Meekness has no place in front of a microphone. But, for new showrunners who are just getting started, and even grizzled showrunners who still deal with the roller coaster of human emotion, how do you develop and maintain the confidence necessary to run a remarkable show?
This episode was inspired by a reader email, the kind of email that would make any showrunner’s day (and certainly made ours). Included in the email was a request that we cover a new topic: confidence.
And, after an awkward and potentially confidence-shattering beginning, during which Jon risks inciting a Showrunner scandal by admitting that he doesn’t like Serial … that’s exactly what we do.
We dig into the following:
- How Jon “tricked himself” into being confident when he started Hack the Entrepreneur … and then actually became confident.
- How Jerod used logic and experience to “empower himself to stink” before he had any real confidence in his ability to podcast
- Tricks and hacks you can use to manufacture confidence before you really have any
- Why having a clear understanding of your Audience of One is a key to confidence
- Jon explains why he’s been struggling to record a particular topic for a Showrunner Short
This week’s listener question comes from Bob Hendershot, who asks: “Is it a good idea to repurpose your speech into a podcast?” Fortunately, we had the first-hand experience of this Showrunner Short to draw on for an answer.
Here are this week’s podcast recommendations:
- Jerod: The Secret Power of Naps — This is Your Life Episode 011 by Michael Hyatt
- Jon: Failure is Your Friend — Freakonomics Podcast by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt
Listen, learn, enjoy:
No. 013 The Keys to Being Confident in Front of the Microphone
Jerod Morris: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.
Welcome to The Showrunner, where we have one goal: teach you how to develop, launch, and run a remarkable show. Ready?
Okay. Let’s do this. Sorry, I had something in my throat there. You know what, we’ve done so many of these, and it’s always hard for me to start them, even though we do this casual opening part. I don’t know why. Like saying the first words — “Hey, welcome to episode 13 of The Showrunner” — I always hesitate, have to clear my throat, and get this moment of trepidation before I say it. Do you think that’ll ever go away?
Jonny Nastor: Probably not. I’ve never even had to do it.
Jerod Morris: Would you want to do it for this one?
Jonny Nastor: Hey, welcome to episode 13 of The Showrunner.
Jerod Morris: You are Jon Nastor, defender of humanity, serial entrepreneur, and serial hacker of entrepreneurs, and I am Jerod Morris.
Jonny Nastor: And cereal lover, as well.
Jerod Morris: Serial lover?
Jonny Nastor: Cornflakes.
Jerod Morris: Like S-E-R or C-E-R?
Jonny Nastor: Oh, C-E-R. Yeah, sorry. I don’t really love Serial, actually, the podcast. I love cereal.
Jerod Morris: Whoa. Wait a second. We may have to do … okay, change the thoughts on this episode.
Jonny Nastor: Bold statements.
Jerod Morris: What do you mean? You’re a podcaster. You have to love Serial and bow down at the altar of what it did and what it opened up for podcasters.
Jonny Nastor: Oh, of course, yeah, totally. But I don’t listen to it. I listened to about 72 percent of the first episode and my mind was just, “I’m totally thinking of other stuff, don’t care,” and I was bored.
Jerod Morris: Wow.
Jonny Nastor: No, I absolutely bow at altar of it for what it did open up for podcasters, absolutely, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.
Jerod Morris: Hmm. Interesting.
Jonny Nastor: Maybe it’s my punk rock thing, but I don’t know like bands that everybody likes. I don’t like books that everybody likes. I try not to even do it intentionally, but it’s just something in my head. I go against the grain in that way.
I like unfound art. I like unfound books. I don’t know. It’s something about it. That’s probably had something to do with it when I was listening to Serial. I was like, “Ugh, everyone is freaking out about it.” I don’t want to join in that water cooler conversation.
Jerod Morris: That and you were probably thinking about cereal the food as soon as you heard the name of it.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, totally. I thought, “This is about cornflakes. I totally thought this was about cornflakes, and I’m really upset now.”
Jerod Morris: I thought this episode was supposed to be about confidence. I don’t know about you, but maybe we just used this as the intro because now we’re in it, and we’re talking, and I was able to get over that initial trepidation I always have that, for some reason, I’m going to flub the opening line, even though it’s the same thing: “Welcome to Showrunner episode 13.”
But you did it so well. Here we are, so let’s just start talking about confidence. Because here’s the thing — and I want to get your thoughts on it as well, of course — I love nothing more than getting an email or some kind of message from a listener or someone in the course who tells us how what we’ve done has impacted them.
