How to Make Podcasting Work for Your Speaking Business with Lou Diamond

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Looking for practical advice and training from the world’s most successful speakers? The Speaker Lab Podcast features business tactics, tips, and strategies from the world’s most successful speakers. We post transcripts of every episode as resources to help you build your speaking business.

Grant Baldwin
Hey, Grant Baldwin here. Welcome back to The Speaker Lab Podcast. Today I’m chatting with my speaker buddy Lou Diamond. And I was just able to be a guest on his podcast recently. He’s a very successful speaker and is also going to be talking a little bit about some of the success he’s had using podcasting for speaking and how to connect the dots there.

So Lou, thanks for taking a couple minutes to catch up with us. First of all, why don’t you give us a little bit of context – today, how much speaking are you doing? Who are you speaking to? What are you speaking about? How does speaking fit into your world right now?

Lou Diamond
Yeah, so my world is kind of like in thirds, where I’m speaking a third of the time, I’m doing my sales and leadership consulting work another third of the time, and then there’s the podcasting aspect of not only just hosting the podcast show, but also doing the podcasting as a business and actually helping to train podcasters on how they could actually monetize that.

So that’s pretty much the split of where things are going and, fittingly, it’s all connected because what I do speak about is helping people to learn how to connect, engage and win through the power of great conversations, and really decoding how you can speak easily so you can connect with every conversation.

And that’s the message that I speak about. That’s the work that I do with a lot of the top clients I work with to help them better connect whether in sales, marketing, or leadership.

And obviously connecting through the conversations I have on the podcast is a chance for me to practice what I preach and get those reps in, if you would, so that I can continue to practice doing the thing that is all about how you need to be in every conversation and that sense of presence so that you can actually make the connections you need to make.

Are there any particular industries that the majority of your work is in?

So it falls into three buckets, I’d say marketing/technology, financial services, and then professional services. And professional services like consulting accountants. There’s a lot of insurance people who fall into that financial services side as well, which makes sense because my career fell into those buckets. I worked on Wall Street in financial services.

I also worked at a marketing technology firm, which helped to launch some of the earliest websites when they came out.

And I came from a professional services background. So those three buckets tend to be the ones that I can relate the most to and help connect my message to the roles that those people have in those organizations.

Lou’s Career Background

You touched on it a little bit there, but let’s kind of go back in time. So you mentioned you were working on Wall Street and then what else was pre-speaking life like?

I think it was always speaking. It was just more a matter of whether I was getting paid or not to do it, right? So I started out working in the consulting world.

Well, if I want to go even further back, I worked for my father’s retail jewelry store and it was a very, very small store – I kid you not, it was like nine feet wide by sixty feet in length – where basically there was like one little aisle for people to walk up and down and then like the showcase counter in front.

And that was the connection I’d have with people and having to learn from a very young age how to sell and connect with people and help them get meaningful gifts for holidays or for their loved ones or engagement gifts or whatever it might be, presents for Christmas.

A lot of my time was trying to understand that one-to-one connection you could have in relating with people.

When I graduated college, I worked in professional services. I worked for what is now Accenture, it was called Anderson Consulting, way back in the Neolithic era, and then Deloitte Consulting.

And that to me was about helping companies connect, whether it was from the projects we worked in technology and I worked a lot in financial services, but a lot of the roles that I had in that were helping to win new business. So I was always in a business development and sales role in the consulting practice.

And that carried over when I went to work in the marketing technology firm, this company called Organic. That was when the internet just started and we watched the internet go up. And then a little bit of that 2001 boom and burst kind of thing.

But all the work had always been in financial services. The industries that I either helped consult for, or even the internet technology firms that I dealt with, we built some of the first websites for Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Solomon Brothers.

So I ended up leaving that line and actually going to the front lines of working on Wall Street in an institutional sales role, because that customer service line was where I always focused.

And I did that for about 12 to 14 years, helping my clients connect with the solutions that they needed, the financial service packages that they needed, the unique bonds or hedges or all that stuff. It was pretty high-tech stuff too at that time.

But at some point or another I knew I had a different message because the way that I worked with people was a lot different than what other people had done. It wasn’t a very transactional relationship. I was much more about creating really strong connections, and I’d always had, whether through companies, through individuals, just in the relationships I even had personally, and I had a unique way of connecting.

