Reading Time: 3 minutes

E136: The Importance of the Screening Call in Enhancing Podcast Quality

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This episode highlights the significance of the screening call in podcasting. It explains how this process can enhance the quality of episodes by setting expectations, establishing rapport, and creating engaging conversations with guests. The hosts discuss deferring to guests’ preferences, scheduling, the recording process, post-recording logistics, and potential opportunities for future collaborations and referrals.

Sean Boyce is a seasoned entrepreneur and founder of NxtStep Consulting, with over 14 years of experience. He specializes in helping businesses navigate the challenges of scaling their software products to success, leveraging his own success stories in scaling companies like and Sean’s expertise in SaaS, product strategy, and development makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to build a world-class software product business. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Hard to Market:

  • Screening calls help set the stage for positive podcast recordings and establish connections with guests.
  • Screening calls serve as an accessibility tool, making the onboarding process smoother and improving post-meeting follow-up.
  • The call structure involves getting to know the guest, providing show context, and discussing potential topics.
  • Conversations during screen calls should aim for a friendly, intimate atmosphere, resembling a conversation at a bar.
  • The provision of additional touchpoints and opportunities for collaboration.
  • Setting expectations about the readiness and publishing schedule of episodes.
  • Aligning with guests’ marketing goals and adjusting schedules accordingly.


Connect with Sean Boyce:

Connect with our host, Brian Mattocks:


  • 01:02 – “If you’re using your podcast to connect with people, leverage it as a networking tool, which is something we always encourage people do. But you find yourself occasionally recording episodes that are not producing maybe the most engaging content or the vibe is off, or for whatever reason you just feel like it could be better and you’re not at the moment speaking with people before you’re recording. That’s something that we’d recommend you do, and that’s often what I’m referring to. And thus a screening call.”
  • 02:28 – “A big part of why interviews don’t go well on an episode has to do with the fear and uncertainty and all of the things that come with what is perceived as this permanent indelible public record of your failures as a person. Like people get on these things, they’re like, “oh my God, they’re going to see through all of my crazy”. And that’s the screening call helps set the stage for a positive recording, but it also, allows you to connect with another human.”
  • 03:20 – “The biggest thing that I think you should get out of that screening call is that expectation-setting conversation. And so I use the screening call or that setup call as an accessibility tool. Making the process more accessible to whomever you’re interviewing. I don’t care if they’ve been on three podcasts or 300 podcasts, that onboarding process is worth its weight in gold.”
  • 07:26 – “One of the things that I try to do to the best of my ability, and if I get a sense from those conversations that it’s going to be that the guest is going to go off the rails. And they’re going to start trying to hard pitch during an episode or they’re going to potentially be the kind of guest who starts talking and then doesn’t stop, is I will try to give a little bit of conversational guidance as well. Like, “Hey listen, I may have to interrupt you during the episode” and what that sounds like is this, or I’ll do something like X, Y or Z and show them the demonstrable sort of conversational stuff so that I can help them put their best foot forward.”
  • 09:53 – “So when you’re beginning with the intro call, I like to set expectations for anything else or any other ways we may help each other as well too. Again, I think of it more like an introduction call between some folks in my network. So as I’m listening to them talk about their background, what it is that they do and I’m sharing the same, I’m thinking, okay, is there anybody that I know that they should also know or is there anything else I could do to help them?”