You and I got an incredible, incredible message this week from a listener. We’re not going to say this person’s name, but you know who you are. It was just incredible. It was long, and it was detailed, and it was just wonderful.
One of the things that this person talked about, and specifically about the course and something that she wished was in the course, was something about how to build the confidence in the first place to sit in front of a mic and speak on the air, how to believe that anybody will care.
Considering how much that email that meant to me, and I know how much it meant to you, the least we can do is cover that topic now. That’s why we want to talk about this idea of confidence.
Let me take it to you, Jon. Just your thoughts in general on getting that email and that kind of interaction with an audience member. And then maybe jump into, as you think back on your career as a podcaster, that first time you stepped behind the microphone, how did you get the confidence to do it in the first place?
How Jon “Tricked Himself” into Being Confident When He Started Hack the Entrepreneur … and Then Actually Became Confident
Jonny Nastor: First of all, that email was amazing. I was still in bed, and I read the whole thing word by word on my phone — and that’s a terrible habit, but that’s what I did. Wow, talk about jumping out of bed after that. Ever since I left Ontario a couple of weeks ago and started the road trip, I’ve been meeting people who listen to Hack the Entrepreneur and who listen to The Showrunner and who are in the course for coffee. It’s blowing my mind. It’s amazing to get to meet people that I’ve reached through speaking into a microphone and putting it onto a website. It’s an amazing thing.
In that email, though, about confidence, it made me think about confidence and the way that it seems like I’m probably super confident. But when I started Hack the Entrepreneur less than a year ago now, I tricked myself into being confident. The story goes, I was out at a cottage with my family for the weekend, and I read it Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk, and I literally closed the book and was like, “I’m starting a podcast on Tuesday when we get home.”
On Tuesday, I started booking interviews. I’d never done an interview in my life, and I literally used momentum and not allowing myself time to think about how freaked out I was going to be to actually get freaked out about it. I told myself, and I actually wrote it at the top of the sheet I keep on my desktop when I’m doing interviews, which has questions and the format that I’m trying to work with, and it says in giant, bold, red lettering, “To master anything, talk to the experts.”
My thing with an interview show was if I can interview 100 people, and I’m going to interview 100 as fast as I possibly can so I don’t have time to think about this and question my own confidence, which I do often, is that I will become an expert myself. It was amazing, because by episode 80, I found myself on Sirius XM with Randi Zuckerberg, and she was calling me an ‘expert’ in business. It was amazing. I was like, “Wow.” It actually happened at episode 80, more than interviewing 100 people.
I’d literally just put my head down and went to work and not allowed myself to question it, to edit stuff out, to just worry about it. And I just confidently went into it, but confidently in a very non-confident sort of way when I go and think back to it.
I hope that’s a good answer, but I think it’s really important to point out that people who look the most confident — and I’ve gotten to speak to some amazing brilliant people now who have done amazing things that I would think are the most confident and then people talking to me about it — all of us go through the same struggles, the same issues, the same self-doubts, all of it. We just keep going. That’s really the trick. That’s the confidence. And it looks very confident from the outside, but inside, there’s these screaming voices of, “You can’t do this.” Okay, I don’t actually have screaming voices in my head, to clarify.
The way I did it was I found that trick. I used momentum and not allowing myself time to sit there and think about it for hours and listen back to myself and be like, “Oh, you sound shaky, voice.” Just like, “No. I know I’m going to suck, and I’m going to be good. By the time I get to 100, I’m going to be awesome at this.” It really is just that.
The confidence is different on the outside, I guess, than it is on the inside. It looks confident to everyone else, and often inside of us it’s not. So it’s not just you that feels this self-doubt. It really is all of us. I think if somebody tells you it isn’t, then they’re full of it. They’re just trying to tell you that. Or else they’ve been doing whatever it is you’re talking about, their expertise, for so long that it’s really second nature. Podcasting, to me, isn’t even second nature at this point. I can sound confident in it just because I’ve done it enough now, and I will continue to get better.
How Jerod Used Logic and Experience to “Empower Himself to Stink” Before He Had Any Real Confidence in His Ability to Podcast
Jerod Morris: Yeah. I think it’s similar for me in that when I first set out to podcast — and this was back in my Midwest Sports Fans days five or six years ago — I looked at it, and I was extremely nervous because I’d never done anything like that behind the microphone before.
But I just thought, “You know, everything I’ve done in my life that I succeeded at, I started at some point where I hadn’t done it, and I either became good, or I at least tried and realized it wasn’t for me, but either way it was the right outcome.” The worst-case scenario, if I tried, wasn’t as bad as not trying at all, because the worst-case scenario would be the regret of never having tried.