So I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do. But I knew I had a message to deliver and through a little bit of a story and kind of a funny, weird, small world, I ended up going on a business trip with a friend. I was actually moonlighting, to be completely honest.

I was working both Wall Street and helping this guy out. We went to a trade show in Las Vegas that he had been going to for six previous years. He had never closed any business while he was there. We were there for two and a half days. I helped him close two deals, inked while we were there, and within 30 days, five more of the conversations that we had led to that.

On the flight home, he handed me a piece of paper and a pad and said, you need to share what you think is normal to you, but it isn’t to everybody else, because I’ve never seen anyone interact this way.

And I ended up writing Master of the Art of Connecting. And in Master of the Art of Connecting, I kind of broke down your connecting core, how you have to be to connect with other people, what’s inside of us that makes us want to connect. I started promoting the book. I started getting hired to speak about the book and before you knew it, when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, that work of connecting was where I was going to set out and help companies improve the way that they can better connect.

So that’s kind of my starting story and how I started getting into professional speaking and I became the connecting guy, the one who gets out there and helps people understand not necessarily what you need to do and not what you need to say but how you need to be in every instance that you’re with to improve the connections in your lives.

So I’ve got a bunch of questions here from that story. Thanks for sharing all that. So when you are in Vegas, and even on the way back, and again, what’s kind of natural to you is just kind of mind-boggling to your buddy who’s like, “Hey, you should absolutely make this a bigger part of your world, whatever that may look like.”

And maybe at that point you don’t have any idea what that looks like, but even then maybe you’ve done some presentations before for work and done some consulting and you’re like, “I would love to do more of this. I don’t know where to go from here.”

And so hearing that from a friend – is that kind of validating to you or is that like, “Holy crap, I’ve never thought of this before” or like what kind of headspace were you in at that time?

Yeah, so going all the way back to those consulting days, I was on the business development team, so I was always delivering pitches and giving presentations. I was always speaking and always presenting. When I made the move into the marketing technology firm, Organic, I ran business development and was giving pitches nonstop.

So I was always selling and presenting and having to establish that relationship with clients. So I was delivering a message in a unique way that would try to resonate with the people I would speak to.

When I worked on Wall Street, it was definitely a more one-on-one type of selling. It wasn’t like me getting in front of an audience and pitching, and I definitely missed it.

I’d say one of the things that was calling back to me and, and I could even go back to the fact that I used to be on stage, I used to act as a kid, I played basketball and I wouldn’t graduate high school unless I was in a bunch of the plays. I even quit halfway through my senior year off the basketball team, because I’m like, “I’ve got to be in this show.”

And the coach was really good with me. He’s like, “You’re only going to get limited playing time anyway. Hit the stage, you’ll do really good up there.” So I’ve always wanted to deliver a message and a lot of the work that I had done was try and help people understand maybe the way I think, and try to get them to relate to how they can start to think this way too, because it could be helpful to them.

And I think that shifted in a lot of the ways I deliver my message today, because today I’ve learned how much more important the conversation is, and in fact, showing people how they can make that connection through the conversation.

So a lot of the way I speak today isn’t just getting up there and telling a story or teaching a certain lesson on how you can connect, but a lot of it is interactive and trying to engage an audience into creating the conversation as part of the showcase of what my keynote message actually is.

How Lou Got Started in Speaking

Interesting. So you are coming back from Vegas and have this reassurance that like, maybe you should be doing this, but it sounds like you’ve got a good, stable, secure job. I’m sure you’re paid really well doing a Wall Street gig is kind of a prestigious type of role.

So where do you go from there, going like, I have this safe, secure thing. You’re deep into your career and then like you’re playing with this idea of speaking and you don’t know what you don’t know, and you don’t even know where to begin. So walk us through what happens from there to start to take some steps towards becoming a professional speaker?

One, my wife thought I was completely crazy. I knew something was wrong inside. I was not happy.

Which was something weird for me because I’m always happy. I’m generally a positive, always smiling kind of person and I think maybe the first realization was that the work that I was doing when I worked on Wall Street, which was really fun and enjoyable and I love the people I work with, but the work itself wasn’t as fulfilling to me anymore.

