The Awesome Podcast Guest Checklist
How to create a mic-drop moment every time.
Getting booked as a guest on a podcast is a great means of getting the word out about your expertise.
Congratulations! You’re now taking advantage of one of the best ways out there to elevate your visibility with highly targeted audiences who are hungry for what you’ve got.
If you’re a self-proclaimed Type-A person, or just someone who loves to knock people’s socks off, you’re going to want to put some time into getting prepared for your next podcast debut.
It’s kinda like having the perfect packing checklist for your European vacay. You definitely want to nail the essentials like a pair of great walking shoes, but you’ll also want a few extra touches like that never-wrinkles maxi dress to look really great so you’ll feel really great, too.
In the words of Moxie client Janet Zaretsky, the BS to Brilliance Master, “I prepare always. I do that so I'm not concerned about what I'm going to say. Preparation allows me to be here and impact the people I'm speaking with.”
So get ready, dear friend, to follow along for Moxie’s Awesome Podcast Guest Checklist.
Here we reveal the best of our tips to prepare you to be the best podcast guest possible, and at the end of this post you’ll find a link to download and print the entire checklist to have handy.
The Awesome Podcast Guest Checklist
Podcast hosts love guests who are ready and willing to share tons of value. This is your time to shine, and also be reliable for making sure the podcast has a great episode for its followers!
Check out previous episodes
Be sure to review previous episodes of the podcast to get a feel for the host’s style, how much the host likes to lead the conversation versus let the guest steer, the rhythm of the show, and whether there are staple questions you should be prepared to answer. (For example, one podcast host I know always asks guests to share a moment they confronted a big fear and triumphed.)
Sketch out Your main bullet points
Sketch out three bullet points that you’re going to use as the scaffolding for your guest appearance. You don’t want to have entire paragraphs in front of you when you’re “on” as it’ll have you sound stiff, unnatural and not present. However, if you practice riffing on three basic points – discipline yourself to keep focused or you’ll sound all over the place! – your interview will come across as more cohesive and easy to grasp. Plus you’ll automatically come across as more focused and powerful – and as the expert you are.
Send your three main points ahead of time
Extra style points to you if you do this, especially if you include some suggested questions. (Don’t expect the host to follow these necessarily, they’re offered as a courtesy, not a directive! But it helps to give them idea starters and an easy way to steer the conversation in a way that fits your material.)
Send and get all the deets
Be sure to send your podcast host a couple-sentence bio, a link to your website, and a head shot. Also find out whether they welcome guests making an offer during the show, and if so, let the podcast host know what that will be.
Talk up the podcast ahead of time
Share about your upcoming talk on all your social media platforms – this is good for you and for them.
Visibility and influence tip: The more you appear to be an expert in demand, the more credibility and interest is created around you.
Plus it’s just good podcast etiquette to put some effort into promoting this platform that is graciously giving you an opportunity to be in front of their audience.
Review Tech Setup
A couple days ahead of time – not the morning of! – review your tech setup and also make sure you have everything you need from the podcast team (e.g. the Zoom or BeLive link, clarity on time zones, what time they want you to pop online, etc.). If there’s a video component as well as audio – and this is more and more common – try out your camera and lighting setup as well as your mic. Trust me: Way too many people make the rookie mistake of discovering 30 minutes before the show that they’ve got an unanticipated breakdown!
Check your internet connection
Make sure you have a stable internet connection! You may want to clear your computer’s cache and close all unnecessary tabs and programs on your device. Some programs may run in the background even when they seem to be closed, so consider using Task Manager or rebooting your device to close those stubborn little devils down for real.
Set Two Alarms
Set an alarm for yourself half an hour ahead of time to make sure you’re clear and set and ready to rock. And set another alarm for 5 minutes before you’re to join the podcast, just to make sure you are totally ready.
Don’t let your phone interrupt! You can shut it off entirely to be super safe. If you’re going to keep it on, put it on vibrate and put it in your lap or somewhere it won’t vibrate your desk and create a funky noise that the mic picks up. (Sometimes podcast hosts will text before a show, so I like to keep mine on and available but in a place where it won’t make any discernible sound.)
Give colleagues a heads up
Speaking of interruptions, make sure you’re set up to win by anticipating what could go wrong. Give colleagues or others around you a heads up re going live, and if you’re in an office, stick a note on your door requesting no interruptions.
Keep water handy
Have a glass of water on hand – but someplace off to the side where you won’t knock it over during an enthusiastic hand gesture! You don’t want a dry mouth.
Think through a few visuals
If you’re going to be seen as well as heard, think about what will be seen on the screen. Take some time to be sure your backdrop is pleasing and not too busy, and plan your wardrobe so you come across in a way that will pop on the screen and also be consistent with your brand. (I like to dress in my brand colors, for example.)
Position your laptop in a great place
For video: Put your laptop on a stand so we’re not looking up your nose, please! That is not a flattering angle for ANYONE.
Invest in lighting
And either invest in some lights or be sure you’ve got a fair amount of nice light on your face from a window and lighting you have on hand. Lighting is probably the biggest factor when it comes to looking your best on videos.
When showtime hits, Be Present
When the show starts, be fully in the moment and have fun!
“I prepare like crazy. I do that so I'm not concerned about what I'm going to say. Preparation allows me to be here and impact the people I'm speaking with.”
- Janet Zaretsky, BS to Brilliance Master
Here at Moxie we have a brand playlist we use to rock out to a song or two before video calls and podcasts to make sure our very best selves show up to the party. You can also go in the other direction and get into some deep breathing, light a few candles, or even stretch or meditate for a few minutes. Make sure and save time for whatever is going to ground you and help you feel present.
Once it’s over, take a huge breath and celebrate! Jump up and down. Fist pump the air. Put that playlist back on. Call a friend. No matter how it went, and we’re sure it went great, this is a moment to acknowledge and celebrate. And, excited energy can get stuck in us just like nervous energy can. Get it moving!
Send a Thank you Note
After the podcast is recorded, send a thank you note to your host. Be sure to find out when it’s going to be broadcast/posted if it wasn’t live, and mark your calendar so you’re on the lookout for it and can promote that puppy.
Promote the show to your audience
Speaking of promotion, a good podcast guest is a promoter, not just a talker. Podcast hosts look for guests who aggressively market their show to their own audiences, so don’t let them down when it comes to post-podcast guest duties. (Plus why else are you doing this, except to get some great visibility and publicity out of it?!) Share it on LinkedIn. Share it on your Facebook page. Put it on your website. Send an email to your list. Whatever you do, be sure to talk up your host – it’s good manners, creates good will, and demonstrates how you provide great value when you’re a guest. (Other people will notice, trust me!)
Here’s a quick visual of Moxie’s podcast setup
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