Recording High Quality Podcast Interviews: Tips and Strategies
Recording High Quality Podcast Interviews: Tips and Strategies
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Recording High Quality Podcast Interviews: Tips and Strategies

Introduction

Nothing hooks podcast listeners like compelling guest interviews. Bringing on industry experts, authors and celebrities provides built-in audiences and unique perspectives. But coordinating and executing interviews impeccably requires forethought and technique to capture engaging discussions worth sharing. This guide explores strategies for arranging podcast interviews smoothly as well as recording approaches and tactics to ensure consistently professional results worth publishing.

Locating and Researching Guests

Build a wish list of potential interviewees who would draw listeners by:

  • Noting guest requests from audience feedback. Listen to listeners’ interests.
  • Following colleagues, influencers and leaders in your niche. Track hot topics and trends through their sharing.
  • Exploring expert sources referenced in relevant news articles and research. Journalistic pieces often highlight interesting figures in topics.
  • Searching authors of timely books related to your genre. Discussing their latest works is an easy angle.
  • Discovering speakers at industry conferences or events. Their session topics showcase expertise worth unpacking.
  • Cross-checking nominees and winners from major niche awards and rankings. Awards indicate subject prominence.

Matching notable people and storylines to your show themes helps attract wider audiences through coveted access.

Reaching Out To Request Interviews

Best practices for securing podcast guests:

  • Personalized Messages Reference their work and interests that resonate. Avoid spammy form pitches.
  • Clear Reason for Interview Explain the specific experience or expertise you wish to discuss and why it would interest your audience.
  • Tailored Timing Suggest ideal timing for discussing new books, research or products.
  • Complimentary Copy Provide recent episodes confirming production quality and flattering introductions.
  • Audience Size Mentions Share listenership metrics and demographics.
  • Follow-ups
    Don’t hound, but politely inquire about remaining availability if no initial response.

Flattery, preparation and persistence increase guest booking success rates.

Scheduling Interviews

Smooth booking by:

  • Providing Calendaring Links Easy automated scheduling like Calendly.
  • Meeting Timezones Ensure clarity between distant regions.
  • Clarifying Duration Agree on approximate interview length so both parties plan sufficiently.
  • Confirming Medium Phone, video call, or in-person based on guest preferences.
  • Arranging Talk Times
    Schedule interviews well in advance of publishing dates. Avoid last minute scrambles.
  • Noting Milestones Mark calendars for any time-relevant events like book launches.

Thoughtful planning prevents hassles while allowing guests time to prepare.

Pre-Interview Research and Prep

Avoid fumbling by studying up on:

  • Background Articles and Bios Get context on accomplishments and experience.
  • Previous Interviews and Speeches Notice common themes, positions and anecdotes to draw out more deeply.
  • Books or Products
    Read or try products you will discuss so you can speak knowledgably.
  • Active Social Media Follow recently shared thoughts you can reference.
  • Timely News Hooks Relate current events to their work.
  • Audience Suggestions
    Review questions submitted and tally topic votes.

Thorough prep demonstrates respect while enabling insightful discussions.

Crafting Engaging Interview Questions

Types of prompts that generate great material:

  • Open-Ended
    Avoid simple Yes/No questions. Follow responses with “Tell me more…”
  • Industry Insider
    Leverage their niche knowledge explaining trends, technologies or methodologies.
  • Story-Driven Draw out personal anecdotes and case studies illustrating points.
  • Controversial or Contrarian Surface interesting debates and counterintuitive takes.
  • Crowdsourced Pose listener questions to portray their interests.
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path
    Move beyond typical promotional interview questions.

Layer smart questions tailored to the guest and niche.

Outlining the Interview

Guiding discussion flow:

  • Introductory Phase Personal background, story and credentials
  • Main Body Phase Primary topics, themes and talking points to cover. Create clear section headers and transitions between topics.
  • Audience Questions Phase The most popular questions crowdsourced from callouts.
  • Conversion Phase Detail on products, services, events or calls-to-action.
  • Closing Phase Summarize key takeaways, express gratitude, final sendoff.

Flexible outlines keep interviews focused while affording conversational detours.

