The podcast about building a rewarding career as a professional software developer and technical writer.
Every episode, Matthew Setter is joined by a guest to discuss being a freelancer, writing technical documentation, creating great software, and podcasting.

The podcast about building a rewarding career as a professional software developer and technical writer.
Every episode, Matthew Setter is joined by a guest to discuss being a freelancer, writing technical documentation, creating great software, and podcasting.

As a Guest, What Should You Expect?

I want to make being on the podcast as enjoyable as possible. So, here’s what you can expect, and the one or two things that I need. Some podcasts say they "interview" their guests. I prefer the term "fireside chat" instead, which I borrowed from Timbo Reid at Small Business, Big Marketing (thanks, Tim).

Why? Because it connotes something much better, that being: a warm, relaxed, honest and friendly conversation. I’m not trying to put you on the spot, interrogate you, or do any form of a hack-job. My aim is to have a light-hearted and relaxed chat, as though we’re old friends reminiscing. So don’t feel that you have to perform or endlessly prepare.

How The Chat Works

The chat lasts for about thirty minutes to an hour, normally over Skype. If we’ve not met before, typically it goes a bit longer so that we can have a bit of a chat and get acquainted, before getting started. There’s no goofy intros or outros. I’ll ask a few questions both to start and then to guide the conversation. Then, as much or as little as you feel comfortable with, say what you want to say.

Toward the end of the conversation, I give you the floor to plug anything you’re working on. This could be a book, a course, an event which you’re organising or speaking at — whatever. Please keep that in mind, and I’ll hand fully over to you in the last 10 minutes.

That’s it!

Before The Chat

On the day of the chat, I’ll send you a short reminder email, a few hours in advance, just to be sure that you’re still ready, and that nothing unexpected’s come up. If something has, we can see if we can work around it, or if we need to reschedule.

What Do You Need To Do?

All you need is a bit of time and one, maybe two, things. These are:

The reason why I ask for a half-decent microphone is that inbuilt and headset microphones don’t record your voice to a high enough level of quality.

So, by using them, you’re not going to sound good (nor professional). If you don’t have one, don’t stress. You can get half-decent microphones for not that much.

Here’s a selection to choose from:

The reason for having a set of headphones, perhaps earbuds, is that your copy of the audio will pick up the other half of the call, which makes for much harder editing. With "clean" audio on both sides, we just need to layer the two without any cutting. Plus, you’ll know what you’re going to sound like when the podcast goes live.

One Last Thing

If you can, it’d be great if you could use an audio recorder, such as Audacity, to record your end of the conversation. I do the same at my end. That way, if there are any network lags or dropouts, we can both be sure that we don’t need to re-record anything.

Once we’re done, I’ll put the episode together, schedule it, and let you know when it’s going live. The only thing I ask — don’t feel under any obligation — is to let people know when the episode’s going live. That way, we can have as many people as possible hear the episode.

Thank You

Yep, thank you for agreeing to be on the podcast. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to speaking with you and hearing your story. So thank you for the gift of your time.