Building Podcast Confidence And Trust With Suzanne Sena Of The Confidence Connection Podcast (Podfaded)

TBF 49 | The Confidence Connection

 

Why would a big TV personality want to do a podcast? For Emmy-nominated broadcaster, Suzanne Sena, The Confidence Connection is a product of passion. It is a place where she can be authentic, where she can learn, and it’s something that she really enjoys doing. If you’re thinking that she would have an unfair initial advantage as a former news anchor, you would be in for a surprise. We all have to start somewhere, and Suzanne did have her share of hiccups. Listen in as she joins Tracy Hazzard in this interview, where Suzanne shares the challenges that she had to go through as a podcaster and how she eventually built confidence and trust in her product as something that really drives value to her audience. Plus, get some incredibly useful podcasting tips from one of the best hosts in the podcasting business. If you’re planning to start a podcast, then you’re in for a treat!

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Building Podcast Confidence And Trust With Suzanne Sena Of The Confidence Connection Podcast

I’m excited to bring you a new podcaster who’s got a broadcasting background. I love it when I can bring you someone who’s got a perspective of what it’s like out there as a true broadcaster, and then coming into the podcasting world and seeing the differences. I’m bringing you Suzanne Sena. Her show is called The Confidence Connection: Building Trust in a Virtual World. I’m going to read you a little bit about the show because I love the way they wrote their intro there. They did a beautiful job on it. I want to highlight it for you.

First, let me tell you a little bit about Suzanne. She is a true guru of communication. She spent a lifetime as a broadcaster and a decade as one of the country’s most in-demand media trainers. Her vast on-camera career spans 30 years which includes hosting national talk shows, anchoring national and international news, and hosting unscripted live televised series and events. Her company is called Sena-Series Virtual Training. It provides on-camera training of key executive C-Suites, television personalities, including companies like AEG Worldwide, Atlantic Coast brands, Deloitte and Touche, FabFitFun, Google, YouTube, LA Kings, Lionsgate Television Group, MTV, NBC, Pop TV, and many more. Talk about a great list of clients.

As the pandemic has changed the way the world works, every individual in our workforce has been forced in the role of a broadcaster. Not only having to adjust to communicating on camera, but becoming their own set designer and lighting designer. I had to reschedule with Suzanne because my lighting was so bad in the new office space here. We had to do some lighting revamp in here. We’ve caught up and we’ve managed to do this wonderful interview where you’re going to know her perspective on why she started a podcast and what she’s doing. She’s addressing the needs of the normal by launching an initiative she’s calling VIP, helping companies with transitioning into the virtual world by transforming each employee into a virtually impactful person.

Hence, the subtitle on her show, Building Trust in a Virtual World. When we are a virtually impactful person, we build trust faster. That is critically important when we’re remote working nowadays. Her training methods go beyond basic on-camera skills, providing tangible tools, mindset of confidence and resulting in improved communication. I’m excited that I can bring her on. I’m going to read her descriptive paragraph to her show. This is the podcast description that shows up on iTunes or Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, everywhere. This is a perfectly written opening paragraph. You should use 4,000 characters in the full description of your show. You’ve heard me talk about that before. This is a short one, but this is the perfect opening paragraph.

The show is The Confidence Connection: America’s Most Accomplished Discuss How They Do It, but it’s also got a subtitle, Building Trust in a Virtual World. “In an uncertain world, it’s challenging to maintain confidence much less increase it. In this podcast, Emmy-nominated TV host, former Fox News Channel anchor and confidence catalyst, Suzanne Sena shares not only her own insights and lessons, but interview some of the nation’s most accomplished to learn their confidence-building strategies. If you’re looking to get to the next level in your career, start your own business, or just want to be inspired and motivated, this podcast is for you.”

That has everything brilliant in it. It starts out with a great poise of the position of this podcast in the scope of all the others out there. In an uncertain world, how do you maintain confidence? If I’m looking out there for anything like that, that is going to catch my eye. It then gives her credibility. She’s Emmy-nominated, a confidence catalyst, a Fox News Channel anchor, and it tells you what she’s going to share. It tells you what the outcome benefit. If you want to go to the next level in your career, start your own business, want to be inspired, this one is for you. I rarely do that as you guys know, but I wanted to read you that because that is a brilliantly written opening paragraph and description for a show that gets you to want to listen to it. Let’s get to know all the wonderful advice and perspective that Suzanne Sena can bring to us and get our own little confidence connection from Suzanne.

