How to Be a Good Podcast Host

As a podcast host, there are lots of things for you to think about when working on making your show a success. In this blog post we will cover the importance of understanding and connecting with your audience, developing a unique style, engaging in effective planning, working on your interviewing skills, and becoming technically proficient.

Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is one of the first things that you should do as a podcaster as it will inform many of your other activities. Make sure to take the time to define your target demographic, this should include attributes such as the age group, interests, and the income level of the listeners that you are trying to target. Once you know who you are speaking to, you can then create content that addresses their needs, interests, and concerns.

Connect With Your Audience

Connecting with your audience is a great way to increase engagement and keep your listeners coming back for more. There are various ways that you can do this including using social media and dedicated forums. This is also a good way to collect feedback that you can use to further improve your show specifically for your audience. Doing this will help turn your casual listeners into a community of loyal supporters.

Don’t forget to thank your listeners for their support. This can be done within the episode or using one of the channels mentioned before. Expressing your gratitude will help show listeners that you value them deciding to listen to your show, keeping them coming back as well as increasing the likelihood that they will share your podcast with others.

Developing a Unique Style

Developing a unique style is important when figuring out how to be a good podcast host. Having a unique style will help you set your podcast apart from the rest, but make sure to use your authentic voice so that you can continue to create episodes with a consistent tone and style in the future.

Even though it’s important to carefully plan your show as we’ll get to later, you don’t want to sound scripted, using a conversational tone and adding moments of personality to your show can help you achieve this balance.

Effective Planning and Organisation

Podcasting is like most things in life, in that if you fail to prepare then you should prepare to fail. A good way to prepare for your podcast episodes is to create a content calendar. With a content calendar you can accumulate episode ideas over time and add to these ideas until you have enough topics for a full episode.

Once you know what you will be talking about, you should conduct in depth research into each of the topics that you are going to discuss. This will help build trust amongst your audience and make your show into a source of authority within your subject area. Creating content that is full of facts will help keep your show engaging.

As well as planning and fact checking the content of each of your episodes, you should take the time to create a structure for the episode that will keep it engaging. Having a predefined structure for each episode will help you guide the conversation as you are recording and will remove the pressure of figuring out what to say next if you have a guest on the episode. Adding a narrative to your episodes is another great way to keep listeners engaged for the whole episode.

Master the Art of Interviewing

If you have guests on your show then make sure that you understand why they are there. They probably have something that they want to promote, and by giving them an opportunity to advertise their product or service, they will be more likely to enjoy the episode and recommend other guests they know to do your show in the future. They will also be more willing to talk about the topics that you want to talk about.

Doing in depth research before the episode will enable you to ask thoughtful questions about topics that the guest will have a lot to say about and will enjoy talking about. These carefully crafted questions will result in interesting responses that will help keep your audience engaged throughout the episode.

Avoid overloading your guest or audience with too much information by talking about a single subject for too long. You don’t want your listeners to get bored and stop listening. If a guest has been speaking about one subject for a long period of time then you can ask them a leading question to change the topic and keep the conversation engaging by moving it into a new and unexpected area of discussion.

Build a Relationship With Your Guest

An important part of figuring out how to be a good podcast host is thinking about the long-term goals of your show. You want to build a relationship with your guest by listening carefully to what they say and asking follow up questions rather than just thinking about the next question that you have planned.

Building a good relationship with your guest will increase the chance that your guest will come back for a second appearance or recommend your show to another guest that they know. Another great way to do this is to spend time with the guest before the episode so that they know what to expect and to send thanks after the show is over to ensure that they know you are grateful for them taking the time to appear on your episode.

Technical Proficiency

Ensure that your podcast audio is high quality by choosing the right microphones, setting them up in the optimal layout, and by using the right additional hardware. You can read more about how to achieve this in our blog post on how to record a podcast with multiple mics. You will also want to develop your editing skills over time to keep your episodes engaging by removing things such as filler words and dead air time where you or the guest is thinking about what to say next.

Persistence

A huge part of being a content creator in general is persistence, and podcasting is no different. According to a study conducted by Podnews and Amplifi Media, 44% of podcasts have less than 3 episodes and only 8% have 10 or more episodes and had published in the previous week when the study was conducted. So if you can get to the tenth episode of your show and publish regularly then you will already be in the top 10% of podcasters in terms of effort put in. So now when you hear people saying that there are millions of podcasts for you to compete with, you know that in reality the competition is far less at only a few hundred thousand podcasts in total.

References

Goldstein, S. (2022, August). A surprisingly small number of podcasts are still in production. Amplifi Media. Retrieved January 24, 2024, from https://www.amplifimedia.com/blogstein-1/lyspqop3ylro9a2t7y2de820uwkgwx