4 Things Really Great Podcast Hosts Do

A while ago, I was given the gift of interviewing Celeste Headlee for our Top Advisor Marketing Podcast. Celeste is a well known public radio journalist, news reporter, podcaster, and author. Considering that her book Heard Mentality has been a go-to for me — my reference manual to being a podcast host — you can imagine how excited I was to interview with Celeste!

During our podcast, Celeste gave our listeners advice on how to be a great podcast host. She started by saying that just because someone is generally a great conversationalist or public speaker, doesn’t mean they will be a great host.

So what makes a podcast host great then?

Read on to find out! Celeste had a lot to share with us! And it’s all good stuff.

Practice these 4 techniques:

1. It is never about you.  

You should not talk a lot as the podcast host. If you cannot remember when you started talking, you have been talking for too long. Your goal is to shine the light on your guest. If you’re getting long-winded, end your point and re-direct with a question or statement for your guest to take and run with.

2. Listen with more than your ears.  

Don’t be limited to using only headphones and a mic for communicating with your guest. Video conferencing is a great way to help you focus on their facial expressions, gestures, and micro-expressions. But, if you do not have access to the bandwidth or they don’t want to turn on their camera, there are other things you can do: Visualize them during the recording and gesture along with the gestures you imagine they are making. 

3. Make them comfortable before you hit record. 

Setting clear expectations after a polite conversation is an effective way to set your guest at ease. I have a script that I use to demonstrate our professionalism, preparation, and to help guests overcome common mistakes that guests tend to make. I would be glad to share them with you if you email me directly. 

4. When the interview is over, ask them for feedback on how the podcast went.

Ask your guest if there was anything you could do better and what they liked about the interview. Showing humility and a willingness to improve will help your guest continue to feel like the expert, and if you want them back as a returning guest, they will be more likely to accept. 


What is the greatest thing about being a podcast host? You always can learn, always get better, and hone your craft. Be encouraged! 

Practice these four tips from my interview with Celeste Headlee and listen to the full episode here to get more proven techniques. 

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