About Confidence Connection Podcast Host Suzanne Sena

TBF 49 | The Confidence ConnectionSuzanne Sena is a true guru of communication, having spent a lifetime as a broadcaster and a decade as one of the country’s most in-demand media trainers. Her vast on-camera career spans 30 years, and includes hosting national talk shows, anchoring national and international news, and hosting unscripted live televised events.

Her company, Sena-Series Media Training provides on-camera training of key executives, C-suiters and television personalities, for companies including AEG Worldwide, Atlantic Coast Brands, Avanath Corporation, Deloitte & Touche, FabFitFun, Google / YouTube, LA Kings, Lionsgate Television Group, MTV, NBC Universal, Pop TV , and many more. As the pandemic has changed the way the world works, every individual in today’s workforce has been forced into the role of a broadcaster – not only having to adjust to communicating “on-camera,” but becoming their own set designer, lighting technician, floor director and more. Sena is addressing the needs of “the normal” by launching an initiative she’s calling V.I.P. – helping companies with transitioning into the virtual world, by transforming each employee into a Virtually Impactful Person.
Sena’s training methods go beyond basic on-camera skills, providing tangible tools and a mindset of confidence, resulting in improved communication, increased productivity and bottom-line results.

“The key to successful communication through the lens of a camera is being likable and relatable,” she says, adding, “Once that trust is established, combining it with learnable skills like dynamic speaking and persuasive language make for a powerful on-camera performer.” The Emmy-Nominated Sena started her national TV career at E! Entertainment Television as an entertainment reporter, hosting live coverage of awards shows, premieres and interviewing Hollywood’s elite.

She was nominated for an Emmy as the host of the network’s “Celebrity Homes,” and continued her television journey on “Extra,” co-hosting with television legend, Regis Philbin on “Live with Regis” anchoring for CBS and eventually landing on the national news desk for The Fox News Channel. In addition to her media training and presentation skills services, Sena is an in-demand speaker, and creator and host of a podcast called, “The Confidence Connection: Building Trust in a Virtual World.”

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Suzanne, I’m glad to have you here. I’m glad to have a pro.

You’re a pro. I’ve been listening to you and you’re great.

I’m an accidental journalist. That’s how I always talk about myself. I accidentally became an Inc. columnist. Writing was not my forte, although it was what I thought I wanted to do. You come out of this world of being a journalist, having been on TV and you decided to do a podcast. Why?

If I had a dollar for all the times, people would say to me, “Have you ever thought about doing a podcast?” I would have a lot of dollars. I’ve never wanted to do one. This is interesting because I thought, “I’m so busy and I do so many things. That sounds like a lot of work and everybody has a podcast.” One day, I was doing an interview with somebody. I was working with a small group of students. I did these interviews for them. They could listen in. I’m having this wonderful interview with somebody very accomplished. I’m thinking, “This is what a podcast would be like. I could do interviews.” I wanted to do it immediately because that was a small group and these interviews were so great. There was so much to gain. I thought, “Only a few people are hearing these. I need to do it.” When I realized for some reason that could be almost like a talk show, I was all-in.

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Often, when I was writing articles and I’m sure you’ve found that when you’re interviewing someone and you get a two-minute spot if you’re lucky, that you don’t get to the whole story that you’ve gotten behind the scenes. No one else got to hear that and now they can.

I like the long form.

Do you find it frustrating or freeing compared to the production support and the other things that you have in television?

It’s different. The most freeing thing about it is I don’t answer to anyone else. It’s completely mine. I have produced shows before, but most of the things that I’ve been interviewing for when I’ve been a broadcaster, I was not the be all and end all decision maker. I have a lot more control over who I interview and what type of tone I want to have in the interview. What I love most is that I find that with podcasting, people are much more revealing. There’s a feeling that you’re only talking to one person and especially if you’re doing it without video. Most of mine have been without video. It’s like you’re talking to a friend and then you forget when it goes out into the world that everybody can hear that. I find it to be very intimate.

