How To Be A Good Podcast Guest

by Feb 23, 2024

One of the most under-appreciated skills in podcasting is being a good guest. Whether this is your first time guesting on a podcast, or your 100th, being a guest is as much of a skill as being a host is. In fact, in many ways it’s more difficult. As a host, you have a routine: an intro you do, a standard set of questions, and an outro.

By contrast, if you’re the guest, you’re not set on a comfortable routine. It’s probably your one and only appearance, and you’ve gotta leave a good impression both on the host and their audience. It’s a lot of pressure, and it’s no wonder so many people get nervous guesting on a podcast.

So what does it take for you to be a good podcast guest? In its simplest terms, it means being prepared and doing your homework. Over the past decade of podcast hosting and guesting, I’ve found the following three things to be critical in making sure you’re the best darned podcast guest you can be. Master these, and you’re almost guaranteed to nail any interview.

Do Your Homework

The reality of the podcasting world is that it’s impossible to keep up with every single podcast. Your host knows this and is probably prepared for you to come in uninitiated. However, that is no reason for you to come in blind. It’s always best to find their show and listen to an episode or two prior to your appearance on their show. Doing this will help you get familiar with the show’s flow and how your host engages with his guests.

Additionally, I recommend getting on the show’s email list. Too often we see shows where the hosts don’t have the time to let their guests know about their upcoming episodes, and being on the email list will ensure you get a notification of your episode’s release the day of its release.

In an ideal world, your host will also provide you with an outline for the show or an overview of what will be discussed. If you don’t get any of that, it never hurts to ask them what they have in mind prior to the recording. Most of the time, the host will either provide you with an outline or give you some idea of what the topic of discussion will be. In either case, make sure you do your homework. I personally recommend pre-answering the questions that are provided in writing. Even if you don’t end up going through the list of questions as provided, you’ll have gone through the process of mentally preparing yourself for the interview, and that process in and of itself can help calm nerves and keep you focused prior to the interview.

Bring the Right Gear

You more than likely agreed to be on this podcast because you want to promote yourself. You want your voice to be heard, and the number one way you can self-sabotage this effort is by showing up and not having the right equipment to do that. Therefore, ensuring you sound good from the beginning is critical to being a great podcast guest.

There are three elements that go into ensuring you sound your best: Headphones, a microphone, and a quiet location.


Headphones are important because without them you can have speaker bleed (where the speaker’s audio is picked up on your mic). This can be distracting to the host (they hear the echo of their own voice as they talk), and ultimately it makes editing difficult at best for the post-production team. Headphones also ensure that you can record the interview without having to rely on noise cancellation software which will further degrade the quality of audio.


A USB microphone is always an added bonus as a guest. It signifies to the host that you are an experienced guest, and it’s the top way you can ensure that you sound good on the final recording. Of course, this is also a terrible rabbit trail to follow into “what’s best?” and “what to get?” so for that reason, we’ve created a Podcast Gear Guide that covers microphones (and headphones) based on your budget. The good news with a mic is that if you don’t have one, can’t afford one, or don’t want the hassle, you’ll be fine so long as you follow the next step.

A Quiet Place

Finding a quiet place to record is very important. Ideally, you want a room that won’t have any audible or visual distractions, good lighting (if you’re recording video), and low reverb/echo. Avoid being in a perfectly square room if at all possible. A quiet place also means removing distractions, so make sure that your phone is on silent and that any other potential external distractions (like kids or pets or delivery people) are mitigated prior to the recording time.

Test Your Gear

Lastly, if you decide to go out and buy all new gear for this interview, be sure you test your equipment and know how it all works before the interview. Nothing is quite as embarrassing as having a nice, new, shiny piece of gear that ruins an otherwise smooth interview because you can’t operate it properly.

Speaking of being embarrassed and frustrated, also make sure you also test your Internet speed prior to the interview to ensure you have enough to handle a virtual call. Today’s podcast recording setups are getting more and more advanced, and require more and more bandwidth to record with. So make sure you are on the up-and-up before you record the interview.

Promote the Pod!

Being a good guest means being a supportive guest after the interview is over. When you see yourself getting tagged on social media for a podcast interview you did, be sure to comment, like, and repost that content. After all, you went on the podcast to promote yourself and/or your work. You are squandering the opportunity if you don’t share the episode that features you.

Even if you don’t feel like you did a good job, the fact that the podcast is out and public is a testament to the fact that they think you’re worthy of having your content published. Trust them and take a few moments to share it with your social network. In doing so, you’ll promote yourself and help the show you were on become more visible to the world.

Bonus Video

How to be an Awesome Podcast Guest

As a bonus, here’s a video I did a while back that succinctly goes over the points covered here (and then some). If you’re looking for the “reader’s digest” version of this article, it’s a good watch.

We hope that these tips will help you make the most of your time on the podcast you’re guesting on. Being a guest ain’t easy, but if you follow these recommendations, you’ll be a guest who will be remembered for years to come.