It empowered me to stink at the beginning, because I was, like you said, “Well I’m going to anyway,” but to only way to get good is to stink at the start. The first time I picked up a basketball when I was — however old I was — two or three, I didn’t know what to do with this orange thing in my hands. By the time I was in high school, I set a school record for three-point percentage.
The first time I blogged, I didn’t know how to write a blog post, how to promote a blog post, how to do any of those things, yet a site that I created was getting millions of page views a month. How did those things happen? Because you do it for the first time, and you allow yourself to stink, and you keep getting better through repetition and through attitude.
For me, thinking through it logically like that helped me have the confidence to step back and do it for the first time. Then you do it, and you realize, “Okay, maybe this is worse than I thought,” “maybe this is better than I thought,” whatever. But it’s your starting point, and then you always have that as your measuring stick, and you just try and keep getting better.
It’s like you said — you don’t want to be too self-critical at beginning, but you certainly can be later. I actually, just this morning, went back and was listening to some of the early episodes that I did for Midwest Sports Fans. They’re so bad. It’s so obvious I’m reading off a script. I’m talking softly. I’m talking too fast. It’s awful, but it was my starting point. And I’m proud of that, not because it’s good, but because I started and it led me to here.
You talk about how to build the confidence in the first place. I don’t know that you necessarily build the confidence in the first place. You just show up for the first time. However you get yourself to show up, you do it, even though you’re not confident, but then you build confidence by continuing to get better than that first time. If you have a big enough reason to do it and you’re learning new things so you’re improving, the confidence develops overtime. Thinking through it like that has always really helped me out.
Go ahead, Jon.
Tricks and Hacks You Can Use to Manufacture Confidence before You Really Have Any
Jonny Nastor: There are some tricks, though, if you want to call them that, or hacks perhaps.
Jerod Morris: Oh boy.
Jonny Nastor: Oh boy, here we go. They’re not going to work for everyone at all, but that’s what I decided with myself. I became confident enough in my non-confidence that I was okay with it, and then I just created some things, which was momentum: I’m just going to literally start and stop thinking about it. I have this sheet on my desktop of my computer with questions and a format, and it really added to my confidence of doing the first interviews that I ever did, and it still does, actually, to this day.
When the person is talking and I’m taking notes, I know that if they just stop talking … that was my fear. They’re going to be giving me an answer, and then they’re going to just stop, and I’m not going to know where to go next, and it’s going to be really awkward. I was like, “Well, I’ll just have questions below that under different formats or topics. If the topic goes there, I know that I can literally just look at my computer screen and be like, ‘Oh, there’s a question. Now I’ll just segue it in, and we’ll just go to that.’” That made me way more confident. It was literally a trick that I did.
You can do these things. You have to figure out what will make you confident, and then don’t be afraid. Because Jon doesn’t do it or Jerod doesn’t do it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. If that makes you confident enough to go out there and do it, then by all means do it. You don’t then publicly tell everybody via podcast like I just did, but do these things, and do them confidently, knowing that that works for you. Perfect.
Jerod Morris: That idea is great. It’s having the self-awareness to know your moments when you’re really, really not confident, what can you do to help safeguard against those? That’s a great example. You’re doing an interview, and you’re scared that the spotlight is going to be back on you, and you don’t have anything to say. Build in a safeguard so that you have questions.
I did that exact same thing when I was doing interviews and still do that to this day. But understand that, whether it’s having bullet points out. If you’re going to do a monologue the first time and you’re not going to have a script, at least have bullet points so that you don’t get lost.
For me, for some reason, I feel comfortable giving a presentation in front of 600 people, but I don’t like practicing or recording in front of one other person. I don’t know why. It weirds me out and makes me self-conscious. If I’m recording an episode, I go to somewhere private so I don’t have these little self-conscious voices in my head that are reminding me that there’s one other person listening while I’m doing it live.
Whatever little, strange quirk about yourself can make you self-conscious or make you feel insecure, guard against it somehow by how you set up your recording. That’s another way to shift that out of the way and stay confident.
The second part of this person’s question in the email was how to believe that anyone will care, because I think that’s the other element of confidence. A lot of people are okay stepping up behind the microphone, but then they’ve got the recording, and they’ve got it edited. But then you have to get it out there, and there’s a next level of confidence that it takes to actually get it out there and get it to the people who need it.
How do you believe that anyone will care? How did you reach that point, Jon, with Hack the Entrepreneur — that anyone would care about these conversations you were having with people?
