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Leaving An Impression As a Podcast Guest That Hosts and Listeners Won't Forget

Leaving An Impression As a Podcast Guest That Hosts and Listeners Won’t Forget

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How are you doing in podcasting as a guest, host, or both?

Podcast guesting is becoming increasingly popular. As a result, it’s getting harder to stand out among podcast hosts and listeners. In this blog post, Claire Campos-O’Neal shares how to leave an impression as a podcast guest by embracing the art of presence. Claire shares the profound impact of getting out of your own way and immersing yourself in the moment in a way that serves the host and their listeners. Get ready to learn how to shed self-consciousness and connect deeply with those who hear your voice, making your interviews genuine and memorable!

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Read the Blog Post: Leaving An Impression As a Podcast Guest That Hosts and Listeners Won’t Forget

I want you to imagine that you are in a classroom. This is a small classroom. There are about 15 people here.

You’re at the front of the room. There’s someone next to you. You’ve just performed, and you’re anxiously awaiting the feedback from your teacher. You’re sitting there. It’s quiet, you’re getting a little nervous, and the teacher tells you to get over yourself.

Oh, imagine how you’re feeling right now.

I would think it’s probably even more nervous, anxious, incredibly self-conscious, wondering why you’re there. Why did you think you should be in this class in the first place? You want to hide under the covers and get out of that room. Well, I’m here to tell you that that experience happened to me, and it was some of the best advice I ever received.

And I think this is some of the best advice you can remember if you want to leave an impression as a podcast guest. Get over yourself. Okay, what do I mean by that? Well, let me share a little bit of the context. I heard this when I was enrolled in an acting class.

I was attending a class with Laurel Vuveray. She was the teacher teaching us the Stanley Meisner acting technique. The studio was called the Moment—Acting Studio. And I learned so much from Laurel and so much from the words of Stanley Meisner.

#1. What Acting Class Taught Me About Leaving An Impression As a Podcast Guest

His whole technique is about being present and in the moment and how that’s necessary as an actor. But what keeps us from getting there ourselves, not listening to the other person and being too self-conscious, that holds us back from having that authentic connection with the other person, which is necessary to good acting and, I would argue, a good podcast interview. So, I have a few tips that I took away from my time learning Stanley Meisner’s acting technique that I think we can all apply as podcast guests. All right? So, to start with, number one, when you are learning the Meisner technique, one of the first things you know is to notice the other person.

You’re noticing who’s in front of you. If it’s a video podcast, you’re seeing how they look.

  • What’s the expression on their face?
  • Do they look excited?
  • Do they look nervous?
  • Do they look frazzled?

It’s good to be aware of how they look, and it also helps you stop forgetting about how you’re feeling and how you look because it’s so easy to become very self-conscious as a podcast guest. You’re probably thinking, am I going to sound okay? Is this going to be a good interview? But if you focus on the other person, you start to have those worries fall away, and it grounds you and connects you to that other person. You can even take it further and comment on what you say.

You could say, oh, Jack, you look nervous, or I feel nervous. Maybe acknowledge how you feel, which can help you have an exciting discovery. Perhaps they’ll say, I’m not nervous, or they’ll say, yeah, I kind of am. But it’s going to be a good conversation. We need to talk about this topic.

You don’t know where it’s going to go. And that’s where the fun is in these podcast interviews. So, number one, notice the other person.

#2. Trust Yourself

Number two, the second thing you will do is trust yourself. You will start leaving an impression as a podcast guest when you begin trusting that you were invited to this podcast because you are an expert in this field.

“Trust yourself. You were invited on this podcast because you are an expert in your field.” – Claire Campos-O’Neal

You are there because you have authority in whatever area it is that you have advertised that you have authority for. And they invited you to come and speak on that, and you know what you’re talking about. I have a big hang-up with this and must continually remind myself to trust myself. I have a podcast called Go Behind the Ballot. It’s a podcast that demystifies Texas politics.

So, I’m frequently asked to guest on podcasts as a political expert about Texas. So I feel like I have to know so much about the different levels of government, the different policy matters, what bills have been passed in the past, and what bills will be passed in the future. And I do feel this pressure to know it all. But the truth is, I can’t say everything. But I do know a lot more than most people.

And that is why I’m there. I’m here to offer my authority to share what I’ve gathered. And I’m good. It’s going to come to me. And the other trick is that no one knows everything.

No one knows everything.

So, let’s just cut ourselves some grace. And this is a conversation when you’re being interviewed as a podcast guest, you can be honest and be like, you know what, I don’t know a lot about that particular thing, but this is kind of what my understanding is. What do you think? You can use that moment to go down further and maybe learn some other things, or perhaps it’ll take a different direction, but trust that you know enough that you were invited there for a reason, and you’ll do great.