It sounds like you do a lot more post-editing so that you’re cutting out, reframing your questions occasionally. I can say this because I’ve listened to so many shows that it does seem more polished than other people’s shows. Do you find that’s a lot of work?

First of all, I have the most amazing producer in the world. I told him I’m going to mention him because he has been a saving grace. I’d never have tried to edit these myself. His name is Nick Tantillo and Tantillo Productions. He’s all mine, but now I guess I have to share him with other people. I never tried to edit it on my own. One thing I did learn is because of my background where we always did a lot of production, I was too worried about making it pretty in the beginning and especially where I was concerned. If I had said something and did it a little bumble, I wanted it cleaned up. I quickly realized that the authenticity was important. A lot of it sounding polished has to do with me working with the most professional team, between Nick and me. Also, I have my associate producer working on it too.

We’re so prepared that there isn’t a lot that we’re changing. If something is repeated a lot or to be quite honest, on my end, because I like to be so conversational, sometimes we don’t need to hear me go on and on, but it’s good for the guest to get them comfortable and responding to answers. Sometimes I throw more stories about myself. I want it to be authentic. I want it to be listenable. You’ve done a lot yourself and I’m sure every once in a while, you’re like, “I’m glad this isn’t live.” Sometimes we’ll take out some gaps and things like that, but produce it much less than you think. Other than the music, do the intro afterwards rather than live to tape, we do it later. I had to be slapped on the hand a couple of times. Leave that bubble in. That’s okay. It works better that you’re being real.

It is different when you’re looking at it. When you do video, you definitely don’t want to over edit because it gets all jump cut and nasty looking. In audio, there’s a lot more room to be able to do it and you can get heavy-handed with it. Every celebrity, journalist, broadcaster has a podcast out there, at least it seems that way. The reality is that there are only 350,000 active podcasters even though there are a million podcasts. It’s hard work. What have you found to be the most difficult part of podcasting?

First of all, when I started, I didn’t have my team set. I tried to do everything myself. The hours, especially being somebody who’s such a perfectionist, I want to listen to everything and then even setting it up ahead of time, finding the music. I don’t know if people realize what it takes to create what that right sound. I listened to 400 tracks before the right one felt so right to me and jumped out. The most challenging part is it’s the time that it takes. I love all of it. I’m an interviewer. I’m curious. I have a great team. I asked them to get some research together, but I always do additional research on my own. That alone takes time.

The booking and the confirming, we always send our interview guests a surprise package ahead of time, which is a gift of a microphone. It’s in a box. We do that to get to help control the quality. It’s a nice little thing we do. Even just that when we book them, writing out the card, putting the box together, getting it out. There are a lot of moving parts. It’s 100% a real production. If you’re one person doing it, you’re doing the job of about five people.

This is The Binge Factor. We’re going to get to your bingeability factor in terms of what I think. Did you ever learn about a bingeable content in terms of podcasting? We’ve heard about bingeable TV, bingeable Netflix, but have you heard about that in podcasting before now?

TBF 59 | The Confidence Connection
The Confidence Connection: Podcasting is 100% a real production. If you’re one person doing it, you’re doing the job of about five people.

 

I had not. I love the concept. You’ve already given me a lot of food for thought by listening to the ones I have of yours. Here’s one thing I’ll tell you. I started my podcast for a very specific reason. Shortly after a friend of mine said, “How do you monetize that?” I said, “I don’t. I’m not trying to.” That might sound strange, but maybe one day I will. The intent of it wasn’t to make it bingeable. It was for research so that I could gain more information for my speeches, for my own educating that I do when I coach executives and also because I enjoy it. I wanted to produce quality. I didn’t want things to get weighed down with a lot of my focus being on who can I get a sponsorship by. If it leads to that, great. I am in a position that’s fortunate I’m doing it because I love it and there are lessons there for people.

Why this podcast? Why The Confidence Connection?

This is part of that story I was getting to. In 2019, I entered into a business arrangement with somebody who was helping me with a long-term goal of becoming a keynote speaker in the corporate sector. Taking everything I’ve learned over the years and figuring out what my area of expertise was, we came up with confidence almost to a thought leader degree. In my ten years of coaching some of the most accomplished people in the world for television or for speaking and all of that, and going back to what I’ve accomplished in my own world and how I did those things, and other people don’t try or they don’t have those same skills, I came up with all of these thoughts on confidence.

