The podcast guest introduction isn’t just a formality with your guest. It also helps set you up for success. In this episode, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard talk about podcast guest introductions and why they are so important, especially in building relationships with your guest. They also talk about how crafting guest introductions helps win clients. Tune in and learn the tricks of the podcast trade.

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Exciting listeners and the main point of having guests

Q:We’re going to talk about making the perfect podcast guest introduction to excite readers and win clients. Those are two very different things, Tracy, aren’t they?

Right but the two points of having a guest on is either you’re using them to lead generate for your business. They might become referral partners and not clients but it’s still eventually winning a client in the process or you’re getting them to share your show. That’s how your exciting listeners and the main point of having guests on our show, plus have a little fun and learn something in the meantime. Those are nice to have but the business purpose of having a guesting strategy and doing guest interviews is all about getting more listeners and eventually winning clients somewhere in that process. Why not have our guest introductions do a lot of the heavy lifting for us? That is to build that rapport right at the beginning of the phone call and interview and get it going from the very beginning so that they want to share more freely, are much more open on the call and more excited about making a relationship with you.

FYB 114 | Podcast Guest Introduction

Podcast Guest Introduction: Never make guests introduce themselves. That feels really unprofessional and by the end of it, they’re running from that phone call.


Question: Any podcaster who is using a guest strategy at all or having guests occasionally on their show would be interested in this. What is that perfect guest introduction, Tracy?

For me, it’s three parts. One is the bio that they gave you. You want to make sure that you have that but I like to sandwich in between two things. First, I want to tell people who are reading my show why I invited this person on. I want to give them context. Sometimes it’s a fun story. Melissa Monte, I met her at Social Media World in San Diego at a Meetup event. I’ve never met her before but this was a podcast event. She had just launched her show called the Mind Love Podcast. She was a bundle of energy.

When she came on my show, I had forgotten that I had met her there, until I did the conversation with her. Luckily, I do the intro after so I was able to recapture that and reiterate the story as the intro to why she came on. It wasn’t a direct correlation but I understood. It was something about her bubbly energy that attracted me to her and why it’s attracting binge listeners to her show. It’s the perfect segue into why she’s there and then do her intro and give some pieces of information about her. Before I go onto it because I record my intros after my introduction to the guests after I’ve done the interview, I have the opportunity to tell people what they’re going to miss if don’t keep listening.

I’ve never heard you talked about that before but I like it.

The business purpose of having a guesting strategy is all about getting more listeners and eventually winning clients. Click To Tweet

That’s what I do in my intros. Some people go straight in and read the intros. Some people start right in. That’s the one where I had the most problems. When I hear a show that starts right into the conversation or forces the guests to do the introduction for you, I can tell you right there, you can hear it in the voice of the guest. The guest feels that this is unprofessional and you’ve lost that relationship-building opportunity right then and there. To prevent that because I don’t do the intro with them listening to prevent that, I clearly tell them that I’m professionally introducing them. I’m friendly and I have a pre-conversation. I don’t start up and dive in with them so that they feel it’s going to sound like we’re starting in the middle like we’re jumping in but that’s okay.

Avoiding Self Introductions

Never in that process did I make them introduce themselves. That feels unprofessional and I can guarantee you by the end of it, they’re running from that phone call. They can’t wait to get off of the interview. I had it happen. I was interviewing someone. At the end of the interview, she was like, “I have done so many guest interviews and I had a good time here. That was great. Normally, I can’t wait to get off this call but now I have questions for you.” I got my relationship-building started right then and there. I’m on my way to winning clients because of that. She’s going to become a client because I did that right at the very beginning and set that tone. Your introduction is a tone for your audience but also for your guests.

Things to keep in mind when introducing your podcast guest

Everybody may have different goals and purposes. What works right for you may not necessarily work right for others. I like the way you do it. I’ve tend to do something similar when I’m doing a guest interview for my show. We like to jump right in and let them know I’m going to introduce them later after I’ve gotten to know them better and what we talked about in the interview. I can also tease the audience as to some of what they’re going to expect or experience in the interview so they have an expectation. That builds anticipation. It gets them like, “That sounds great. I want to hear it. Let’s get on with the interview.”

I was on somebody else’s show that actually was a virtual summit. My time slot was where I am presenting and adding value to this virtual summit audience but it was also done a bit like a podcast interview because they’re repurposing that virtual summit and each different participant’s segment as a podcast episode. We didn’t have the opportunity for that podcast host to introduce me after having the experience.

