Producing a new episode on a bi-weekly basis can be a struggle for many podcasters. Finding and scheduling guest interviews can make it even harder to publish episodes to schedule.
But one podcaster has just officially broken the World Record for the longest interviewing marathon ever. Rob Oliver interviewed 137 podcast guests in just under 38 hours.
The record-breaking podcaster is the producer and host of Perspectives on Healthcare – a bi-weekly healthcare podcast that he’s been running for a year or so. But while Oliver has decades of experience in medical training, he’s relatively new to podcasting.
So how has he managed to break a podcasting world record at this stage in his game?
Well, a Herculean task like this takes more than motivation. It requires excellent podcast interview skills, scheduling mastery, and rock-solid tools and workflow.
Why The Guinness World Record?
It’s not easy to pitch your podcast to journalists, but setting or breaking a world record is a great way to get press for your podcast. Guinness World Records has been an internationally recognized organization for over half a century. Their specific qualification standards ensure that setting or breaking a record is objective anywhere in the world.
They can help with PR, community engagement, and awareness for your podcast, brand, or company. Journalists like writing good news, so let your show be their opportunity.
How to Set or Break a Podcasting World Record
The podcasting zeitgeist loves statistics. Since download numbers don’t always equate to listener engagement, though, podcasters often need to define success for themselves and set their own goals. For almost any podcasting goal you’d set, desire and motivation alone won’t butter the biscuit. You need reliability, creativity, and advance preparation.
Solid Podcasting Workflow and Reliable Tools
To pull off a feat like Rob Oliver’s podcast interview marathon, you need a recording workflow that’s second nature. There’s no time for “whoops, I forgot to hit record.”
Save your files quickly and efficiently. Back up your files in more than one location so that if one audio file’s lost, you still have a copy. A solid file-naming convention (i.e., guest’s name and interview date) helps you catalogue and find your interviews for later production.
In addition to storage memory for your audio files, you need working memory or RAM. A computer crash can bring your interview to a grinding halt and throw off your schedule and workflow. Make sure your computer has at least 16 gigabytes of RAM. This way, it can manage your recording software for hours at a time.
Call recording software that’s easy for your guests to use will make everything go more smoothly. Double-ender recording is the most reliable means of recording a remote podcast interview. But it means that both the podcast host and guest have to be fairly skilled with recording software. Your guest may be familiar with Zoom. But, dedicated call recording software like Alitu, Riverside or Squadcast, are equally accessible. Plus, Alitu can help you with multiple podcasting tasks.
The less you ask of your guest, the more comfortable they’ll be in the podcast interview.
Finding and Scheduling Podcast Guests
Rob Oliver’s campaign to book as many guests as possible started with his friends and contacts on social media. Not everyone is as fortunate to have a tightly-knit church and social community. In Oliver’s case, his friends and family passed his request for interviews along to their networks.
This is another helpful reason to try to break a Guinness World Record. The reputation precedes you, which makes more people willing to help!
Finding podcast guests isn’t always easy, but there are workarounds.
Make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Your audience may have suggestions for podcast interview guests. Chat GPT can suggest intriguing guests for your show, too. An interviewee request form on your podcast website helps you organize your podcast interviews. Plus, nearly every podcaster gets weird interview requests from people who have no idea what their show is about. Don’t waste your audience’s time (or your own!) with interviews that don’t match your mission.
Once you get those guests, scheduling podcast interviews is a challenge that never goes away. A system that lets guests choose the time that’s right for them, based on your availability, works best. This way, you don’t have to play phone tag or “Did you get my email?” games. Book Like a Boss is a solid appointment scheduling tool. Google Calendar recently added appointment scheduling to its features too.
A reliable, shareable scheduling system will save you countless headaches and hassles down the road.
Podcasting Interview Skills
You need to put your interview guest at ease, so they’ll share interesting information that your audience values. But there isn’t much time for small talk with a podcast interview marathon like Oliver’s. Advance preparation saves the day, as always. When time’s short, you can email them the interview questions in advance. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can send our 12 podcast guest tips to them.
Introduce them with unique, meaningful statements you’ve created based on their achievements, a story of how you first met them, or what their work means for you. This makes them feel appreciated and welcomes them. If you’re prepared, relaxed, and care about the subject, your open-ended questions can elicit genuine, thoughtful responses for your audience. Ultimately, there isn’t one recipe to enable open discussion. It’s part of who you are and who they are, just like making friends.
Persistence, Reliability, and Empathy
Rob Oliver’s persistence and empathy for his guests and topic make him uniquely qualified to break the Guinness World Record. You can listen to his interview marathon here. His endurance and commitment are laudable.
We’ve got a detailed guide to everything you need to know about podcast interviews, from scheduling through recording, editing, and encouraging guests to share your show. All of these tools and strategies can help you to consistently make a great interview podcast for years to come. What matters more is how much you know and care about your topic and audience and the support you give your guests.