How to create better podcasts with your interview guests

How to create better podcasts with your interview guests

How to create better podcasts with your interview guests?

If you want to get more listeners, keep them listening for longer with just a few tweaks of your interviews for podcast then read on.  Let’s face it interview podcasts are everywhere. They proliferate the podcast world. Yet so many people just get either the interview or the edit of the interview wrong.

It’s easy to record and interview. Well relatively, once you’ve got your head around the kit, setting up the call and then actually doing it.  It’s easy to come up with questions, do your prep and chat to someone about their subject matter.

I have a whole session and podcast episodes of Radio Skills for Podcasts on Interview Skills for how to actually get the best out of your interview guest. In this post I’m talking about the edit. Interviewing is just a part of the process; it pays to think about editing.  You can also listen to my episode about editing like pro, which would go well with this post.

To start I’m going to ask you not to do something. That is – please, don’t ever put out an interview ‘as is’, just as you recorded it. Think about what you want the listener to hear. Actually, this is the most important part. Its not just about thinking ‘will my listener like to hear the whole interview’? It’s asking what do they want to hear that they don’t know they want to hear.

You need to ask ‘what is the One Thing’ my listener will get out of hearing this guest. How does it link to my brand? How does it link to the ‘why’ of my podcast and provide them with the ‘what’?

So here are some simple and easy tips for you to apply to the interview in the edit.

Drop the superfluous chatter from the edit.
Seriously, ‘flim flam’ is annoying. I’m talking about the “how are you?” “Oh I’m good” malarkey that no one really cares about.

Sorry to say, most listeners don’t care how someone is. In fact in most every day conversations it is just the set up for something more meaningful. Drop it from the edit and we get closer to hearing the magic. Instead, write a decent introduction to close the circle with the listener and the guest. Tell me what they do, why they are important to me and get on into the interview.

And that question really irritates me.
There is a questions that lots of people ask that really annoys me. It gets on my nerves, and more often than not I press the 10-second ahead button on my device, or I skip the entire episode.  remember every podcast is taking up your listeners precious time. So, Stop it! That question is… “How’s life been treating you since we last talked”? or “what’s happening in your world since we last had you on”?

Ahhhhhh… achem.

Unless it has relevance to the magic you are about to deliver, please do not include it.  Don’t believe me, try it and see your listeners love your work.  The only reason radio has a full interview is because they are live or the producers are too lazy or inexperienced to cut an interview that’s pre-recorded.

You are not that person!

Think listener. You have just included in the title, and introduction that in this podcast you can learn some amazing stuff from your guest. You have invited me into your world and you have a great guest. An amazing individual with knowledge or an experience to share – I want to hear that story – so now your feeding me a bit about their life I have no interest in because it has no relevance to the episode of the podcast or their story! Ahhh tedium – you have just given me a reason to skip or tune out.

Clearly if it has relevance include it!

So, unless this is important to the magic of your podcast, please. Don’t. Do. It.  Hey, you can ask it in the interview recording, but your listener does not give a monkey’s – so don’t put it in the edit.

Why, I hear you ask? If you want to build listeners, have them listening longer and want to deliver gold, cut out all the nonsense and give them that gold.

Don’t put it all in!
I listened to a well know business podcast today, and at times I was tuning out. It was because there was far too much chat about nothing, and at times just too much information. I drifted and tuned out thinking about the work I had to do, making up my holiday plans list etc. I drifted because the podcast had drifted away from the one thing. Make sure you include the best bits only. Light and shade yes, but not everything! Pick the best bits of the interview that fit with your listener.

The one thing
I’ve mentioned this a couple of times, but it is ever so important that you set up your interview to enable you to deliver the one thing that the interview will deliver for your listener. Remember, you should think about your edit while doing your interview.

When you go into any interview you should be trying to achieve one thing from that guest. Not multiple things. Just-one-thing. That’s the skill of the interviewer. And that’s the skill of the edit and another reason why you don’t put an interview out with everything you recorded in it.

I hope that helps and let me know if you have used these tips and that it has had a positive impact on your podcast.

You can listen to episodes of Radio Skills for Podcasters where I give you concise and easy to apply skills that you can include in your next podcast episode.  You can listen via the podcast series page of this website.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for this reminder, there are useful tips in there.
    However I’ve got a question, and a dilemma: a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit and record an interview with one of the top celebrity chef in France, the last living chef holding 3 Michelin’s stars for over 50 years. We started the conversation and we couldn’t stop as I wanted to get the most of it and he did not show any sign of annoyance. That was an amazing opportunity when you know that this guy has retired from public life completely and don’t talk to journalists anymore (even if he got countless requests for interviews). Now I’ve got 3,5 hours of conversation recorded. I’m tempted to publish it as it is. It’s hard to edit such sort of interview. I’m considering providing an edited version over two episodes in the podcast and a full version of the conversation only for the members of my list. Do you think it’s a good idea?

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