Let Me Introduce You
This is a personal "take" and I'm not pretending that I'm either right or have the answers - but it's something worth considering, that I think few are in today's podcasting environment.
If you're a regular podcast listener, you'll probably be familiar with this...
"Hello I'm Bob Podcaster and today's guest is Ian Expert. Ian, for those of you who don't know you, tell us a bit about yourself".
"Well thank you Bob. I'm not particularly famous so you'll be unlikely to be interested in my life - and likely more into what I can offer from my more recent experience and skills - but I would like to go back into history, give you a potted history of my childhood and my early career, and I'll likely take a good five minutes before saying anything of any particular interest".
OK - that's a bit unfair - but you've heard those podcasts.
Why do so many podcasts start with that premise - almost (or actually) as a format? Yes, you'll occasionally get somebody with a really pithy or fascinating back story or their background will be genuinely key to understanding the content or the person on the podcast, but that's not guaranteed each time. So why make that particular 'rod' for your podcast 'back'?
It might be unsurprising that I'm whinging about this, having come from a commercial radio environment where the need to hook the listener in with the content and information they desire is paramount and I will always suggest that the best way to stand out in a crowded podcast market, is to tell 'em what they're going to get out of the podcast, right from the off, with as little filler as possible.
But in my view, giving the guest the microphone for as long as they wish to talk about their past and career is only serving one person... them (and their ego). Everything you do should be focussed on the listener's needs, wants and desires.
Not a strict rule. I might not even be right. But worthy of consideration. In the words of Fran Leibowitz, "your life story would not make a good book - don't even try".