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Five no-fluff ways to open a podcast interview with Tristan Pelligrino

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Episode Summary

Hosting a podcast is not as easy as it sounds and it definitely takes a lot of preparation and skill to conduct a good podcast interview. But one of the most challenging parts of an interview is starting the conversation and building momentum right from the beginning. In this episode of the Recorded Content podcast, our host Tristan Pelligrino talks about the importance of a podcast introduction. He shares five useful examples of how to start your interview and bring out the best in each guest.

Guest Profile

Name: Tristan Pelligrino

What he does: He’s the co-founder of Motion

Company: Motion

Noteworthy: Tristan is the co-host of the Recorded Content podcast

Key Insights

  • Should you ask your guest about their background at the beginning of your podcast episode? Most podcast hosts start their interviews in the same way by asking “Could you tell me more about your background?” And while there’s nothing wrong with this question, it could lead to nowhere, Tristan explains. This question puts a lot of pressure on your guests during a podcast interview. But why? Well, it’s aimless; you’re relying on the guests to surface something interesting right away on the spot. I believe hosts ask this type of question to take the pressure off of themselves so they don’t have to talk too much in the beginning.
  • Asking generic questions might lead to inauthenticity. When you’re the host of a podcast, you want to bring out the best in your guests. Unfortunately, asking generic questions just won’t do the trick, Tristan says. I used to start conversations off with this type of question quite a bit myself, but this type of question leads to fluff during an interview. And it prevents you from really getting to know your guests and also their unique perspectives.
  • A good podcast introduction should eliminate fluff and build momentum right out of the gate. So what makes for a good podcast introduction? According to Tristan, it’s simplicity and authenticity. He explains, “A lot of people think you need a gimmick or you need a host with a big personality, but this isn’t the case with your podcast. If you get creative with how you open a conversation and get the details from your guest, your audience will love you for it.”

Episode Highlights

1. Ask your guests about their recent social media posts

Ask your guest what sparked the post or ask them when they started to form that opinion. By starting off a conversation with a post from your guest, you demonstrate that you’ve done the research and have paid attention to what they share online. This builds rapport right away while also sparking a conversation from the start.

2. Get your guest to connect the dots

The second example is about getting your guests to connect the dots with something in their background or their work experience. Maybe you start off the interview by asking about why they made a particular career switch, like maybe they started out in education and suddenly switched to copywriting, or you could ask about why they jumped from a Fortune 500 company to a Series A startup.

3. Go through their comments history

By going through comments, you get a chance to see what they agree with and also you get an understanding of what some of their alternative viewpoints might be. And when you go through their comment history, you can craft a question about their opinion. You can establish context for your viewers or listeners of your show and give a glimpse into the way your guest thinks. This is all good background information for your audience and it adds texture to your conversation.

4. Listen to your guests’ previous podcast appearances

The fourth example is listening to your guests’ appearance on another podcast and then asking a follow-up question the host may not have asked in that episode. This shows a deeper level of research. It clearly shows you’ve spent time reading and listening to their other podcast appearances.

5. Get straight to the point

The last example that comes to mind involves cutting straight to the point. If there’s a topic you want to discuss with your guests, then you can choose to jump right into the conflict. Right up front, just get your guests’ perspective and then go deeper and deeper to uncover why they feel a certain way.

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