The Two Questions Podcasters Should Never Ask

There are two questions that podcasters should never ask their guests; weirdly, they remain the two most popular questions that begin and end most interviews.

As a podcaster, you should know that the success of your show depends on your ability to engage your audience and deliver high-quality content. And this is important – it should be content that they can’t find anywhere else. So when you have that opportunity to land an interview with someone well known, don’t blow it by asking your guest questions your audience could find on every other interview with that person.

The first bad question:

“Tell our audience about yourself.”

If you ask this question, you are a lazy host and asking for content the audience likely already knows the answer to, and if they don’t know it, they could find it with a 2-second search on Google. When you invite a guest onto your show, take the time to prepare a thoughtful and engaging introduction that highlights the key points you want your audience to know about your guest. Don’t put the guest on the spot and make them boast about themselves. It makes them uncomfortable, it makes you look lazy, and it isn’t original content. Don’t ask your guest to do your job for you!

And here’s how you make the content high-quality and original. In the introduction, tell your audience the parts of your guest’s credentials you admire the most, and why you admire them. They won’t find that in any other interview. This shows your guests that you value their time and expertise and demonstrates your professionalism as a podcaster.

The second bad question:

“If people want to get in contact with you, what should they do?” (or any slight variation of that question)

This question is also a sign of laziness on your part. As the host of the show, it’s your responsibility to do the research and provide your audience with the contact information your audience might want. You should never ask your guests to do your job for you. Instead, take the time to research your guest’s website, social media profiles, and other online presence. Then, you be the one to share that intel with your audience and include the information in your show notes to make it easy for your audience to find.

When you ask your guest to plug their products and services, it’s like having them open their metaphorical trench coat and ask, “Hey, you wanna buy a watch?” Don’t do this! “But Topher, their contact information isn’t original!” True, but you can still make it original when sharing the guest contact info by sharing what you like most about your guest’s product or service with the audience. It’s your show; share your original thoughts.

To be taken seriously as a podcaster, you must put in the time and effort to prepare for your interviews. This means researching, crafting thoughtful questions, and being a good listener.

The difference between an amateur podcaster and a professional show host is the level of preparation and attention to detail.

Lastly, if I’ve struck a nerve, don’t fret. You can find footage online of me asking these questions. We are all a work in progress. Now you know, so from here on out, make your interviews better, and don’t worry about the shows in your past.

If you are looking for more tips on elevating your professionalism as a speaker and show host, subscribe to my YouTube channel – there are hours upon hours of videos all for you to enjoy, and when you subscribe, you’ll be notified when I release a new video. https://www.youtube.com/@TopherMorrison



1 Comment

  • Matthew Newnham

    Excellent insights, Topher.

    I couldn’t agree more – and acknowledge that these would be easy mistakes to make.

    Thanks very much!

    Best wishes from Spain,

    Matthew

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