How to Introduce Podcast Guests & Keep Your Audience Engaged

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How many times have you listened to a podcast episode and it feels as though you’re getting the guest’s life history rather than the podcast episode and conversation that you were expecting?

Never experienced this?

Then you’re in luck. Because you’ve stumbled across a podcast where the host knows how to introduce podcast guests in a clear and succinct way that is relevant to their show and audience.

But, if you’re like me, you’ve likely tuned into many a podcast episode where you were expecting to learn or be entertained about one topic, only to end up listening to what feels like the guest’s biography before the episode EVENTUALLY gets into what it was supposed to be about in the first place.

You see, when introducing your guests, or allowing them to introduce themselves, it’s easy to fall into the trap of over-justifying why your guest is there.

But the truth is that your audience don’t care about the guest’s first boyfriend in college (unless it’s relevant to the episode), or that they sold their house and moved across the country before they bought a horse and set up their business. Unless it’s directly linked to the episode, it’s just fluff that’s wasting everyone’s time and can lead to your audience ditching your episode in favour of some other podcast.

And that’s the last thing you want.

So how can you introduce your podcast guests in a way that covers all of the information you want, but without boring your listeners and making them turn to another episode? In this post, we will answer just that question.

The challenges of introducing podcast guests

Introducing podcast guests may seem like a walk in the park. After all, they send you over their professional bio (or you find it on their website) and you just read it out word-for-word before you start your interview.

Right?

Well, 99% of the time, no.

Because 99% of the time, what people put on their websites or professional bios isn’t exactly how they need to be introduced on your show.

Your audience don’t need to know the mission and vision statement of your guest’s company. They don’t need to know their holiday job whilst they were at university. And they definitely don’t need to know about their Great-Aunty Maud dropping round last weekend with a fresh batch of cookies. (Of course, the caveat of this is if you’re interviewing them about their Great-Aunty Maud’s cookie recipe!).

Picture this: you’re listening to a podcast, and the host spends a good five minutes rambling about their guest’s accomplishments, childhood pets, and their favourite pizza toppings.

Boring, right?

A concise and relevant introduction not only grabs your listeners’ attention but also sets the stage for what’s to come. It piques their curiosity and makes them want to stick around for the conversation. Essentially, unless the information about your podcast guest is directly relevant to what you’re talking about in your podcast episode, chances are that it can be left out.

Your audience needs to know who they’re listening to and why they’re the person to listen to on the episode’s topic.

This means that if your guest sends you over information for an introduction, you need to do a little legwork to make sure that how you introduce your guest is succinct and relevant.

If you choose to let your guest introduce themselves, you might want to guide the questioning a little, prep the guest beforehand with what to say, or be prepared to do some editing when they go off on a tangent about their secondary school prom.

Your goal, as with any podcast introduction, is to keep your audience and listeners engaged. And a guest’s biography will rarely keep your audience around if they cannot see the relevance to them.

Preparing to introduce your podcast guests

You know that feeling when you’re about to introduce a podcast guest, and you have no idea what to say?

We’ve all been there. But as I said, a succinct introduction to your guest is more valuable than most podcasters realise. And whilst there isn’t a gold standard for how to introduce podcast guests, there are some principles to get you off to a good start.

First and foremost, a succinct introduction grabs the listener’s attention from the get-go.

In a world where attention spans are shorter than a goldfish’s memory, you don’t want to bore your audience with a lengthy introduction. Keep it concise, keep it interesting.

Secondly, a relevant introduction sets the tone for the episode. It gives your guests the platform to shine and showcases their expertise. By crafting an introduction that highlights their key accomplishments and areas of expertise, you’re instantly establishing credibility and capturing your audience’s interest.

Lastly, a succinct and relevant introduction shows respect for your guests. It’s not just about fluffing them up, but rather acknowledging their time and effort in being there. It’s about creating a connection and making them feel valued. So, take the time to master the art of introducing podcast guests. Trust me, it’s a skill that will pay off in spades.

And if you want to take podcast guest onboarding to the next level and make sure that you have all of the information you need to introduce your podcast guests, you can enrol in the Elite Onboarding Masterclass.

How to introduce podcasts guests in a way that engages your listener

So, you’ve got an amazing podcast guest lined up – someone who can captivate your audience with their stories and insights.

But here’s the thing: if you don’t introduce them in a compelling way, your audience might just think, “Eh, who cares?” The key to a successful introduction lies in capturing your guest’s essence and teasing your audience with what’s to come.

You can start by giving a brief background on your guest, highlighting their accomplishments and expertise.

But don’t just regurgitate their LinkedIn profile, spice things up a bit! Add a dash of wit and humour to make it engaging and memorable.

Remember, your introduction sets the tone for the entire episode. So, make it exciting and intriguing. Use vivid language to create a mental image that leaves your audience wanting more. But don’t go overboard! Keep it concise and to the point.

Rambling introductions can bore your audience before they even get to hear from your guest. And trust me, you don’t want that. So, cut to the chase and get their attention from the start.

How to make your podcast guest introductions relevant

Know your guest

Before introducing your podcast guest, do some research and get to know them.

Find out their areas of expertise, their accomplishments, and their unique insights. This will help you craft an introduction that highlights their strengths and makes them feel valued. Remember, nobody likes to be introduced as just a random person off the street.

Highlight shared interests

Look for common ground between you and your guest.

Do you share a passion for a particular topic? Have you both overcome similar challenges?

By mentioning these shared interests, you create an instant connection and set the stage for a meaningful conversation. Plus, it shows your audience that you’ve done your homework and you’re not just winging it.

Tease the episode

Give your audience a taste of what’s to come in the episode.

Share a compelling snippet of the guest’s story or a thought-provoking question they’ll be addressing. This will pique your audience’s curiosity and make them eager to stick around and listen.

After all, who doesn’t love a good cliffhanger?

Keep it concise

While it’s important to provide some context about your guest, remember that brevity is key.

A long-winded introduction can be a major turn-off for listeners. So, keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Focus on the most relevant and impactful aspects of your guest’s background and expertise.

Trust me, your audience will thank you for not rambling on.

Inject personality

Don’t be afraid to inject some of your own personality into the introduction.

Make it fun, witty, and engaging. Add a dash of humour or share a personal anecdote related to the topic or the guest. This will not only grab your audience’s attention but also make the introduction more memorable and entertaining.

Conclusion

You want to strike the right balance between being informative and engaging without overshadowing your guest. Plus, you only have a few seconds to make a lasting impression.

No pressure!

Start with a brief but captivating hook that highlights your guest’s expertise or something intriguing about their journey. Transition smoothly into their background, mentioning key milestones or achievements. Finally, end with a teaser of what your audience can expect from the conversation.

To make your introduction relevant, do your research! Get to know your guest inside out, so you can highlight their unique experiences and insights. Tailor the introduction to your podcast’s theme and focus on aspects that align with your audience’s interests. And don’t be afraid to inject some personality and humour into your delivery.

A succinct and relevant introduction sets the stage for an engaging conversation and keeps your audience hooked till the end; add your personal touch, and make each introduction a memorable one. Happy podcasting!

Picture of Verity Sangan

Verity Sangan

Hey there! I'm Verity, Registered Nurse turned Podcast Host, Launch Strategist, and Coach. I love all things podcasting and am passionate about getting more women find their voice through podcasts. Host: The Lazy Girl's Guide to Podcasting & The Confident CEO Podcast

About Me

Verity Sangan

Hi! I’m Verity; host of The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Podcasting. I’m a mum of 2, a Harry Potter nerd, Star Wars geek, and spend my days lecturing in health and social care, or talking about podcasting. Read more >>

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