Welcome Back to part two on how to be the best podcast guest you can be!  

Join Kathi today with guest, Cheri Gregory, as they continue their discussion on how to be a great podcast guest. Are you looking to become a better speaker on stage or on a podcast?  Don’t miss out on Leverage Conference.  Register today!  Learn more about mastering podcasts as a guest and a host at Leverage. 

Today, Kathi and Cheri will cover the next 5 ways to prepare to be a podcast as a guest.  If you missed last week, go back and review the first five ways here.  

How can you get to that great conversation?  What does hurt, hope, and healing and manuscript development teams have to do with learning to be a great guest?  These are important strategies and tips Kathi and Cheri share from their experiences in building their own podcasts as well as being guests. 

In today’s episode, you will know:

  • What you want is to have a great conversation not a memorized fact review 
  • The importance of manuscript development teams
  • How hurt, hope, and heeling will help you in your guest podcast

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Thank you to our friend Susy Flory with Everything Memoir for sponsoring this episode!



Transcript of Episode

Communicator Academy Podcast #157

How to be a Great Podcast Guest

Listen to the Everything Memoir podcast, and learn how to leave a legacy with your memoir or personal story. Whether it’s still only an idea, or nearing completion, the Everything Memoir podcast is a place to connect, get advice from Susy Flory, memoir expert, and author, or co-author, of twelve memoirs, including two New York Times bestsellers. If you haven’t read Memoir, just know that leaving a legacy for family and friends is one of the most satisfying experience you’ll ever have. It’s not easy, but you’ll be glad you did it.  Go to everythingmemoir.com, or check out the link in our show notes.

<<intro music>>

Kathi – Well, hey friends. Welcome to Communicator Academy, where our heart is to equip and encourage men and women to become the communicators God has created them to be. 

Cheri Gregory and I had an amazing conversation in our last episode about how to be a great podcast guest, and part of the reason we’re doing this is because the Leverage Conference is coming up, November 4th through 6th, in San Jose, California, and as much as we’re talking about stage speaking, we want our communicators to be great at every type of communication, whether it’s audio, visual or live. So, podcasting, and we’re both podcasters. We both have podcast guests on all the time and we know what we like and we know what makes us crazy, and so, we want to share a little of that with you, so that you can be prepared to be the best podcast guest ever. So, Cheri, welcome back to Communicator Academy.

Cheri – Oh, thank you so much!

Kathi – Okay, so we’re just going to dive right in, ’cause we’ve got a lot of material to cover. If you missed the first five, let me just recap those for you. Go back and listen to that conversation, ’cause it was great. Number One: Prepare for the Interview You Want to Have. Hopefully, one of your goals is to serve the podcast that you are on, but also to make sure you are communicating the hope to the audience that you want to communicate. Number Two: Remember that the Questions They Are Asking About the Book Are Not About the Book. Really, they want to have a great conversation, and that goes into Number Three: Be Prepared, but Not Practiced or Plastic or Promotional. Those are the things that will kill you every single time and not have you invited back as a podcast guest. And, Cheri, we even have more power than radio people. You know, when you’re doing radio, whatever happens, happens. But I’ve had podcasts that I have no aired. 

Cheri – Mmhmm. We have as well.

Kathi – Because they didn’t serve our audience, and my goal is to serve them, not to promote a book for somebody. 

Cheri – And on the flip side, we’ve had people back, multiple times, that we weren’t planning on having back, because the conversation was so rich and our listeners were so impacted by them, that we were like, “Well, we’ll just make up a reason to have them come back again.” 

Kathi – Yeah, I love it. Okay, so, Number Four: Define the Problem, but Be Relentlessly Solution-Focused. So, it’s always about how do I give my audience hope that something can change in their lives, something can be different. And Number Five: Refresh Your Memory of Your Material. So, go fall in love with that book again. Go fall in love with whatever that topic is. Go fall in love and remember the burden you had when you were writing that book. It may have been a year ago. In the case of The Husband Project, when Proverbs 31 picked it up and we were doing Facebook Lives and podcasts and stuff, it had been eight years since I touched that material. I had, kind of, moved on from marriage ministry and done all that, but as I reread it and started talking to people, and things like that, I fell in love with it all over again. And that really goes to our sixth point, and our first point for today, which is Number 6: Prepare by Talking to a Friend. I love this. So, tell me how you would do this, and then I’ll tell you how I would do this. 