It was missing something. It was missing the ability to connect with others that are outside of the sphere of just working on Wall Street.

So I had this calling that I knew I needed to do something else, but it was more along the lines of delivering this message on how we can connect better, not necessarily delivering that message on stage in front of companies.

It was more to work with teams in certain groups to help them better understand a lot of my ways of having people understand how they could have better conversations and connect at each and every time is something you have to practice, you have to get hands-on with, and I love that immersive feeling of being in that more workshop environment.

But I was able to translate, almost like take a blimp view of this message and deliver that in a pretty powerful way, which became the message of speakeasy to connect with every conversation and show people the easy ways to go about doing that.

So it wasn’t the first thought. The first thought was to help others learn how they can apply this into their daily routine. From a sales, marketing, and leadership point of view, when I started to realize the breadth of how my message actually can carry over to lots of different industries and lots of different audiences, I shaped a message that would really relate to how people can use this message and use these tools that I help people teach so that they can connect with every conversation in a fun and enjoyable environment.

But to that end, what are any of those earlier steps of going like, I have this message, I want to help people with it. Speaking is one methodology or route I could take. There’s a lot of different ways, but once you kind of land on speaking is the path for me, but how do I get a gig? And is this something people even hire speakers to talk about and how much do I even charge? And what was that first paid gig like for you?

So what’s really funny was that my first paid gig was one of the highest paid gigs I’ve ever gotten to date. I ended up getting $25,000 to deliver my message and lead a workshop in a three hour session in the morning.

Now, why did it work that way? Who was the audience I went to? The people that I knew were this Wall Street crowd, and there was a small Wall Street firm that I actually wanted to do business with, and they said, “What do you think it would cost?”

And I just said, “This is what it should be.” Now I knew that I couldn’t get that each and every time, and I knew I had a specific skill set, at least to start, but it helped me range what the possibilities could be.

And it also showed me something really important – I did a couple of those gigs where I showed up and delivered a quick keynote and then I’d leave. To me, that felt incomplete. It had to get people really involved, and it had to be a very immersive experience that was more than me just telling people what they needed to do. I needed to ask and listen and really dive into curiosity when I present.

So to understand what the market was like was unique because then I started going to the other walks of life we used to work with, going to other consulting firms, going to other marketing firms, and obviously that’s when I learned there were different budgets for what they could afford to do for this stuff.

So I think I figured out really early on because of the fact that I started a lot later and I was in my forties already doing this stuff and had many years of experience, me coming in and being useful and productive right away helped to put a little bit of a higher level price tag and what I would actually charge to speak.

So I was always working in that five figure range anytime I’d go present. And I always encouraged that it was more of a workshop environment than just me going up there to speak. Say hi, goodbye, give my message and then walk out the door.

One of the things you touched on earlier was that with your initial book, that really opened the door for a lot of speaking engagements and the speaking industry tends to be kind of split on this. So some people say that you definitely have got to have a book and a book is going to open a lot of doors for you.

And other people are like, “I did a book. It didn’t do squat for me.” Everybody’s experience is going to be a little bit different.

So what have you found? How important is a book for a speaker? Do you feel like that’s still just as relevant and necessary today as it was whenever you released your book initially? What’s been your experience on that?

So I’ve written two books. The first time I was more or less forced and coached to write by my colleague. And that’s what inspired Master the Art of Connecting. I did not want to write another book after Master the Art of Connecting until I really had a message to share.

One, I think a book does add credibility. I think it adds a really good structure also for how people could absorb the work that you do, take your message and put it in functionally to whatever your message is. I read a book recently about mindfulness and it was really process-oriented where I would’ve thought it would’ve been much more open an area.

It was a really good, structured book and I said, “Wow, I would love to hear this particular speaker explain these lessons and these methodologies because I’m that way.” I like to see things with a system or a little organized way of thinking versus just telling really great stories or personal anecdotes that really connect. I love to bleed those two together, show how a story can be relevant with a lesson that you can learn within it.

So having a book certainly helps and I would actually argue it also helps you hone your message a little more clearly and more specifically. What I found fascinating was that my second book, Speak Easy, wrote itself from a lot of the lessons that I’ve learned, not just speaking, but from what ended up transpiring from me hosting a podcast program and the message of what Speak Easy has was actually a much more inclusive and fun message that carried over.

