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E151: Balancing Discovery and Interviewing in Podcasting

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In this episode, we delve into the different question styles required for effective podcast interviewing and pre-screening. The hosts emphasize the significance of asking the right questions to uncover problems worth solving and the role of sales in this process. They also explore the fine balance between using probing questions and making guests feel at ease. Additionally, the episode sheds light on the essential strategies and skills necessary to become a successful podcast host, such as consistency, adaptability during conversations, and the value of practice and preparation.

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:

  • Different question styles are needed for podcast interviewing and pre-screening.
  • Discovering problems worth solving is essential in the research phase.
  • Sales is more of a process to follow than a set of skills.
  • The objective is to determine if a solution can solve someone’s problem.
  • Asking the right questions is crucial to gather the necessary context.
  • Consistency is crucial in podcasting to meet audience expectations.
  • Regular practice and honing conversation redirection skills are vital for hosting.
Connect with Sean Boyce:
Connect with our host, Brian Mattocks:
  • 02:21 – “[Sales] is a practice of trying to ask the right questions as effectively and efficiently as you can to really get to that answer. And then either you can help them with what you offer, product or service, or you can point them in the right direction because now you’ve got better context for the problem space.”
  • 03:09 – “This is where it gets risky and challenging as a host. In the screening calls that you might be doing with somebody in advance of a podcast, you might be comfortable asking some of those deeper diving questions. But in the podcast itself, clearly as a host, from a role perspective, you want to make sure that you’re allowing the guests to put their best foot forward. So some of those probing questions and managing the discomfort of the guest might be a little bit challenging in that space.”
  • 04:12 – “You don’t want to necessarily catch someone off guard. There’s a difference between asking a good question and trying to probe in an area that makes someone feel uncomfortable. And I think for some folks, their shtick is kind of to try to do that, so to speak, where it’s like, “I’m going to throw nonstop curveballs” and then it just kind of gets like awkward or whatever. So, less of that kind of stuff. I think that gets a lot of attention, but I don’t think that produces good content, right?”
  • 07:22 – “So when you help folks feel comfortable and confident in that presale process or in that pre-meeting process where you’re doing the initial interview, you get to demand essentially a higher level of intimacy in the podcast episode itself.”
  • 12:12 – “And as a host, the cultivating skills really just means go out and have as many conversations as you can. The best way to prep to be a good podcaster is talk to a lot of people and try to get them to stay, get them back to a topic or see what you can do to redirect a conversation. Every conversation you have is a chance to hone and sharpen that skill set.”