Podcasters make sure you have prepared your guest for their interview.
Life happens, people get nervous, we as hosts can make the process smooth for our guest. This post will tell you how to make the interview process easy for your guest.
There’s a lot of information and downloads on how to be a great podcast guest . This post is about how to help put guests at ease and make sure they are ready to be on our show.
Step 1. Create an Email Template
Welcome your guest to the podcast and thank them for their time.
Summarise briefly what the show is about.
Personalise each email with the name of the guest(s) and add a few relevant sentences about why you think they would be a great guest.
Tell them what platform you’ll be using Skype, Squadcast, ZenCaster or Zoom.
Don’t forget to add the date, time and time zone.
Step 2. Date & Time (Time zone)
Schedule another email reminder – I use 10to8 which does this automatically.
Remind them what the date of the interview will be
Tell them at what time the interview will take place.
I want to add to this, tell them where you are based.
You can use a tool like time and date to ensure you are both on the same page.
Step 3 . Remind them that they MUST wear headphones!
Step 4 Connect A Little Early
In the first email ask them to connect 5 – 10 mins before the start of the interview. This will give you time to explain the process to your guest, answer any questions and also catch any last minute tech issues.
This 5 minutes can make all the difference to putting your guest at ease and getting the best from your guest.
What do you do to prepare your guests? What tools do you use? Tell me below
So what are the PROS and CONS of doing a pre-interview?
You get to know more about your guest
You can create a warmer connection before your real interview
It can help put nervous guests at ease
Guests can ask all the questions they want and not eat in to interview time
A chance to remind them to wear headphones (wink, wink)
Get to know more who they are more than what they do.
Pre-interviews take some planning
Some guests can think it takes too long
Sending Questions in Advance
Before the interview, you send your guest a list of the questions you want to ask or an outline of the episode with the general topics you want to cover. Please note there is no right or wrong way it is about what suits you.
So what are the PROS and CONS of doing a pre-interview?
Your guest will know what to expect
The guest can be better prepared
Saves a lot of time
Guests can get to the point quickly (not always a good thing!)
Guest can sound so rehearsed that it a bit robotic
The interview can sound exactly the same as the last interview your guest did
So which should you choose?
Whichever suits your podcast best. My podcast is a conversation I’m learning about each individual and their lives, so I like doing a pre-interview it puts my guests at ease and we speak so easily when we do the interview.
The pre-interview suits the tone of my show.
Tell me which you prefer? Do you do either or do you just jump in?
Are you wondering how to record your podcast remotely, with good clear audio and with an easy process for your guest? Squadcast might be what you are looking for. A lot of people are starting podcasts especially since we are all distancing ourselves.
There are a lot of ways to record your podcast remotely and this week I tried Squadcast.
This will be a walk through of the software for a newbie podcaster and then I will list some of the pros and consider.
To use Squadcast you have to register for it.
You’ll get a 7-day free trial then you can choose which tier you want to subscribe to. Prices for a monthly subscription start at $10.
When you first sign up you will be led through a virtual walk-through of the platform. Even if you are familiar with lots of apps and normally work things out yourself, don’t skip this it will save you time in the long run.
The App will request access to your mic and camera, you can give permission for both or just your microphone.
Creating a recording session is easy and straightforward.
Give your session a title and enter your guests’ details – as soon as you do this an email will be sent to them.
The email they receive has the details of how to connect to the call and best practices for an interview.
When your guest(s) follows the link, they will first go into a” green room”. This is a sort of virtual waiting room where they get a last chance to check that both their microphone and headphones are connected properly – then they need to click on an icon to join your session.
The host starts the session.
You need to press ‘record’ at the start of the interview – this is important as you will be able to speak to each other before the session starts recording.
At the top of the screen you will see a timer which shows how much time from your chosen plan you have left.
After the interview is done your guest can disconnect and Squadcast will then turn each person’s recoring into a separate audio file.
Pros and Cons
So why Squadcast? As a Podcast Editor the easiest files to work with and “polish” are WAV files. Squadcast delivers your files in this format. You can also choose to have your recorded file in the MP3 format.
Instructions sent in the guest e-mail are very easy to follow, even for first-time users. If they can use Zoom they can use Squadcast
Once you have recorded your interview Squadcast can combine the two files into one for you.
The final files are available in either an MP3 or WAV format.
Very clear audio.
You get to use all the features during the trial period.
If you are about to run over your recording time limit Squadcast sends you a message asking you if you want to buy additional time for $5. Only you see this message – your guest does not.
If your guest isn’t used to any online conference platforms it can be frustrating when the app doesn’t connect to the right mic or headphones.
Some people might find the cost prohibitive.
You have to use it in Google Chrome.
Final thoughts, I found Squadcast easy to use and good value for money. Do make up your own mind and test it making use of the free 7-day trial.
If you’d like to try out Squadcast please use my AFFILIATE LINK below (not shouting just wanted to be upfront).