Why Having a Clear Understanding of Your Audience of One Is a Key to Confidence
Jonny Nastor: Because I absolutely — very, very clearly, in a detailed way — understood who my ‘audience of one’ is. I knew exactly who was going to listen, and I made a show specifically for that person every single time for the six weeks leading up to launch. Every single episode I recorded, every word I said, was for that one person. I knew if that one person cared that there was hundreds of thousands of people out there like that. But that one person had to care. I knew exactly who it was for.
If you don’t, then you can’t, sorry. You’re not going to come up with a trick or hack or anything to trick yourself into confidently believing in the fact that you’re making a show for someone but you don’t know who they are and they’re going to care. It’s impossible. You have to know who your audience of one is.
Jerod Morris: That’s a great, great tip. I think the other one is to trust that the experiences that you’ve had are meaningful. Unless you just go through your day sleeping in bed for 20 hours of the day, you’re out there doing things, and you’re learning things, and you’re having experiences. The paths that we walk are not so individual that other people cannot learn from those experiences.
It’s understanding that there are a lot of other people out there like you who have similar goals, who are walking similar paths, that have similar questions. Whatever it is, there are going to be people out there who will benefit from learning from your experience and your perspectives.
That’s the first step, and then it’s doing what Jon said — really understanding who your audience is, down to that one person. Combining that knowledge of yourself, that knowledge of your audience, finding the intersection between the two.
When you have a firm grasp of that, it will help you believe that people will care because when you have a firm grasp of that, actually, you can’t not believe that people will care because you understand what you bring to the table. You understand exactly who the people are that are going to benefit from it, and you talk directly to them, and you don’t worry about other people.
The judgment of those people who aren’t your audience, who aren’t that audience of one, can be removed from your thought process and thus removed from any self-conscious feelings because they don’t matter. You’re talking specifically to the people who will benefit from your knowledge and your perspective, and that gives you confidence as well.
It’s dawning on me, Jon, that this is the longest casual opening that we’ve ever done. I think we’re throwing the format of the show out the window this episode.
Jonny Nastor: It’s a big topic. It’s one that we actually left out of the course because I didn’t even think about it, and I really started thinking about it when that email came this morning. It’s such a massive thing. I think we’re right in the way that we teach the audience of one –how to clearly define that — first off in the course, and I inherently wasn’t thinking of it. I knew that’s where the confidence came from, but I didn’t think to lay that out.
It was interesting. That’s why we completely changed the topic of the show today, because of that, and because it’s such a massive, massive thing. With the people I’ve been meeting with, the listeners, it is. It’s a huge topic, and we need to cover it better. Although I feel that we do cover it in the way of the audience of one. We show people how to add value and to clearly define where you’re going to hit the market, so that allows you to be confident, but before you start, you still have that that non-confidence, and you need to work through that.
Jerod Morris: I think the other way that we cover it in the course is just having the community, having the group. I think a lot of people find strength in seeing these other people that are on a similar path or learning from their experiences and just being able to share and ask questions, get feedback on artwork. All of that stuff will help to build your confidence, finding that group.
Here’s the thing: we are going to talk about this more in the course, and actually, I’ve got the perfect person in mind to help us do a lesson. We were going to leave the second part of this episode open to post some of that, but clearly, you and I have hijacked our own episode. I guess we can’t really hijack our own episode, but we’ve hijacked our plans for this episode.
Someday, we will definitely post a snippet of that in a future episode of The Showrunner, but it’s not going to happen right now.
Here’s what I want to do right now, Jon. Let’s cover this other topic that we were going to save for a Showrunner Short. I think it fits better right here, because you were just telling me before we went on air that there is something that you’re not confident in.
It’s an episode that we’ve been talking about doing, and you were going to do it alone, and you’re struggling with the confidence for it. Let’s talk about that right now. I think we might as well.
Why don’t you describe it first? We were going to do the Showrunner Short. Tell us what it’s about. Tell us why you’ve been struggling to get this thing recorded.
Jon Explains Why He’s Been Struggling to Record a Particular Topic for a Showrunner Short
Jonny Nastor: I don’t know the exact reason why I’m struggling with it, but I am struggling with it. Early last week, you said, “Jon, you should do a Showrunner Short. I’ve done all the Showrunner Shorts.” You asked me very nicely. I was like, “Yes, okay,” and then I didn’t do it.
Jerod Morris: That didn’t sound very nice.
Jonny Nastor: That was for a Friday Showrunner Short. Then on Friday, you’re like, “Well, we can still make it for our Monday Showrunner Short.” I’ve been struggling with it in my head, walking around, trying to go through how to do it. What it is, the episode — it’s a Short. Not all your Shorts are short, so it could be long. It’s a monologue about me … I guess it’s making a connection with your audience. And this is something I’m going through now for the first time ever, and it’s truly crazy. It’s so good.