Cheri – Well, I’ll tell you how I used to do it, as a still-reforming perfectionist, and that is, I would study my book like a textbook, with highlighters, and try to memorize things, and bring them back to mind.  So, I love this because you’re saying, if you’re talking to a friend, it’s back to that idea of it being a good conversation. 

Kathi – Yeah, and that’s what you want is to have that great conversation. So, one of the things that both you and I do, and we need to do a podcast on it. You guys are going to discover how terrible my memory is. Like, have we done a podcast on this? But, launch teams. So, neither of us remember, so groundbreaking material. ‘Cause you are a huge believer in Launch Teams. Not Launch Teams, I’m sorry, Manuscript Development Teams. These are the people who have the first eyes on your book, and they’re reading through it, and they’re saying what they love. Now, I was not allowed in my manuscript development team. I was kicked out of my own Facebook group. Like, people are mean. But after the book is written…

Cheri – Now, let’s be clear why you got kicked out, ’cause anybody who doesn’t understand the philosophy behind that might be worrying, and that would be, “Who is in charge of your Facebook page?” Tonya. Tonya kicked you out of your own Facebook group to protect you, so you wouldn’t see things you didn’t need to see, and, in my case, it was so I wouldn’t meddle where I didn’t belong. I know you don’t have any meddling in you, whatsoever. 

Kathi – <<laughs>> I have some control issues. I read some Amazon reviews yesterday. I rarely do that, and I’ve decided, before I take a new friend on, into my life, “Show me your last three Amazon reviews.” I want to know what kind of person you are. I think nothing says more about you than how you review something you don’t like. 

Cheri – That is great wisdom.

Kathi – Yeah, I just discovered, there are mean people in the world, and I don’t need them in my life. Yeah, someone called me “fuddy duddy”, old-fashioned, but we’ll talk about that another time. 

Cheri – ‘Kay, I’m going onto Amazon and I am going to put a thumbs down on that review. 

Kathi – But when you talk with a friend, it reignites your love, and reignites your burden, but going into that manuscript development team, you find out why people love the book in the first place. See if you can get permission to go hang out with the people who read your first manuscript and find out why they loved it.

Cheri – That’s a great idea.

Kathi – Okay, Number Seven: Hurt, Hope and Healing. So, this is what we teach at Leverage, how to put together a message. So, Hurt: What is the problem? What is the burden? Hope: What’s the solution? And Healing: What does it look like on the other side? If you follow these things, what are you going to do? Everything you say should include a 2:3 ratio. Explain that.

Cheri – Well, and again, this is why this is so helpful to me, because otherwise, I would camp out in the Hurt so long. So, remembering I’ve got to have at least two out of this three, reminds me that “Okay, Hurt, but get to the Hope, Cheri. Get to the Hope.” Maybe the interviewer is already supplying, and they’ve said, “Here’s the problem.” Well, then, as the guest, I don’t really need to dwell on the problem. I need to be ready to go straight to the Hope, and then I need to be really ready to cast a compelling vision that says, “You may not believe this is possible for you, so I have to believe it for you. Borrow my belief until you can believe this for yourself.” 

Kathi – “I’ll carry you a certain amount of distance until you can walk on your own.” Yeah, I think that’s amazing. So, I think, as a good interviewer, I want to supply the pain. I want to say, “This is what my audience is feeling.” If I can bring up examples of what they’ve told me, that sets my guest up well. Now, not every interview is going to do that. Some people are going to say, “Clutter? Just clean your house.” 

Cheri – Well, you’re not going to have them on your podcast. 

Kathi – Right, but if I’ve got a clutter book, I’m going to another interview. But I could be a guest, too. It’s like, it’s a marriage book coming out and they’re like, “Well, my husband and I don’t really argue over clutter.” Great, but could you have an imagination about someone who could, and let’s talk about that, because clutter is just overwhelm in physical form.

Cheri – So, if the hurt is being dismissed, we need to be ready to frame the hurt in such a way that the listeners go, “She gets me.” 

Kathi – Right. “She gets me.” We need to have that connection, and if you have no hurt in your interview, there’s no connection.

<<bell sounds>>

Kathi/Cheri – Woohoo! Yay!

Kathi – As you guys know, at The Red House, when somebody finishes 500 words, we ‘woohoo’. Can I just tell you, that was a very sedated ‘woohoo’ for me, because we’re on a microphone, and I don’t want to hurt my audience, but ‘Yay!’ Whoever just did that, that’s amazing!

Cheri – When we’re sharing our own Hurt, we’ve got to have that short version of our own story that we can do in the 30-seconds to one minute, so that the story doesn’t take up the entire interview, leaving no room for the Hope and the Healing. 

