Don’t let an algorithm decide what you read »

Hi, I'm Alastair

If you’re seeing this, you’re either scheduled to guest on the “The AI-Powered Thought Leader”, or you are considering being a guest.

On this page, you’ll find answers to all the most “Frequently Asked Questions” about the podcast – and what you’ll need to know as a guest.

This is the show that helps thought leaders and aspiring thought leaders to explore the unique challenges and contradictions that occur at the intersection of AI and authentic thought leadership.

Frequently Answered Questions

The AI-Powered Thought Leader is a new show, so we have very few former guests to list.

However, Alastair is a veteran podcaster, and on his flagship show The Recognized Authority, the  previous guests include Bob Burb, Alan Weiss, Marcus Sheridan, John Lee Dumas, Pamela Slim,  Mark Schaefer, Evelyn Starr, David C. Baker, Ron Baker, Michael Zipursky, Anne Janzer, Jonathan Stark, Geraldine Carter, Mike Clay, Karley Cunningham, Sara Dunn, Louis Grenier, Philip Morgan, Rochelle Moulton, Norbert Schwarz, Heather Steele, Douglas Squirrel, Monique Mills, and many, many more (we’re well past episode 150). See the full list here

The audience are typically thought leaders, business leaders, consulting firms and experts. They are experts in their field and often have established networks at a very high level.

Their specialization ranges from business leaders & management consultants to media, design and engineering consultants. We also get some listeners from shoulder industries, including lawyers, accountants, architects, and other professional services.

Here’s what they say:

The Recognized Authority is a podcast I often recommend to others interested in learning more about how to position themselves as experts, and it’s one of the best I’ve come across in terms of the way it’s designed and branded – which is no surprise, considering that the host Alastair McDermott has a web design background.

— Jonathan Baillie Strong, Spotlight Podcasting Agency

I recently connected with Alastair McDermott, his gifs alone made him one of my favorite people here. But his podcast is a must-listen for anyone who's into branding. That should be every business owner. EVERYONE. There are amazing guests and he's an amazing host. Few people manage to dig deep and ask insightful questions in a podcast interview, and Alastair is one of them. I binged a few episodes while gardening today. Not an efficient process I must say, stopping every few minutes to take notes :) -- Dragos Balasoiu

This is not the podcast for you if you’re looking for huge numbers. Look for a consumer focused podcast if that’s your thing. 

That said, we do have a very targeted audience of thought leaders, experts, consultants and more. 

For promotion, we have a combined social media following of over 15,000 (multiple Twitter accounts, 5k+ on LinkedIn, Facebook etc). Every episode is promoted to these channels.

The exact questions will depend on your background and expertise. The goal of the podcast is to help  thought leaders and aspiring thought leaders to explore the challenges and contradictions that occur at the intersection of AI and authentic thought leadership. My first suggestion is for you to listen to a couple of episodes if you haven’t already. There are some short episodes around the 30 minute mark that will only take 20 minutes if you listen at 1.5X speed. 

I like to laugh a bit on the podcast, I’m not “all business”, so it’s just a chat over coffee where I pick your brains about your expert topic.

I like to make the episodes very actionable, and I like to start the conversation by diving straight into your area of expertise. If you have a book or a signature methodology, I’ll ask you to walk through the key points of that for our listeners. 

Later in the episode, depending on time, I’d like to delve into your story and about some things you’ve learned along your business journey.

There are some wrap up questions I like to ask everyone:

  • If you could share just one piece of advice with a thought leader on how they might integrate AI into their processes, what would be it?
  • Is there a resource, book or podcast that you’d recommend?
  • Where’s the best place for our listeners to find you online?

Around 45 minutes

The booking system (link below) will reserve 55 minutes on your calendar.

This allows us a few minutes to chat before and afterwards, leeway in case of any technical issues, and still allows you a quick break if you have another call at the top of the hour.

We’ll be recording – and live broadcasting – video.

If you need help with camera recommendations, I have a free podcast equipment guide here (no email opt-in required).