I’ve been getting to meet listeners of Hack the Entrepreneur and The Showrunner and people from The Showrunner course in Vancouver where I am now or traveling alone, and having coffee with people, going for walks with people. It’s amazing to me. It’s mind-blowing that people are listening and have made that connection that I’ve talked about and that I knew in theory that you’d make this connection with a listener because it’s so intimate, podcasting, but it’s really weird.
The time earlier this week I went out for ice cream with a lady who lives in Vancouver, and she was so excited I thought she was actually faking it, but it turns out she wasn’t. Then she started just saying these things to me, like small snippets of my life that she’d listened to through Hack the Entrepreneur in intros or outros of things I talk about, and she was laughing. She’s like, “This is a really weird dynamic,” because she’s like, “I feel like I know everything about you, Jon, and you know nothing about me except for my first name.”
It was really strange, but amazing, right? Then she went into a 15-minute story about her life because she felt like she had to share everything with me because I have already shared everything with her. I don’t even share that much, necessarily, in my episodes because my episodes are about the guest, and yet I’m making this connection with people, and it is amazing.
I was struggling with doing it myself because it’s a monologue, and even doing this show with you was hard for me at the beginning because my successes have all come from doing an interview show in a super-structured way that I’ve created to do it, and that’s how I do it. I don’t vary from that because I know that that’s what my audience wants, and that’s what I make for them. People who want something else, I just tell them, “Sorry, go somewhere else and find that,” but my audience wants this, and I make the show for them.
It doesn’t allow a lot of time to talk about me, but it still does enough that I’m making this insane connection with people. In another two hours, I go meet another person for coffee that wants to meet with me. I can’t believe how many people just in this one city listen to me speak either on their commute to work or when they’re walking their dog or washing their clothes. It truly blows my mind. The whole thing was that doing a monologue is something I’ve never done, ever, into a microphone, although I just did it.
Jerod Morris: I was going to say. How hard was that?
Jonny Nastor: Because I know you’re sitting there, I guess. See? It’s funny, right?
Jerod Morris: I actually left. I went to get a piece of pizza, so I’m not sure what you just said. You were all on your own.
Jonny Nastor: I guess when I’m talking about tricks, I could just call you up and be like, “Hey, could you just set up the other end of Skype for me so I can give a monologue?”
Jerod Morris: “Will you just prompt me with a question real quick?”
Jonny Nastor: I built it up so much in my head, falsely, that then it was literally a hurdle I couldn’t seem to overcome, which I just did. I know that’s not maybe not right or whatever, but that’s how I did it. That’s what I did in here. That’s how we deal with things. We deal with things in strange ways. We’re human beings, right?
Now that I’ve done it, I probably feel like I could do it because I’ve done it for the first time. Maybe I did it well, maybe I didn’t, whatever. I did it for the first time, and now I feel like I actually could do it again, and I feel so much better just having done it. So thanks, Jerod.
Jerod Morris: Hey, that’s why we’re here. You’ll have plenty of other opportunities to do Showrunner Shorts, so you’ll have to figure out a different topic. Now hopefully you’ll have more confidence to do that.
Again, that’s one of those times when, if you’re struggling with confidence, sometimes admitting it to someone is the jump you need to get past it, because then you admit it. Saying it out loud makes your lack of confidence seem silly, or you realize, “Okay, this is the hurdle. What I need to jump over this is X.” Maybe that’s a prompt. Maybe that’s just someone there to make it seem like a conversation to you so then you feel comfortable just saying the monologue. Whatever it is, you know yourself. That’s where that self-awareness comes in, but taking some kind of action a lot of times helps to move us closer to the goal, and we get confidence just by doing.
That’s really the lesson of this show. I don’t know that you necessarily have the confidence before you start. You start, and you gain the confidence. I think that’s probably one of the overarching messages of the whole Showrunner is, “Just start. Just show up.” I don’t know, maybe that seems like a simplistic answer sometimes, but I also think sometimes it’s the only answer.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, it absolutely is. I forgot to end my miniature monologue by saying if you are in Vancouver or you’re going to be in Vancouver this summer, I would love to meet you. Or if you’re going to be at Podcast Movement 2015, Jerod and I will both be there, and we would absolutely love to meet you.
Jerod Morris: We will be there.
Jonny Nastor: You don’t need to be in The Showrunner course, even. You just have to listen to our show, and we’d love to meet you. We really, truly would.