I have been developing content and a book with that in mind. The podcast was going to be confidence related to start promoting myself out there, being associated with the word ‘confidence’ and specifically confidence catalyst, and to continue to gain research for things I might put into my speech as an example. When you can quote a four-time Super Bowl-winning champion and something they believe in, it still can work in a speech I give, but it’s so much great info. What happened is because it went from for Corporate America, about Corporate America and how to get ahead and have that confidence, America’s most accomplished tells us how they do it. It went to building trust in a virtual world.

That is your subtitle. I’m glad you brought that up. That was going to be my next question. That is such a timely subtitle, building trust in a virtual world. This is the one thing that I have found over podcasting for the years that I’ve been doing it and the 500 podcasters that are in my network. Building trust is the first and foremost thing that podcasting does in such an interesting way. What are you bringing to that? What viewpoint are you bringing to the building trust model?

When I decided the whole confidence catalyst, I had to go on the back burner for now because there are no keynotes going on in conferences. There will be a place for all of that. I didn’t want to stop the podcast, but I wanted it to be timely. I wanted it to be a little more with what’s going on now. I still speak with people in all different areas of expertise in business and performing. I’m acknowledging now that we’re in a different place. Getting very personal, how is that affecting you with your life, your kids, your family, your work? It’s partly to impart knowledge and tips. It’s also to help remind people that we’re all in this together. When you hear somebody, who is the president of the CBS Television Studios talk about what he’s been doing in the last couple of weeks at home or his perspectives on that, it makes you realize like we’re all the same.

This has equalized the playing field. There are no people in high-level offices. We are all in our homes. It’s a little bit more about being reassuring. If you’ve tuned in and listened to my podcast, I think if anything’s bingeable about it, it would be what I call my confidence quickies. I started the idea of every once in a while, I do a short podcast, just me sharing my own perspectives, sharing my own motivational mantras. Those have been very popular. For a certain audience, that’s where a self-help thing comes from. If you like one of my quickies, you’re probably going to like them all. I heard somebody say this or maybe you said it, but the feedback I get is, “More of that, more of you, just talk to us.”

One of my favorite episodes that you did was with Patricia Bragg who I love. I’ve loved her for a long time. It’s one of my favorite ones that you did. For those of you who don’t know, Bragg’s products are killer apple cider vinegar, amino acids, the whole thing. If you’ve ever heard of it, Bragg is the one. She’s 91 and she’s got energy and all of that. She was difficult to interview because she’s probably not hearing the questions quite right. You can tell, that’s why it was probably a little shorter than your other ones, but she makes up for it in excitement. When you interject your story in there, when you started telling about how you found their products and use them, that has such a high power to your audience. That’s where I see your bingeability. The binge factor of your show is in these interjections of the real you. They come through in your quickies. They come through in your conversations.

Don’t edit that out because it’s what makes me want to hear more of you. I want to hear more about your viewpoint, your background, and the people you know. That’s what I think a broadcaster can gain from a podcast in monetization. It’s not about the ad dollars. Your value as a broadcaster is in getting someone to tell the story. You’re broadcasting value is in being able to get the good guests and your network to tap into to get that story at the right time. That’s what you’re proving here with your show. You’re proving to the nth degree that you have what it takes to be a great broadcaster, but you also have what it takes to be a great personality that I want more from.

I love that word, bingeability. I’m going to use that. I’ll credit you. I appreciate the feedback. I do find the balance. For the most part, I do leave everything in that I say. It’s funny because years ago, I had a show on the E! Channel called Out to Lunch. I created the show. When I first created it, I created it as a recurring news segment. They weren’t sure if it was going to work or not. I had a reason why I created it. I would take celebrities out to lunch and we’d chat and all of that. I put myself in it a lot. A lot of it had to do with the interaction. When it aired the first time, the powers that said, “It’s too long. It’s 2.5 minutes.” I said, “Watch it. If you don’t like it, I’ll cut it down.” They watched it and they said, “We’ll air it as it is.”

