As tempting as it may be, you can’t just sit down at your computer and hit record for a podcast. You need to prepare first if you want your guest to have an amazing experience.
In this episode, the Co-Founders of Motion and hosts of Recorded Content explain how having a pre-flight checklist can help you avoid potential problems during recording or within the post-production phase of your podcast.
Tristan and Justin talk about their different preflight checklists. Even though they have different lists, they agree that running through a checklist can help make the guest’s time on the podcast a more enjoyable experience.
Tristan reviews his proactive list to avoid tech issues and potentially embarrassing mistakes. Justin even realizes he needs to make his checklist more proactive rather than reactive to avoid sounding like he’s annoyed with the guest.
“The guest experience impacts the perception of your show and your company.”
You Want Your Guest to Have a Positive Experience
“Basically, if you think about your podcasting experience for your guests, that’s really an extension of your brand. So as a podcaster, you want guests to really have the best experience possible, because that’s what they’re going to be talking about in their LinkedIn posts. That’s what they’ll also mention to colleagues or other folks in the industry. And this really starts to take hold when you start creating more and more episode and really start to get that library of content and those relationships in place. If you have that positive guest experience all the way through, it’s really just going to help you long-term,” Tristan says.
Make Sure You Outline Expectations for Guests in More Than One Place
“The way we do this is we create this guest guide document that encompasses all of these items. How do you use SquadCast, what’s the show going to be about? What the typical episodes are so on and so forth.
Now a pointer here: it is great that we send over this nice PDF that walks people through exactly how an episode is going to work, and then you get [a guest] on your show and they spent no time reviewing it… So I definitely recommend putting together that document, making it very clear, easy to understand, but…also in the email that I send over with that as an attachment, [I say] ‘Please review this” [and] I send in bold the things that are absolutely mandatory that somebody knows so that I know at least my odds are higher that they’ll review that,” says Tristan.
Being Proactive with a Preflight Checklist Sets Yourself Up for Success
“I just have something pulled up on my laptop. I have bullet points I just go through one by one before I hit the record button. That’s just my take on it. You can have a handwritten note, or whatever your system is in place, that’s the big thing.
Be consistent with it and make sure that every time you hit the record button, you’re going through these things to set you up for success when you record,” states Tristan.
Being Reactive Can Be Abrasive
“I’m a bit more reactive, I think, than proactive. So I think that’s something I’m going to actually take away from this. I have my checklist of things to troubleshoot when things aren’t working. I think that can come off as me almost correcting the guest and saying, ‘You didn’t do this correctly. Let me help you troubleshoot.’
Instead of ‘Your internet seems slow,’ it’s ‘Hey, I’m just going through my process, and your internet’s speed seems like it might be a little slow. Can we move your computer?’ versus me telling them they’re almost doing it wrong,” Justin says.
It’s Okay to Reschedule If Your Preflight Checklist Reveals a Problem
“If you do have issues or technical complications, the best thing to do is to reschedule and troubleshoot those offline, because it becomes very difficult to get into a really good recording session and to have your mind right if you’ve spent 20 to 30 minutes troubleshooting an internet connection or a mic or a headphone issue.
[If] you’ve gone through all of that and it hasn’t worked out well, then it’s very tough to have a positive conversation, so it’s best to just figure out the problem, then reschedule. We know what the issue was. We won’t encounter that issue next time, and we’ll have a better state of mind once we hop on,” Tristan says.
“I don’t care how much you love technology. It’s not fun trying to figure out why something isn’t working, especially when you are on the clock with an hour booked and we’re at half an hour. So don’t be afraid to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to cut our losses today. It’s okay. Let’s pick this up next week…Just remember that all of this goes back to a great guest experience,” Justin adds.