This past week on IG @the_podcast_maven I have been posting tips on how you can record remote interviews easily.
Some of the software I mention you’ll be familiar with but there are some new players that I think deserve recognition and support.
Your first option is to use the old fav Skype. It’s simple to register for a Skype handle even if you haven’t used it for years. It’s free and you can talk to anyone anywhere. So how do you record this conversation? If you have a Mac then your best bet is ECamm recorder for Skype. It’s excellent, it works quietly in the background and if you tweak the settings you will get a really good quality recording. When you end your call the file is converted and saved to a designated file on your computer. Are you on a PC? You have a few options too. Amolto has been around for a while and users give it good reviews. When the call is done, stop the recording and your audio file will be saved to your hard drive.
Everyone’s favourite. Every time a new podcaster is starting out I am asked if they can just record their interviews with Zoom. The short answer is yes, you can. The longer answer is I’d prefer if you didn’t.
Zoom is a conferencing software excellent at what it does but it wasn’t created for podcasting. If you have great sound on your end but your guest does not. It’s a real mission to clean up the audio as I only have a single MP3 recording to work with.
Your life will be easier if you have a separate track for yourself and each of your guests. Now some people have said that Zoom allows you to have a separate track for your guest if you can do this go for it.
If you are doing remote interviews and Skype has given you problems. Ringr might be the solution for you. As the host you will send a link to your guest (they can download the app on their phone) They get a code to join the call connect and get on with your interview. When you’re done you get a recording of fantastic quality. Go to the website it’s easy to follow. If you want to try it out I’m happy to get on a call with you
Zencastr. I love Zencastr, I have been a fan since they started out and up until today, they work really hard to smooth out any kinks and answer any questions users might have. How does it work?
Register for an account, login to Zencastr, create an episode and send a link to your guest(s) record your interview. when you are done you will get an audio file for each guest. This will make your editor very, very happy. Try it out, let me know what you think.
This is a relatively new player on the block. I need to tell you about have not tried it yet. I found these guys at #PodcastMovement18.
The bare bones it’s you register you send a link to your guest. You record, you get an audio file at the end. They also you to record video. Have you tried Squadcast yet? I love the innovation that’s happening around podcasting. Go check them out.
Do you have any questions? I’m here to help, go ahead and book a discovery call on the contact page. If you’d like to try out one of the options above I’m happy to do that.
Finally. It is happening!! I am recording my podcast!! It’s all shiny and brand new!! Hang out the bunting and bake a cake!!!
This week I have spoken to four amazing women about: how they created their businesses, lessons they have learnt, fears they struggle with and what advice they can give to someone in the first 1-3 years of their business.
What fears hold you back when you think about creating your podcast?
Are you secretly struggling? What do you want to ask? Who would you love me to interview?
From the research I have done it seems that people are waiting from a year to 18 months before finally biting the bullet and starting their podcast.
Is that you?
I can tell you that it was me, I was happy to edit and advise but I was too scared to put myself out there.
I listen to a whole bunch of podcasts, but I felt that sometimes a route wasn’t followed or a conversation was at a surface level or that some people make freelancing and or owning your own business sound like a walk in the park.
Hint: It’s not.
So I have questions I want answered, I want to create a community that asks the questions that I do and is looking for support. The goal is to add value for the listener to be a resource.
When I speak to women who want to start their podcasts, the question I get a lot is “do you think it’s a good idea”?
My answer is almost always yes, as I know how scary it can be to put yourself out there, to be seen, to make your opinions known. So how can you grow your confidence muscles? I love affirmations. (There are some great podcasts to get you started if you can’t come up with your own). What I’m working on is a short course for you to crush negative thoughts and dig deep into your idea for a podcast. Do you know who you want to talk to? What you want to talk about and why you want to podcast? My 10day Podcast Inspo course will help you get there.
That’s what I have been working on here at Maven HQ (aka my desk)
I promise there will be a link soon. Keep checking back.
Has your emailing campaign and outreach paid off? Have you finally booked your first podcast interview? Great!! Where are you going to be when they call you? You hadn’t thought of that? It’s fine, zip through the infographic and learn what you can do to make this as successful as possible.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, just because you record the interview, it doesn’t mean it will be released.
What can send your interview to the “not great” pile?
Podcasters are protective of their audiences time, so bear in mind that the selection process ends at the end of your interview. If the interview is a dud, it might go into the “didn’t work out pile”. This can have a lot of factors, perhaps there wasn’t a conection between you and the host, perhaps you were in a noisy place, or maybe you didn’t read the prep notes your host sent.
I say this alot but please, please, please make sure you are in a quiet place when you are being interviewed. Life happens but your spot at Starbucks during lunchtime is not ideal as there will be a lot of background noise.
I could go on for ages (wink, wink) but it’s easier for you to look at the infographic. Questions? Feel free to get in touch.