Really masterful hosts distinguish themselves by the quality of their preparation for the Expert Interview and the kind of experience that they deliver. You don't get to experience deep insights and breakthroughs from skimming the surface.
Listeners want to be pulled into a delightful engagement where breakthroughs in awareness occur and they experience possibility. There's nothing like a fulfilled promise to convince someone that they CAN take action. That only occurs when you plumb the depths of your Expert's deep wellspring of experience and know how, and your listeners are partners in a transformative event.
Here are some things you can do to lay the groundwork for magic to happen.
How to Prepare for Your Expert Interview
Much of the essential research on your Expert can be accomplished through the power of a simple search engine… Google is your friend. Make sure to do your homework and find out as much about your expert, their body of work, and specifically, the topic you will be exploring.
- Check out their blogs, books, and social media pages. Use Twitter's Search to see what they're posting. If they've written a book, read the preface, the introduction, the first chapter and skim the book for pertinent facts. Dig through their blogs. Nothing will surprise, or please, an Expert more than to know that you have done your research.
- Come up with a list of at least 18 open-ended, compelling questions. Having an abundance of questions ensures that you'll have plenty of material and be relaxed. Use your questions as a scaffolding.
- If the call is live, get on the bridgeline 20 minutes before the call to check your technology. You don't want to experience any surprises at the top of the hour.
- Arrive on your bridgeline 10 minutes before start time to greet your listeners and ‘warm up' the interaction. If it's a business related call have listeners introduce themselves with name, where they're from and their website. Remember to invite the webcast listeners to check-in.
That energy you feel before the interview, may sometimes be labeled as fear or nervousness. Re-frame it as excited anticipation and know that without it your interview would be flat. Use a centering technique to create a state of instant relaxation. Ellen uses an anchoring technique, which is a physical gesture that requires no imagery or breath practice. Realize that you're creating an experience and the energy you feel is excitement.
How to Rock your Expert Interview
Great hosts are not only confident of their ability to connect with their listeners, and elicit their Expert's brilliance, but they know how to put everyone at ease and create an environment of receptivity. It's in this relaxed flow that extraordinary conversations occur and your Expert reveals a wealth of valuable content, as well as elicits a-ha's for your listeners.
1. Take on the persona of your audience. Sense the lack in what the audience may be misunderstanding. You'll have a good sense of what your audience wants to know through your previous offers, questions that come through email, your blog comments, and social media posts. Make it a point to be in consistent interaction with your Tribe so that you know what they need to know.
2. Bring your sense of self to the interview. Don't hide your personality or your quirky self. Allow that accent to surface and those peals of laughter to ripple. Let the real you ‘out of the bag.” The more interviews that you host the more the ‘real you' surfaces, and that's what differentiates your interviews. It takes a LOT of interviews to get to this level of comfort.
3. Connect to your listeners. Give your audience a chance to contribute, to interact with you. It's in hearing and voicing their questions that they'll be able to identify with you and what you have to offer.
4. Trust your relationship with your Expert. Acknowledge the heart connection you share to be in service to your listeners. The quality of your questions dictates the depth of your content. Some of the juiciest questions arise because of the caliber of your connection.
These experiences create tremendous trust and are a win-win experience for everyone. If you're comfortable and confident it shows and your expert and audience relax and you come to experience that “Knowing is not learning. Doing is the real knowing.”
Create an Experience that Sells, So You Don't Have To
Leave your listeners with a good feeling. People don't buy if they're mad or upset. They want to feel good as a result of the experience. You do that through the quality of the questions you ask and the content that you're eliciting from your Expert. If it's only ‘buy my stuff' you're not going to do well. You've got to give before you can receive.
Here are 4 must have elements that create an experience that sells:
1. Create an Extraordinary Experience. You've got to elicit good feelings. Create an intention that you will host an extraordinary experience. Connect to your listeners and Expert authentically.
2. Deliver Great Content. Nothing is as riveting to a listener as a call that delivers generously on the content. No one wants to attend a sell-a-thon. It's in sharing abundantly that your listeners get that there is SO much more to know.
3. Accentuate the Gap for Your Listeners. You need to create an direct experience for listeners of the gap that exists between where they are and where they want to be. If you've done a good job , with the quality of your questions, your audience will know that this is just a fraction of your guest's expertise and they will naturally want more.
4. Make Your Offer Congruent with Your Topic. You can't host a call on joint venture partnerships and sell a product on self care. Make sure that your topic and offer are in alignment.
When you have created an extraordinary experience, deliver good content and you make an offer that's congruent with your topic, then people will purchase. If you follow these guidelines, you'll create an engaging conversation that converts listeners into fans and fans into customers. If you'd like an 8-step road map to build your list, share your message and generate income with expert interviews, check out Enlightened Listbuilding.