Before I dive into this post, I want to say this isn't a post about trying to be hip with the lingo, but let me define the term. A “driveway moment,” is something that happens when a podcast is so good that you simply can’t get out of your car, so you sit in your driveway until it’s over. Most of us have had these moments at some point. The feeling that the entire world is slipping away, and you’re locked into someone’s story. That is what we want as a host. We want to make listeners so captivated that they leave the car running in the driveway. Of course, this is not something you can just manufacture. It’s also not something that will happen with every episode, but we, as hosts, can facilitate conversations that are more conducive to these moments. Here are a few thoughts on how.
1) Don’t be a generalist. Embrace your niche content. Ask the deep-diving questions that your target market would want to know. That’s the beauty of podcasting. You don’t need 100k listeners to reach your 1k true fans. Speak to those who care about your niche content. You may only need 50 listeners. They are there and ready. Deliver.
2) Be willing to abandon the script. I’m eight episodes in to producing my first season, and I’ve gone into each interview with a solid script mapped out, but I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve strayed from them. I’ve noticed that people want to talk about something they care about, and they will naturally steer the conversation that way. I’m pragmatic enough to recognize that this won’t work with every show’s structure or every episode. But if you see your guest wants to talk about something, if they light up around a certain subject—lob them a softball that gives them permission to address their passions.
3) Stop talking! I recently listened to a podcast that I did a few years ago. I know that my guest was trying to tell an amazing story, but I was in the way. Sometimes, just keeping your mouth shut will provide the real estate necessary for the guest to build the cathedral that is their story.
While we can’t force people to tell the kind of dynamic stories that lead to driveway moments, we can facilitate them. That’s our job as hosts. Like most things in life, we get better with practice. Keeping podcasting and email me some tips when you learn something cool!