How to Perfectly Introduce a Guest on Your Podcast

by | Apr 25, 2023 | Hosting a Podcast, Podcast Framework, Podcast Guest Experience

The opening to your podcast sets the tone for every episode, so it’s essential to make an incredible first impression. As a podcast host, your guest’s introduction should not only capture the essence of your guest, but it should also hook your audience and keep them tuned in.

In this article, we’re going to share with you best practices for crafting an ideal introduction that sets your guest up for success and captivates your audience. We’ll reveal the five key elements of a Perfect Podcast Intro and, just as crucially, the three things you must avoid when introducing a guest.

With these simple steps and guidelines at your disposal, you’ll be able to create a memorable and exciting introduction that energizes every single episode. So let’s dive in and make sure your introduction hits all the right notes!

More of a video person? Watch Casey share his podcast hosting best practices here! Casey also shares some podcast guest introduction examples.

Why You Need to Give Your Guest a Great Podcast Introduction

There are three main reasons why a fantastic guest introduction at the start of your podcast is so important.

1. Start Off by Setting the Energy Expectations

Your guest’s introduction should communicate the kind of energy and vibe that you want your podcast to convey. Whether you’re looking for a high-energy or low-energy show format, your introduction must send the correct message to your guests and the audience. It’s not just about the words you use, but how you speak them. If you come across sluggish and disinterested, don’t expect your guests to bring life into the show!

2. Set the Guest up for Success – Be Your Guest’s Cheerleader

The introduction of your guest needs to set them up for success. Your enthusiasm to speak to the guest will translate into your audience’s enthusiasm to listen to your guest. It’s your responsibility to help your guest make a good first impression on your audience; the biggest factor is a great introduction.

Podcast guests are not immune to imposter syndrome, so it’s crucial to make them feel welcome and appreciated from the start. You should shine a spotlight on them and their achievements and tell the world how awesome they are. Making your guest feel valued will help them give their best performance.

3. Hook Your Audience in from the Start of Your Podcast

The competition in podcasting is intense. There are over five million podcasts out there, and if you want to succeed, you need to hook your audience from the start. The introduction of your guest must be engaging, highlighting your guest’s credentials so that the audience feels they’ll learn something special from this episode. Don’t forget to keep your audience’s interests in mind – they came to your podcast to hear your guest’s expertise, not your choice of raspberry jelly!

READ MORE: Improving Your Podcast’s Guest Experience

Avoiding Major Mistakes in Your Guest’s Podcast Introduction

Let’s start off by addressing three common mistakes before we dive into the best practices for podcast guest introductions. 

1. Never Ask Your Podcast Guest to Introduce Themselves 

By asking your guest to introduce themselves at the start of your podcast you send terrible signals: you don’t care about your guest, and/or you don’t know who they are. These awful signals are picked up by both the guest and the audience. If the guest think you don’t care about them, they won’t care about your podcast. Similarly, if you’re not interested by your guest, why would anyone tune into hear that conversation?

2. Don’t Read a Guest’s Biography during the Podcast

Although a guest’s biography might be interesting, it’s not what the listeners are here for. They’re tuning in to learn from your guest and hear an exciting podcast. So, avoid reading a speaker sheet word for word; instead, focus on the points that pique your interest and your guest’s passion.

3. Make Sure Your Introduction is Not Disrespectful Toward Your Guest

Your show is not about you; it’s all about your guests. That’s why it’s essential to give them the spotlight they deserve and make them feel respected from the beginning. Your guest’s introduction should give the audience a reason to care about them.

For example, a renowned CMO and author once got introduced on a podcast as a “working mom and a nice person.” Such an introduction sets the wrong tone and makes the host look like an idiot. Don’t make the same mistake! Instead, convey your respect for the guest and acknowledge how delighted you are to talk with them.

READ MORE: The Business Case for Branded Podcasts

The Perfect Intro™: The Formula for an Amazing Podcast Guest Introduction

Set every podcast conversation up for success by using our Perfect Intro™ formula. There are five key elements for a perfect podcast guest introduction: feelings, superlatives, awards and accomplishments, titles and companies, and full name.

Start your podcast guest introduction by picturing an inverted pyramid with the most important info at the bottom. The top can be more feelings-based, but as you work your way down, delve into concrete facts about your guest, leading up to the most crucial detail – their full name. With this framework, your guest’s introduction will captivate your audience and show your guest the respect they deserve.

The Five Elements of The Perfect Intro™

The framework for the perfect podcast introduction is similar to a funnel or an upside-down pyramid. At the top are very broad characteristics about the guest starting with how you feel about them and toward the bottom are more concrete things such as their company, title, and finally name.
The perfect podcast guest introduction consists of 5 elements that successively build excitement for the episode. 

1. Feelings About Your Podcast Guest

When you start your podcast guest introduction, share how you feel about the guest being on your show. You’ll include how you feel about them as a person and as a professional. Nothing gets an audience more excited about an episode than a host that is jazzed to learn from the guest. Your enthusiasm is infectious. The audience can’t wait to learn from the guest because you can’t wait to learn from the guest.

2. Superlatives For Your Guest

Now it’s time to start dropping hints about who they are using superlatives. For example, they could be a serial entrepreneur, seasoned marketer, or renowned thought leader. They could also be a a well-respected mentor or an absolute innovator in their space. Include three to five superlatives that fit into roughly two sentences.

3. Share Your Podcast Guest’s Awards & Accolades

Next, share your guest’s accolades, awards, and honors. For example, if they were included in a 40 under 40 industry list or were named San Diego’s Top Marketer. Accomplishments could include recently selling or launching a new business. Your podcast guest introduction should have two to three awards and accomplishments.

This segment is also where you can throw in a fun fact. Usually, you’ll learn about this by asking during the prep call with your podcast guest. Maybe they speak fluent Japanese after living there for ten years or they used to be a pro soccer player.

Lastly, if your guest also has a podcast shout it out here! 

TIP: You (or your podcast production team) can research accolades on a guest’s LinkedIn profile, resume, website, social media, or news articles about them. If you’re having difficulty finding information due to minimal internet presence use the prep call to ask what they’re proud of.

READ MORE: Why You Should Use A Prep Call With Your Podcast

4. Your Podcast Guest’s Job Title and Company 

Now you’re almost ready to reveal their name. First though we’ll give their job title and company, in that order. Always confirm the information on the prep call. Often people have several companies listed or professional organizations show up as job titles on LinkedIn. Sometimes people just don’t update their profiles. 

5. The Big Reveal: Your Guest’s Name

The final part of a perfect podcast guest introduction is sharing their name. Why do we save the name for the end of the introduction? Simple, it builds suspense for the audience and a wow moment for the guest. By the end of your glowing intro they’re honored and maybe even blushing a little bit.  Now is when you state your guest’s full name and welcome them to the show. 

Always ask the guest to pronounce their name on the prep call. You want to get it right. We write the name out phonetically to make sure we nail it on the recording.

READ MORE: Choosing the Perfect First Question For Your Podcast

After the Introduction: How Else to Nail Your Podcast Episode

Now you’ve got all the tips on how to have the perfect podcast guest introduction. You know what mistakes to avoid and how to make your guest feel amazing. 

It’s time to move on with the episode. We’d love to share more tips with you about podcasting. Check out the links below for more podcast tips to grow your podcast and create quality content. 

READ MORE: Increase Your Visibility with Youtube’s New Podcast Option

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