How do you go from good to great with your podcast? The answer is in the host!
Being a great podcast host is not always an easy thing to do. It takes some practise, and requires a combination of skills and characteristics. You have to learn what your audience wants to hear and become an expert in your subject. On the other hand, you also need to make sure that your show is entertaining to keep your listeners interested.
So, you want to become a great podcast host? Follow these simple steps, and you can do just that!
Podcast Episode Research & Planning
In order to establish your authority as a great host, you need to be prepared – you can’t just improvise! Research the topics you want to cover and be knowledgeable about your subject. Search online for questions that people have about your subject. Ask your friends and family what they want to learn. Check out some blogs to brainstorm episode ideas
If you have a guest on your podcast, gather information about who they are and what they do. Look at their social media channels and their website. You should have a list of questions to ask at the ready for your interview.
You don’t have to write a complete podcast script. A good podcast host will always prepare some notes and have some sort of structure to their episodes. Being prepared can help you stay on-topic and focused.
Build Your Confidence
To be a great podcast host, you need to have confidence. You need to act like a pro – even if you don’t feel like one. To build your speaking confidence, try practising in front of the mirror before you record. Keep your episodes simple and short to being with until you build further confidence.
Listen back to your episodes and get used to the sound of your own voice. Note down what you loved and what you could improve on for next time. Over time, you will find your groove and recording will become a second nature to you.
Nobody wants to listen to a robot! Show your human side – be relaxed and make it conversational. This creates a life-like, friendly atmosphere that keeps your listeners engaged. People will enjoy listening to you when you sound relaxed and calm. This will also help with helping your guest relax. During the interview, listen to what your guest is saying and let the conversation flow naturally. If they mention something interesting, delve deeper into this topic.
Don’t worry about the next question. Instead, let yourself become immersed in the conversation and see where it ends up.
Avoiding the ‘Ums’ and ‘Ahs’
It’s easy to use filler words such as ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ – especially when you are nervous. When these words are overused, it can be off putting to your audience. Using excessive filler words will be distracting to your listeners and they are less likely to get value from what your content.
The best way to avoid use of filler words is to be prepared. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you will be. This means you’re less likely to use ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ as you try and think of what to say next. Take a moment to pause and collect your thoughts if you lose track of what you’re saying whilst recording. To get your message across effectively, you have to keep your audience engaged.
People listen to your podcast because they enjoy who you are! They tune in to hear your authentic voice, and your true opinions. Use anecdotes, funny stories and where appropriate real life events to inject your personality into each episodes. Being genuine and open to your audience shows them that you are human too, and allows them to connect with you more easily.
Telling your own stories is a great way to remain authentic. Podcasting is an intimate medium, and storytelling strengthens the relationship between you and your audience. Being open and genuine with your listeners means they can get to know you better.
Owning up to your mistakes will help you to become more comfortable when speaking to your listeners. Most people love to hear the ‘mess ups’. It shows them that you’re not perfect, and allows them to connect with you more easily.
It’s important to give the “air space” to your guest during the interview. It can be frustrating for your guests and your listeners if you constantly interrupt the guest. Or even worst – when you don’t let them finish their train of thought. You are bringing guests onto your show to allow them to share their story and expertise with your audience. It’s likely that your listeners are curious about your guest and their knowledge. Ask a lot of questions and let your guest talk about what they know best. Build a rapport with the guest throughout the episode, and make sure to thank them for taking the time to come onto your podcast.
Have Fun In The Process
Enjoy the recording process of your podcast. This is very important. It’s more engaging to listen to a podcast when the host seems to love what they do. Show that you are passionate about your podcast and the topics you cover. Hopefuly you are podcasting because you are passionate about the topics you cover, don’t be shy and make sure to show this to your listeners.
Now it’s over to you. Start recording and learning as you go along. Don’t be afraid and take it one day at a time. Let us know in the comments what helped you to become better at being a podcast host (or guest!). We would love to hear from you.