Creating a Memorable Podcast Experience: How to Use Stories and Structure to Connect with Your Audience
Stories resonate with people, which means your audience and customers will be drawn to stories.
In this episode, you will learn how to structure an interview podcast episode so it tells a story. I breakdown the different sections and what each can look like, along with some examples.
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
by Donald Miller
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Does your podcast tell a story? If so, what does the story look like? If not, why not?
The podcast should tell a story because stories resonate with people and it is easier for them to follow along. Listeners remember stories much better and far longer than facts and figures.
As the host, you decide the flow of the conversation, which is why it’s important to think through your questions and their order to shape the narrative.
Think of your podcast using this timeline:
The intro is just that—you tell the audience who you are and who your guest is. It’s not complicated and don’t spend a lot of time here because you are simply setting the stage.
Background would be any questions that lead up to what the guest is doing today for the reason they are on your show. I give the guest some flexibility in how they answer, but I intentionally lead them towards the next question.
Warning: tell me about yourself is too broad and open-ended. Narrow it down so they have a guideline for where to go.
Instead of asking, "tell me about yourself" or "tell me about your background," use something like "what motivated you to start your business?"
Product is simply that reason I wanted them on the show. It could be their podcast or a product they are developing. It could be a book they have written. Or, it can also be their content/business specialty.
I did this recently on two podcasts. Because the podcast was a secondary function of the guest’s overall job and content category, I spent some time asking them about their specialty.
Problem addresses the problem they are solving with the specialty or their product. Sometimes this gets answered in the background or product section, and that is okay. If they have already answered it, you can move on to the next question. You can also have them elaborate on it even if they have mentioned it before.
I have been a fan of Donald Miller’s Building a Story Brand model for years. He talks about problems on different levels. There is the physical or outward problem. For example, when your pipes leak and flood the floor beneath it, that is a physical problem. The inward or emotional problem is how the outward problem makes you feel. In the previous leak instance, this makes you feel frustrated, scared, angry, overwhelmed—lots of different ways. If you are not familiar with the book, I will drop a link in the show notes.
Experience are questions related to their experience in their specialty or with the product. They show how the guest is solving the problem they just discussed.
Challenges are questions related to challenges they faced in this endeavor (or the challenges of solving the problem). This can be blended with the Experience section/theme.
Examples/stories allows for the guest to share (if they want) stories about their experience. They might have already shared some, and that is okay. I encourage guests to share stories whenever they come to mind. I also ask if there are stories they would like me to ask them about. Listeners resonate with the stories the guests tell, so make sure to ask about it and if something is mentioned during the conversation, feel free to ask them to elaborate.
Summary is just the “what one takeaway would you like to leave for the audience”? It is the dénouement, which is defined “the final outcome of the main dramatic complication in a literary work” or “the final resolution of the intricacies of a plot, as of a drama or novel.”
Closing is where you ask the guest to share where listeners can contact them at or find their business.
This is a basic narrative flow that I use. It is not perfect, but it provides a framework for guests and listeners to follow.
I placed a link in the show notes to a google form for ask me anything. If you have questions, please click the link and fill out the question.