How to Be a Kickass Guest on a Podcast

How to Be a Kickass Guest on a Podcast

Podcasts have become a powerful platform for sharing ideas, stories and expertise. Guesting on podcasts can therefore provide tremendous opportunities to grow your fan base. However, being a good podcast guest goes beyond simply having interesting things to say.

As the host and producer of an award-nominated podcast, I have had the opportunity to interview hundreds of guests in our industry. This guide will offer insights and tips on the essential elements that make for a successful podcast guest appearance.

Becoming a sought-after podcast guest requires a combination of preparation, authenticity and effective communication.

Familiarize Yourself With the Specific Podcast

Before stepping into the recording studio or joining a virtual interview, take the time to get to know the podcast. Checking out the show’s format, tone and target audience will help you tailor your message appropriately. Listen to a few episodes, note the host’s style and identify recurring themes or topics. This knowledge will not only help you align your content with the podcast but also demonstrate your genuine interest in the show. It should always go both ways.

Craft a Compelling Pitch

Before you can wow the host and audience, you first have to get invited on the podcast! To secure a spot, you must stand out from the crowd. Craft a compelling pitch that clearly communicates your relevant expertise and why you would be a valuable guest. Highlight any unique perspectives, experiences or insights you bring to the table. Keep it concise and engaging, providing enough information to capture the host’s attention without overwhelming them.

Establish Clear Talking Points

Once you’ve secured a spot on the podcast, work on establishing clear talking points. Outline the key messages you want to convey and structure them in a logical order. This preparation ensures that you can articulate your thoughts effectively during the interview. Avoid memorizing scripts, but have a well-thought-out framework to help you stay on track and deliver a coherent message.

Always Arrive on Time

Life gets in the way and sometimes time slips away from us. Don’t be that person who is late for an interview or, even worse, a no-show on the interview day. Your time is valuable… but so is theirs!

Come Prepared

I always send my podcast guests some “house rules” to read prior to the interview, and ask them to follow up with me if they have any questions. Usually this covers the type of equipment that we will be using, how to access the podcast platform, the recording link and so on. It’s always best to log on five to 10 minutes early to work out any kinks with your audio settings, mic and headphones. Better yet, coordinate to hop on a day before to work everything out — this can save time on the day of.

Silence Is Key

For quality sound, podcasting requires a dead-silent room to record in. I find that most folks do not have a proper microphone aside from the one built into their laptop. This can cause extraneous sounds to be picked up very easily, and it may sometimes be difficult for the podcast host to edit those out. In addition to room noise, be mindful about wearing any bracelets or jewelry that might clink or jangle — especially if you’re a person who likes to talk with their hands!

Be Vulnerable and Authentic

One thing that I love about my show is that I tend to dig deep. Too many times I’ve had guests on who only shared information that they had already shared on other podcasts, or that I could have just Googled. Be open and vulnerable in your interviews, as this can really set you apart from the rest and allow for your audience to get to know the more intimate you. Listeners can easily detect when someone is being disingenuous. Be yourself, speak from the heart and share your genuine passion for your topic. Authenticity creates a connection with the audience and fosters trust, making your message more impactful.

Practice Active Listening

One of the most crucial skills for a podcast guest is active listening. Pay close attention to the host’s questions and comments, and respond thoughtfully. Acknowledge what the host is saying, and build upon their points to create a dynamic and engaging conversation. This not only demonstrates your respect for the host, but also contributes to a more enjoyable and insightful episode, while minimizing interruptions and participants speaking over one another.

Develop a Unique Perspective

Podcasts thrive on fresh and unique perspectives. As a guest, bring something new to the table. Share personal anecdotes, case studies or insights that are uncommon in the podcasting space. This not only captivates the audience but also positions you as a thought leader in your field.

Promote the Episode

Once the episode is live, leverage your network to promote it. Share the podcast on your social media platforms, website and email newsletter. Tag the podcast and host in your posts to broaden the reach. This not only benefits the podcast but also showcases your enthusiasm for being a guest and amplifies your personal brand.

Express Gratitude, and Follow Up

After the episode airs, be sure to thank the host for the opportunity. Send a “thank you” email or message expressing your appreciation for their time and the chance to share your insights with their audience. This simple gesture builds positive relationships and increases the likelihood of future collaborations.

Becoming a sought-after podcast guest requires a combination of preparation, authenticity and effective communication. By improving these skills, you can navigate the podcasting world with confidence and leave a lasting impression as a remarkable guest.

Steph Sia is the host and producer of the award-nominated podcast “Stripped by SIA,” a show dedicated to destigmatizing and humanizing the sex industry through the lived experiences of sex workers. You can find it wherever you get your podcasts, as well as on strippedbysia.com, @strippedbysia on X.com and @strippedbysiapodcast on Instagram.


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