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How to Be a Superb Podcast Guest

I’ve interviewed and/or produced enough podcast episodes to hear from over 2,500 guests. At this point, I’m not sure what it is that I have yet to see.


I’ve heard from guests who were so self-assured—I'll call it that—they thought they were doing me a favor by coming on the show. (They’re kidding themselves.) I’ve seen guests so nervous that I thought I’d have a runner before the show was over. I’ve had a consultant who plays the harmonica on the side (thank you, Doc Dockery), a professional mermaid (yes, there’s a business there), and a professional offline matchmaker. I’ve had very young guests (first graders in an after-school program called Path to Shine) and I’ve had quite “seasoned” guests. I’ve spoken with business owners whose formation documents were barely in place, and former business owners and executives who were looking back and sharing their incredible journeys. I've interviewed guests I'd trust with my life, and I've had some that later ended up getting indicted.

Given the infinite variety of potential podcast guests out there, it’s a mistake to think, “I’ve seen it all,” because I’m always willing and reading for a new “first.” I’ve heard from enough podcast guests, though, to offer a few ideas on how to be a superb podcast guest.

Before the Show

  • Do your homework. Listen to a few episodes of the show you'll guest on. Get a feel for how it goes, the length, and how the host handles the interview. You'll also find out whether the host is a jerk or not; it's rare, but it happens.

  • Be prepared. Come to the interview ready to make a few key points. You can't share everything you know, and you don't need to. Your goal is to be informative, to generate interest in those who listen, and, hopefully, to generate inbound contact from listeners.

  • Be on time. You might not be keeping just the host waiting, but other guests as well.

During the Show

  • Bring energy and enthusiasm. This one seems obvious, but I've had a few guests who made me think I was doing a remote at the morgue. It's your product or service, your cause, your passion. If you're not excited about it, then why come on a show?

  • Share some of you, not just your business. Listeners (and your potential customers) like hearing your "why." That "why" is often a better story than you think it is. Further, people like doing business with people they feel like they "know" in some way, or that they can relate to.

  • Share success stories. Give examples of the transformation your product or service brings to your clients. Stories based on the outcomes you generate are much more memorable than what you do and how you do it.

  • Take a breath. If you ramble, you don't give your host the chance to ask the questions you want them to ask to make you look good (which is what a great podcast host is there to do).

  • Reference other episodes of the show you're on. This one isn't essential, but if you do it, you get extra credit, and the host will never forget you. By referencing other shows you've listened to, you're promoting that host and their show, and you're offering them a memorable gift. 

After the Show

  • Promote and share the show. Do your part to promote the show on your own social media; don't just rely on your host.

  • Don't forget the magic phrase. It doesn't happen often, but I'm amazed when I have guests who come on a show, and following our publishing and promotion of their show, they never respond with two simple words: "thank you." Even if you thought your time with a podcast host was the worst experience of your life, your inability to say thanks says more about you than it does the podcast host. There's only one Taylor Swift, and you're not her, and she's nice enough to say thank you, too.

  • Repurpose the show. A single podcast can be repurposed in multiple ways. Transcribe the show and create a blog post. Put a link to the show in your email signature. Create audiograms with your highlights from the show. These are just a few of the ways you can leverage a podcast appearance into content that can be used months later for your benefit.

One Final Suggestion

Just do it! When someone asks you to be a guest on their show, they're offering their time, attention, and resources to highlight you and the work you do. Take advantage of it!

(This post was also published in John's LinkedIn newsletter, The Price and Value Journey, on January 18, 2024)


Business consultant and coach, author, and podcaster John Ray advises solopreneurs and small professional services firms on their two most frustrating problems: pricing and business development. John is passionate about how changes in mindset, positioning, and pricing change the trajectory of a business and the lifestyle choices of a business owner. His clients are professionals who are selling their expertise, such as consultants, coaches, attorneys, CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers, marketing professionals, and other professional services practitioners.

John is the author of the national bestselling book, The Generosity Mindset: A Journey to Business Success by Raising Your Confidence, Value, and Prices. The book covers topics like value and adopting a mindset of value, pricing your services more effectively, proposals, and essential elements of growing your business. The book is available at all major physical and online book retailers.


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