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Some journalists would contact me and say, “It’s not supposed to be about you.” I said the reason the show is good is because what I’m doing in my being open shares enough where the people I’m talking to banter. It’s the back and forth. I did one with Sarah Jessica Parker and there’s this great moment in there. She said, “You remind me of a friend of mine.” I said, “Is that a good thing?” She said, “She’s a wonderful person.” I said, “Good. She’s not someone who owes you money.” There’s something like that. The editor said, “Don’t leave it in there.” A little known fact, the truth is that because I later used a clip of that on my promotional reel, that is the clip that had them bring me in to do Regis Philbin’s Live with Regis when they were looking to replace Kathie Lee. I was told straight out, “We know Sarah Jessica, she’s not the easiest of interviews. I know you must have met her, yet you two sounded like you were buddies.” That is why I got brought on. That was my instinct.

Another one of my favorite moments in Suzanne’s show is when you were interviewing the E! Entertainment Cofounder, Larry Namer. You tell him the story of how you started working for him and how he gave you your shot without him knowing it. What it felt like to me was if I were an up and coming broadcaster and I heard that story, I’d be like, “I’ve got to follow Suzanne’s career. She’s going to give me that path.” There was still that little gush of gratitude and remembering how it felt. You expressed that in such a great way that it made me go, “I want to feel that too if that was my choice in career.” These are the moments that make great bingeable shows and people we want more from. At the end of the day, I want more from Suzanne. I want to hear more about her. I want to hear more about what’s going on. I want more of your confidence quickie.

From a technical perspective, I wouldn’t normally do this in the outro, but I’m going to do this with Suzanne because I want her to hear it. She’s working towards a goal of being a keynote. What I see from people who that’s their podcasting goal is that having a feature like your confidence quickie is technically brilliant. It gives that audience something to consume from you that’s a little low hanging fruit passive. You’re not going to get everyone in that audience to go, “I’ve got to book you on the next keynote,” or “I’m going to go buy your package or your product or your book,” but they might go, “I’ll hit subscribe and check out one of those quickies.” Before you know it, they’ve consumed all of them. They’ve binged on them. You now have a fan who turns into maybe business, who turns into being a great referral, who gets you more fans. All of that is a lead generator and it works well. You’ve got something brilliant going on there so keep doing that.

You talked to many people about these things and I know you know what you’re talking about. I appreciate it. I’m fairly new to podcasting although the time is going by fast.

You’re banking episodes that haven’t aired yet, so you also have record it. Let’s hit a couple of our tips for the audience so we can get through some of our five tips. What are some ways, especially as a broadcaster that you find to get great guests?

First of all, professionalism is super key to getting great guests. What I mean by that is some of the best compliments I’ve gotten from some of the big guests that we’ve booked is they’ve checked out the podcast and they thought it was very well produced. I take a lot of pride in that. They know and they hear me too. One of the comments I got was it’s clearly not fluff. We have fun at the podcast, but that also I take as a compliment. Being professional, having great cover art, having a great look in general, the polishness of it, not that everything has to be perfect, but that it has to seem respectful and that you’re a good interviewer.

If you aren’t a good interviewer and you’re having fun, get some tips because you can learn to be a better interviewer. We teach that in some of the training that I do. I have had booking assistants. I fortunately started with a publicist on this. That was one of the things that they’ve been doing. We’re at the point where we’re getting requests from people to be on the show and that’s a nice change. It all starts with, and you probably know this too, we got that big one. Now we can say this person trusted us and then the next person trusts us.

No one wants to miss out nowadays on a hot new podcast to be on.

They have time on their hands so that’s good too.

You did this for a somewhat personal purpose and you have your personal goals and your why for this, but you need listeners. Have you worked hard to increase listeners? What have you done that you’ve found are some of the best ways to increase listeners?

One of the things that I find it is with social media. You’ve mentioned this before as well, we’re putting audiograms together for many reasons. That’s been a learning curve too. At first, it would be “in writing,” and then if it’s video, it gets more shares than this. We don’t have video, but if you make it an audiogram, it’s perceived as a video. That’s been something that has been helpful. One thing is once you get them in the door because of one interview, it’s very clear by the stats that they then start listening to the other ones. That’s been fun to see the numbers growing. It’s been a soft sell promotion. We shifted a little. We’re finding our way a little bit still. Word of mouth is the best. A great product is what you want to do to get your audience growing.

