Turning Interviews Into Conversations – Listen and React

Man and woman presenting a podcast

The most valued skill you can have in podcasting is the ability to turn an interview into a conversation.

Some of today’s most popular podcasters, like Dax Sheperd, Jordan Harbinger, and Guy Raz make it look so easy. They have charisma and talent to spare, but they also have developed a skill set.

You can develop these skills, too! You won’t be Jordan Harbinger overnight; you will be you. Not only that, but you will have better tools to be more authentically you. This is the first step to building the connection and community that creates successful podcasts.

One of the more common formats in today’s podcasting is the interview with the expert. It sometimes looks like this:

  • The host prepares a list of questions to ask the expert.
  • The expert answers these questions with a list of talking points to cover in the interview.
  • Then, live mermaids show up with their unicorn friends and explain the secret to eternal youth.

OK, that last point may or may not have happened. Who knows? You likely got bored long before that point and turned off the interview.

When coaching talent at Sound That BRANDS, we believe you should “listen and react.” Simple, right? But it does take some practice.

There are several ways to get into the “listen and react” mindset. Here are three strategies to get you started:

  • Recast your question as a topic. Introduce the topic and ask for participation from your guest. This opens up a discussion and invites collaboration.
  • Think of your question as if it were the only topic of conversation. This allows you to let go of your mental agenda and engage in conversation.
  • Let go of the pressure to be a “perfect host.” On a podcast, you are allowed to be human. In fact, it’s better that way.  Remember, too, that everything you say is being recorded and will go through an editing process. Feel free to explore and be in the moment. You have time.

Happy listening!