You have a wonderful podcast and you’ve booked a fabulous guest. But now, what do you ask them? How do you make the most of your time with that guest in ways that benefit you, your listeners, and the guest? We’ll give you some steps on how to create engaging questions for your podcast episodes.
Before You Create Your Questions
Before you jump into writing a completely exciting podcast questions list, it’s a good idea to consider these two important things:
Who is your podcast guest? You invited them onto your podcast for a reason, so do your homework on who they are. Have they recently written a book or given a Ted Talk you should know about? What kind of things have they liked talking about in the past?
Piece of Advice
Having a list of great podcast guest questions does not absolve you of the responsibility of being an engaging and involved host. One thing we encourage podcast hosts NOT to do is blindly adhere to the Question-Answer-Question-Answer formula.
When asking your guest questions, keep in mind that questions are a guideline more than a rule. Listen to their answers and engage with or respond to anything they say that catches your interest or may be worth more exploration for your listeners. A list of questions helps keep you focused and on track for timing, but it’s a common myth that the work stops there. A good podcast host is not afraid to step into an engaging discussion spawned from a guest’s answer.
How to Create Your List of Questions in 5 Steps
Step One: Finding connection with your guest
In your pre-interview research you learned about your guest. You found out if they host a podcast of their own or recently switched jobs. You discovered the book they wrote. These things connect you to your guest and make ideal topics for podcast questions. Ask about their book/podcast/job. Ask about the common thread that drew you together. Do you both love knitting and your podcast is, in fact, about crafting? That’s a connection you need to explore.
Step Two: Your guest’s area of expertise or focus
Your guest’s area of expertise is especially important if your podcast is on a specific theme. Podcast topics should match up with guest expertise. Say you explore mental health issues. Is your guest a professor? A clinical psychologist? Someone with years of experience dealing with bipolar disorder? Whatever it is that your guest is an expert in or focuses on, as it relates to your podcast, should be explored. Ask about their schooling and which styles of therapy they find effective if they’re a psychologist. Let your guest be an expert for your listeners.
Step Three: What personal questions are of interest to listeners?
Consider what aspects of your guest’s personal life are both interesting to you and comfortable for your guest to talk about. Do they mention pets in their official bio? It’s likely a good guess that they enjoy talking about their pets. Have they climbed Everest? Ask them about that – nobody gets to the top of Everest without wanting a chance to brag about it. Give your listeners a glimpse into your guest’s personal life.
Step Four: Is there an important lesson this guest/episode wants to convey?
This is a simple question to create: ask your guest, in advance, if there is something specific they want to be asked and/or to discuss.
Guests often have something to promote or something they have learned that they are eager to share. Ask them to give you that insight and then remember to ask them about it in your podcast. You don’t have to do all the work. Your guest is the other half of this interview and they will probably have opinions on what they want to say.
Step Five: Consider creating a signature question for your podcast
A signature question is all for you. After all, to quote Trixie Mattel and Katya of UNHhhh fame, “It’s the show where we talk about whatever we want to. Because it’s our show, and not yours.”
It’s always good for you and your brand to have a signature question to ask of all your guests, regardless of who they are. Some hosts ask guests what their most inspirational go-to book is. Some ask guests what they’d like on their tombstone. Some want guests to weigh in on what a specific word (ie. “wellness”) means to them. Your signature question, whatever it is, relates to you, the focus of your podcast, and is a way to stand apart and be unique. It’s also a way for your guest to have a bit of fun with a more random question.
Book A Consultation With Astronomic Audio
We are here to guide you on your podcast journey. Book a consultation with us to discuss how we can help you appeal to more podcast listeners or, if you haven’t got a podcast, let us help you create the podcast of your dreams. Start by connecting with us.