How to Find Your Conversational Flow as a Podcast Host

An essential part to having a quality podcast is establishing your unique conversational flow. This consists of three key elements: deciding on the desired tone of your podcast, building self-confidence when speaking, and helping your guests to feel comfortable during recording. As a podcast host, finding your conversational flow is critical for engaging with your audience and building a strong connection with them and your guests. 

Many say that love is the universal language. For us podcasters, it’s the art of storytelling that connects us to anyone in the world. Stories connect us to our past, help us learn about the present, and can warn us about the future. Stories shape how we perceive the universe and how we relate to each other. Perhaps it’s the stories and memories we share that truly make us human. This is why podcasting is booming today.

Decide on the tone of your show

The first step to finding your conversational flow is to decide on the tone of your show. Not only is this important for your overall brand image, but complimenting your content with the perfect tone is a great way to display your value. A matching tone shows the quality of your content, sets the mood and expectations for your podcast, and cues listeners in on the thought that went behind each episode’s creation. Here are some helpful tips to help you decide on the tone of your podcast:

1. Consider your content: Think about your target audience and what they want to hear. This will help you decide on the tone of your show. Consider the age group, interests, and needs of your audience.

2. Think about your audience: Who do you want to indulge your content? What’s your target audience? If you’re a business with a podcast, this will likely be your target customers. If you simply want to have a podcast, regardless of monetary value, your target audience will be whoever you want to aim your content toward. Take the investing category for example. Do you want to target people looking for investing advice? Or would you rather target professional investors as a way to expand your network? Asking yourself these types of questions will help you narrow down your content to accurately hit your target audience. 

Develop a style that suits the tone of your show. This can be anything from a casual and conversational style to a more formal and informative style. Your style should align with the tone of your show and the interests of your audience.

3. Choose a style with purpose and stick with it: As we always say, consistency is key to podcasting success! This is especially true when it comes to picking a podcast style and sticking with it. Think about the kind of message you want to send with your content. Consider the format that best suits the tone of your show. Is your content more casual or informative? No matter what, your style should align with your desired tone and the interests of your audience.

4. Use music and sound effects in a complimentary fashion: Podcasts with subtle music in the background can greatly enhance the tone of your show. Think about the most recent horror movie you watched. Did the instrumentals crescendo right at the big reveal or at a jump scare? Did you know that horror movies use layers of sounds to purposely put your senses into fight or flight mode, causing subconscious fear? Tactics like this can be used to your advantage in post-production editing. 

If you want your audience to feel sentimental, try going with something more toned down and emotion-evoking like quiet piano or simple violin. 

Sound effects, on the other hand, can either help or hinder your podcast’s tone. We advise our clients to use as few sound effects as possible because more often than not, they detract from the actual content in the episode and make it hard for the listeners to feel connected with the content when used incorrectly. 

5. Make adjustments where needed: Once you’ve decided on your podcast’s tone, give it a trial run! You’ll never know if it works for your content until you employ it at least a few times. If your listeners give feedback or if you decide the tone just isn’t working as expected, it’s absolutely okay to make the necessary adjustments. When you eventually find your tone of choice, stick with it and stay consistent.

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Be Confident When Speaking

The next step in finding your conversational flow is to build up your self-confidence. You are the face of the podcast which requires confidence. If you lack confidence, it will be evident in the delivery and your audience will be quick to pick up on your lack thereof. If you’re not super confident yet, worry not fellow podcast enthusiast - here are our best confidence-boosting tips:

1. Relax, relax, relax: This might sound annoying and hard to do, but relaxation is key to keeping a level head during recording. Bring some water or tea into the recording so you have something to sip on when you need a break or can feel your voice dwindling. Try turning off the main lights and turning on some mood lighting like a table lamp or even better, your favorite lava lamp. Bring a blanket or a pillow or anything that will help you stay calm and collected in front of the mic. 

Our recording studio is set up with comfortable lighting and plenty of blankets for our clients and their guests. We’ve received numerous compliments about the vibes of the room and how the soft lighting helps calm nerves.

* Pro Tip: Meditate or take a quick walk before and after recording. This will boost your confidence and help to clear your mind. It’s especially helpful after heavier topics are covered on the show.*

2. Know your content: It's essential to research your topic thoroughly before recording. Understanding your subject matter will give you the confidence to speak with authority on your topic. If you are well-versed in your topic, you will come across as more knowledgeable and trustworthy to your audience.

Standing out from your competitors requires confidence. It’s well worth it to be the most knowledgeable host about your topics. Take the time to do your research, look to various sources for guidance, and help yourself become the authority on your content. Doing so will help you rise above the rest.

Insecure hosts have insecure voices and the mic will pick up on it. If you’ve never recorded a podcast before, it’s easy to let your nerves get the best of you and make your voice shaky. To avoid this, try writing a script of everything you want to say until you feel comfortable enough loosely following a script and filling in the details with your own storytelling skills.

3. Practice makes perfect: As painful as it can be, listening back to the recording can help you identify areas of improvement like if your voice trembles or if you say filler words like “um” too often. You might be surprised at how making these small improvements makes such a big difference in your confidence and storytelling abilities.

Before the recording, try practicing the delivery. Read and reread your talking points or script so you don’t go into recording blind. If it helps, try practicing your content with someone and use their feedback to improve your confidence.

Help Your Guests Feel Comfortable

Having guests on your podcast is an excellent way to gather diverse perspectives and to build up your audience. This works best when the guest shares your podcast with their followers and encourages them to tune in. This is why we try to have high-profile people on our podcasts so we can establish our shows on the charts and mutually benefit from one another’s following. That being said, hosts would be wise to build rapport with their guests and help them feel as comfortable as possible while recording so conversation can freely flow. 

1. Be prepared: This is the most important part of a guest interview. Hosts should take the time before recording to study their guests. Learn how to pronounce their names and titles accurately. Learn about their backgrounds and find ways to tie their expertise to your content. This will impress the guest and help them feel appreciated on the show. Otherwise, it can be embarrassing and cringe-worthy if the host knows nothing about the person they invited on the podcast. Trust us - your audience will cringe too.

2. Break the ice: If you have the time and feel so inclined, try engaging in some small talk before the recording so you get used to each other’s voices. This helps ease the guest into the recording flow and cut that many understandably feel when recording podcasts. 

3. Listen actively and be respectful: Be a good host and listen to your guest. Don’t just hear what they have to say, actually listen to what they’re saying with empathy and curiosity. Try your best not to interrupt your guests when they’re speaking. It’s important that you stay professional and give them the space to fully express themselves and their ideas. This will help them to feel more comfortable speaking what they truly feel and in turn becomes the gateway for awesome content. 

We mention staying professional because you never know how an interview will go. If you want your guests to return to the podcast, make a good impression. Help reduce their speaking anxiety by helping them understand podcasting dos and don’ts ahead of recording with this guide.

You got this!

Finding your conversational flow doesn’t happen overnight and can take a lot of time and a lot of practice to nail. It may seem like a daunting thing to do, but you are totally capable of finding your unique flow because you are unique and you have things to say. 

At the end of the day, have fun with it. You’ll love podcasting more when you aren’t too hard on yourself and have a great time during recording.

Connect with one of our podcast experts today to learn more about taking your show to the next level. Cheers to your success!

Don't just like what you see, like what you hear

Book a time with one of our podcast experts and launch your brand into orbit. Or don't... we can't really tell you what to do.