TBF 59 | The Confidence Connection
The Confidence Connection: Professionalism is the key to getting great guests.

Doing more interviews like mine. Going on other podcasts gets you new podcast listeners. You’ve talked about producing in a professional way, but what do you think is the one key thing that you must do yourself?

I’m such a control freak. It’s been hard to let go of some things. The one thing that I have to do myself is I have to hear the final version before it goes out. I can’t have somebody else listen and decide what needs a little cleaning or what doesn’t. I want to make sure I’m putting the best product out there and that I feel comfortable with that. I have to do that myself. I have to make the final pass to make sure everything’s there. Sometimes it’s easy-peasy because you did a great interview. The only thing you’re cutting out is that time in the beginning before you officially start.

Everybody has to cut that.

Sometimes it’s easy that way. That’s the one thing that I have to do myself. Everything else I’m delegating. I write my own intros and I have to record my own intros.

You’re the only one who can record. That’s so true. You’ve mentioned social media. How do you encourage engagement? How have you done that with all the other things that you’ve done on social over time?

We haven’t had much effort put toward engagement. It’s something I got from the one I listened even from you is that, what about some contest? I’m juggling a lot right now. The podcast is my passion. When it came down to what was I going to do when one direction shifted a little, I started putting more focus again on my virtual training, which I’ve done with the media training for years. I didn’t want to give up the podcast because I love it so much. I haven’t spent a lot of time engaging with it or promoting with it. I love it when people share. I comment if I see someone else has commented. That’s the next step. The next step is I feel strongly enough now about what we’ve built to get out there and start interacting with people more.

You should have confidence in your product. The fifth thing that we usually talk about is the best way to monetize it. You’ve been listening to some other shows and other things. You’ve chosen not to here. What do you think is maybe a potential path for you in the future?

As far as monetization, I could see it happening. I have a lot of things I’m thinking about. First and foremost is that anybody who checks out my websites or go to anything, they’re going to see that I do keynotes. They’re going to see that I offer products and training. With the right audience going to those sites, that will monetize. It probably already has. Maybe you don’t know how somebody hears about you or someone gets a referral. I picked up a new client for private coaching who contacted us through direct message on Instagram because we’re posting these. One thing does lead to another. That’s an absolute. Maybe depending on how the audience is defined, as we go forward, who turns out to be our biggest audience, there will be a collaboration. It hasn’t been my priority but that would be amazing. Maybe what we’ll do is package some of the stories into a book and sell that. I don’t know yet, since it’s not the highest thing on the list. That’s TBD.

Let’s talk a little bit about confidence. I find that one of the hardest things for our podcasters to do is to start recording. I don’t know if you’ve heard this episode. I have a system that I try to get them to get started to rip the Band-Aid off, but I would love your view.

I would like to know that system. Can you tell me?

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Our system is I get them to do an interview first with someone they already know at least a little bit. They don’t have to know all about them. They don’t want to be best friends, but somebody they know. That’s their first thing. You’ll show up for somebody else and start recording. If the recording goes bad, or if you forget to turn on record, this person is friendly enough that they’re not going to get all upset at you. The second one is go back and do your short intro episode or trailer episode, where you’re talking about what the show is going to be. It helps you imagine what it’s going to look like. You then go and do your first topic or your quickie or whatever your other piece of topic if you’ve got a different one. Now you’ve done all the three different types of episodes you might need. You do them in that order.

That’s great. I should have talked to you before I started mine. I have the advantage of being a professional broadcaster. A lot of that was not intimidating to me, but what was intimidating to me was the technology and I wanted to do it right. I did a ton of research. You know that you could find eight different ways to do podcasts. They could be Zoom. There are many podcasting possibilities. I had trouble with all of my practice podcasts. I set up practice podcasts with friends. Every time there was some glitch. They couldn’t get on. They couldn’t do this. It made me so nervous. It was because one of these didn’t work for an actual podcast. We said, “Let’s just jump on Zoom.” I didn’t even know for sure how to do that for a podcast, but I did it. The best advice is to work out a lot of those bugs early and do it when the stakes are not high and listen back. That’s when you learn the things that you should have done and you will do now. It does help to have a professional weighing in. Even if you have somebody who’s done podcasts before or a professional podcast producer, listen to the practice ones to give you those tips. It can save you a lot of heartaches and get your confidence boosted before you get going for real.

