PG Podcast: video conversations with interesting people I know
July 2016 (perspective of an assistant professor)
I love listening to interview-style podcasts, so this summer I decided to launch my own podcast series.
The setup is ultra-simple: I start an unlisted YouTube Live Event (formerly called Google+ Hangout on Air) where my guest and I chat one-on-one for around 30 minutes. YouTube automatically records a video of the session. Then I send my guest the video link for approval, and if they approve, I post it live on this website.
I tell my podcast guests to come prepared to discuss:
These simple guidelines ensure that we don't just make mundane small-talk or react to ephemeral news events, memes, or fads. (These are the same heuristics that I follow in my own writing.)
I want each podcast episode to feel like a real conversation, not a formal interview. This is why I tell my guests not to prepare any notes beforehand, and not to even tell me what they plan to discuss before we start. Thus, I'm often genuinely surprised by what they choose to talk about on-air! I also don't come in with any pre-prepared questions. We just turn on the recording and go wherever the conversation takes us.
Most notably, we don't start with mundane personal introductions like “please tell the audience a bit about your background.” We get right down to what they're excited to share with the world; after all, that's why they're here!
From personal experience, I've found 30 minutes (the length of a typical work meeting slot) to be the sweet spot for keeping the conversation energetic and on topic while ensuring enough time to get into some level of depth.
Other logistical notes for my guests:
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Last modified: 2016-07-20