Jerod Morris: Yeah, we would. Same thing, if you are in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, let me know, because I’d love to meet you as well.
Okay, that was the longest opening that we’ve ever had.
Jonny Nastor: Now on with the show.
Jerod Morris: Right, now on with the show.
Let’s jump into our listener question. Our listener question is brought to you this week by The Showrunner Podcasting Course, which we are going to be reopening Thursday, June 25th, that is actually tomorrow from the date that this episode goes live. Instead of Jon and I telling you more about the course, we actually decided to let someone who’s in the course, tell you about the course. Let’s listen to what she has to say.
What’s the biggest thing that you’ve gotten out of the course?
An Insider’s Perspective on The Showrunner Podcasting Course
Sonia Thompson: The biggest things that I’ve gotten are really the small things, the small things that you wouldn’t think about. Everybody in courses, or like if you go to a conference or you go to look online at blog posts or even other free material that’s out there, people talk about all the big things like sound quality, how to interview, different things like that. But, what’s been most helpful for me are the little questions that you would never think to ask anybody.
Like yesterday as I was recording in GarageBand, and I didn’t know anything about an AIFF file, so I wouldn’t have even known that existed. I heard of The Levelator, but I think if I had gotten to a place where I needed to convert a MOV file to a different file type and I didn’t know how to do that, it would have derailed me and I would have spent a lot of time trying to figure that out.
Instead, I just popped a question in the group forum, the Facebook forum, and I had my answer. The solution to the problem took less than a minute, and getting the response back was very quick. It saved me a ton of time, but I never would have thought to search that out in advance of taking this course or in my own research and study. Things like that that can really derail your effort are invaluable because you have a group of people ready to help you.
Jerod Morris: Very interesting. Your show will be where? Because you haven’t launched as of today, right?
Sonia Thompson: Right. It will be on IAmTheOne.FM.
Jerod Morris: Oh, you did get IAmTheOne.FM.
Sonia Thompson: I did. I did.
Jerod Morris: Very nice.
Sonia Thompson: The .FM was great — another thing that I picked up from listening to this course.
Jerod Morris: That’s great.
Sonia Thompson: When it came to podcasting, which was a totally different and new medium for me, getting over that hurdle of starting something that you’ve never done before, even though you know more of the basic elements of the content that you’re trying to produce, it’s a whole different medium. Going through the course gave me the confidence, specifically of all the moving parts that I needed to think through to be able to make this work to grow my business.
If I hadn’t gone through the course, I would have been piecing things together, and I might have had a very frustrating experience and said, “You know what? This podcasting thing isn’t going to work.” Now my mindset is changed completely, and I have a much clearer view of how to work the podcast from the launch, from the first, initial eight-week period, and even over the long term. I’ve got that vision. Going through the course has given me the information and the support and the accountability that I need to be able to move forward and create a remarkable experience for my audience.
Jerod Morris: Very cool. I love that phrase that you ended with right there. Sonia, thank you. You’re one of the very first people who signed up. You’ve been one of the most active people in the community, so thank you for sharing your experience with everybody now who’s listening and trying to decide if The Showrunner course is for them. I appreciate it.
Sonia Thompson: My pleasure. I hope to see them all inside.
Jerod Morris: Yes, absolutely. Go to Showrunner.FM. As we’ve said, we’re reopening the course Thursday, June 25th. It’ll be open for a week, and the way to get details about joining is to be on the email list, and that’s how you can get the best price that the course will be offered for. Showrunner.FM is the place to go. Thank you, Sonia.
Sonia Thompson: Thank you.
Listener Question: Can You Repurpose a Speech as a Podcast?
Jerod Morris: Okay. Now our listener question, which is from Bob Hendershot, who I do know, is from here in Dallas. He asks, “Is it a good idea to repurpose your speech into a podcast?” What do you think about this, Jon, or are you going to kick it right back to me?
Jonny Nastor: I am not confident enough yet to give speeches, so to tie it altogether nicely for you …
Jerod Morris: It all comes back to confidence.
Jonny Nastor: I don’t know, but Jerod’s going to give you an awesome answer for that. I do want to say that you should absolutely, in every piece of content you create, think of how you can repurpose it. Because you’ve either written or recorded or done a video or something, you’ve done it, and you’ve put your passion, your heart and soul into it, but not everybody watches videos. Not everybody listens to podcasts. Not everybody reads blogs.
Spread that out as far as you can to as many different mediums as you can, because your audience might still be there and wanting to hear from you, and it’s a lot harder to create new content than it is to create the same content across multiple mediums. Absolutely repurpose as much as you can. Almost focus on repurposing as much as you do on creating new content, because you’ll become much more prolific in getting your message out there.
