I'm an avid podcast listener, which is probably why Podfly and I get along so well. I also get to work with some of the best and most talented people in the industry. In fact, they're really fantastic and incredibly supportive people, but enough about Podfly and how cool we are.
I listen to a variety of different podcasts and after a while you just know right off the bat whether it's going to be good or not. Though as a host, it can sometimes be hard to see where you're lacking when you're on the other side of the fence, so let's get into the meat of the story..
You're a Bad Talk Show Host
I was listening to a podcast the other day and a guest came on to talk about some important business strategies that you can adopt. It was very interesting stuff and she had a lot of great insight. There was a part where she was talking about the importance of a positive mindset and this is where the interview made a surprising turn and took me a back a little. She admitted, with a crackle in her voice, to the host that her father had molested her at a young age, her mother had died from a drug overdose when she was 10, and her story keeps getting worse.
She went deep into her life story, deeper than most guests do, and the fact that she had such a positive outlook on life after all of that adversity was inspiring and really made you think about how you can truly better your life no matter what has happened to you in the past. After she revealed this very personal journey that she had, the host, almost like he wasn't listening, just said, “What a story, so I want your thoughts on ....”
Wait, what? After all of that, you're just going to provide a three word reply and then go back to talking about your podcast's main subject right now? Stop. Let's take a step back. Although it's important to stay on subject of your show, it is equally important to comment, talk, and speak with your guests about the other things, the little things, as well.
This conversation, this extra commentary, is why we tune in week after week. If you listen to a enough podcasts with enough experts, their advice gets repeated across different podcasting shows. Sometimes, the information we're listening to isn't new, we've heard it before, so give us something we haven't heard before. What that guest revealed was something I hadn't heard before, so it's important to comment further. Ask the questions your audience might be asking and go from there.
By the end of the show, not only did I hate the guy, I unsubscribed to him. Don't be this guy.
It's Not About You
When we're interviewing a guest, it's so important to actually interview the guest. There are guys I listen to where every time the guest finishes his or her sentence, the host has to find some way to tie it into their life story. Most times it's not about you, so you have to take out that ego, shove it in a duffel bag for the hour or whatever duration your show is, and remind yourself, “It's not about me.”
Share information to your audience when it's relevant or you think it's a good story, but don't be that bad date that only talks about him or herself throughout the duration of the date. If you have an ego problem, then learn how to properly manage it or just don't have a guest on. Learn how to talk solo, because, with the power of the internet, I'm betting that there will be somebody out there who will listen to your show no matter what. This brings me to my last point...
Listen to Your Own Show
Seriously, do you hear yourself speak sometimes? No? Well, you should. I want to like your show, I really do, but I can't. With the amount of podcasts I listen to, it's obvious whether the show host listens to their own show or not. It really is.
If you've been subscribed to a show for a long period of time, the host might have some repeating themes and subjects. As a host, this is fine as long as you understand what you've been talking about in the past. As a listener, I'm okay with listening to the same kind of subject or story again, it is a nice refresher, but I'm not okay with listening to the story about how you rescued your dog for the 4th time within the past two months.
When you listen to your own show, you're much less likely to repeat the same stories within a short period of time. Your interviewing and speaking style also improves dramatically over the course of a few months too.
When you don't listen to your show, it's obvious you have no idea what you sound like. Hosts can be prone to rambling on and not providing any valuable information to their listeners, you prevent all of this from happening when you listen to your own show. This is the reason why I tend to tune out after the 1-2 month mark and maybe why you're seeing a decrease in listenership too.
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Until next time,