If you’re trying to run your own podcast, you’ll definitely hit some road bumps – this article contains some things I learned and overcame as a host.

Have an Outline for Recording

Unless you’re a freak of nature, you need something to follow while you have your recording sessions. It’s easy to forget what you planned to talk about or some of the prompts/questions to get discussions going. It helps to keep an outline to jog your memory.

I would suggest that only you have the outline in front of you. I tried to display it on a monitor for the guest to follow, but guests will get distracted by trying to look at the outline and anticipate your questions. Their answers become shorter and less thoughtful.

Use whatever format you like, but here’s one of my outlines for reference:

Set Your Guests’ Expectations

The biggest trouble I had by far was wrangling my guests – trying to keep them on topic and trying to keep them a certain distance from the mic. After editing two episodes with off-topic content, swearing, background noises, etc, I knew I had to do something differently. I realized after my first two episodes that I didn’t define what I expected of my guests, or really give them a whole lot of context. To help fix this, I made a guest rundown sheet to give to any guest speaker on the show. It gives context to the show, some ground rules, and why I have the rules.

Explain to the guests how the audio equipment you’re using works, and where/how they should talk into it or whether they need to speak from a certain distance.

Here’s the template I use:

Set Your Co-Host’s Expectations

If somebody is going to run a podcast with you, sit down with them beforehand and explain what the project means to you, why you’re doing it, and what you expect of them as your co-host. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of having to wrangle your co-host just like you would your guests.