It was a new and improved version of Master the Art of Connecting, but gets at the real core of where I’m actually the most effective on how I can deliver my message, which is helping people understand that having the better conversation is important.

And I got my reps in having a lot of those conversations, hosting a podcast and speaking and melded all that together.

I think a book is a great thing to have in your toolkit. I don’t believe it’s a requirement. I think it has to be something that is on brand with you and a message that flows really nicely with the keynote or workshop presentation that you deliver.

Yeah, I would really echo that, especially on the experience of whenever you are presenting a talk, you’re getting real-time feedback and you’re able to make tweaks and adjustments and people ask questions or touch base with you afterwards.

And you take some of the questions that they have and you can kind of tweak your message and over time as you get that real-time feedback from an audience, it can be used to inform what you’re going to create in the book, what the audience at large is asking, what they’re struggling with, where they feel stuck, and it helps make the product better.

Whereas if you go try to write a book in a vacuum and then you come back out and you’re like, “I hope I got it right.” I think it’s a lot more difficult.

So in many ways speaking, doing workshops, doing keynotes, whatever it may be, can kind of become a laboratory for the material that ends up becoming a book later on.

I couldn’t agree more. I think that’s exactly what happened and you could actually see the result in how much better the quality of Speak Easy is versus Master the Art of Connecting where I really didn’t have that hands-on workshop.

You get the experience and kind of put all these things in there. Master the Art of Connecting was the way that I believed things were – it was very much telling me the way I think, which is important, but not nearly as important as incorporating what I’ve listened to and what I’ve learned from others, and incorporating that into a message that can resonate with more people.

Lou’s Start in Podcasting and Where He is Now

Let’s shift gears for a second. You touched on podcasting. I want to talk about that because that’s been a big part of your business, not just for your business itself, but also for the speaking that you’re doing.

And in fact, about a year ago or so at the National Speakers Association, you gave a presentation talking about how speakers can better incorporate podcasting.

So I want to talk a little bit about that, but for context, kind of set the stage here – when did you get into podcasting and at this point, how many episodes have you done?

Well, on one particular show we’re close to 900 episodes and there have been other programs, so I think we counted it up recently. I’m closer to 1,300 episodes that I’ve hosted, produced, or whatever.

I can’t think of a more funny story for your program here: So going back to Master the Art of Connecting, when I was going out and promoting it, I did some TV spots. I got written up in certain magazines and at that particular point, podcasting had just started to really come into the popular mainstream and people were starting to go on these different podcasts and I didn’t really know the space that well.

And I went on a couple of programs and every time I finished the program somebody said, “Dude, your name’s Lou Diamond. You should have your own show. That would be great.” And I kept thinking about it and it took one bad podcast for me to realize that I now know what I want, the message I want to deliver.

And to put it in perspective, listeners need to know – Grant doesn’t give you a script or anything like that. We’re just having a conversation here. Well, this particular program that I went on, and I’ll keep their name out of it to protect the innocent or the guilty, whichever way you want to go, they gave me this pre-scripted set of questions, which I had to fill out and type out.

There was a preparatory call, not with the host but with someone on the production team to go over the specific answers and what they wanted me to do was to read the answers that I wrote down.

Now, I did not necessarily keep to the script in this rehearsal, and the assistant producer stopped me and said that I varied from the script. And I go, “Well, you really just want to hear what I wrote down? We could just get a voice app and read it that way.”

And then I said, “You know what? Do me a favor and cancel my scheduled interview with the host, because if this is the version of myself that has to be out there, I don’t want that version.”

I got off the call with this person and I called up one particular person who wanted me to start a podcast and I was going to be their beta client. I called up and said, “I know exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to do the exact opposite of what that guy’s show was and I’m going to start a show called Thrive Louder.

My business name was Thrive LouD as in Lou D., which is kind of a plan, my name, and that kicked off the gift of podcasting.

As you know, Grant, better than most, hosting a great program is not only that you get to have great conversations, but you get to make relationships, connections, and sitting in the seat that you are sitting in right now has been the greatest gift ever.

