How To Conduct A Quality Podcast Interview

How To Conduct A Quality Podcast Interview


Hey Live on Purpose family. I’ve been
podcasting Live on Purpose radio for 12 years and I figured out how to conduct a
quality podcast interview. Listen in. Here’s the background behind today’s
topic. I have been podcasting since 2007. That’s before podcasting was even a
thing. I was doing live radio at a local
station here in Utah and when the programming changed, I realized that I
loved it. I loved what I was doing. I always did interviews on this live talk
radio show. A friend of mine approached me and he said Dr. Paul, why don’t you
just do podcasting? And I’m like, “Pod what? What is that?” I had never heard of it.
Remember, this was 2007. He explained to me that it’s kind of like internet radio.
That’s how it made sense to me and I’m thinking, “Well, does anybody ever listen
to that? Is it even… well, we have any audience?” He said “Trust me, it’s going to be
big.” Turned out he was right. I started my podcast Live on Purpose radio in 2007. It
is now 2019 and I’ve been doing weekly shows that entire time. It may be one of
the longest-running podcasts on the planet and it’s always an interview. In
those 12 years of experience doing regular interviews, I’ve learned a few
things. That’s where I’m coming from. If you want to do an interview which I
strongly recommend. It helps to keep the podcast fresh at least for me, that’s my
preference.That’s my format. I like to do an interview. Obviously, the first
question is, who am I going to interview? That your possibilities. Look into your
potential guests in a way that helps you to know first is this person a good fit
for my theme, my audience, the
format of my show, if they’re not a good fit, there’s probably another podcast
that they will be a good fit for. So don’t try to fit everyone into your
podcast. Make sure they’re good fit for the show.
Read their book, visit their website, find out about them so that you know who
you’re interviewing. Now I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned over
these years to create a really great interview and I give feedback all the
time from people. Celebrities, authors speakers, people that I interview who say,
Dr. Paul you’re really good at this” Meaning, the interview. Here’s what I do. I
start from an assumption that it’s my guest
not me that is the hero of this show. My job and my secret agenda, I guess it’s
not a secret anymore because I just told you. My agenda is to illuminate the
brilliance of my guests. I want all of my audience to look at that guest as an
expert, as someone who is inspiring, as someone who has just contributed some
amazing things to their life. That’s my goal going into the interview and that
has served me really well. People respond to that in really favorable ways because
they kind of want to be the hero anyway. Having them on your show gives them the
honor and the privilege of the platform to be that hero for at least a few
minutes while they’re on your show. My next tip for you, do not follow a script.
Now yes, you have some idea of the flow and the direction that you want this to
go. Following a script puts an artificial structure on it that seems a little
clunky to a lot of the listeners. I like to keep it much more conversational. I
also like to have the ability to take off on a little tangent if it makes
sense for my audience. Not having a script gives me the feel that I’m just
in a friendly conversation with this person and it
helps me to create the comfort that allows them to be a better guest.
Probably one of the most important things about interviewing someone on
your podcast is asking relevant questions. Not from a list of questions
although you may have some to guide you like I said before. But asking those
questions that draw out the experience and the principles and the powerful
insightful comments that can come as you question and interview your guests. A fter
you’ve asked the question, listen! I can’t emphasize this too much. You have to
listen to their response. It irritates me and annoys me when I’m listening to a
podcast and the interviewer asks a question and while the person is
responding, they’re not listening and you can tell because of how they respond.
They’re not listening, they’re looking up the next question that they want to ask
their guests or they’re thumbing through in their own mind whatever it is that’s
going on in their mind without listening. You listen. When you ask your guests to
question, listen. Listen intently. Listen for the purpose of identifying the
brilliance of what that person is saying. Because after they’ve given you the
answer to the question, you’re not going to move on to the next question. Not yet.
This is a powerful strategy that will make your podcast stand out above others.
You listen to their answer and then expound on it. You can add one of your
own insights. You could ask a follow-up question to something that they said. You
can probe a little deeper. Show them and your audience that you’re paying
attention. That you’re engaged in this conversation. So that it doesn’t become
all superficial and phony. I tell you what, listening to your guests response
is far more important than getting to all of the questions on your list.
If you have to leave some of those questions off, that’s great. Don’t worry
about that. They’re just guidelines anyway. You want to dig in in a way that
creates a richness and a depth and an authenticity to that interview. That your
audience will appreciate and not only that your guest is going to love you for
it because you’re making them look really good. Listen. Shall I say that
again, listen! Okay, got it? Along those same lines, create a personal
experience here. When I’m interviewing an author for example. People have access to
that person’s book. They can go read the book I’ve read the book because I want
to know what this person is all about before they come on my show. I want to
get personal with that author and show the audience a side of that author that
they don’t get from the book. That they don’t get to hear or see. Get personal.
And I’m not saying you know pry into really private sensitive issues. I’m not
saying that. I’m saying ask a more personal question. Something like you
know what, I can tell that you’ve had some personal experiences that have led
you to think whatever it is they just said. See and you’re weaving in
what they’ve already said. Tell us who inspired you or tell us a little bit
about the experiences that brought you to this place.
See, we’re drawing out those personal experiences. Last week, I was doing an
interview where I was actually interviewing another podcaster and this
happens occasionally. Those of us in the podcast community, you know that. You can
trust other podcasters to show up and be a pretty good guest sometimes. And as I
was interviewing this other podcaster, he said, “Dr. Paul man, you really are good at
this interview thing.” And I’m thinking, “Really?” Am I? Because it comes so
naturally to me after those years of practice I didn’t realize what I was
doing. He and I together broke it down we analyzed it a little bit and there
few key things that I do that had him feeling like I was doing a really great
interview with him. Let me share with you what we came up with. One of the phrases
we identified was this. I’ll just share it with you the way that I say it on the
show. Wait, what you said just now was really insightful. I don’t think we
should gloss over that. You said and then I repeat what the person said. Okay now
look how I set that up. I’m noticing… I’m listening, okay?
I noticed something that he said that I felt was insightful that maybe he’s
taking for granted. I bring the conversation back to that and then we
get to expand that topic a little bit. Here’s another one that you’ll hear from
me if you listen to my podcast. Hold on, you just said,
whatever they said. As if everybody knows it.
Okay and then we open up that topic in the same way. What I’ve done is just to
emphasize something brilliant or insightful that my guests just shared.
These phrases and others like them don’t feel very formal. And that’s my
preference as a podcaster. I want to keep it conversational. I want to keep it
fresh and authentic. I also want to keep a focus on my guests as being the hero
of the show. It’s not about me. I’m there to illuminate the brilliance of my
guests and these kinds of phrases help to do that
in a way that edifies not only my guests but the audience everyone who’s exposed
to that particular episode. I love doing these interviews. I have a shelf at my
office that is filled with books from guests of my show. In fact, if you haven’t
been on my show, your book isn’t on my shelf. I had to clear all the other books
off just to make room for my guests. I call it my shelf of fame. And as I’m
wrapping up today’s episode with you, I want to acknowledge something. This is my
human treasury. This is why I do it. The relationships that I can build with
brilliant, amazing people. Through interviewing them and edifying them on my show has been
such a rich blessing to me over these past twelve years as I’ve run my show
Live on Purpose radio. I hope your show goes well and that you can get some good
benefit from the tips we’ve talked about today about interviewing someone for
your podcast. I hope your podcast is going really well. If you want to check
out mine, it’s Live on Purpose radio. There’s a “.com” for that or you can find
it anywhere you find your podcasts.

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