How to Be an Amazing Podcast Guest

how to be an amazing podcast guest

So you were asked to be a podcast guest. What now? You want to make sure you’re adequately prepared for the interview so that it goes smoothly and you get your point across as effectively as possible. However, chances are this won’t be a long interview, and you’re going to have to be very concise and efficient with your answers. We reached out to some pros to learn their secrets for being a great podcast guest and delivering a great interview.

3 Tips to Be an Amazing Podcast Guest and Nail Your Interview:

Make Connections

First, if you haven’t committed to being a podcast guest and doing an interview yet, it’s important to realize that you should get your voice heard. Science is taking an increasingly important role in society, so scientists need to take opportunities to make connections and convey how these issues matter in the long run. Being a podcast guest is a great way to reach a new audience who may be unfamiliar with your work.

The expert says: “I think it’s really important for scientists to make an effort to have their voice heard, their opinions can be understood, and so they can help interpret the science in a correct and matter of fact way.” — Brent Gunnoe, Associate Editor of ACS Catalysis.

Do Your Research

Once you’ve agreed to the podcast interview, know the podcast before you go. Listen to at least one full episode before you’re featured on the show, so you know what to expect. Ask the host beforehand how much editing is done to the interviews on the show. Is the show recorded live to tape? This makes a big difference in determining your approach. Once you understand the format, you can start to hone your approach to fit the show.

The expert says: “It usually takes several iterations to get it right. And one of the problems with that is that unless it’s a big enough story, there aren’t enough iterations. And so sometimes you only have one shot at doing it. And so it’s important to spend some time thinking about how to do it in an accurate and also tasteful manner. And to make sure that it’s portrayed that way.” – Chad Mirkin, Associate Editor of Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Understand Your Audience

To prepare, you need to know who you’re preparing for. Either by asking the host, looking at comments, or figure out the demographics of the audience. This step will help you tailor your information to make your interview as successful as possible. If the audience is scientists in your field, you can use certain jargon the public may not understand. If the audience is not as familiar with the field, use modified vocabulary and tell a story to convey your message and research.

The expert says: “I think it would be talking in layman’s terms so that everyone can understand it. Once you start, you know, developing acronyms and throwing big words out there, people will just be overwhelmed and essentially just shut down in a way. So I think it’s really just portraying your message in a very simplistic and concise manner will really get your point across.” – Chris Witowski

Part of your preparation as a podcast guest should include summarizing your work in one sentence. Though your work is complex and has taken a lot of time, the podcast interview isn’t the place to get into the nitty-gritty details. Before the interview, create a one-sentence summary of the project you were invited to talk about.

The expert says: “How do you summarize the significance of what you’ve done in a very short statement because that’s what writers typically key on, that’s what people focus on. And if you have to take a paragraph or two to describe what you’ve done, you’re probably not going to get your point across.” – Chad Mirkin

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If you have comments or questions for the author of this post, please e-mail: Axial@acs.org.