Making a First Impression That Opens Doors

You’re an entrepreneur. You know the drill: every handshake, every “nice to meet you” is more than mere politeness—it’s the opening move in the chess game of business development. The podcasting world is no different, my friends. When you’re welcoming a guest onto your show, that introduction isn’t just idle chatter—it’s your first, and perhaps most crucial, step in forging a relationship that could spell future success for your enterprise. So how do you craft a podcast intro that’s more engaging than a plot twist in a soap opera and shows you’re genuinely invested in learning about your guest? Buckle up; we’re about to make you the maestro of meaningful intros.

Two dogs, a golden retriever and a german shepherd, sitting by microphones in a studio with an "on air" sign in the background.

Do Your Homework, Then Do Some More

Before you even think about hitting the record button, become a detective of your guest’s professional life. Go beyond the LinkedIn profile and the company “About Us” page. What’s their passion project? What hurdles have they overcome? How did their first job at the ice cream parlor shape their views on business? Find the gold nuggets buried in their career path that show your audience—and your guest—just how much they rock. You don’t need to spend more than an hour, but you should spend that time none the less. It doesn’t take a super sleuth to really get to know what makes your guest tick, which will help shorten the path to turning that guest into a client.

Tell a Story, Don’t Read a List

For the love of queso stop reading LinkedIn bios, or even the ones they send you. And while you are at it, ditch the bullet points too. We’re storytelling here, not checking off a grocery list. Begin with a narrative hook that gives your listeners a glimpse of the human behind the accomplishments. Maybe it’s the quirky side hustle that turned into a full-blown enterprise or the time they accidentally locked themselves out before a pivotal meeting and still managed to land the deal. A story resonates; a resume recital puts people to sleep.

Make It Relevant

Why this guest? Why now? Tailor your intro so it connects the guest’s expertise or experiences with a current trend, a common pain point, or the overarching theme of your podcast. If your guest is a wizard at remote team management and everyone’s still figuring out how to unmute themselves on Zoom, that’s relevant. Point it out. Qualifying your guest to your audience is a really easy way to show both groups of people that you actually care about the content and value their time, both of these are great foundations for a healthy relationship.

Show Genuine Curiosity

Let your tone convey your genuine interest. If you sound like you’re reading off a script while mentally rehearsing your grocery list, it’ll fall flat. Instead, introduce your guest as if you’re letting your audience in on a fantastic secret that you can’t wait to share. The more authentic you are in your excitement to introduce the guest, the stronger that bond between you and the guest will be.

A Dash of Flattery, A Pinch of Respect

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, but there’s a fine line between admiration and apple-polishing. Highlight a couple of achievements that genuinely impress you—not everything they’ve ever done. Authentic respect is a currency in the world of business development. I think there is more value in quoting the guest, pointing out the changes in content, and other things that can only be garnered by actually paying attention and spending time learning about that guest. Remember, you are also trying to understand their pain points so you can not only speak intelligently about them in the interview, but ideally also solve them for the guest/client one day.

Seal It with a Call to Action

When you hit stop on that recording is when the relationship begins, not ends. This was just the first step in a long ling of communication and collaboration that you have just opened by caring about your guest and making it easy to see it.

In Conclusion: First Impressions Count

An introduction is more than a formality; it’s the handshake before the handshake, the opening note of the symphony. Get it right, and you pave the way for a relationship that transcends the podcast episode. Remember, in the world of business development, it’s not just what you know—it’s who you know and how well you make them feel known. So dive deep, tell stories, and let each introduction on your podcast be the start of something big.

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Molly Ruland

"Listening is the Revolution"

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