The main podcast episodes are released audio-only, but the full video will go on YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. We’ll also create some short clips for social promotion! 

We’re not NPR, but I do want to make sure the audio is of reasonably good quality to be fair to our listeners.

Here’s a very brief guide:

  • Not so good: internal microphones of any kind (on your laptop, webcam or phone)
  • Good: headset microphone (the $50 Sennheiser SC160 is a good option here)
  • Best: external microphone (a dynamic USB mic like the $100 ATR2100X )

Echo: Empty spaces and hard surfaces can cause reverb/echo in your recording space. You can improve the acoustics dramatically by adding some soft furnishings. I’ve often hung blankets off-camera in my office. 

A couple of other points: for podcasts, it’s better to wear headphones rather than using speakers – it removes any potential audio bleed. And for the camera, it’s better if you are sitting facing a light source, rather than having it behind you. 

I have a free podcast equipment guide here (no email opt-in required).

You don’t need special software, just a web browser – preferably Chrome. It’s definitely best to use a laptop or desktop computer. 

If you plan to join from a computer, then you don’t need to do anything ahead of time! You’ll simply click the link I send you shortly before our scheduled time, which will take you directly to to join me.

Phones or tablets are not recommended, but if that’s what we need to work with, we’ll make it work!

Please let me know how you’d like to do the call there and we can figure out the details.

I want you to be your authentic self, and if that requires the occasional swear-word, that’s fine by me. (We’ll tag the episode as containing explicit language.)

That said, we aren’t recording an episode of The Wire,  and although I do love that classic scene in s01e04,  I’d prefer to keep it within reasonable parameters for a friendly business environment. 

When we start our call, we’ll chat informally for a few minutes (how long depends on your schedule). I’ll answer any questions you have before starting the interview portion of the call. When we’re both ready, I’ll countdown to when I start recording.

Do you listen to podcasts? Have you heard really terrible guest introductions? 🤯

I admit that I’ve been guilty of those too. But no longer.

I’m implementing my “no more bad bios” policy!

I realise that bios have their place, and I think it’s important for you to include one on a “media” or “speaking” page on your website.

But I wasn’t happy with how I was delivering the introduction of the guest to my podcast listeners, so I’ve decided to change things up a bit with how I actually use the bios.

I will no longer go with the conventional style of reading the supplied guest bio word-for-word, because I’ve found that when I read out guest bios verbatim like that it ends up compromising the listener’s experience.

It’s simply not written in my voice, giving a sense of rigidity and impersonality which is just not the best way to start an engaging conversation.

In order to be more authentic I’ve started introducing my guests based on my personal knowledge or interactions with them and leaving the bio for the show notes page.

This way, I can highlight their expertise and background in a more conversational way that fits the tone of the podcast.

The goal is to make the guest sound like a real person, not a LinkedIn profile 😇

Update for Season 2: we’ll be recording – and broadcasting – live.

That has it’s pros and cons, but the good news is it’ll be live immediately and ready for you to share as soon as we’re done!

Update for Season 2: no, because it will be live already on YouTube etc as we’ll be broadcasting. 

1,000% yes. That would be a fantasic use of the interview.

We’d really appreciate if you can link to the episode page on our website from wherever you publish the repurposed content, but that’s entirely at your discretion. 

Immediately, on YouTube and any other platforms we livestream to.

The audio will go out on our podcast feed in 3-6 weeks typically. 

If you have a particular launch or event that you would like your episode to coincide with, let us know in the intake form – we’ll do our best to accommodate!

Following your podcast interview, I like to schedule a follow-up call. It’s an opportunity for us both to explore ways we might help each other further. The aim of this call is to discuss potential collaborations, cross-promotions, or other mutually beneficial opportunities that could add value for both of us and, importantly, for our audiences. I believe in creating win-win situations and this call will help us identify how we can best achieve that together.

That’s super, thank you! 

If you’ve been invited to guest: we’ll send you a scheduling link directly, no need to use the application form as we have already checked if it’s a good fit.

If you haven’t been invited, but think that you’d be a good fit, reach out to Alastair on LinkedIn!