Kathi – Amazing. So, Eight.

Cheri – Okay, so this one, I’ve seen you do so well, so I’m just going to say it and let you explain it, and that is: Befriend the Producer. 

Kathi – Yeah, so you’re only going to spend 15-30 minutes with the interviewer, but the producer is the person that is gathering your material, that is shaping the interview, is doing all the things. Now, I’m not fake-friending the producer, but my job is to make the producer’s job as easy as possible. Am I sending the media kit on time? Am I giving them the materials? Am I saying, “Here’s what you can do for a giveaway?” It’s amazing to me. People what to promote their books, but they don’t want to give any of their books away. I’m like, “You need to take a Marketing 101 class.” If you’re just going to tease the problem on the interview, I don’t want you. I want some real solutions there, and if you’re going to just tease the problem, but, “Go buy my book to find the solution.” you are not my people. You are not my people and we can’t do that. So, tell the producer right up front, “This is all the stuff I plan to equip your audience with. I want to serve your audience well.” 

Cheri – I’ve also seen you go in with bagels and cream cheese and coffee for the producer and the others who are helping. I used to serve the producer by just not being a problem. Just doing my job and staying out of their hair, but recently, I was interviewed for a video shoot in Nashville, and so, I made a point to just have a really nice conversation, and listen to the producer, and I asked her who else she was looking for, what kind of people? I asked if she wanted some referrals, ’cause I had some people who I thought would be a good match. She was all, “Oh, please! That would be great!” I stayed at a really nice Airbnb nearby, and so I emailed her and I said, “I don’t know if you have trouble finding a place for people to stay.” ’cause they were in an area where there were just no hotels. So, I was like, “In case you need a place for guests to stay, I just wanted you to know.” and she was just so appreciative. Without knowing that befriending the producer and finding ways to serve her is a real thing, I would have just said, “Oh well, I’m sure she’s fine. I’m sure she knows everything about this town.” I was thinking about it. Anything I can do to make her job easier.

Kathi – Absolutely. I love that. You often don’t show up to these places. Like, I’ve done podcasts from Focus on the Family, and that’s when we do the bagels or doughnuts, or whatever it is, but just a $5 Starbucks card to say, “Thank you! You made this a delight.”  I had a friend who, if I told you her name, you’d know her name, and she had me on her blog, and I sent her a gift card, just to say “Thank you”, but I also sent her personal assistant one, and her personal assistant tried to give it to Crystal – okay, it’s Chrystal Paine. There’s no big mystery here. So, I sent it, and Crystal said, “No, Kathi already sent me a card. That one’s for you.” And she said, “No one’s ever sent me anything.” Oh my goodness. Here are two things you should know. We’re always trying to impress the name, and the name gets a lot of love. This is business and ministry, guys, the name is often not the decision maker. Jim Daily is not figuring out who’s coming on the Focus on the Family podcast or radio program. It’s somebody else. I’m not going to say her name, because she would be inundated, but I do the same thing with the producer as well. When I think someone would be great, I mean, just a great guest, and I know that they show up and serve, I will tell that producer, “You should have this person on.” And I am batting a thousand with that producer, because I know the people to refer, and I know the people who, even though I like personally, I don’t refer, because they’re not good referrals. Okay, Number 9: Technical Stuff. 

Cheri – Okay, so this is just a quick, short list. For you ladies listening, no jangly earrings. If it’s going to be video, no logos showing anywhere. Use a good microphone. Can you talk about this Kathi?

Kathi – Oh my goodness. Help me, Jesus. If you’re going to be a podcast guest, you have to have a decent microphone. That is your responsibility.

Cheri – And know how to use it!

Kathi – Yes! Now, you know what? I don’t mind helping somebody on the techie side, if they’re new to it, but I always like to hear, “Oh, I worked with my wife last night to figure this out.” Or, “I worked with my kid last night to figure this out.” If you are opening the package on your tech when we’re on? Help me, Jesus.

Cheri – Restart your computer, you know, preferably the night before, because your computer might need a bunch of upgrades or updates and sometimes those take time to run. 

Kathi – Okay, and let me tell you the best techie advice I’ve ever learned. Learn the day, if you live in a situation like mine, like a townhouse circumstance, learn which day the gardeners come. Live TV interview and they thought someone was coming through my house with a Mack truck. It was the worst day ever. It was five years ago. I can’t remember the TV program. I’ve blocked it out, ’cause it was such a disaster. So, know which day the gardeners come, and don’t schedule something. Or, go to your church and ask if you can use a room there, or something. Okay, so, ear buds?

