Your Star Turn: How to Prepare for a Podcast Interview

Coming from a background in radio, I presented monologues and conducted dialogues over the airwaves for two and a half years. My coverage varied from current events, to school and business promotions, to music and humor. No matter what genre you cater to in your radio presence, preparation is absolutely necessary. Today, podcast culture is as strong as ever, with topics ranging from self help to tech venture capitalist roundups. So it behooves company representatives to be prepared for media relations in this space. Here are the keys to preparing for a radio and/or podcast interview.

Nail your tone and play to your base. If you’re participating in an interview for business purposes, have speaking points prepared and maintain a professional yet personable attitude. If you are speaking to investors, emphasize monetization and the items that support your business model. If you’re talking to a consumer audience, speak in a down-to-earth, simple tone. If you are solely representing yourself as a personality, be yourself. Just remember that even you are a brand. Whatever you may happen to represent, it’s important to know your audience.

Don’t be robotic. It’s important that you have statements prepared for important product announcements or company updates. However, regardless of how relevant your information is, regurgitating stale rhetoric will not carry over the course of an entire interview—you could have handed over a press release or PSA to achieve the same thing. If you’re gracing a recording studio or phone call with your presence, add some humanity to your responses. Excitement and humor can add significant color to an interview—just be sure to use them wisely. Your PR agency can also help you develop compelling sound bites. Another key to not sounding robotic is voice modulation. Your voice should complement your interviewer’s, and communicate the appropriate emotion based on what you’re discussing. Ask yourself, what tone is appropriate at what time—passion, concern, humor, empathy, bravado, sympathy, authority?

Be concise. Find a happy medium when it comes to the length of your responses: don’t ramble, but don’t give one-word answers. If you’re being featured on a show, odds are people want to hear what you have to say. Depending on the type of question, you may be required to explain something at length. Be thoughtful with your answers, but know when enough is enough. If you don’t cut yourself off, the interviewer will. As a general rule, your answer to any straightforward question shouldn’t exceed two sentences.

Have fun! You can’t be camera-shy if there aren’t any cameras! There’s no need to be intimidated. Again, feel free to have a cheat sheet in front of you so you don’t forget any important talking points. Once you get acclimated, you will realize it’s fun! At the end of the day, it’s just a conversation, and listeners get to learn about your perspective and your company. Podcasts can be a valuable tool on the road to thought leadership.