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Podcasting training: what’s the difference between a podcast and a radio interview? 
March 14, 2024

Podcasting training: what’s the difference between a podcast and a radio interview? 

Our media training for podcasts is becoming increasingly popular as demand for this channel grows. Learning how to do a podcast interview successfully and to come across well in a podcast is a useful way of raising the profile of yourself and your organisation as well as developing new business.

One reason why interest in podcast training is increasing is that the podcast sector itself is enjoying a period of explosive growth. It’s currently worth around $23 billion, but this growth is projected to increase to over 100 billion before 2030. There are over 464 million podcast listeners worldwide and that number could hit 504 million this year. The average listener spends seven hours a week listening to their podcast app, apparently. More and more of us are using them on the way to work, at the gym or while walking the dog

In our media training courses we regularly look at the difference between radio interviews and podcast interview and we’re including more podcast training in our media training workshops.

Why is the podcast sector growing? 

There are a number of reasons for this. They’re convenient for one thing – there’s no need to wait until a programme airs on the radio. You can download them and so they work on a plane or an underground train. Podcasts have the time to really explore an issue or interview someone at length, meaning that we can hear more about their story and their personal experience than would be possible in a traditional radio or TV interview.

People like the fact that podcasts cover one particular sector or area of interest. We’ve trained spokespeople to appear on podcasts which specialise in everything from insurtech and niche marketing to horticulture and luxury travel and from eating disorders to US politics. If you have a particular interest, then a podcast can really get into the detail and explore the issues in depth. It can also do so on a far more regular basis than the broader news agenda of most radio or TV programmes would allow.

What are the differences between radio and podcast interviews and the media training they require?

As we’ve mentioned above, podcasts are much longer than a typical broadcast interview and they go into much more detail. A radio interview might consist of four or five questions – with TV it could just be three or four but a podcast host will ask many more and they’ll often do so in a more relaxed, conversational way. This is because podcasts are generally slower paced with less of a sense of topicality and urgency and they’re usually less accusatorial or confrontational than traditional journalistic interviews. The hosts, who are often experts in the subject matter of the podcasts rather than generalists, tease out current issues, ask about their guests’ motivations and explore forward trends rather than looking to hold anyone to account.

The host’s knowledge and assumed familiarity of the audience means that they can use more technical terms and they don’t have to ask the guest to start at square one with the topic of the interview. Not surprisingly, this type of questioning is reflected in the style of the answers. They can be longer and more considered. We always advise those taking part in our media training courses to include stories and examples in our podcast training we recommend that podcast guests take their time to tell longer stories, adding more detail and painting more pictures. Despite this difference, our other recommendation in our media training workshops – always think of the takeaway, the advice or the call to action for the audience – also holds true in podcasts. 

Personal testimony in media interviews

Personal testimony can work well in media interviews because it sounds authentic and ticks the “human” box and it’s even more relevant in podcasts. There’s more of an opportunity to do this. In fact, depending on the subject matter, the presenter is more likely to share their own experience. One thing any good podcast presenter and producer will be thinking about is their audience and this is true of radio and TV shows as well, of course.

In our media training and our presentation training courses we encourage our participants to focus on their audience – who are they? What do they care about? What language will they understand and, more importantly, use themselves? A podcast audience is more likely to be deeply engaged in the topic, aware of the issues and able to understand technical language and industry terms than a general radio or TV audience. 

Podcast media training

When we do podcast media training for lawyers, podcast media training for architects or podcast media training for financial services firms we help our participants to take these facts about the audience into account during their preparation. We also help them to identify stories that they can use during podcast interviews to engage listeners, illustrate their message and prove their points. Where it’s relevant, we’ll get them to develop their personal narrative and so they can talk about why they do what they do, what they’ve learnt in their careers (based on their mistakes, if necessary) and what advice they’d give to others.

Finally, developing this point about advice we help them to think about how they’re going to answer the “What’s In It For Me?” question that is always in the minds of the audience, even if they’re not immediately aware of it. Why are they bothering to listen. This means thinking about takeaways and calls to action and expressing them clearly and concisely. 

Finally, as well as podcast media training courses, the expansion of podcasts means that a growing number of companies and organisations are launching their own versions. Our podcasting experts are helping more of our clients to create, record and launch their own podcasts. 

Podcast Media Training

We’d love to help you with podcast media training. Come and talk to us, get in touch with our team today.

You can follow us on LinkedIn here.

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