The audio trailer – a great tool for podcast preparation

When I interviewed Michael E. Gerber for the podcast on Tuesday, I went into the conversation better prepared than almost any other interview I’ve ever done. Not only had I read the book (it’s a short, readable book, my favourite kind) but I’d listened to an audio trailer while I was fixing lunch the day before. It wasn’t anything fancy, it was just a recording of a Skype conversation with Michael and his publicity manager, saved to Dropbox, no intro or outro or soundtrack. But it gave me an overview of what the book was about, why he’d written it, and what he thought the key points were. It was intended for podcast hosts, in recognition of the fact that not all of them would have time to read the book. The impact was dramatic: not only did I have a better understanding of the book and an immediate connection to Michael as both author and interviewee, I felt a stronger emotional connection to the subject.

As a podcast host, I know how it is. Each week we have a new guest, a new book to read/skim, new questions to prepare. It’s a joy and a privilege, but it’s also a stack of work. Anything you can do to help them understand you, your book and your message more easily is welcome. And podcasts hosts by definition tend to be auditory people.

So if you’re in the market as a podcast guest talking aobut your new book, try recording a short interview or personal message to send in advance to hosts, introducing the book, giving them ideas for questions or funny stories they can hook on to. You’re likely to get a much better interview and a more receptive, engaged interviewer as a result.