There are two phases of preparation I cover before we begin recording for a podcast guesting:
- Context and format preparation
- Availability and setup
The first step involves gathering enough data for the show: audience, duration, format (audio vs. video), style, etc. We proceed with discussing topics that would be a good fit and the right narrative which would benefit the listeners.
I try to listen to at least two episodes ahead of time. This allows me to feel the vibe and the style of the interviewer. Most interviews are scheduled weeks ahead of time, but occasionally, an interviewer books a time a couple of days after, and I ask my assistant to do some research on my behalf.
The second bit about preparing for a podcast guesting revolves around timing and audio setup.
Since I live in Europe, scheduling is usually late in the evening or whenever I’m traveling. This determines the type of setup I have access to — ideally, my office room with the proper Rode VideoMic pro and a decent webcam with adequate lights and a white background wall.
At home, I’d use a Rode Smartlav+ for recording. You can check here most of the gear that I use.
While traveling, I may need to use a portable headset with a mic, and since the audio quality won’t be great, I try to at least record in my hotel room or somewhere quiet (a co-working space or so).
Additionally, it’s important to ensure that there are no distractions that will creep in while recording a podcast. That isn’t trivial at the office since people may jump in for an emergency, and while recording on my phone, the cell or wifi may misbehave or a phone call may interrupt the connectivity. I try to limit distractions ahead of time but bloopers happen occasionally.