The learning experiences, the knowledge, the incredible people I’ve had the opportunity to add into my circle of life not only has helped me in my speaking career because it connected me to a lot of professional speakers and people who book speakers and companies that wanted to hire me to speak, which was the main goal, but I did such a good job of it, that all of a sudden, people started asking me to speak about podcasting, and now I was like, “Wait a minute. I went into podcasting so that I can get more speaking gigs to talk about connecting.

Well, it turns out I’m connecting to podcasting, and now they’re hiring me to speak about podcasting.”

That wasn’t the plan, but it turns out to be a great plan because you’re right – one of the things that I’ve had great fortune in experiencing and being a podcast host and not only doing a good job of it, but I’ve seen and helped people do a really good job on how they can really launch their book successfully when they go through a podcast tour, communicate and promote their own podcast effectively across the podcast sphere and their own business effectively.

Use the guest seat as an opportunity for you to get hired to speak and make more money. And I started writing all these different tips and tricks down.

And then sure enough, we met last year, last February, and I got to speak about how you can make money as a guest and as a listener in podcasting and all these different monetization techniques, which took all of those consulting and financial service experience I’ve had in my life and just kind of spinning into this really incredible medium which keeps me sharp every time I get a chance to either be a guest or a host, whatever seat I’m in.

And maybe more importantly, we are creating incredible content and giving a chance to help others learn from you at a level that you never could have imagined, right? I have listeners to my show and there are a lot of them that have been in the program, but when I go in your program, I’m tapping into others that have never heard me speak before, and it’s a wonderful network of great people.

But it’s also a wonderful way for speakers to kind of figure out their little playground about what messages resonate, sound good, and in a way that gets behind the scenes, if you would, because obviously when you’re on stage, you’re very focused on delivering your message in a certain amount of time. In a podcast, you can really understand why you talk about that message or how it became your gig?

And I think that is so much more entertaining. I liken it to this: we always loved the behind-the-scenes when they showed like a movie, right?

The movie was great, you love the movie, but when you watch that special edition on the Blu Ray disc or whatever, the special behind-the-scenes feature on one of the streaming networks to learn what went into the preparation of a role, what went into the research behind what you did. Like, that’s the stuff we like and that’s what we connect with.

That’s what makes podcasts so much fun and so enjoyable from both sides of the microphone.

How to Use Podcasting to Get More Speaking Gigs

So to that end, whether speakers have a podcast or they’re considering hosting a podcast or they do some guesting on other podcasts or want to do more of that, how can they use podcasting to generate more speaking gigs?

So I’m going to do this from the most popular way that they should do it. And that is not to be a host. You and I are hosts of programs and while being a host is good for us and fits well, maybe with our brands and our platforms, it might not fit for everybody. But being a guest – any professional speaker should take advantage of that.

And whether you have a new book, or you have a new talk, whether you just want to kind of like re-hit the circle again and get yourself relevant, people that hire speakers listen to podcasts. This is because the number of listeners of podcasts continues to grow every single year.

But what’s really great about podcasting is that the people who are listening are the people that are literally meeting planners, they go around and they want to hear the behind-the-scenes, just like I was describing about a speaker and what they’re really about.

They want to know who’s relevant in the circuit and who everybody’s talking about. Podcasting is the forum where great speakers can connect and get their new message out if they have a new book, a new story, a new way that they want to connect with people.

This is the medium that you should be on to make sure that you get your name out there and speakers can use this platform to give a little dose of their message, and then amazingly have all these other podcasters help promote you.

We’re going to finish this episode and your team is going to put my picture up and promote this episode across the podcast sphere. What better way to promote yourself when you’re trying to get more speaking gigs than to have somebody else do it for you? So I always say this: take advantage and be the guest that you want to be in that seat.

And another key tip that I always give if you’re going to be a guest is to try and get hired as a speaker and sit in that guest seat.

Two big tips: 1) Be spectacular. Remember when you step on stage and you give a speech for 30 minutes, maybe there’s 400, 500 people in the audience or more, if you’re lucky, they get a chance to hear it, and it might be recorded and videotaped, and you will then edit it down to a 30 to 40 second clip in your sizzle reel on your website.

