by David Temple

With nearly 25 years in television and professional radio, I’ve learned a thing or three about creating interesting content and how to keep listeners engaged. As an author, I understand the challenge of brand building and trying to get your name and books out there in front of people. In today’s market, podcasts are hugely popular and growing audiences at a faster rate than traditional radio or television programs, which makes them a great place for authors to get exposure and grow a platform. That’s one of the reasons I started THE THRILLERZONE — a podcast where I interview top thriller authors from around the world and talk books, film, and television.

However, whether you’re an aspiring writer or a NY Times best seller, being interviewed on a podcast can be a daunting proposition. Especially if you consider yourself an introvert. But fear not, by leveraging my two passions—writing and broadcasting—I can help you become a Pro on a Podcast!

TIP #1 Be On Time

Be on time. Please. There’s nothing more frustrating for a Podcast host then when a guest shows up late. Interviewing is a business for podcast hosts. Their time is valuable, so please respect that. Also, most podcasters schedule multiple interviews on a single day in rigid time slots. If you show up fifteen minutes late to a thirty-minute interview, the person you’re hurting the most is yourself. Being late also adds stress and cuts out the time for “break-the-ice” chit chat beforehand. Professional interviewers use that time to help put guests at ease and calm pre-interview jitters. Again, showing up late only hurts yourself by adding stress and undermining the dynamic.

TIP #2 Be Technically Prepared

Even if you are not a “technical” or “computer” savvy person, that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself set-up to look good and more importantly sound good on the air.

  • AUDIO: Be sure you have a proper microphone. A separate semi- professional microphone works infinitely better than “just your laptop mic.”
  • LIGHTING: Use light properly. Light your face from the front, not behind your head. Nothing screams amateur like “backlighting.” Ring lights are all the rage, and they work, unless you wear glasses, then you’ll no doubt see the inevitable twin “rings.” I would suggest a simple, lightweight LED that doesn’t require big stands, or transmit great heat.
  • VIDEO: Use the highest quality web camera you can afford. 720P should be the absolute bottom. 1080 is even better.
  • INTERNET CONNECTION & BANDWIDTH: And lastly, for the love of podcasting, please strive for adequate and stable bandwidth. The gold standard is to connect your computer to a gigabit router via an ethernet cable. Even the best WiFi router cannot compete with a hardwired connection, because WiFi routers are constantly modulating and managing traffic. Believe me, I can tell when your kid fires up his X-box while you’re being interviewed and so can everyone else because your face freezes on the screen. Oh, and do not even attempt a podcast from your iPhone.

Remember, the podcast host is spending his or her time, money and energy to provide the very best platform so that YOU look and sound your very best. You should be as equally on top of things. This is a business for both of you, first and foremost, so treat it that way.

TIP #3 Be Personally Prepared

Have notes if needed; heck, I use them all the time. Be ready to really talk about your book. Be ready to answer basic questions. What is it about? Why did you write it? What are the themes? What is your favorite scene, and why should people care? You cannot assume the host will have read your entire novel. You are the subject matter expert, so be prepared to prove it. And if you’re worried that it’ll appear that you’re reading, just remember a large percentage of our listeners are doing just that: listening (and perhaps not watching).

If possible, place a copy of your latest book behind you or nearby.

That said, please dress for the occasion and put your very best foot forward. And for the love of podcasts, look around at your environment and spiff it up a bit. Who wants to look at hanging laundry? Stand behind your computer and really look at the space you will be broadcasting from. What does it look like? Is it a mess? Or is it a barren wall? Can you see into a bedroom closet or bathroom? If possible, place a copy of your latest book behind you or nearby. Consider buying a small houseplant. Staging your space is Podcast guest “101” level stuff in my opinion.

TIP #4 Be Organized

In other words, be Informationally Prepared. Make it easy for your host to promote you! That means providing your host in advance:

  • your website address
  • social media channels
  • book links
  • headshot
  • author bio
  • cover art
  • book trailers or other media

Do not make your host go online digging for your bona fides and links because most of them won’t have the time or inclination. Again, not doing these things, only undermines yourself and the effectiveness of the promotion you get out of the appearance.

TIP #5 Be Engaging (or at least Enthusiastic)

If you’ve listened to my podcast, The Thriller Zone, you know I’m all about two things: Being Prepared (See Above) and Having Fun. Yes, you and I are both here to make the most of our time, our impact, and our show to be as professional as is possible. Yes, I’m here to help you sell more books. And yes, I’m always up for digging deeper into your life than the average bear. But why? Because that’s what I find interesting. And frankly, if I’m not interested in you and learning more about you, your books, and your life, then how can I possibly create that interest for my listeners?

Listeners want to learn and be entertained.

The easiest way to make a podcast fun and motivate the listeners to buy your book is if they like you and find you interesting enough to spend money on what you have to say. The key to this is being engaging. Have two or three stories to tell about yourself and your writer’s life. If you have a humorous anecdote, then share it! If you have hard earned advice, share that too! Listeners want to learn and be entertained. Maybe some of you reading this are thinking, well, I can’t do that because I’m shy and I’m not a comedian. No problem. Interviewers are extroverts by occupation. They know how to guide a conversation. It’s okay to let the host do the heavy lifting, but even the best host can’t interview a corpse. So, your job—at the bare minimum—is to be enthusiastic. Smile. Act excited to be there. Look at the host when you talk. And it’s okay to laugh and joke around. I promise if you relax and have fun the listeners will love you for it and the host will be more likely to invite you back when your next book comes out.

I hope this blog post was helpful. If you have questions or comments, chime in on Facebook or reach out to me at



David enjoyed a prolific 25-year career in Radio, creating #1 Morning Shows in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Norfolk & Charlotte. Working in formats from Classic Rock to Soft Rock, and Hot Country to News/Talk, as well as on the Satellite Channels: Westwood One Radio and Armed Forces Radio, David spent “Chapter One” of his career building big audiences and loyal listeners.

In his “Chapter Two,” David acted in TV & Film. Television shows include: Discovery ID: Your Worst Nightmare, Army Wives, The Confession, Surface and One Tree Hill. Films include: Slice, Chasing Grace, Ace Wonder: Message from a Dead Man, Remember The Daze and The Ultimate Gift.

Now in “Chapter Three,” David merges a love of writing with his passion for podcasting. Learn more at: and TheThrillerZone. For an even quicker & deeper dive,