Last updated 9th of April 2019
Author Martin Burgess-Moon
Interview with an Empire: Internal Comms Podcast Interview Techniques
Imagine being interviewed live on TV by a really gruelling journalist: Jeremy Paxman, John Humphries or Mrs Brown. Just as a very important question is asked your mind goes blank. You can remember who your favourite Ninja Turtle was. You can remember all the lyrics to Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble. But you have no idea what to say in response to this question.
This sounds like the sort of nightmare you might experience the night before you’re due to be interviewed by a journalist. Well, either that or the one where you step out of the shower to find yourself completely naked in the local High Street. But you needn’t worry about all that if you’re recording a podcast with Fresh Air Group.
CEO ON THE OTHER SIDE
We’ve produced a lot of audio for internal communications over the years. Hundreds of global CEOs, Financial Directors and small business owners have passed through our hands. So, we thought that we’d stop keeping our secrets to ourselves and share some tips and advice with you about internal comms podcast interview techniques…
The first one is fairly basic really: don’t just think about what you want to say, think about what your audience wants to hear. Because the two might not necessarily be the same. Go around your business, talk to people, sound them out, ask them what topics and issues they’d like to hear you take on in a podcast.
SEE IT, SAY IT, BULLET
You might think the best way to be prepared is to write a very concise script and then cling to it like tight jeans on Joey Essex. But no. If you read a script, you’ll sound exactly like you’re … er … reading a script. By all means, write a list of the points you’d like to cover, but glance at them as you go, thereby saying all you want to say but not slavishly sticking to it.
Why? Because you’ll sound more natural, relaxed and professional. In other words, you’ll sound just like you. And keep an eye on your bullet points as you go, because if you miss anything, you can always come back to it later.
TO ERR… IS HUMAN
The biggest worry most guests have is messing things up. But unlike the nightmare we recalled earlier, your podcast is not live. This means you don’t have to worry about pauses, umms, ahhs, errs and stumbling over your words. You can stumble all you like because we’ll take the scissors to you.
Well, not scissors. It’s all on computers these days. But we’ll be editing you anyway. So, by the time we’ve finished snipping and trimming, everything with flow beautifully and you’ll sound so slick and faultless that you’ll be head-hunted by the BBC.
THE MORE THE MERRIER
You don’t have to have a standard interview. If it’s a serious and urgent announcement, do it as a monologue. If you have a particular department or project you want to discuss, get those involved onto the podcast and have a conversation with them.
Just make sure you go through everything with your guests beforehand, so you know who is saying what, otherwise it’ll sound like a messy radio breakfast show where everyone is talking at the same time and nobody gets heard.
Nobody likes to listen to someone ramble on. Just think about what it’s like when your mother calls and you make the mistake of asking her how her day has been. Remember that when you’re recording a podcast. If you’re talking for longer than 10 minutes your listeners might begin to lose interest. So, consider the topics you’re covering.
If there are a lot, you might want to think about splitting them into separate podcasts. That way, you can go into each topic in greater depth and tease the next podcast at the end, encouraging the listener to look forward to the next instalment or even getting in touch to let you know their thoughts on your forthcoming item.
FEEDBACK FOR THOUGHT
Talking of getting in touch, you want to know people are listening. The best way is to encourage them to interact with you. Make your audience feel involved, whilst making yourself look approachable.
Ask listeners to email you with comments and feedback on your podcasts. That way, you can mention them in the next recording as well as addressing the points they raised. It also helps you come up with ideas, which saves you doing some of the work…!
Before you know it, you’ll be getting into a routine of producing podcasts, being accessible, being open and approachable and best of all … communicating! Anybody, anywhere that’s involved in your business will be able to hear your messages.
And you needn’t restrict this to internal comms. If you like, Fresh Air can produce podcasts for your clients to listen to as well; on your website or via your social media. We can even do videos.
But, meanwhile, at least you can rest easy - podcasts are certainly not something to lose sleep about.