Jerod Morris: That was a very useful answer stated with immense confidence. Very well done.
Jonny Nastor: Thanks.
Jerod Morris: Is it a good idea to repurpose your speech? Yes, because repurposing is a good idea. Demian and I actually did a recent series on The Lede about this. I will post the links to that in the show notes. I actually did repurpose a speech into a podcast. It was a recent episode of The Showrunner. It’s a Showrunner Short.
I took the presentation that I did at Authority Rainmaker. That presentation was called Become a Showrunner: The Four Essential Elements of a Remarkable Podcast, and I basically just gave that presentation and recorded it and posted it as a podcast along with as a video with the slides so you could follow along with the slides.
The reason I wanted to do that is because so many of the ideas that I put into that presentation were ideas that we workshopped on the show and that we’ve talked about in the course and that we’ve talked about in emails with listeners. It seemed unfair to only give this presentation to the people who were at Authority Rainmaker.
I really wanted to share it with everybody who inspired it, and I thought it had useful, good information in it. Hopefully it did, and hopefully people were able to get something out of it. It seemed like a good idea for a Short, and again, it’s a way to leverage time that you’ve invested in creating content to putting it out in other mediums so that other people can see it.
The short answer to that is ‘yes,’ and it’s not just repurposing your speech into a podcast, but it’s repurposing your speech into blog post, into SlideShares. That goes the other way, too. When you’re thinking about creating a speech, look at blog posts you’ve done. Look at podcasts you’ve done.
You don’t have to create something totally new. It’s going to be new just because it’s in a new medium and a new format, but you can take ideas you’ve used and that your audience has really responded well to, and that can help inform you. It should help inform you about what should go into the presentation. Excellent question, Bob, and the answer that Jon and I both have stated confidently is ‘yes.’
Now let’s move into this week’s podcast recommendations.
Jon, I will allow you to do the honors of going first. This is a monologue, so I hope you’re okay.
Jonny Nastor: Sorry, I’ve got to go back, because this is getting really weird. In our opening intro, our 30-minute opening intro, you said how rehearsing or recording in front of even one person is really, really hard for you. It makes you really nervous.
Jerod Morris: It does.
Jonny Nastor: I was going to say, “Yeah. I know. If I think somebody’s listening to me record, I just freeze up. I can’t quite do it. I need to do it by myself.” Because we started a half hour late and because we’ve gone on way longer than we expected, my family has now come home.
Jerod Morris: Very nice.
Jonny Nastor: I am now recording this with people listening.
Jerod Morris: So they’re watching you talking to a sweater draped over a microphone?
Jonny Nastor: Yeah. Wow, look at the professionalism going on here.
Podcast Recommendations of the Week
Jonny Nastor: My podcast recommendation for the week: Freakonomics Podcast by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt. I am a huge Freakonomics fan. The book came out 10 years ago or something, I thin. It’s a great, great, great read. But I like this episode for not just the content, but I think it’s worth a listen because it covers some different things.
The episode is called Failure is Your Friend. It was published on May 21, 2015. They don’t number their episodes, so that’s something. They have a very popular podcast, but they don’t number the episode titles, which we’ve discussed, but this is also a rebroadcast from last year, which is interesting with the repurposing. They are taking their greatest hits from just last year, and they are putting them out again this year for their new listeners.
Interesting, right? They clearly state that it’s a rebroadcast, so if I’d been listening for over a year now, which I have, I can clearly not have to listen to it and be like, “I’ve already heard this.” It’s great. It’s a brilliant sort of thing, and it shows the flexibility of your show, that you can do these things that maybe are different from other shows, and I really like that.
The other thing is that they play with format a lot. It’s hosted by Stephen Dubner. They’re partners. They wrote the book together, but it’s hosted by him, meaning he does monologues here and there. Their intro is all backed by music quietly played below them, which is interesting. Then they’re introduced by another voice, and then they break into an actual conversation that has no music. It’s like interview-style, so it really mixes formats. I love the content. I love the two guys. They’re brilliant. And I really liked and wanted to share the whole rebroadcasting and then the format style, because I think it’ll be an interest to a lot of the listeners.
Jerod Morris: Yup. Great episode. I’ve listen to it, and it’s obviously a great podcast. My podcast recommendation is episode number 11 of This Is Your Life, which is Michael Hyatt’s podcast. This is actually back when he first started the podcast, and it’s The Secret Power of Naps. After I listened to this, I actually start incorporating naps into my daily routine for a couple of months, and I got away from it. That’s one of the reasons why I recently listened to this podcast was I want to get back into it.
