What I have learned from being on 30+ podcasts this year.
In 2020, I have been on over 30 podcasts or radio/youtube shows speaking about Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Social Media’s weaponization of AI, and the future of Higher Education.
I find being a podcast guest to be intellectually engaging, fun, and an excellent way to get a message out. Here are my notes on what I have learned in hopes it might be of help to you!
Motivations for podcasters vary greatly:
- Some people are producing a podcast as a way to engage their clients or potential clients.
- Some people are trying to contribute to the world or spark a conversation about an important topic.
- A surprising number of people are podcasting as a hobby so they can talk with interesting people. These sometimes make the best hosts since they have a high personal interest in learning from you.
- Many young male podcasters want to be the next Joe Rogen (which is funny since Rogen is two years older than me).
Not all podcast recordings get published.
- Only about 60% of the podcasts I have recorded have been published.
- Why? I suspect that after the recording, some podcasters thought I was not a good fit for their audience but were too nice to say so directly.
- However, many others are just starting their podcast ventures and discover that producing a podcast is a lot of work, and so they just abandoned the effort before getting around to publishing my episode.
It is best if you are ready to guide the conversation.
- Most podcasters do homework about you and your areas of expertise and will at least have a few starter questions to get the conversation going.
- However, a few podcasters (especially new ones) will not prepare well, and do you almost have to be ready to interview them or yourself: “So Joe, I bet you are wondering how….”
Getting rid of filler words is a must.
- When I first talked with Mark Struczewski (aka Mr. Productivity) about appearing on his podcast, Mark was very clear that if I had the same number of “umms, ahhs,” when we recorded his podcast, he would not publish it. I worked hard to slow down a little and not use filler words (a few is fine). It is a learned skill, and it didn’t take long (if you want to know how I enlisted my students to help, you can listen to my podcast with Mark here)
“Social Proof” of your experience as a podcast guest will lead to more invitations.
- Having a list of your previous podcast is essential. It shows other podcasters that you will be a good guest on their podcast, and that you are probably set up with equipment, etc.
Listen to the podcasts before your interview, preferably before you schedule your interview!!
- You will get to know the pace, format, and personality of the host. And you should vet the pod a little for quality/content as well.
- Once I almost recorded an interview for a very right-wing (bordering on Qanon) podcast. I don’t know if I would have realized what I was in the middle of if I had gone on without listening. I am not against arguing with a host if that is the type of program they produce (I used to be a regular on the Gary Nolan show), but I don’t want to contribute to the success of a Qanoner.
- Perfect Podcast Guests https://perfectpodcastguest.com/
- Pod Match https://podmatch.com/dash
- Matchmaker: https://app.matchmaker.fm/
- Poddit https://poddit.net/directory/
Get a good microphone and internet connection.
- Right now, I am using a Wave 3 from Elgato. It is relatively cheap (compared to analog mics) and seems to offer a decent sound quality. You can read about and hear the multiple microphones I have tried in this medium article.
- Some podcasters will use software to make a local recording and then upload that into the cloud when the podcast is complete. This technique provides a clean audio source even if you have bad network issues. When the upload is done, your audio is synced up with the host’s audio, and you have clean audio. However, many podcasters use zoom or some other videoconferencing system. So having a good connection is essential. And even if you have one, you should turn off other devices or prioritize your computer when doing the recording.
That’s the highlights of what I know so far. I’ll let you know when I have another 30 under my belt!
J. Scott Christianson is an Associate Teaching Professor of management at the Trulaske College of Business, where his interests are focused on the impact of technology on society and human well-being.
Prior to joining the college, Scott was a business owner with decades of experience in videoconferencing technology, project management, and information technology. Scott has worked on hundreds of information technology projects and remains actively involved in information technology initiatives and startups.