Updated: Nov 28
Podcasting from the comfort of your home opens up endless opportunities to connect with guests and captivate your audience.
Hi, I’m Jamie Kennedy, Executive Podcast Producer at Brave Moon Podcasts, and in this article, I’m going to share with you how you can create better interview questions so your guest (and listeners!) stay engaged.
First, you’ll need a platform to record your virtual interviews - be sure to check out Podcastle, the all-in-one recording and editing platform for multiple audio tracks! Try your first 3 hours free. The Brave Moon community gets 50% off their first month - use ‘BRAVEMOON’ at check out!
How to Master Podcast Interview Techniques:
So! In order to ensure you deliver the best possible interview, it's crucial to use effective storytelling techniques, engage listeners directly, ask questions concisely, and protect your podcast's integrity with guest contracts. Here’s how:
Harness the Power of Story Structure:
Crafting interviews with a compelling story structure creates a captivating narrative. For any topic, you can (and should!) find the story within. For example, if you’re discussing yin yoga for runners, make sure that you’re not only listing out questions for the expert guest but, setting up the questions in a way that tells a story. Here’s how you do it:
Set up the topic and guest - “Tell me how you got into yin yoga for runners.”
Highlight the struggle - “Why do runners have reduced mobility and tight hips?”
Delve into how they overcame challenges or how to overcome challenges - “How can a yin yoga practice help runners?”
And finally, conclude with a powerful closing that leaves a lasting impact. - ““What are the top 3 yin yoga poses a runner can do today to help with mobility?”
Engage Listeners by Speaking to Them Directly:
Addressing listeners individually creates a personal connection. 75% of listeners listen to a podcast alone and, subconsciously, feel they are part of the conversation happening. So when you say “listeners” instead of “listener”, it may lead a listener to feel you aren’t speaking directly to them.
Instead, incorporate phrases like "Can you tell the listener why it's important that..." to involve your audience actively in the conversation.
Maintain Clarity by Asking One Question at a Time:
Guests can tend to be nervous on podcast episodes, knowing they’re being recorded and don’t have full editing control at the end. So make your questioning as simple as possible for them. Asking one question will help them respond clearly with focused responses.
This approach helps you deliver the answer you’re looking for, facilitating deeper exploration of the topic and leads to more insightful discussions.
Always come back to the guest:
Your job as a host is to learn alongside the listener. It’s not to teach alongside the expert guest. So make sure your guest is doing 75% of the talking.
Your job is to keep the guest focused and on topic. Their job is to shed light on any given topic.
Research and Prepare Thoroughly:
Invest time in researching your guest and the subject matter before the interview.
Familiarize yourself with their work and perspectives to ask informed questions that demonstrate your guest's expertise.
Active Listening and Follow-up Questions:
Listen actively and ask thoughtful follow-up questions based on your guest's responses. Examples would be, “That’s fascinating to hear that runners are more likely to experience hip injuries than even rugby players. What other injuries might runners experience more of than other athletes?”
This encourages deeper exploration of the topic and unravels fascinating insights.
Embrace Silence and Pause:
Allow moments of silence and pause between questions and responses. This gives your guest time to reflect and share meaningful insights.
Remember, long pauses and silences can be edited in post-production using a program like Podcastle!
Importance of Guest Contracts:
To protect your podcast's integrity and clarify expectations, consider having guests sign a contract.
A contract outlines rights, responsibilities, release forms, and confidentiality agreements, ensuring a professional and transparent working relationship.
Incorporating storytelling, direct engagement with listeners, focused questioning, and guest contracts will elevate your podcast interviews. By implementing these strategies, you'll create captivating content that resonates with your audience and builds long-lasting connections with your guests.
Discover the 3 Alarming Mistakes new podcast hosts often make in interviews and how to avoid them. Make sure to read the article to gain a deeper understanding of these typical errors among new podcast hosts.
Take your podcast interviews to the next level with our 'Podcast Guest Organization' lead magnet. Simplify the process of managing your podcast guests, ensuring smooth and engaging conversations.
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