FYB 114 | Podcast Guest Introduction

Podcast Guest Introduction: The process is going on there, but there has to be a little groundwork laid for your audience to have reference to it.


You’re doing it in a live situation like a live event. You have to do the intro at the time of it. There’s no choice in that. That’s fine but then prepare a little bit ahead of time, have that little bit of story about why Tom’s on your stage, why he’s at your live event or why he’s on your virtual event.

Have that prepared so that you can go into it. If you don’t know what Tom’s going to talk about at that point, you don’t have quite the segue but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do some great throw to Tom that does a transfer of authority. That will make Tom feel like the guest there. It will make him feel like, “That was a good segue into what I need to do. I don’t have to overdo and tell people about myself. Enough was covered there.”

You do want to do that both at your live and virtual events, like you might do on your show. This is the thing. If you are recording it after and the guests didn’t hear it, that’s okay. What I like to do is in my pre-talk with them and my little bit of chat is I confirm a few things with them and it makes them feel confident. “You went to Rhode Island School of Design? When did you study there?” Confirm that. Write that down. “How do I pronounce your name? Am I saying it correctly?” If I’ve covered a couple of those things, they feel great about it. What I’m doing is I’m teasing them to come back and listen to the episode.

How often do you go back after you’ve guested on a show and listened to the show?

I can guarantee you, it’s very rarely because I rarely get anyone commenting and saying anything back. That was the case before I started doing this. I tease two things. One is that this intro is going to happen. I’m going to tell a story. I’m setting them up for this great intro that’s going to happen and then second, I also say I’m going to have some closing thoughts afterward. They want to hear what I have to say in case I contradicted them or I say anything different. It makes people listen to the show. Usually, we walk away from an interview feeling, “That went great. They’re going to air it like it was. Why do I need to listen to it again? It’s fine. I’ll share it to my audience,” but you don’t take the time to read to it.

This helps make them listen. When they listen, they’re now back in the moment of it. They’re like, “That was as good as I felt and as good as I thought it was.” You’re relationship-building again because you’ve got them to listen to something, even if the only part they listened to was that intro piece into the transition to the start of their show and they didn’t read to the whole episode after that but they got that part of it where you were raving about them. Now, they feel good about themselves and their relationship with you so you’ve got that going. That’s why this intro piece is so critical. You want to have a podcast guest introduction that is setting you up for success on the sharing side and relationship-building and client growth side.

When you think about it, in that model you’re talking about, the entire podcast episode, the interview is an introduction of you to your guest of sorts.

You to each other but the process is going on there. There has to be a little groundwork laid for your audience to have reference to it. That’s why I’m not a fan of letting your guests do the intro because it makes them uncomfortable because they don’t know your audience. They have this long resume and they don’t know what’s relevant. Too often, I hear them and they’re like, “I went to school at this and then I did this,” and it’s boring. You don’t want someone just spouting off their bio either.

You lose control. They’re going to go on and on. They think it’s so important and if they’re reading it, that’s the worst because it’s very mechanical.

Most guests don’t have it on reference. It was submitted in. A couple of things that I do in my guest introduction are read the bio. I’m very careful about that because I’ve got problems with publicists and other people where when I made the bullet points, I wrote something wrong and said it wrong. If I wasn’t reading it, I didn’t do something right by the messaging that they’ve carefully crafted.

I have a whole off-the-cuff intro that is prepared ahead of time that is before that and after that. The segue portions, that sandwich piece that I was talking about, that is in between the reading portion so it’s not as boring because all I did was come on and say, “Welcome to the show,” and then read the bio. I didn’t do that but I did read it and I cut it. Usually, I cut pieces out of it. I make it shorter because usually when people submit it, it’s like three times longer than it needs to be. I’ll cut it down to what I consider to be the short intro.

What I end up doing is if somebody who is interviewing me on a show ends up wanting me to introduce myself, I keep it short. I cover the very basics about why the heck would you want to be hearing from me on this show, not a whole resume. A couple of real high points and then I get right into providing them value but I also let them know, “You can find out more about me on my website. Here it is,” so that I can let that more polished and published by bio do that work and people that are curious are going to go find it out.

