How to Host a Podcast or Twitter Space: Beginner’s Guide

What I wish I knew the first time I hosted a Space on Twitter.

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After hosting a few Twitter Spaces myself, here are a few things I wish I new when I got started.

Twitter Spaces are very similar to Podcasts, however, the communication model is much newer.

The two key differences between Podcasting and Twitter Spaces is that they happen in front of a live audience, and second, is that you can have up to 10 speakers on stage contributing to the conversation.

A lot of the skills that make traditional Podcast hosts successful are likely transferrable to Twitter Spaces, however, there are a few key differences.

Starting the conversation

Have some sort of structured introduction planned out.

Ask people about stuff you see in their bio.

Thank people for jumping on.

The dead space while waiting for people to jump on during the first few minutes after going live on your spaces is a good time to talk about:

  • context / background for the conversation
  • welcoming people in
  • thanking people for joining
  • inviting speakers up
  • tweeting out the link
  • DM’ing co-hosts and speakers to remind them to jump in
  • reviewing the purpose and vision for the Space
  • reminding people of the open and inclusive nature of the conversation
  • as well as anything else you might want people to know.

Find or Build a community

Authentic community and genuine followings on social media takes work.

However, find a community that in some way feels involved in your success and actually wants to join twitter spaces that are hosted.

Find a great Co-host

In my case, after making a few posts in the community Discords, I received a few direct messages about the excitement from the community.

I don’t think I originally planned on having a co-host but it worked out well.

Two things stood out: Jrocki was taking action from the get-go, and even put together a POAP for our pilot Twitter Spaces.

Unfortunately this process is not easily repeated.

Guest Scheduling – One at a Time

One guest at a time is better than trying to have multiple unrelated people on at once.

While multiple speakers can contribute to the conversation, we can’t go from topic to topic without the conversation losing structure and focus.

When you invite a guest on, they need to be able to have time to voice their thoughts and info about their project. When you invite multiple people on, guests may feel like they are not getting their opporutnity to speak

With guests, you need to establish focus… Having many speakers is an innovative approach to podcasting, but it must feel organic and they must be on the same page.

Prepare

Be curious, be interested in other people. Cultivate curiosity for as many unique interests as possible, and let that curiosity come through when talking to other speakers.

Ask specific questions.

Do some preparation – look them up and find other stuff they have talked about. Find answers they have given, and ask about something specific.

Dig deep. Find the content your interviewee has produced or been involved with that doesn’t have tons of views. Maybe they share specific ideas on something not commonly talked about? Use this as a jumping off point.

For example, if the interviewer has had multiple podcast appearances in the past, perhaps they share different stories or anecdotes on each one.

Spend time think of questions and discussion topics but don’t be afraid to diverge if the story gets rich. Which brings up the next point…

No plans, just vibes

Research and preparation aside, it i ismportant to have time to riff and allow speakers to let the conversation flow.

Time to vibe is important.

If you find the conversations topics at the beginning naturally tend toward something silly, I believe that’s actually a good thing.

We’re all humans here, and social media should be fun and entertaining at the end of the day.

For example, at the beginning of the recent Shell Protocol space, the speakers started talking about mayonnaise of all things. Regardless of how you feel about the pale condiment, it was pretty funny and actually learned a few things – namely, that the mayonnaise in Belgium is waaay better than what we have in the United States.

This feels similar to the “ice breaker” games that some corporate jobs have employees do on their first day. However, I was never a big fan of those formalized ice breakers. Letting it flow informally feels more natural.

Inclusiveness

Encourage inclusivity and open discussion. Let conversations topics go out on tangents if the speakers are engaged and contributing to the conversation. At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure everyone enjoys the conversation.

As long as all speakers treat people with respect, everyone should feel comfortable sharing their opinions and diverse ideas.

People join Twitter spaces from all over the world

Be considerate for time zones globally. Mention the time zone you are in, show empathy to global community that some people may have to listen to the recording later or are jumping in at obscure hours for them.

Shut up and listen

As the host, be willing to stay quiet and let people talk!

If you are interviewing someone about their project or endeavors, don’t be afraid of the awkward pauses… allowing some space between words will encourage the other person to talk more, share more insights, and ultimately make for a better interview for the audience.

When someone is talking, actively listen. Don’t try to think of the next question while they are talking.

Questions and Answers

Asking good questions, along with topic selection, is the difference between a boring show and an interesting show.

When you ask a question, make sure to be as concise and direct as possible.

  • Poorly-phrased question: “what are your future plans with the OptiPunks? Do you have anything like… i don’t even know what you could do but…”
    • Again, its a bad habit ramble on unnecessarily after asking your initial question.
  • More effective and concise question: instead, just stop talking after you ask the question, something like this: “what are your future plans with the punks?”

When some one asks a question and you as the host can’t immediately think of a great answer, this is a great opportunity to open up the question to other speakers that are up on stage, as well as your co-host. This does a few things – first, it shows that you are humble enough to admit that you don’t know everything. Second, it helps get other people involved in the conversation to help have diverse perspectives, ensuring that you as the host don’t just monopolize the conversation.

After re-listening to the first two episodes from the Twitter Spaces I hosted, a few times when I gave answers, it felt like I initially rambled a bit and went slightly off topic. Even if I tried to bring what I am saying back around and relate it to the original question, going off on a tangent can be somewhat distracting and might confuse both listeners as well as other speakers

Sometimes i say something and then say a disclaimer after like “i dont know tho” – dont do this

Position statements for the perspective of listeners.

In the case of our spaces, since we cover user-ready blockchain dapps, every statement I make sure be catered toward the perspective of a potential user of a given app, as the listeners are likely prospective users.

Relate what you are saying to how others can benefit from it.

Eliminate the Ego, Avoid talking about yourself

For example, re-listening to myself, I noticed it sounds a bit off when I talk about my own experiences using the apps without focusing on how other users might also interact with the app.

On one of the first Spaces I hosted, I said something along the lines of “maybe I’ll be eligible for the next Optimism airdrop who knows”.

This statement sounds bad because its self-seeking, as opposed to sharing statements about how a user/listener can gain value from the Optimism ecosystem.

Instead, I could talk about how users in general that were not eligible for first airdrop still have a chance for other OP token airdrops, and share a bit about the Optimism phased approach to airdrops.

This approach would increase the value that listeners get by listening to the conversation.

I talk too much about things I can do in web3 like

At one point, during episode 1, I was talking to Bodo about the voting process for public goods funding within OptiPunks. This is another opportunity to talk about how users in general that own an OptiPunk can actually vote as well. Its just a less self-centered way of speaking, and will likely create a more entertaining and educational conversation.

Showing support for project founders

Founders don’t need you to be the second pitch-person for their project.

For example, when you learn about something new such as a new project or protocol, instead if saying “I’ll have to check that out”, say something like “great to know – so anyone that has gets involved with ____ project is eligible to do ____.”

If someone talks about one of their initiatives or a project they are building, you can show support for that person by being the person jump on board and say something like “oh that’s so cool, I just followed that project and will look into minting one!”.

In this scenario, the listeners don’t need you to be the second person pitching them on the project, as the founder has just done so.

You can show support for the other speaker by taking the role of being somebody that is excited about the project, which will likely make other people want to follow your lead get involved too.

I host a weekly Twitter Space — join me on Twitter, and be a part of the next conversation!

1 comments on “How to Host a Podcast or Twitter Space: Beginner’s Guide”

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