Tips on Being a Good Podcast Guest

I was on two Podcasts!

The first one was with the lovely Shana Thomas with L is for Lily and you can listen to it right here:

And the second one with Nathan Holritz on the Bokeh Podcast which you can listen to here:

I had wanted to be a guest on a Podcast for a couple years but I never thought I had anything to offer….but can I tell you, I definitely have a lot to contribute! And so do you! Everyone has a unique story and everyone has an area of expertise they can share.

When I worked in Tech Support, new people thought I knew everything because I had been there so long and it seemed like I did. I would always tell them, “Day one, you learned something that I still don’t know simply because I never got that call.” Our experiences are all so unique that we all have something to teach each other… and I love that. Don’t you? Every single person you have or will ever meet knows something you don’t. And vice versa! So if you’re in that area of “I’d love to be a guest on a Podcast but I don’t have anything to contribute,” I am here to tell you that you definitely do!

So what kind of post would this be without a “things to know” list? And because now that I’ve been on two podcasts, I’m DEFINITELY an expert now, right? 😛

  1. PREPARE!!! This is my BIGGEST piece of advice and I might sound a little harsh but I promise, it’s just because it’s so important! You are about to be a guest on someones Podcast which they work super hard on. They have an editor, they have the gear and systems in place to keep up with the Instagram and Facebooking and blogging and promoting to build this awesome platform and they’re giving YOU an hour on their hard earned platform…so at the very very least, listen to a few episodes to get a feel for their vibe, follow them on social media, comment on a few of their posts… don’t show up to this party empty handed!
  2. Pick a topic beforehand. Nathan sent me a sheet on how to prepare with some common questions that he usually asks everyone. I read through each of them, made some notes, had some quotes at the ready on my desktop and made sure I was prepared for all the main questions.
  3. Be reassured in the fact that podcast hosts are the BEST! Seriously both Shana and Nathan were these really likable, easy to talk to guides that basically helped me through the whole thing. They laughed at my jokes and they prompted me into more interesting points of conversation which made the whole process feel easy and helped build my own confidence so that I felt allowed to be my best self. Praise hands emojis for Podcast Hosts!!!!
  4. Add value. This is something Nathan and I have talked about a lot and five months into running my YouTube channel, I can say this is incredibly important. Don’t be the one that raises their hand with, “I wanna be interviewed!” just for the sake of being interviewed. Be the one that wants to add value to their podcast. What do their listeners need that only you can provide? What are you going to bring to the table?
  5. Keep your answers to around a minute. It’s hard to listen to someone talk for ten minutes straight. The podcast is a conversation so allow your host to step in and guide you through. Read the room on this one…if you feel you’re on a roll, go with it and if the host wants you to elaborate, they will probably ask you to keep the line of thought going!
  6. Promote your episode! A podcast can only grow if people are sharing the content with their own audiences…and honestly, if you won’t share the episode, who will?  Plus, the more people know about the podcast, the more people will hear yours, so it only helps you!
  7. Go back and listen with a critical ear. In the first episode with Shana, I didn’t realize it at the time, but after listening back to it, I kept saying “Yeah, So…” way too much. “Yeah, so I’m a wedding photographer.” “Yeah, so I have a son.” And it kind of irritated me. So you’ll hear a lot less of that in the the Bokeh Pocast. Always be getting better, right?

BONUS: Okay, I know you don’t have to dress up for a Podcast because it’s all audio BUT maybe you’re having a hard time getting your headphones to work….and maybe you start clicking buttons on the software, and maybe you accidentally hit the video button and maybe Nathan Holritz sees you on video for a horrible moment looking like you fell off a truck and walked ten miles home in a dust storm. So maybe prepare a tiny bit just incase something crazy like that happens to you.

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments what your fave podcasts are and what your best advice for being a guest is!

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

Thanks to Neil Godding for the mic photo!