What I really love about it is — I mean, the information is really good — how Michael Hyatt structures both his podcast and the show notes. He has a topic, and he’s always got some kind of numbered list or some kind of structured way for you to think through whatever the topic is. It helps to keep you moving forward throughout the show, but it also helps that you can go back to the show notes, and he’s always got those numbered lists or bulleted lists, whatever they are, right there so you can get that reinforcement. If you forgot what one was, you can go back and see it.
It’s just a good way to reinforce the content and the lesson that he’s trying to teach in whatever the episode is. He has a lot of really great episodes in This Is Your Life podcast. The Secret Power of Naps, if you want some kind of empowerment for taking a nap in the middle of the day to know that a lot of smart, famous people, productive people throughout history had done this and then how to do it, that’s a great episode for you to listen to.
Jonny Nastor: Naps. Who doesn’t like naps? Seriously.
Jerod Morris: Naps.
Jonny Nastor: Naps are wonderful.
Jerod Morris: I know. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to force yourself to do because there’s always so much to do every day. That’s why it’s important to understand the benefits of nap so that we can weigh that against what we’re doing every day and say, “Okay, it’s still very important that I do this for my long-term health and creativity and all that good stuff.”
Jonny Nastor: Alright, everybody.
Jerod Morris: Yes.
Jonny Nastor: The cold reaction.
Jerod Morris: Yes. This concludes Showrunner episode 13. What we want to say here as we close is simply to get on the email list, and you do that by going to Showrunner.FM. There’s a big box that you’ll see as soon as you go there. You just enter your email address, and you’re on the list.
You may be asking, “Why should we join your email list?” The answer is quite simple. Number one, you will get show updates, but number two, and more importantly and more urgently, The Showrunner Podcasting Course is reopening for one week starting on Thursday, June 25th. It will close again the follow Thursday.
The reason why this is important is because we are only opening the course for this week to the people who are on the email list. We are going to be doing a bigger, larger, more general launch later on this summer, but we wanted one more opportunity for the people who have selected themselves to be in our audience and who have given us the privilege of having their email address so that we can communicate with you individually.
We wanted you all to have one more opportunity to get the course at the best price it will be available at. Before we raise the price this summer, you’ll have one more opportunity to get it. You’ve got to be on the email list to get it. Join the email list at Showrunner.FM, and when the course reopens on the 25th, you will be able to get that email.
If you are listening to this after Thursday, June 25th, but it’s before Thursday, July 2nd, still get on the email list. As soon as you do, you’ll immediately get an auto-responder email that will give you the instructions for how to join The Showrunner Podcasting Course. Do you have anything to add?
Jonny Nastor: It’s going to be good. I’m really excited. You’ve listened to the episode. We mentioned some things, like the audience of one, and then dealing with confidence and the tricks I use, which was my interview template that I have in front of me. When I said I take notes during my episodes, I have this PDF that I’ve made that has all these different sections of things, places I can write to make it easy for me to do a good interview and do it confidently.
I’d mentioned those, and now I want to mention them again because those are all directly downloadable within the course. And ‘The Audience of One’ is a module that we walk you through step-by-step of how to understand who it is you are speaking to, who it is that’s in your audience, and then to be able to confidently podcast and run a show toward them. I just wanted to clarify that and to make it known that stuff is all in there.
Literally, almost everything I’ve done with Hack the Entrepreneur I’ve PDFed and put into the course because I know that I’ve worked out a lot more than I even thought that I worked out over the last 100 episodes now. You have one week, June 25th to July 2nd, and then the big launch comes this summer, and it’s going to be good.
Jerod Morris: Not to mention, the brand-new lesson about confidence with the perfect guest to talk about confidence, which will be in the course. Actually, I guess I shouldn’t promise that yet. It may not be in the course as soon as you sign up, but at the very least, it will be coming soon, and we will have it in there within a short time. I just committed us to doing that. I hope you don’t mind.
Jonny Nastor: That’s a good way to do it. That’s a trick.
Jerod Morris: Put it out there publicly? And now we have to do it. Excellent.
Jonny Nastor: This has been fun, man.
Jerod Morris: This has been fun.
Jonny Nastor: This was a good episode.
Jerod Morris: This was. It went in a completely different direction than I thought it was going to, but that’s okay. I think it is okay.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah.
Jerod Morris: I think it is great. All right, everybody, thank you for listening, and we’ll talk to you next week.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, take care.
Jerod Morris: Okay. I guess we just recorded the full episode.
Jonny Nastor: Yeah, just like that.
Jerod Morris: That works.