Just the Tip from Your Podcast Performance Coach

031 Should You Give Your Guest the Questions in Advance?

Sept. 27, 2016

You landed a fat fish of a guest. Awesome. Now they want to know exactly what you’re going to ask them. Not awesome. Here’s what you should do.

There are plenty of podcasters who happily hand over their questions to their guest in advance. They do it because they want to appear like they are prepared. Or, they want their guest to feel prepared and comfortable. What they get is a mediocre and rehearsed sounding podcast with zero spontaneity. Boo!

Look. Don’t get me wrong. If it works for you then, fine. I guess. But, let me just tell you that professional broadcasters and journalists don’t do this. Why? Simple, they want and need the conversation to be a conversation not some scripted drivel. They want it to be authentic. They want, and should have the ability, to take the conversation where it naturally wants to go.

And, frankly, it’s a question of integrity. If you give your guest the questions beforehand so they can prepare their answers then you’re not really delivering your audience what you promised. Unless, you promised them ‘a show filled with prepared statements and no real conversation’ - in that case, please disregard this point. For the rest of you - give your audience what they listen in for - you and your guest or co-host have a dynamic discussion that is developing naturally.

Your guest has good intentions when they ask for the questions. And, I’m not saying you should completely shut them out. In fact, in this podcast I explain further why advancing the questions is ill advised, how to keep your guest happy and help them prepare, and what to do if they get pushy about getting their hands on those questions.

It may seem like a simple request, but if you want to keep your show out of the milky world of mediocrity, then you’re going to want to adopt this policy. I promise, it’ll have you sounding more like a pro and gain you more podcast fans.

Extra tip: Check out episode 10 of JTT and discover why you shouldn’t even give yourself the questions beforehand!

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