But the podcast interview and all those different podcasts happen and are out there in perpetuity, and anyone can hear your message wherever they go, which is just absolutely awesome that your message is actually more important on a podcast than it is on a keynote, because more people will hear it than those that will actually hear you on the stage that you went to go speak on. So the reality is that the people who have a greater likelihood of hiring you are going to hear you on a podcast more so than hearing you on a stage. So one, be spectacular.

And 2), the big part that I think is so important for every single opportunity as a speaker to be a podcast guest is that you must remember this lesson: It’s more important that they know that the podcast happened than whether they listened to it or not. I always say this to podcasters and they freak out. It’s more important that you know that the podcast’s happening than that you listen to it.

Here’s the story behind this, Grant:

A friend of mine who is an amazing screenwriter was a guest on my podcast and I was so excited to have this guy on. He’s a big time screenwriter. His name is Mark Bomback. Mark wrote the new Planet of the Apes movies. And he also did the movie Unstoppable with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine.

He’s a big time guy and he’s in Hollywood. He’s really famous. And he also happens to live in the town that I live in. And when I had him on the show, I shared the podcast episode on my own personal feed, not my business feed, but my own personal feed in Facebook, and I would run into people and I’d be like, “Did you listen to the show? What’d you think? Did you like it? Did you check it out?”

You know what most people did? They came up to me. They go, “Lou, I saw you had Mark on your podcast. That’s amazing. That’s awesome.”

I’m like, “What did you think?”

“I didn’t get to it yet, but it’s on my list of things to do.”

I was totally disappointed by this, Grant. I’m like, nobody’s listening to the freaking podcast, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks – but they knew it happened. That was way more important. If you are a speaker and you go on a show and someone has the opportunity, you promote the jeebees out of this thing. Put this on every one of your social feeds, on Instagram, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, where everybody is, and let everybody know.

They’ll get to it and listen to it when it’s possible. But what are they going to know? They’re going to know that Lou Diamond was on Grant Baldwin’s amazing TSL Podcast. They’re going to know that this guest was on the Thrive LouD podcast. They’re going to know about it and when they get to it at their own convenience, you’re going to be top of mind when you’re a speaker.

And by the way, when they’re thinking about who’s top of mind and they’re looking for speakers to hire, podcasting is one heck of a way to promote your work.

What Type of Podcasts Should I Go On? And How Do I Even Do That?

Interesting. That’s really good. I’d never really thought about it from that angle before. A couple of follow up questions on this. One would be, it sounds like being on more podcasts may be one of the tickets to potentially booking more gigs.

Does it depend on the type of podcast, the genre of podcasts, the industry? How much of a factor is that going to play? But then two is also going to be like, “Okay, great. I’m supposed to be on more podcasts. How do I get on more podcasts?” What would be the action steps there?

I’m a big fan of picking a lane to be in. So if you are a speaker in, let’s say marketing technology – by the way, the best part about podcasting out there is that on an Apple podcast or Google podcast, you can search and they tag the category of your show. My show happens to be on “speakers,” “entrepreneurialism,” “marketing,” and “technology” and stuff like that, right?

So if somebody’s looking to be in that space, they could come on Thrive LouD, and that’s where they can go. But if you’re interested, in going into the marketing technology space? Well, there’s a whole series of podcasts that you can go on.

There’s this one great speaker, he’s a leader in the advertising space. His name’s Jonathan Sackett. Two years ago, he decided he was just going to own one lane, and this guy went on 24 of the top 30 podcast shows in the marketing technology space.

Amazingly, he got hired four times on consulting gigs for being guests on that show and three separate times to be keynotes at other conferences in that space. He found his lane, went in it and was on it, and he was the top of mind person because everybody wanted this guy on his show. So if you have a specific lane and a specific expertise as a speaker, find the specific podcast. There is one out there.

There’s multiple ones in the particular field and area that you want to go in. Go to that lane and own that lane. Take it over. Be the best freaking guest you can be on every one of them. Trust me, somebody’s listening to that show and is going to think about it. And whether they listen or not doesn’t matter.

They know that Grant Baldwin is the guy who helps speakers and understands the speaker business. That’s a guy who I want speaking at my conference. Let’s get him on. That’s how it works.

Is it going to be different in certain industries where this is going to be much more common than in other industries?

