Podcasts are flourishing these days, and if you’re using content marketing to promote your business…
It’s a medium that’s definitely worth adding to your arsenal.
You can talk about all kinds of things in a podcast, but one of the most popular things to do is to interview an industry expert.
When someone comes on your podcast for an interview, you’re both getting something out of it.
For them, it’s a great way to raise brand awareness and get themselves out there.
For you, it generates great content your audience will want to listen to.
Basically, everybody wins.
Interviews can be tricky sometimes.
Not only do you need to ask good questions, but you need to elicit great responses, too.
In a recent blog post, Copyblogger explains how to come up with more interesting questions for your guest, as well as how to help nudge them along and get longer answers that go into significantly more detail.
Ask better questions
When I began conducting podcast interviews, one of my biggest fears was that my guest would answer my question with a simple “yes” or “no,” and I would be caught off guard without having a follow-up question ready.
The fear was not entirely unfounded, as that very scenario has happened to me on more than one occasion.
It turns out, in order to get interesting responses, you have to ask the right questions.
What, how, and why
“The question is just as important as the answer.” – Charlie Rose
The best questions will entice your guest to open up in unique ways. It’s your job to ask questions that make it easy for your guest to shine.
- What was it like?
- How did that feel?
- Why did you ___?
What, how, and why questions are an interviewer’s best friend: they prompt your guest to describe something, look a little deeper, and avoid a one-word answer.
Can silence produce better podcast interviews?
The next time you are having a conversation with a friend or coworker, try this small, three-step experiment:
- Ask, “What did you do last night?”
- Listen attentively until they stop talking.
- In your head, count to five.
Nearly every single time you do this, your friend will start talking again — and typically elaborate on their previous answer.
As humans, we are conditioned to avoid those awkward pauses. Smart interviewers can use them to draw out more from their guests.
Former PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer describes it as:
“If you resist the temptation to respond too quickly to the answer, you’ll discover something almost magical. The other person will either expand on what he’s already said or he’ll go in a different direction. Either way, he’s expanding his response, and you get a clear view into his head and heart.”
When you leave space for your guests to respond, it will seem agonizing at first. But the rewards are worth it — a deeper conversation and a better understanding of your guest’s true nature.
You can learn more about how to host a great podcast over at Copyblogger.