I find that I’m always doing better if I provide a lot of value within that episode and that builds rapport with the audience right there. I don’t need to preface it by so much of you should be listening to me because. That’s very different. There are other people that it’s important. If you have a high-profile guest and you need to give them a proper introduction because you don’t want to offend them, that’s a little different and you need to be prepared to do that.

Everybody may have different goals, different purposes, what works right for you may not necessarily work right for others. Click To Tweet

You might need to do that on-air with them right then and there. What you never want to do is let them have the recording ahead of time and approve it. You should make it a policy never to do that or you’re not a professional media outlet. No media outlet allows a review of that. Otherwise, it’s a bot spot. We don’t want to do that in this case but if we feel like there’s going to be sensitivity to it then we want to do it live. We will do our live intro, ask them to be quiet or mute them so that they can’t say anything and then start in after that.

Properly setting someone up is extremely important

It sets a tone of respect and that’s what Tom was pointing out there. Setting that tone of respect treats them like high-profile guests, even if they aren’t. It treats them like an authority in what you’re doing and that’s the whole point of relationship building because that’s going to lead them to want to share the show. It’s going to lead them to refer clients or other listeners and that eventually reaches the business goals of your show.

I do find especially if I know somebody well, I know who they are and they’re a guest on my show and I’m introducing them. I cover what I think is most important and why my audience should listen to what they have to say. That is a lot of times more meaningful than what their actual bio is. It’s, “You trust me. I’m the host of the show or you wouldn’t be coming back episode after episode listening.” I’m telling you why I brought you this guest, why I believe they’re important and valuable and you should want to hear what they have to say.

The issue that I do here and this is a mistake that a lot of people make is when you’re buddies and you come on the show more than once. What tends to happen is that maybe the first time you introduced them but then the next time, you don’t. You treat it like, “Everybody knows this is a recurring guest. This is my buddy. He’s been on the show five times,” whatever it is and you don’t give him a proper introduction again. While you don’t want to be repetitive, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t frame him up and give him or her that authority again. You need to still do it professionally because you have new listeners. You don’t know if they heard all those other shows. You’re doing your guest a disservice, even though they’re a friend of yours, of not doing the introduction.

The challenge of knowing your podcast guest

I see that so often with that buddy role. It’s is like, “I invited my best friend on.” That’s great but have a little story and history there. Give a little context to it and a different one than you gave last time. Maybe a slightly different story and about a different stage of your relationship. That’s perfectly fine. It helps to segue and then don’t forget to reference the other episode so that they’re very sure if they want to get the full picture of who this person is, they can go back through it. You’re doing the listener a disservice by not giving it to them in one place. We want to be friendly to our new listeners and not just our binge listeners. We want to be friendly to both at the same time.

That’s a good subject for another time. It’s important because how you speak to your audience especially with new podcasters, can be a little disconcerting. The fact that you talk to your audience directly. You’re not speaking in the third person. You are speaking to your audience. I go through that strategy a lot with new podcasters but it’s also important that you make it so that the content is of interest, valuable, engaging and not boring for both the longtime and the new listener who’s just found you.

FYB 114 | Podcast Guest Introduction

Podcast Guest Introduction: Letting your guests do the introduction makes them uncomfortable because they don’t know your audience.


I want to add the context level of what we’re talking about right here and also interesting and relationship-building for your guest. That’s your ultimate goal. That’s when you hit the trifecta of all the things that you need to accomplish with your show. This is not complicated. It sounds like a lot to think about but once you get in the role of this and find your rhythm for this, it is going to flow because it’s super simple. You review a bio and you go, “These things are important. I want to highlight them. I did a tiny little bit of research and I know this about this person. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have invited him to my show. I got a story to tell.” These are simple things that you can do. They are not complex and do not have to take a lot of time.

You want to have a podcast guest introduction that sets you up for success on the relationship building and client growth side. Click To Tweet

We have a little cheat sheet that we use that is our show note section, that we make little notes when we’re doing a recording. I have the proper name at the top, sometimes phonetically spelled for myself and I confirm that, the name of the podcast, their website or the name of something, whatever it is that’s critically important like their book. The bio is usually printed separately or on my phone and then I have a couple of little notes. Tell this story and say this. That’s it. It’s two little notes to myself to trigger my memory and make sure that I’m ready for a really great and perfect podcast guest introduction.

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We’ll be back next time with another great episode.

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