Talking Business — the 5 ways to stand out as a professional podcast guest

John Alexander Ball
5 min readJul 19, 2022


Coaches wanna coach, speakers wanna speak and creators wanna create. Nothing wrong with that until…

I make no secret of the fact that my first shot at running my own business was a disaster. I had no clue what I was doing and I was throwing business spaghetti at the customer wall hoping something would stick.

There were some things I did right but not enough of them and I didn’t know well enough how to avoid the pitfalls, especially around self-discipline as a business owner. The mindset of an employee remained, without the direction of an employer. My brain was still set to flight attendant mode and I was not ready for takeoff.

I didn’t ask for help and didn’t seek a business coach or mentor. I modelled what I had seen and the businesses I had worked with and realise now that they didn’t have much of an idea what they were doing either, which is probably why they are not around anymore and my first attempt ended in a crash landing.

Fortunately enough, I survived and then I got lucky and ended up working with people who had a far better idea of what they were doing. Had that not happened, my life would look very different right now and I probably would not still be self-employed. (Far too many people choose to understate the role that luck and circumstance play in success.)

When you do see people doing things the right way, learning and adapting, correcting mistakes and issues quickly and clearly delivering great value in their products and services whilst also making good money, there is a stark difference in approach and activity. You begin to realise why some people say you should model good business people if you want similar results.

I was listening to a podcast recently that was talking about how to be a good podcast guest. I’m not going to name the show but it’s from a source I would generally consider to know better as the advice was rather pedestrian and more use to people new to being a podcast guest than for anyone seriously using podcasts to grow their brand and business. Relax, have fun, don’t go on too long, ask for the questions in advance etc…

If you’re new, it’s good advice for your first few shows but if you’re not new to this I think you should be setting your sights higher than just being OK as a guest. You need to be interesting, engaging, memorable and strategic. Showing up is not by itself enough if you’re looking for big results, so first of all, you should get clear on the results you want to achieve by being a podcast guest.

If your top goal is fun, great. You don’t need to pay any attention to the rest of what I am going to say. If your goal is speaker bookings, book sales or getting potential clients into your orbit then you need to stop doing what every other person is doing and make yourself stand out as an exceptional guest.

I think, sometimes, people forget why they’re there on podcasts and end up having a nice little get-to-know-you chat or mistake it for a TED talk and don’t give the host much room to speak. I’m not saying those can’t work but hosts are unlikely to want you as a guest if you go on and on and listeners are unlikely to stay tuned or want to work with you after listening to your lengthy family history and personal story.

One thing I’ve always struggled with in business is asking for the sale. It goes along with not really selling myself or what I can do because we’re supposed to be modest and we don’t like talking about money. I know I’m not alone. The majority of business owners I know have the same issue and many don’t even know to look for help with it.

We also don’t ask for the sale on podcasts. I don’t mean asking someone to buy something kind of sale, I mean selling the idea of us and working with us or learning from us. We get lost in conversations, forget that brevity is power, don’t say anything memorable or quotable and don’t give a clear message/takeaway and a clear call to action.

Here are the 5 things you need to do to be a memorable and desirable podcast guest:

  1. Stay on track with the conversation, reminding yourself what you are there for and who you are there to serve.
  2. Err on the side of shorter answers to questions but not too short. Ask the host questions if appropriate and leave some gaps for them to interject.
  3. Have a few memorable quotes with rhyme, alliteration or containing three keywords. Can be any or all of these but don’t overdo them.
  4. Decide before the recording what the one key message you want to convey to the listeners is and make sure you deliver it.
  5. Give one clear call to action. Download chapters of my book, join my FB group, find me on IG, listen to my podcast etc…

It’s not hard, but it’s not easy either. It takes practice and preparation to get good at being a podcast guest but please aim higher than mediocrity and just doing what every other person does. Go further, be remembered, listen out for guests who do a great job being memorable and see what you can learn and adopt from them (not directly copying please).

My show is on hiatus and will be back in September. Until then, here’s one of my earlier episodes with the delightful and fun Dana Pharant who uses her experiences as a former dominatrix to help people tap into their inner power and authority. I think you’ll love it as much as I love talking to her. Dana has become a great friend and will be returning for the relaunch.

I love to give you a song each week to give you a lift and set your mood high. This week’s song is a one-hit wonder that I still love very much and am delighted to let you know that groove is very much in my heart and I hope this puts some in yours too. Enjoy this Deelight and have a great week!

Originally published at



John Alexander Ball

Host of the Podfluence podcast. Professional speaker & ethical influence coach. The James Corden of podcasting, a chubby British guy who thinks he’s funny.