Certain industries have way more shows than others and some of them are harder to get on. So now answering your second question is how do you get on these shows? I’m going to tell you the best kept secret in podcasting – listeners, you need to know this. Reach out to the hosts of the show. Reach out to the hosts of the show and try and connect with either the guest or try and get yourself on, or just ask, “Hey, I’d love to be on your program.”

If you’re a professional speaker, I’m going to let you know a little inside trick. Speakers are really good on podcasts because they speak professionally and they speak well. They’re amazing guests. They have fun topics. They have a wide range of variety. They’re usually charismatic, usually have a good stage presence, so they’re great for your listeners. So professional podcasters or podcast hosts love speakers. So if you’re a speaker and you want to get on a certain lane of a show, go and reach out and ask them.

The other way to do it is to make sure you follow them on social media feeds. If a certain person is on a show and they posted on LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook, whatever it is, follow the link, comment on it, maybe even DM them directly to say, “Hey, I really love this episode.” Trust me. We love feedback. We love hearing people that love our podcast, and I’m very open to people coming on my show who will ask me, “Lou, I’ve got a really good message to share. I’d love to be on.” And by the way, for the most part, we’re pretty open on making sure people come in.

We do three shows a week on Thrive LouD. We’re crazy, so we want people to come on. So reach out proactively to get on these programs and plan it out ahead of time. Pick your lanes, the ones you want to be on, the ones that make sense, and ask those hosts to be on and befriend them socially. Connect with them and you’re going to increase the likelihood that you’ll get on.

One other really good tip speakers – use your speaker friends to do this. A lot of us professional speakers have been on a lot of different shows. Maybe those are shows that you should be going on too, because you might speak on a similar topic or in a specific lane.

Reach out to your fellow speakers and have them do an email introduction. They’ll be glad to do so because hopefully you would do the same for them in the future and return the favor. So great ways to use what I’ll call “connect working” through podcasting. Use your network and connect with those folks and use podcasting as a means to establish better relationships.

One thing you touched on earlier was to be spectacular, but anything else that we should be doing on the show itself just to connect the dots? Because just because you give a great interview or you’re a great guest, doesn’t necessarily mean a listener’s going like, “Oh, I should hire that person to speak.” They don’t always make that connection. So is there anything that should happen? Any type of call to action, just to help connect the dots in the mind of a listener who may be looking for a speaker or may know of someone who’s looking for a speaker?

So one of the things you’ve got to remember is that most podcasts today, specifically the successful ones, are shifting towards doing both audio and video. So be stage-ready, look like you’re ready to pop on stage and bring the energy that you normally do. I like to tell people, prepare for being a guest on a podcast like you would a keynote. Make sure you know that. Listen to that guest show beforehand.

Get a feel for the type of questions that the host will ask you and be prepared there because you want the best version of yourself to show up.

I’ve had too many speakers, by the way, not be spectacular. They show up like they just woke up. They’ve had a couple of drinks the night before. Their voices are a little hoarse. They didn’t get camera-ready.

You’ve got to remember that you have no idea who’s going to see you the next time you speak. I call it the Michael Jordan way of doing this. I’m sure if you’re a big fan of sports, whether it’s Michael Jordan or Joe DiMaggio, they used to have this belief that every time they stepped on the field, they had to make it like someone was going to be seeing them for the very first time.

I think that’s how you should approach going on podcast shows. You have to go on thinking that there’s someone in the audience who might hire you, thinking that someone might see you in a social feed without even the sound on and say, “That’s somebody that I might want on an event.”

So bring your stage presence into your podcast performances and treat it like a keynote. You do that, you’re going to, first of all, practice your messaging and delivery, but also you will have the appearance of the professional that people are looking to hire for their particular event.

Good stuff, Lou. We appreciate you taking a minute. I know there’s a lot of other stuff that we could cover here, but I want to be respectful of the time. If people want to find out more about you and what you’re up to, where can we go?

Easiest thing is to find me anywhere on social media @Thrive LouD. You can also go to or you can learn all about my speaking, my consulting, and if you head on over to, you’ll get a chance to go get a copy of Speak Easy and learn how you can connect with every conversation.

Awesome. Lou, thanks for the time, buddy.

If you enjoyed this transcript, click below to check out the full podcast episode! 

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