Great Interview Techniques

Tactics to employ in the moment:

  • Active Listening
    Fully concentrate on what guests say without just waiting to talk.
  • Follow-Up Questions
    Draw out more detail and understanding from initial answers.
  • Jot Down Notes Scribble related questions and quotes as you go.
  • Watch For Cues Adjust based on energy level and engagement.
  • Clarifying Summaries Periodically restate key points in your own words.
  • Adjust to Tangents
    Follow interesting side topics organically while guiding gently back to core subjects.
  • Reference Examples Cite guest’s related projects or past remarks accurately.

Adapt intelligently without over-scripting exchanges.

Optimizing Interview Recordings

Capturing quality audio:

  • Multi-Track Recording Isolate host and guest feeds for better post-production control.
  • Use Recording Checklist Set levels, silence devices, room scan etc.
  • Mark Initial Tracks
    Announce marks to sync lines up cleanly.
  • Monitor Levels
    Adjust to maximize signal without peaking.
  • Position Proximity Filters Reduce background noise.
  • Prevent Interruptions
    Hang signs to avoid intrusions.
  • Capture Backups
    Safeguard against technical fails with redundant devices.

Follow meticulous setup protocol for flawless audio quality.

7 Interview Recording Tips

Tricks for a polished sound:

  1. Maintain Consistent Distance Keep the same microphone proximity throughout, don’t gradually drift away.
  2. Stay Still Avoid shuffling papers or fidgety noises.
  3. Minimize Plosives
    Use pop filters to soften breath sounds and distortion.
  4. Hydrate Between Takes Sip water to keep vocal cords lubricated.
  5. Disable Notifications
    Mute phones and computers to prevent disruptive dings.
  6. Check Levels
    Pause periodically to verify consistent audible levels.
  7. mind room acoustics
    Record somewhere with soft surfaces that absorb sound.

Vigilantly control environment and technique to get clean tracks.

Interview Technical Setup Tips

Equipment suggestions:

  • Dual Microphones
    Separate mics for host and guest allow isolating channels.
  • Interface with Dedicated Inputs
    Allows recording mics on discrete tracks. Focusrite Scarlett models work well.
  • Closed-Back Headphones
    Prevent sound bleeding from headphones into mics for cleaner isolation.
  • Pop Filters
    Reduces vocal plosives and distortions from breath sounds.
  • Shock Mounts
    Absorbs vibrations tomics from bumps that cause rumbling.
  • Mic Flags/Shades Prevent p-popping from words with “P” or “B”.
  • Laptop Risers
    Position laptop screen at eye level to avoid odd mic angles.

Quality gear dramatically elevates production polish.

Video Interview Recording Tips

For podcasts publishing video too:

  • Multi-Cam Recording Alternate view angles stitched together smoothly in editing.
  • Monitor Frames
    Ensure guests remain fully onscreen.
  • Booth Positioning
    Leave equal space between hosts and edges of frame.
  • Check Lighting
    Avoid overly bright backlighting or shadows.
  • Hide Wires/Mics
    Keep recording gear out of view for clean look.
  • Image Composition
    Follow photography rule of thirds for placement.
  • Record Test Footage Check and adjust levels, focus etc.
  • Use Camera Apps Monitor recording status, battery, storage on connected mobile devices.

Well-composed video requires added considerations beyond just audio.

Post Interview Follow-Ups

Continue engaging guests:

  • Debrief Meeting
    Share feedback requesting their input on experience.
  • Post Session Notes
    Thank you email recapping high points.
  • Feature Promotion
    Collaboratively announce upcoming air date on social channels.
  • Clips and Quotes
    Snippets to approve that promote episode teasing best moments.
  • Transcripts
    Allow reviewing dialogue for any corrections if provided.
  • Airing Notification Reminder and listen links to hear final edit.
  • Reviews and Sharing Politely request they rate episode and spread word to extend reach.

Keep top of mind beyond just the recorded discussion.

Repurposing interviews

Extract added value:

  • Pull Quote Graphics Popular sound bites for social media promotional images.
  • Longer Form Video Capture full discussion to distribute on YouTube.
  • Article Transcriptions
    Convert to text for blog posts.
  • Segmented Excerpts Divide main topics into standalone snippets.
  • Ancillary Audio Bites focused on specific themes like introductions or book summaries.
  • Interviewee Promotion Offer clips to share or embed on their website.