Getting a pro is such a good advice, Suzanne. I can tell you that my now son-in-law was my first podcast editor. He was a high school student at the time and he was dating my daughter. It’s a little uncomfortable. He goes, “Tracy, you’re making my job slightly harder in editing because every time you go to ask a question, you’re taking a breath and I can hear it on the microphone. It’s hard to edit it out. Could you try not to do that?” That was my first production advice. It was from this kid. I was like, “I didn’t even know I was doing it.” Until you listen to it, you don’t know. He was doing such a good job of editing it out that I still didn’t know.

That helps to have somebody who knows more than you weigh in before you get started. The other thing is, I don’t know if you did this, I did not, I found out later that it’s common to have a few in the can so that when you launch, you’ve got a few episodes. You don’t find yourself in the position I was of, “I need to get another guest.”

We recommend to all our clients to do that, to get a month ahead of yourself. If you do that, that slight pressure of having a tech problem or having to reschedule can be in your favor. You’ll be like, “I can stay calm about this. I don’t have to rush. I can still do a thorough job and I don’t push something out that I’m not happy with,” because that’s important to you. Do you have any confidence advice for someone who this is their first attempt at some type of podcasting? What’s your advice for that? What’s your confidence quickie for us?

First of all, trust your passion because if you’re authentic and you’re passionate, it’s something you want to do, it’s going to start to come naturally. Learn from me, the expert broadcaster who had to remind herself to be more authentic because things shouldn’t be so scripted and all of that. Trust yourself because as you pointed out, Tracy, what pulls people in is when you’re being revealing, honest, sharing and you’re not cranking out questions. One thing that I will say is don’t worry too much about the questions. It’s great when you have something like a regular segment like you do with the tips. That’s great, but you don’t want the interview to be question one, question two, question three. If you’re worried about the next question, you’re not listening and if you’re not listening, you’re going to miss an opportunity.

One thing I can say that I’m very proud of in my interviews, let’s go back to Patricia Bragg. After that interview, I had a little pat on my back for myself. I thought that’s a good interview because I’m a good interviewer. I’m saying that not to be full of myself. I’ve done this for years, but it was challenging. When somebody isn’t 100% being sharp, and you’re aware of this, other people might have panicked who weren’t experienced. They might try to fill something in that wasn’t there to worry about those slower times. My associate producer listened and said, “There are some long pauses.” I said, “I chose to leave some of those there because it’s real. I felt like it showed that I was patient and listening.”

That’s a good example episode. If you want to hear what happens when you get a guest who doesn’t completely answer a question, they’d say, “Yes,” and she said it very enthusiastically but she didn’t expound on anything. There’s that pause after of like, “What do you do?” Suzanne didn’t panic. She was patient. She left that in. That’s what she’s talking about right there. Go check that episode because you’re going to get a good sense of how you can handle a difficult interview, not difficult that someone is challenging you or back in your face, but a difficult interview in trying to get through and get good questions answered.

TBF 59 | The Confidence Connection
The Confidence Connection: Work out bugs early when the stakes are not that high and listen back.

I’m glad you brought that one up because it was very dear to me. I thought she was adorable. I wasn’t sure how our audience would respond, but it’s done well. Everything’s motivating. I find that there’s something in every episode that I’m especially thrilled to share with the world.

What are some of the favorite feedbacks you’ve gotten from your audience?

One of the things that have touched me immensely is that I’ve been told, “Your energy, Suzanne, whenever I listened to you, I leave feeling more confident.” That’s bingo, right on the money of what I’m trying to do, to be reassuring. When people say they’ve learned from something or I get the feedback, “I needed to hear this one,” I have chills now thinking about it. It sounds silly to say if you touch that one person, but the truth is it’s very meaningful. There’s a lot that I get from doing this and it’s not about money. It’s about what I feel.

One time, I recorded two podcasts. I was sluggish in the morning and I felt not in the best mood because life is challenging for all of us in some ways. Afterwards, I felt high on life because of what I learned from these people. Since my days at E! I have always felt that the biggest privilege in the world as a journalist is being able to sit down with some of the most interesting people and ask them whatever you want. You get to ask them questions and learn. I ask people questions so that I learn something. I ask because I’m interested. It’s a privilege. I don’t know why I put podcasting off for so long, but I sure as heck love it now.

