How to Make First-Time Podcast Guests (or Any Guests!) Feel Comfortable on Your Show

2 min read

It was one of those fun small world moments when I met Joe Borges, the co-host of The NeuroNerds podcast at an event Simplecast hosted with YouTube early this month “Story Structure for Podcasting”. Always on the hunt for my next favorite show to binge, I asked Joe to tell me about his show. The NeuroNerds is a fun and lighthearted show for folks (and friends of folks) recovering from a stroke or brain injury about all things nerdom. I haven’t had a stroke or a brain injury, but–spoiler alert for those who are going to listen to the episode (and you should!)–I have a cavernous angioma, a kind of pre-aneurysm in my brain. Crazy coincidence. I told Joe about it and he invited me to come on the show and tell his audience what it’s like to be “brain-injury adjacent”. You’ll have to listen to the show to hear more!  

So what was the experience like? In a word, it was EXCELLENT. To be clear, I wasn’t excellent. I was nervous and I used the word “like” about 50 times and I rambled at parts. But the experience was excellent, and I want to tell you a little bit more about why the experience was so great for me in case it is helpful for you in figuring out a process that ensures your guests have an excellent experience on your show.  

What they did really well to help me:

-Super accommodating in terms of scheduling. You can hash this out over email, or use a tool like Calendly or Doodle to find times that work for both of you easily!

-Sent an email to confirm the details - when, where, who, equipment, etc. If you have a lot of guests on your show, it’s easy to create a template for these and have them at the ready for your guests.

-Sent me an email with some suggested episodes of theirs to listen to beforehand and a fun snippet about how their show originated and why they were excited about having me on the show. Other podcasters can definitely do this to help their guests understand the tone of the show and start thinking of any relevant anecdotes they may want to share.

-Had a quick pre-recording meeting before we jumped in front of the mic to help me get comfortable with their banter.

-Gave me a brief outline of how the show was going to go and the topics they wanted to discuss. You don't have to give someone questions verbatim, but even just a general outline was a huge help.

-Asked me if there was anything I was uncomfortable going into or didn’t want them to ask.

-Reassured me that any mistakes I might make could be “fixed in post” and to just be myself.

-Made me feel totally comfortable in the room and in front of the mic. Created what felt like a conversation amongst friends over drinks on a couch.

-Emailed me the recording after the show so I could preview it and told me how excited they were with how it came out.

-Emailed me the link to the live show when it launched, along with a 1-minute trailer for Instagram and some sharing suggestions, along with a nice thank you note for having been on the show. You could potentially send your guests a Recast clip, graphics, and copy for social sharing!

Thanks so much to the NeuroNerds for inviting me on their show. I’ll always remember my first!

If you want to check out the show, listen here and let me know what you think. And feel free to share your favorite clip on social with Recast.