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Alain Hunkins published his book Cracking The Leadership Code on March 24, 2020 – the week the world went into lockdown.
A speaker and leadership coach, Alain had no choice but to promote his book virtually, and a key tactic was podcast interviews with shows in the U.S, Canada, and the U.K. In fact, Alain has done more than 130 interviews!
Without doubt, he’s learned a great deal about what makes a good podcast show guest and what makes a good show host.
Here’s a little preview of Alain’s astute insights into the world the podcast show host-guest dynamic.
Why some show hosts have been amazing!
Alain says: “Some hosts have blown me away. They’ve read my book. They’ve had specific questions about things in the book, they’ve had things they wanted to challenge around that, where it’s become a very spirited, lively conversation.”
In contrast, some hosts won’t go deep or explore, and the questions are very basic, stock questions. “Then I finished answering that question, and they have no follow up question to that. I feel like it’s been a tick-box exercise.
“I’ll make it work. I can do the best I can. But I look back on those interviews and think ‘Really? I mean, is that it? Is that is that all we’re doing here?’. Because it’s so generic. And again, people want to hear that moment of insight.
“I can bring as much dynamism to my side of the table, but people prefer tennis matches where they’re not one sided. We want the sense of we’re hitting the ball back and forth over the net. It’s much more interesting.”
Preparation and curiosity make for a great interview
This is why Alain believes preparation is so important. As an example, Alain says when he trains leaders he always says the map is not the territory, so do all your preparation. As a show host, when you show up to interview people, be present, be in the moment, be curious.
In feedback to one host, Alain told them he’d had an amazing interview, and the host replied: “I’m curious, I actually want to interview and learn something in this hour. Otherwise, I feel like I’m wasting my time as a host.”
In this conversation with Podmotion’s Sheelagh Caygill, Alain discusses:
- How to reach out to show hosts
- Why tenacity pays off in securing interviews
- What kind of information to provide hosts
- How to prepare for an interview
- The difference between a good host and a boring one
- How hosts can prepare to interview a guest
- How hosts who go off-script can end up with a great episode
- Why hosts shouldn’t be afraid to go down rabbit holes and explore more deeply, and
- How hosts can exercise their intuitive muscle and come up with great questions.