I want you to imagine that there is a spotlight shining down on you, bathing you in a warm yellow light. It has a really wide beam, it takes in you, your interviewer and the listening audience. 

Feels nice, right?

Then the interviewer asks you a question and is looking at you expectantly. Suddenly that beam of light is very narrow only lighting you, it is bright white and dazzling. All you can hear is the sound of blood in your ears and all those brilliant, wise things you were going to say have found other important places to be.

Not so nice.  Sound familiar?

The number of podcasts is rising exponentially as entrepreneurs and businesses have found podcasting to be a fantastic marketing tool raising both their visibility and credibility in their market sector. They are great fun too! Who doesn’t want to have a stimulating business conversation! 

As a result, being a podcast guest has become a more common occurrence for lots of us.   But how do we plan what to say? How do we prepare so that we demonstrate our expertise in a way our audience can relate to?

5 Tips on Planning Your Content

1. Do your research- The Audience

You are about to speak to someone else’s audience, not yours. Now, you will know the pain points and issues that your audience suffers with intimately but how about your podcast hosts audience? 

Granted some issues are just human so remain the same, sometimes it simply requires a simple adjustment of language, but occasionally you’ll need to really evolve the way you talk about your content.  For example, lawyers are going to use a different approach and language to designers!  

Adapt your content so it makes sense to your host’s audience so it really speaks to their issues. If you take the time to research you’ll sound like an expert to this specific audience.

2. Do your research – The host

Having done a few podcast interviews this year I can attest that every host has a very different style of interviewing.   Some prefer wide-ranging conversation, some just ask a question and then let you keep talking until you run out of things to say and then ask you the next question. 

The only way you can plan your approach is to listen to multiple interviews.  This way you’ll get to know the pace, energy and style of the interviewer.  You’ll be prepared.  If you are prepared, you’ll be less likely to feel flustered and therefore you’ll sound like the calm and collected expert that you are.

3. Do your research – Your content.

You know your stuff. You’re an expert in your field, so why am I telling you to do your research when it comes to content. Well, you’re going to win your audience over with your personal style, you win their hearts but how do you win their minds? You win their minds by being able to use the latest research, relevant statistics and pertinent case studies that support your approach, your product, or your service. 

It’s also a good idea to review any current news stories that might support, or detract, from what you offer.  This will help you sound like you’ve got your finger on the pulse and your content is relevant and up-to-date.

4. Do your Research – The 3 most important things

It can be really tempting to try and get across everything that you know about your area of expertise or specialism in a 30-minute podcast. With the best will in the world that simply isn’t going to happen, and if you try the chances are you’ll lose credibility with your audience because you’ll be talking AT them rather than with them. 

Therefore, it’s really important but you decide well in advance what are THE MOST important thing that this audience needs to know about the transformations you, your product or your service offers them. Have some data, either stats, cases studies or testimonials to back up your claims too – but don’t lead with these!!  Then do this two more times.  Don’t be tempted to add more in, this is the first time this audience has been exposed to you.  Keep it clear and concise!!

If this audience finishes the podcast knowing three really key things about you they have enough information to begin a further conversation with you at a later stage. And three clear pieces of information are far better than 14 half-formed thoughts. 

If you have a particular product or event or program or service that you want this audience to know about that it’s a good idea to tailor your information around that but only if it’s relevant to your host’s audience.

5.Do your research – Your notes

So now you’ve done all this thinking you curated all this information how do you make sure that you get it across to this audience in the moment because that our minds can often go blank. Here are some of the ways that my clients deal with this issue:

Notecards – with short notes about each topic you’re going to discuss. (Cards are great because they don’t  rustle like paper causing noise on the recording)

Mind maps  – These can work brilliantly because it’s all on one big sheet of paper that you don’t need to turn over. If you use this method I’d encourage you to use pictures rather than words as all you need is a quick prompt to get you talking about the next topic or issue.

Recording yourself – This works brilliantly if you learn by listening. Ask yourself the questions the host might ask and then record your answers.  Then you can listen back to your own answers when you’re chopping the vegetables, taking the dog for a walk for any other mundane task you need to do.  This is a great way to reinforce what you already know and understand. It can also help you determine whether you’ve got the right energy and style for this particular podcast.

So, just in case you missed the point here, do your research!

Reset your host and their particular style research their audience and their pain points and issues research the latest information and data to support your Ideas services and products.  

Do your research and decide what The Three Most Important Things your audience need to know about the transformations you offer are and make sure you relate them to this particular audience. 

Finally, collate all your research into a format that you can refer to when you feel like that spotlight beam might shrink into lighting just you.  If you do all the research you are more likely to keep that spotlight expanded to include your host the audience and yourself and the audience will easily connect with you and your expertise.

Happy researching!

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