfortable, especially if this is your first interaction with this person, which oftentimes it's going to be. So you know, just asking something more than just how's it going, but specifically how's your week been? What projects are you working on this week, just to start a little bit of natural conversation. So that part's fairly simple, but there are some things there that can trip you up. So hopefully those tips are are somewhat helpful. And then the second is you want to make sure that you and the guest are on the same page with that outline of the interview. So if you remember from episode one in this series of how to Podcast, I mentioned how we extract a topic and talking point from our guests and to crowdsource the content strategy. Sometimes we get the topic, but maybe not necessarily the talking points,...

...via email as we're scheduling. So the first thing to do is to make sure you know mention something a going back to our email conversation, we settled on this topic. Is that so good with you? Yes, okay, all right. Maybe you already settled on three to five key talking points. If so, now would be a good time to confirm those with your guest as well. If not, you want to make sure that you get those from your guests before you hit record and so you can say something like, you know, we're under this topic. I want to make sure that you can get as specific under the topic and provide as much value as as you can under the topic here today. So what are three to five key takeaways that you would like listeners to walk away from this interview with? Again, remind them that we're not recording yet, because they may feel put a little bit on the spot, and just help them feel free to to brainstorm,...

...to come up with a few ideas and make sure you have a sheet of paper, Google Doc, a word doc, whatever note taking you want to use, so that you can jot down their bullet points, because really your job is the host, is just going to be to tee them up to elaborate on each one of their talking points. So as they get going, they may start to share their first talking point and then really start to elaborate and go into too much detail, you can just kind of prompt them to move along that you just really need the bullet point that the interview will be the time for them to elaborate. So there's no perfect science to this, but a little bit of guidelines and something you can say is, you know, what's the next thing you'd like our listeners to understand and once they get through the the three to five, just check with them anything else you think that you're going to want to cover in this interview and make sure that you're all good and you can move on to the third and final step of this pre interview conversation, which is setting their expectations to make sure they understand kind...

...of the flow of the interview. So what we do in BB growth is, you know, we have an intro. We give our listeners a chance to introduce themselves give the value prop of their company. Then we get into the content and then we let folks know how listeners can reach out or stay connected with them. So let them know, hey, there's going to be a quick intro. This is a great time to make sure that you know how to pronounce their name and confirm that the title that you have down in how you're going to introduce them is how they want to be introduced. Oftentimes is really simple, but obviously with a difficult name you definitely want to make sure that you cover that. With my urnalism background, even with a last name like Smith or Williams, I still confirm just out of habit and oftentimes this will be a quick Yep, but sometimes they might say, Oh, I also you know, I wrote this book or something else that they want...

...you to include in their introduction. So it's just a good practice to step there, because the last thing you want to do is introduce them and then them correct you after you've hit record. Not that you can't stop and go back and rerecord that intro but just eliminates that potential awkward stop there between you and the guest. So then what I like to do is let folks know that they're going to get a chance to introduce themselves and give the elevator pitch or quick value prop in a minute or two of their company. Part of the reason we do this is to let them own that piece, to make sure that we don't butcher their value prop because the guest is likely going to do it a lot better. So give them that chance, and that's just a best practice that we've settled on and found to be very effective. And then let them know that once they do that, you'll transition into the topic and really tee them up on those three to five talking points so that they can elaborate on each one, and then let them know at the bottom of...

...the interview that they're going to get a chance to let people know how they can connect with them or follow up with them, share any social social media contact files or whatever their preferred method of contact is, just so they're not surprised by that question at the very end and just letting them know. This flow of the interview will definitely help your guest be more comfortable and it will also help you to feel comfortable with being the host, because even if they elaborate, say their first talking point is something and they go really in depth, something technical or something over your head or something that you really don't have a follow up question to, you don't have something to attack onto it, that's totally fine. You just move to the next talking point and you know say okay, Mr and Mrs Guest, I know the next thing you wanted to share was Dutta Data Du and phrase it as a question or just lead them in that way, and so you have kind of the safety net to...

...fall back on of the comfort of where the conversation should go next. So really being an effective host and an effective interviewer is more about nailing this conversation pre interview then it is what you do after you hit record, because you either set yourself up for success or fail your based on this pre interview. But if you follow this framework, it's a very repeatable process. It really helped me. I jumped into hosting this show, which, as you know, is a daily podcast, and I had no broadcast or formal interview experience and I've been able to find a rhythm and interview folks with more experience, more expertise than myself, and still make for good content. So hopefully this is helpful for you if you're thinking about starting a podcast and this has been one of your points of trepidation. I hope this helps alleviate some of those fears. If you have any follow up questions for me, feel free to reach out. I'm logan at sweet fish mediacom or connect with me on Linkedin.

Logan Lyles. Last name is L Y elies. I love hearing from listeners, especially because I was a listener of this show far before I was a member of the sweet fish team and a cohost of the show. So I would love to connect with you and specifically, if you have any other topics that you'd like us to cover in this how to podcast series. Would love to hear from you and be able to cover topics that are top of mine for our audience right now. Thank you so much for listening. Hope this series continues to deliver value. We will also link to a blog post in the show notes of this episode that breaks this down even further, goes into more detail and even has a transcript of a pre interview conversation that James Did with a previous guest on B tob growth. So check that out in the show notes as well, and thank you so much for listening. We really appreciate every one of our members of the BB growth audience. Becoming a...

...thought leader doesn't just happen. If you want to build a strong personal brand and extend your reach online and offline, you need a plan. Want help developing yours, check out impact summit. This one day event is bringing together best selling authors, professional athletes, influential CEOS and emerging entrepreneurs, all for one purpose, to equip you to lead, influence and inspire, whether you're looking to build a lasting legacy with your business or extend the reach of your brand. Impact Summit speakers will share inspiring stories and practical lessons to help you on your way. Did we mention a session on launching and growing a podcast? You guessed it. You'll hear from sweet fish media's own James carberry during that session. You won't want to miss all of these influencers and leaders coming together in Salt Lake City on October thirteen. Ready to learn more? Check out influencer ink dot CEO impact. SOMEONE BE TOB growth. Listeners can get...

...fifteen percent off the price of their tickets for this event by using the Promo Code Sweet Fish. Sweet Fish, so use that code, get your tickets today and get ready to grow your brand and your influence at impact summit. Two Thousand and Eighteen.

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