Ready to be the next Maury Povich or Oprah Winfrey? Then it's time to incorporate interviews into your podcast. Interviewing experts and other interesting individuals is a great way to provide fresh content, to increase your visibility, and to make you an expert by association.
Audio interview can be conducted by phone or Skype. Video interviews typically require you to be in the same locale as your guest. Most of the steps below will apply to video as well as audio interviews:
1. Line up interviewee. Brainstorm a list of experts or “names” in your field whom your audience would enjoy hearing from. Don't be afraid of shooting too high and going after some of the big guys – they need publicity, too! After you've put together a short list, start contacting them and tell them the basics about your show, why you think it would be a good fit for them, and what topics you're interested in covering. Because podcasts can be pre-recorded, ask them when it would be convenient to talk; the more that you can adjust to their schedule, the more likely they'll be to give you an interview.
2. Figure out questions. Some interviewers pose a set list of questions to all their guests, while others create custom questions, based on the interviewee's field of expertise. Either method works fine, it's just a question of your comfort level. If you're newer to interviewing, you may be more comfortable with a standard set of questions you can refer to. Once you have these questions in mind, send them to your guest so he or she can prepare.
3. Choose taping mechanism. One of the easiest ways to interview guests is via the telephone on a free conference call service like FreeConferenceCall.com. You both call in to a joint line, you initiate the recording, and then later you can download it as an audio file and incorporate it into your show. Other people rely on Skype (skype.com), or phone recorders. Others opt for AudioAcrobat.com. Choose what's easiest for you and fits your budget.
4. Conduct the interview. This is the fun part! Interview your guest, remembering to include an introduction at the beginning. Don't stress if you make mistakes; the beauty of podcasting is that you can edit out the rough parts. Remember that your audience wants to hear your guest, so refrain from talking about yourself, saying “I” too much, or interrupting your guest. Let them do their thing!
5. Edit as necessary. Using your software, cut out any verbal missteps or awkwardness, but don't go overboard. You don't have to sound flawless; in fact, people like to know you're a real person who makes mistakes. Learn to laugh at yourself and make your guests feel comfortable. When editing, make sure not to edit your guest's meaning; let them speak in their own words.
Following these steps will put you head and shoulders above other podcasters, and will make sure you and your guests are both prepared for your interviews. Interviewing is a valuable skill you'll find will carry over to other areas of your business, too, as you establish partnerships and other business relationships.