#3. Listen, be Quiet, and Listen to Leaving An Impression As a Podcast Guest

Number three is to listen, be quiet, and listen. And this is hard to do. It’s hard to do as an actor; It’s hard to do as a podcast guest. It’s hard to do in relationships with other people. But the better listeners we become, the better our connection will be with the other person.

“Listen, really listen to the podcast host. Be present and let discoveries happen.” – Claire Campos-O’Neal

So what we’re going to do is when they ask us a question, is we’re going to try our best not to let our mind race, but listen, tune into what they’re asking. This is important because you want to ensure you’re answering the question. But it’s also really, I don’t know, not exciting as a podcast listener when you feel like the conversation is scripted or there are these prepackaged bits that this person will share. That’s boring.

I don’t want to hear that as a listener.

And I’m telling you, I love podcasts, but if I feel like the person’s coming and they’re slick and polished and not connecting with the other person, I’m going to listen to something else. So sit, settle, settle in, listen to them, and create your answer immediately, understanding what they’re asking of you. Another little trick that can help you be a good listener is to repeat back what they said, maybe say the last few words of what they said, reframe the question, or make sure you understand it. Also, something you can do that helps demonstrate that you’re a good listener is to say their name. This also helps create that connection.

Yeah, you know, Jack, I have a lot of thoughts about X. This is a great way to create that connection, which is what we’re trying to help us be in the moment and have a fascinating, genuine conversation with the other person—number four. Oh, man, I work on this all the time myself to breathe.

#4. Remember To Breathe

It’s hard to permit ourselves to breathe sometimes. But it’s so essential when we breathe. It helps ground us in our bodies. I am working on this a lot. When I was in that acting class, my teacher, Laurel Vuveray, told me to take yoga classes.

Why do you think she told me to take yoga classes? Well, it’s because she knew that I was always up here. I’m the daughter of a very analytical father, so I can’t help but be so in my head. And when you’re in yoga, it helps ground you in your body. So, taking that breath can help you have that reconnection.

And when you reconnect with your body, it’s easier to get out of your head, refocus, and connect with a person. Connect with the podcast host. So, give yourself permission to breathe. It’s okay to breathe. Do it often. Do it well.

You’re going to feel better, you’re going to feel more relaxed, and it’s going to help you get out of your head, get over yourself, and connect with the podcast host.

#5. Have More Fun If You Want To Start Leaving An Impression As a Podcast Guest

Number five is to have fun. Many people I know, myself included, get into something like acting because it’s fun. You get to play, you get to discover, you get to have these moments of spontaneity.

It’s the same thing for podcasts.

A lot of us get into podcasting because we’re passionate about it. Some of us aren’t paid to be podcast guests or hosts. We’re probably spending our money to do it and using our free time because we’re so passionate about what we are creating content on. It’s important to remember to have fun.

And I think the way that you have fun is by being in the moment. I know I keep saying that repeatedly, but it’s true. It’s about being present. It’s about letting discoveries happen.

Where else can you have an in-depth conversation with a stranger but on a podcast? It’s a natural gift to be asked to be a guest. So utilize that opportunity to its fullest. Put your phone on, do not disturb.

Listen to the other person and let yourselves have fun.

Have a journey. Go on a discovery. And the exciting thing is that as someone who listens to a lot of podcasts, as a listener, the listeners if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, being present in the moment, when they listen back, they will also feel like they’re there with you in that moment. And it’s fascinating for us because it helps us reconnect to what this is all about, what life is all about. It’s about learning, discovery, creativity, and all these beautiful things that enhance our lives. To recap, our mission as podcast guests is to get over ourselves and be in the moment.

“Get over yourself and be in the moment.” – Claire Campos-O’Neal

If you want to start leaving an impression as a podcast guest, this is how you do it. We’re going to, one, notice the other person. We’re going to, two, trust in our expertise. Number three, we’re going to listen, really listen, to the podcast host. Number four, we’re going to breathe. We’re going to breathe. It’s good to breathe. And number five, we’re going to have fun. We will take full advantage of the recording, and it will be a wonderful experience.


About Claire Campos-O’Neal

Claire Campos-O’Neal, mother to two young boys, daughter of a first generation Mexican-American, is the co-host of Go Behind the Ballot. In November of 2021, she put her name on the ballot and ran for office for the first time. Even though she did not win my race, she learned a great deal about her community, the inner workings of local politics and the importance of putting yourself out there. This ‘act of courage’ propelled Claire to take another risk and she along with Nichole Abshire launched ‘Go Behind the Ballot’ in August 2022. Their mission is to bring more people into the political conversation by demystifying Texas politics one issue at a time.


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