I’ve been interviewed over 400 times. Here’s 5 tips on being a great guest. You may also use these tips for any conversation with someone you’ve just met.

1. Let the host speak, too. The best interviews are conversational, not pre-planned or scripted questions. The key word is conversational. Don’t get into a 10+ minute monologue about yourself, and hog the microphone. Great guests know when to shut up, and allow the host to ask the next question.

2. Stay on topic with the question being asked. Think of this from the audience’s perspective. They hear their favorite host ask you a question, and then they want to know how you’ll respond to it. Don’t add a bunch of sidebar stories, tangents, and other things which can distract the audience from hearing your response.

3. Invest in your public speaking skills. It’s not enough to just have the knowledge or expertise. If you can’t communicate it clearly, and you are boring to listen to, nobody will hear what you say. This is especially difficult for men, who generally speak monotone, mono-volume, and without emotion. The most downloaded episodes aren’t always the big names, they are the guests who speak with raw emotion and entertain the audience. Hire a public speaking coach, join Toastmasters, and practice. Seriously.

4. Master the art of storytelling. Learn to respond to questions with stories that make people feel an emotion. If you get interviewed often enough, you’ll start to hear a pattern of similar questions. Create fictional stories as examples that relate to the topic, or even better; Recall something you’ve experienced yourself. Emotions, whether humor or adversity, help the audience “hear” and more importantly, remember the lesson because they’ll remember your story.

5. Help promote the interview when it’s published. I see so few people that do this, and it blows my mind at the opportunity missed. I feel it has to do with some guests feeling they are too big of a deal to help a small show host. You can bet these same people would tell the world if Rogan interviewed them. Why would anyone spend an hour of their time on any show, and then disregard promoting it as more social proof? It’s as simple as sharing it on your Instagram Stories, sharing a post, reel, etc.. on it. I’ve had some of the biggest names promo my show, and that’s one reason they are the biggest names now.

If you’d like me as a guest on your show or stage, contact me. 🧡

-Tony Whatley