Cheri – So, if you’re using ear buds that have a mic on them, make sure there’s nothing near them. No cowl neck, not a hoodie. ‘Cause that little mic, if it rubs against anything, you don’t hear it, but on the actual recording it sounds like “scratchascratchascratcha” the whole way, and that’s uneditable. You can’t fix that.

Kathi – And guys, know that the only reason we know all this is because we’ve done all this, so, yeah. And have a glass of water near you. 

Cheri – Yep. Something quiet that you can sip on and then get back to.

Kathi – Yep, and Number Ten! Let’s go with Number Ten here: Don’t Be Afraid to Stop and Restart. 

Cheri – Yeah, it was just such a pivotal moment when we were at Focus on the Family, and I was watching Jim and John, and they were recording some of the opening and closing stuff, and they would laugh and start over. Make a mistake, laugh and start over. I was like, “Even the professionals do this!” So, if you find yourself, you’ve said something, you’ve said the wrong word, or you’ve said ‘not’ when you meant to say ‘do’. You just pause, take a breath, and start the whole sentence over again. You don’t have to apologize, or get flustered about it. You just give whoever’s going to edit this an opportunity to give a clean edit, and then you start and go over again. That’ll stop some of the stammering, the filler words, and whatever you do, if you’re somebody who uses a lot of ‘um’, ‘ah’, ‘like’, practice before hand. That’s where Practice not Plastic comes in handy. The good preparedness comes in. Do a few recorded conversations where you’re comfortable with a pause that you don’t have to fill in with one of those. Those are really, really obvious on air. I do edit some of those out, but your podcast, you probably don’t.

Kathi – Unless it’s egregious. 

Cheri – And that’s fixable. We can all remind ourselves, with a day of practice, even just in conversation with everybody in our life. There have been times when I’ve handed people in my home, dog clickers, to click me when I use those filler words. I quickly become aware of them, remember to use pauses, and we’re good.

Kathi – Guys, this has been so good. Cheri, thank you so much. We are going to be doing all things podcast at Leverage, so if you’re a podcaster, you’re going to want to come and get around other podcasters, because we’re going to raise each other’s game. If you’re thinking about a podcast, trust me, you’ll have a podcast by the time you leave Leverage, and three, if you want to be a great guest, come to Leverage so you know the tips and techniques and all the things you need in order to be great. 

Cheri – Have I ever told you what Amy Carroll told me about podcasting? She said podcasting made her a much, much better speaker and when she went to Focus on the Family, she got ‘Best of Broadcast’ award, but she said it has made her a far better platform speaker. Podcasting is where it’s at.

Kathi – It’s where it’s at. It’s what blogging was ten years ago, and so, it’s time my friend. So, I hope I’ll see you at Leverage. I know I’ll see Cheri at Leverage, because she will be teaching.

Guys, I’m so glad to see you here. Thanks for joining us. You’ve been listening to Communicator Academy. I’m Kathi Lipp. You’ve been given the best message in the world. Now, go live it.


Meet Our Guest

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory

Speaker and Author

Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.”

Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the upcoming Overwhelmed.

Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.

Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

Meet Your Hosts

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp

Author, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEO

Communicator Academy founder, Leverage: The Speaker Conference creator and master instructor Kathi Lipp, is a national speaker and author of 17 books including “Clutter Free,” “Overwhelmed,” and “The Husband Project.”

She is a frequent guest on radio and TV, and has been named Focus on the Family radio’s “Best of Broadcast.”

She is the host of the popular podcast “Clutter Free Academy with Kathi Lipp.”

Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’ s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.

Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence and be the person God made them to be, inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure, is The Red House where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at https:writingattheredhouse.com

Michele Cushatt

Michele Cushatt

Author, Speaker, Mastermind Coach

As an experiened keynote speaker and emcee, Michele Cushatt’s speaking experience includes Women of Faith, Compassion International, and various retreats, conferences and events held across the country. She has also led radio, video and audio recording projects.

She co-hosted with Michael Hyatt on the popular This Is Your Life podcast. In addition, Michele serves as part of the Dynamic Communicators International leadership team, led by best-selling author and sought-after speaker Ken Davis.

Michele coaches multiple large-platform speakers in how to craft and deliver powerful presentations.
Michele authored Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life with Zondervan Publishers and I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is. Her third book will be launched in Fall of 2019. She launched her first Mastermind group in January 2017 and is currently taking applications for her 2020 Mastermind.

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