Maximize mileage from conversations through derivative works.

Conclusion

Scheduling and executing lively podcast interviews with celebrated guests provides unlimited content possibilities. But flawless execution requires diligent coordination and audio production expertise. Never leave discussions to chance. Research thoroughly, outline thoughtfully, record meticulously. The final results should sound like natural vibrant conversations even though extensive planning occurred behind the scenes. With practice, you can consistently develop interviews worth featuring that draw crowds through unique access.

FAQ for “Recording High Quality Podcast Interviews: Tips and Strategies”

1. How can I locate and research potential podcast guests?

  • You can build a wish list of potential interviewees by noting guest requests from audience feedback, following colleagues, influencers, and leaders in your niche, exploring expert sources referenced in relevant news articles and research, searching for authors of timely books related to your genre, discovering speakers at industry conferences or events, and cross-checking nominees and winners from major niche awards and rankings.

2. What are some best practices for reaching out to request podcast interviews?

  • Best practices for securing podcast guests include sending personalized messages, explaining the specific reason for the interview, suggesting ideal timing, providing complimentary copies of recent episodes, mentioning audience size metrics, and politely following up if there’s no initial response.

3. How can I schedule podcast interviews smoothly?

  • You can schedule interviews smoothly by providing calendaring links for easy automated scheduling, ensuring clarity on meeting timezones, agreeing on the approximate interview length, confirming the medium (phone, video call, in-person), scheduling interviews well in advance of publishing dates, and marking calendars for any time-relevant events like book launches.

4. What should I include in pre-interview research and preparation?

  • Pre-interview research and preparation should involve studying background articles and bios, reviewing previous interviews and speeches, reading books or trying products the guest will discuss, following active social media for recent thoughts, relating current events to their work, and reviewing audience suggestions for questions.

5. What are some tactics for crafting engaging interview questions?

  • Engaging interview questions can include open-ended prompts, industry insider inquiries, story-driven questions, controversial or contrarian topics, crowdsourced queries, and off-the-beaten-path discussions, each designed to generate great material and draw out insightful responses from guests.

6. How can I optimize the quality of podcast interview recordings?

  • You can optimize the quality of podcast interview recordings by using multi-track recording to isolate host and guest feeds, following a recording checklist for setting levels and eliminating background noise, monitoring levels throughout the recording, positioning proximity filters to reduce background noise, preventing interruptions, and capturing backups to safeguard against technical failures.

7. What equipment suggestions are recommended for podcast interview recordings?

  • Equipment suggestions for podcast interview recordings include dual microphones for separate host and guest feeds, an interface with dedicated inputs for recording mics on discrete tracks (e.g., Focusrite Scarlett models), closed-back headphones to prevent sound bleeding, pop filters to reduce vocal plosives, shock mounts to absorb vibrations, mic flags/shades to prevent p-popping, and laptop risers to position screens at eye level.

8. How can I repurpose podcast interviews for additional content?

  • You can repurpose podcast interviews by creating pull quote graphics for social media, producing longer-form videos for YouTube, transcribing interviews into articles for blog posts, creating segmented excerpts for standalone snippets, extracting ancillary audio bites focused on specific themes, and offering interviewee promotion by providing clips to share or embed on their website.

By Dani Davis

A true visionary in the realms of tech writing, digital storytelling, and e-commerce, Daniel Davis (known as Dani) has carved out an exceptional career spanning over 15 years. Born and raised in San Francisco, Dani's innate affinity for technology and creative expression propelled them to explore the intricacies of computer science while honing their storytelling abilities. Their unique blend of technical expertise and narrative prowess laid the foundation for their multifaceted success. Dani's journey has been marked by groundbreaking achievements, including authoring bestselling books that demystify complex technological concepts through captivating narratives. As the founder of the influential online platform "TechTales," Dani has created a hub for educational content, podcasts, and video essays that cater to tech enthusiasts worldwide. Moreover, as the head writer of InfoProductHQ.com, a leading resource for e-commerce and digital marketing, Dani has established themselves as a preeminent authority in the field of online business and entrepreneurship. Their consulting work, speaking engagements, and advocacy efforts have inspired countless individuals, solidifying their legacy as a true pioneer in the digital age.

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