Top 5 Tips: How To Be a Great Podcast Host

How to be a great podcast host
Alice Violet Creative

By Alice Violet

21 April 2023

The training I’m asked to deliver most is “How To Be a Great Podcast Host” (or guest – which I’ll focus on in another blog and link here!).

I specialise in b2b podcasts, mostly in cybersecurity, which means that the host is often a marketer or product specialist and unlikely to be trained in public speaking.

In this article, I’ll run through the top five tips for becoming a better podcast host.

Blog: 5 Reasons to Launch a Business Podcast

1. Believe in the potential of this medium

I know you’re a b2b brand and, even worse, a cybersecurity brand! Who is going to want to listen to your show?

Lots of people, including your target customer!

When I worked for Sophos, I took The Naked Security Podcast from three to sixty thousand listens per month. Admittedly, we had an established social media community, but with a 45-60 minute show every week, we demonstrated there’s an appetite and audience for this content.

The purpose of a podcast is to showcase the expertise of your business, employees and bring value to your audience.

Your customer is unlikely to listen to your show passively, as they might with your other marketing mediums like social media. With podcasts, they actively carve out time to listen to your show, for example, when driving, commuting, or cooking – this is incredibly valuable, so use the time wisely. 

    2. Know – and Acknowledge – Who You’re Talking To

    With that in mind, knowing exactly who you’re talking to should inform the direction of the show. Are you talking to fellow techies? You can use industry jargon and reference things they know about. Talking to consumers? You need to use plain language and provide more context. If talking about a complex or relatively new technology, it’s always worth speaking plainly and providing context to enable accessibility. I am a lover of art history, and although I have studied it and binge books on the topic, I like it when I am reminded of the era and political context when listening to art podcasts.

    A simple thing that new podcast hosts sometimes overlook is acknowledging your audience.

    Say, “Hi and welcome back to the Alice Violet Creative Podcast, and if it’s your first time listening, thanks for joining. I’m your host Alice…” or something along these lines.

    I have spoken with many hosts who see this as business content and forget it’s also a piece of entertainment. Even if it’s valuable or educational, building a community is a great way to increase exposure as, over time, you can ask for feedback and ask them to share the show on their social channels.

    As with any piece of marketing, knowing your audience will help you create content that resonates with them and keeps them engaged.

    3. Be Prepared

    Preparation is key when it comes to podcasting. This should go beyond knowing the topic and having a bullet-point list of questions. I recommend you thoroughly research the topic you’re discussing, even if an expert joins you, as this enables you to ask more interesting questions. You can say, “I was really surprised by this news article I found when researching the topic”, to provide greater context for your audience.

    With this in mind, it’s also good to do some research into your guest. Even if you’ve been working with them for years, you may not know what they studied or used to live in the United States; bringing in personality – when appropriate – adds a human element to your show.

    Your podcast should be engaging for your audience. Ask questions that you may not have planned in advance because they come up naturally. But remember, as the host, you’re here to guide the show, keep the pace and get interesting answers from guests.

    4. Get comfy!

    Many of us get a bit stiff and awkward when we press record; It’s completely normal. So to avoid this, ensure you get comfortable with your microphone, kit and guests. I recommend having a play before the show to ensure you’re happy with the mic. If you’re unsure, have a run-through with your producer before you start.

    I’m a big advocate for a 15-minute pre-podcast chat with your guests and producer. This is in situ with your microphones where everyone can give a brief introduction on themselves, the topic and the aims of the show. You may even find some interesting nuggets that can be used on air. “Before we started recording, you mentioned x” for example.

    If you find that you’re still a bit awkward and clumsy at the beginning, don’t worry. You can always re-record your introduction at the end, and your podcast editor (hopefully me!) can simply move it to the start.

    Tip for remote shows: Even though you need to be comfy, sit in a quiet chair and be mindful of noises in the background. If a siren goes off or a dog starts barking, be confident to interrupt and ask them to start again.

    5. Promote Yourself and Your Podcast

    As host of the show, you’re also the face of the show. I know, this is an audio-only remit right?


    These days podcasts are often audio and video. And, although you can be successful as an audio-only show, don’t limit yourself.

    One of the biggest reasons brands contact me is because their podcast isn’t getting enough listens. But when I ask what they’re doing to promote it the answer is very little.

    Although a podcast specialist, I’m a former marketing director with over ten years of content marketing experience, so I will always push a podcast promotional strategy. Your hosts and guests sharing every episode on Linkedin should be included at the minimum!


    By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great podcast host on a business podcast. Just remember to be prepared, be engaging, and promote your podcast. If you do this, you’ll be sure to have a successful podcast.

    Want more tips? I offer training via Zoom or in person and have a 90-minute session dedicated to being a great podcast host. Email to learn more.


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