Suzanne, thank you so much for joining us, The Confidence Connection: Building Trust in a Virtual World. What you’ve shown us is that not only are you building trust out there with an audience, with a potential next keynote speaker event planner, who knows what you’re building trust with, but you’re also building trust in yourself. That’s the real confidence quickie you gave us. Thank you for that, Suzanne.

Tracy, you’re awesome. Stay in touch with me. You’re doing great work here and I appreciate you having me on the show.

You’re welcome.

I am sure you enjoyed that as much as I did. Suzanne is a brilliant mind in terms of thinking about the value of everything and why she’s doing this. She’s got a thoroughness to her that shows up in the show. It’s that professionalism she was talking about. When Suzanne sets her mind to starting a podcast, she’s going to go all out and do it at the utmost highest professional level that she can do with the time constraints. That’s what she says. She built herself a team to help her do that as well because she realized how important this is. What I do love about Suzanne’s perspective on this is that she started the show without the intention of this. “I’m going to get sponsors. I’m going to get advertisers,” because she’s right. It distracts from the start of the show.

I think many of you who follow Feed Your Brand, which is our other podcasts, which is more about tips and other things. You’ll hear Tom Hazzard, who is my partner and husband. I talk about these things all the time, that when you set out to start a show, you have to demonstrate what you’re going to bring to the table, to your audience, to other guests, to sponsors in the future if that’s your plan or you’re going to bring to whatever your business goals. In this case, Suzanne wants to show that she can command an audience that when keynote speakers are in demand again, that she’s the one that they should choose if they want to talk about confidence. I’m going to tell you that that confidence topic is going to be a hot topic when events return. She’s right on the timing of everything.

On top of it, I love the building trust in a virtual world. If there’s anything that’s going to be the mantra as we move into 2021 and as we end 2020 is that we have to rebuild trust all over the place. Our corporations are going to have to hire speakers to rebuild trust with their employees or their teams. She’s going to be hitting at a topic that is of utmost importance at the right moment as well. She’s positioning all of that and building all this great foundation. Sometimes we get too caught up in the idea that we’ve got to have immediate gratification and an immediate result to something. We don’t build a great foundation. Suzanne has set in the confidence connection a great foundation of demonstrating that she is the confidence catalyst, that she knows what she’s talking about, that she has an ability to connect with an audience and connect with other guests. She has an ability to command that topic and command herself and her audience at the utmost professional level.

When I hear that, that’s the person for me. That’s the person I want. She’s demonstrating at every level what she’s going to bring in the value that she brings to the world so that when the timing is right, she’s going to get snapped right back up and be the keynote speaker of choice. Kudos to Suzanne, great show. All of you out there, you can learn a lot from Suzanne. You’re going to get a lot from listening to her show. I love the confidence quickies. You’re going to enjoy them. They’re great boosts of information about how you might handle difficult situations. Those are out there. You definitely want to binge on those.

The other thing that you’re going to find is her command of interviewing is great. That’s why I want to make sure that you also know how to connect with her. As always, we have direct connections to Suzanne and to her show, but also to her Sena-Series, which is her program, her course. It’s the virtual event that she’s doing that helps you build confidence and build some skills there. If that is of interest to you, you definitely want to go to TheBingeFactor.com. Check that out and go directly to the link to find her and the series as well. Thanks, Suzanne. I’m so excited that I’ve been getting many fabulous podcasters suggested up to me.

What I’d love here is I love that sometimes I can get someone who’s gotten started, who’s still early in that 25 episodes and getting that base down. They’re still finding their legs and we still get brilliant ideas and thoughts about how we might handle our show, how we might do things differently. I’m always learning here. I hope that you’re always learning too. If you have someone to suggest, don’t forget, you can reach out to me at TheBingeFactor.com and you can suggest them. You could even recommend them and you can even apply yourself. If you think you deserve to be on the show, you’ve got something to share and you’d like to talk with me, I’d love to have you. Thanks, everyone, for reading. I’ll be back next time with another podcaster success story and some ways to become bingeable in this virtual podcasting world.

Don’t miss Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Suzanne Sena too!

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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