How to be a guest on a podcast: Dos and Don’ts

how to be a guest on a podcastFrom Serial to Tim Ferriss, the podcast world has exploded. These micromedia outlets have seriously loyal followings and can have a big impact on PR. How can you take full advantage of these interviews? Let’s discuss how to be a guest on a podcast. 


Listen to the interviewer’s past work to get a feel for their personality and style before your interview.

Can I get my questions ahead of time?

Your publicist will you give the talking points that the interviewer has been provided before your interview. Also, many podcasts have a show outline that they provide ahead of time so you can follow along. But most of the time, your publicist won’t be able to get your interviews questions ahead of time.

One aspect of building quality relationships and trust with legitimate members of the media is working with them on their terms – which traditionally means we aren’t able to vet questions ahead of time. This is one reason we strive to prepare you fully ahead of time with talking points. However, if there is a topic of particular concern to you, let us know how we can either help prep you further before the interview or perhaps request that the topic be avoided.

Keep it short!

Think of your answers as “bites” the media and listeners can digest. You’ll want to keep your answers to 30 seconds or shorter. If you need help keeping your answers short, ask your publicist or a friend for a mock interview. Of course, some podcasts are more conversational and do allow for longer answers — another reason to know the style of the interviewer ahead of time.


  • If you’re using Skype or another online calling system, check your internet connection ahead of time and make sure it’s up to speed.
  • Don’t just yell at your laptop. Use a good pair of headphones that have a microphone.
  • Stand up and smile. No one will be able to see you, but your energy levels will go up and will make a difference in the way you speak.
  • Call on time, duh. Make sure the host has your number for backup (if it’s via Skype) and that you have a number for backup for them as well in case there are any technical difficulties.

Treat the interview like an important appointment. Don’t cancel unless you have to! But on the flip side, don’t stress if an interview does fall through. Your publicist will do their best to make sure interview this doesn’t happen, but unfortunately, sometimes it does. Breaking news can cause interview to get bumped in favor of something more timely. With shrinking newsrooms, overworked reporters or producer may let something slip through the cracks. It’s ok!

Don’t be afraid of video interviews. Video content is great for marketing purposes and will reach even more people than an audio-only interview. If you are doing an video interview, make sure you’re wearing a shirt without a crazy pattern, and sitting in front of a background that isn’t distracting.

Plus yourself! The host will always give you a chance to plug yourself, your work and/or your website at the end of the interview. If you’re using quiz marketing, this is the time to direct folks there!

Also — if it’s a book interview, remember to constantly plug your book title. Say “In [name of book] I talk about this” instead of “In my book I talk about.”

Promote! Pay it forward to your host by tagging them on social media when you promote your interview once it’s online. If you can, add it to your press page on your website and highlight it in your next newsletter.

What’s your favorite podcast to listen to? If you could be a guest on any podcast, which one would it be? Let me know!

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