PE077: Treat your guests like the best (better than Gloria Steinem)

PE077: Treat your guests like the best (better than Gloria Steinem)

“This is a pet peeve of mine, when hosts tell you in the intro all the things that you are about to hear in the interview, so that when you do hear it in the interview, it’s no longer fresh because you already told me about it in the intro.

~Andrea Klunder

Last week, I was driving down the road on a sunny day in my new-to-me Prius and I clicked on a podcast in my queue that I had been looking forward to dedicating an hour to —  a high profile show, on a major network, with a production team, and a celebrity host — a show I generally quite like depending on the guest.

This episode I was PARTICULARLY excited to listen to because she had Gloria Steinem on the show and surprisingly Ms. Steinem has NOT been on a ton of podcasts as of late. So I was ready for an inspiring, thoughtful, fiery conversation and to my chagrin …

The host went on for 10 minutes in the intro gushing how much she loves and respects and looks up to this icon, sharing how she’s gotten to know her personally and going over how amazing and wonderful her interview (that we have not heard yet was) and all the things they talked about.

Okay… it’s fine because 10minutes later, the interview begins — before long, however, I start to get a little agitated because it quickly becomes apparent to me that the host is going to talk more than she listens — this feels more like her telling Gloria how she feels about certain topics that are definitely important and that she’s obviously passionate about than asking Gloria questions.

And then when Gloria does have a turn, she keeps interrupting with “Exactly” “Totally” “That’s how I feel because…” “Yeah what I meant to say was…”

I mean was she nervous? Is this an example of why celebrities don’t always make great podcast hosts? I’ve never noticed this particularly before with this show…

Continued below…

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“I want you, as a podcast host, as an interviewer, to think about how best to honor your audience and your guests.”

~Andrea Klunder

You know once a client of mine asked me if I thought the role of the podcast host was more of a personality or  a facilitator for the guest and I thoughtfully responded at the time — oh definitely both but more so as a personality — your listeners tune in week after week because they connect with you – they know like and trust you — they may discover you because of a particular guest but they’ll keep listening (or not) because of you — but now after this experience, I’m not so sure that was the best answer.

In this case, I wanted to hear GLORIA STEINEM’s thoughts and opinions, not the host’s.

The ironic part was at the top of the interview, the host commented on how when Gloria speaks live, she often uses the Q&A as an opportunity to ask the audience questions – and Gloria said something like “Well I want to learn and we don’t learn by speaking – we learn by listening.”

I listened ALL THE WAY THROUGH hoping at some point the scales would tip, but alas no. All in all, I’d say it was about 70% host and 30% Gloria. Let Ms. Steinem speak already!!!

And this wasn’t even the worst part — I was nearly jumping out of my skin because, Gloria, being in her 80s had a little mucuous. She kept clearing her through while the host was speaking.

WHY AM I LISTENING TO GLORIA STEINEM’S PHLEGM in a high profile show on a network with sponsors and a budget? Edit that out! Silence the guest’s track — do something for the love of God so I don’t have to hear Gloria’s mucous!!!!

I’m sorry to put this show on blast. I’m not naming it because like I said, it’s a show I generally like but I’m sure if you do a little Apple Podcasts search, you can figure it out.

Why am I sharing the with you? 

One, because I have to get this off my chest with someone who will understand!

And two, because I want you as a podcast host, as an interviewer to think about how best to honor your audience and your guests – how can you make the listening experience as easy and enjoyable as possible for your audience, and how can you showcase your guest in their best light?

I mean maybe we don’t all get to have guests as high profile as Gloria Steinem but we should be treating each and everyone one as if they are. By asking the right questions, by listening more than we speak, by giving them the floor, and maybe I’m just hyper sensitive int the time of COVID-19 but for sure by NOT sharing their mucous (or our own) with the audience.

Peace, love, and podcasting!

P.S. What to you think? Host as personality vs facilitator? Edit mucous out or leave it in for authenticity? I’d love to hear your opinion!

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