How Can You Be a Good Podcast Host?

Ever listened to a podcast that made you cringe and you quickly turned it off or changed to another one?

You wonder why some podcasts are fantastic and others are simply not great to listen to.

How Can You Be a Good Podcast Host?

Your listeners don’t have much time on their hands, so your content needs to be value-adding and interesting to them.

A good podcast consists of various factors but this is the most important one: the host.

Whether you’re thinking about starting a podcast or already have one but your audience is still small: check out the following tips to learn how to be a good podcast host!

1. Become an Expert in Your Niche

First of all, you need to decide on a niche you’re passionate about.

Then become an expert by doing tons of research. You need to know your stuff if you want to draw listeners in and want them to stick around.

There are so many podcasts out there so you want to make yours special.

Your listeners don’t have much time on their hands, so your content needs to be value-adding and interesting to them.

If you want to be a good podcast host, dig deeper into topics and challenge yourself to find the best content for your audience.

They will feel your energy when you talk about your topic and appreciate the work you do.

2. Find the Best Guests

To be a good podcast host, you need to find the best guests to interview.

Make sure that your guests can talk about topics that are relevant to your podcast and that they are a good fit.

Research your guest well before asking them for an interview.

As a good podcast host, be sure to check out their website, social media accounts, and blog (if they have one). Listen to other podcasts they have done in the past to understand what they are an expert in.

3. Know and Understand Your Audience

Your audience is the reason you’re doing this podcast. You want them to listen to one episode after the other, subscribe to your channel, and refer you to their friends and family. That’s why you can’t ride solo and talk about whatever you like.

You need to know what topics your audience is interested in.

How can you do that?

Don’t be a faceless podcast host. Show yourself on social media, interact and engage with your audience, and be transparent.

Create polls and surveys to find out what content they want to listen to and what they would like to learn about.

Put your listener’s needs first and form a connection with them, and they will be more likely to become loyal fans of yours.

From time to time, ask them for feedback, so you can improve your hosting skills.

4. Don’t Sound Scripted

Being a good podcast host requires a lot of work and preparation prior to the episode without your listeners knowing about it.

Avoid sounding scripted at all times by creating an outline with an intro, middle, and outro.

Having done your research beforehand, you’re more likely to talk naturally because you know what the topic is all about.

No one likes to listen to someone who sounds like a robot.

Use emotion in your voice, talk clearly and slowly, but don’t sound boring.

Pause for a second to give your audience a breather and digest what you have just told them.

5. Avoid Too Much Information

Finding the fine line between giving your listeners the best content and knowing when it’s enough is key if you want to be a good podcast host.

We can only absorb so much and if our brains are full, we simply stop listening to whatever someone has to say.

What a shame would it be if you put all that hard work into creating an episode and your listeners only listened to half of it!

I know you have a lot to say, but just keep the content to fill some of your future episodes.

Instead, throw in a personal story to mix things up and make yourself relatable to your audience.

Engage with your audience by asking them a question (even though no one answer you), think about what they might be feeling or thinking, and make them laugh.

Be intuitive, conversational, and a good host to listen to.

6. Engage With Your Audience

Recording an episode for your listeners is a little bit like speaking to a friend.

Talk to them as an individual, not as a crowd. Make them feel special.

Your audience wants to feel understood and entertained, yet they want to listen to something that’s value-adding to their lives.

However, no one likes to be lectured, so you need to find the balance between teaching your listeners about a new topic and maintaining a conversational tone.

Very important: to be a good podcast host, you need to thank your audience for tuning in at the end of every episode.

Maybe you can even tell them a little bit about what your next episode is about to catch their interest (if you have decided on the topic already).

7. Be Well Prepared for Interviews

Preparation is everything when it comes to being a good podcast host and interviewing a guest.

Create an outline and send the questions to your guest a week or so before you meet, so they can get prepared too. Whether you meet with them in person or virtually, it’s important to meet at least 10 minutes before the recording starts.

Besides making sure that all the technical equipment is working, you also want to get to know your guest a little better and vice versa.

Ask them some personal questions and make them feel at ease.

Once you’ve gotten into the flow of having a great conversation, hit the record button and keep up the good momentum.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when talking to your guest:

  • Be polite
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Say thank you
  • Face the speaker (in person) or turn on your camera (virtually)
  • Don’t judge
  • Be a good listener and ask relevant questions
  • Be interested in what your guest has to say, don’t rush and think about the next question
  • Stay focused and refer back to the initial questions and your outline when the conversation starts to take a different turn
  • Don’t ask yes/no questions
  • Summarize what your guest has talked about

It’s all about having a natural conversation when leading an interview as a good podcast host.

At the same time, you need to stay with your topic and the interview needs to make sense to your listeners.

8. Invest in Quality Audio Equipment

To be a good podcast host, you need to have good quality audio equipment to have a chance out there.

Your location needs to be soundproof.

If you record at home rather than in a studio, make sure you choose a room with lots of furniture in it, a carpet, or curtains.

Microphones are very sensitive and pick up every little noise, so be mindful of your background noises such as pets/family members, neighbors, loud traffic, etc.

9. Be Yourself

Here’s the thing. Too many aspects of life are boring and so are the people in it.

If you’re a little weird, show it. If you’re silly, show it. That’s what makes you stand out from other podcast hosts.

Don’t try to sound like others, be like others, or use difficult jargon.

Use your everyday language, so you can talk naturally and make sense to your audience. Just be yourself. Your audience will start to love you for who you are. Not for who you are trying to be.

Make mistakes. Apologize for them, then move on.

You could edit out those mistakes, but people like to see others not being perfect. It makes you more relatable to them. We are all humans, and a good podcast host is no different.

10. Listen to Previous Podcast Episodes

If you want to improve and become an even better podcast host, you need to listen to some of your previous podcast episodes.

I know it can be awkward listening to your voice, but that’s the only way of picking up on errors and finding ways to improve your podcasting skills.

You can even listen to other podcasts in your industry to see what they are doing well and if you could incorporate some things into your way of podcasting.

You don’t always have to re-invent the wheel so there’s no shame in checking out what others do.

11. Transcribe Your Episodes

To make your content even more valuable and make the most out of the hard work you’ve put into research and recording, consider transcribing your episodes.

That way you will reach a whole different audience like non-native speakers and the hard-of-hearing.

Some people simply like to read rather than listen.

To be a good podcast host, become creative and turn your episodes into blog posts, social media posts, digital products, etc.

If this is too time-consuming for you, think about outsourcing the work to a virtual assistant or other freelancer.

Also, be sure to edit your episodes and add some music to them.

12. Create a Catchy Title and Intro

As a good podcast host, create a catchy title that sparks your listener’s immediate attention, followed by an intro that informs about what the episode is about but doesn’t give away too much.

Conclusion: How To Be a Good Podcast Host

Being a good podcast host doesn’t happen overnight and requires lots of practice and on-the-job learning.

Every single episode you record will make you a better podcast host.

Your main focus is your audience and they should always be on your mind whenever you work on content, research, or record an episode.

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This was a great blog post! I have been toying with the idea of starting a podcast. I really like the idea of transcribing podcast episodes. Podcasting would be a unique way to repurpose content for a whole new audience! This post really gave me some ideas! Thanks!!!Reply to Aaron
Hi Aaron, thanks for your comment! Glad to hear you found my post helpful!Reply to Saskia