As podcasters, we have a voice that can reach the far corners of the world. When you think about it, podcast hosts hold a lot of power. That is a big responsibility. So, what if the conversations you were having changed someone's life?
On a recent episode of Should I Start a Podcast, naturopath and nutritionist, Kate Reardon stopped by to talk about how becoming a host for her podcast has profoundly changed her life. Kate's podcast Lean In, explores ordinary people's extraordinary lives, all through the lens of powerful and honest storytelling.
Her show covers some of the deepest and darkest parts of our human existence while bringing into focus the true beauty of what it means to be human. More often than not, Kate can tap into those hidden parts of someone and bring out almost the entire spectrum of human emotion in every interview.
Simply put, she has conversations that transform you as a listener. So, how does she do it?
Open Up Your Curiosity
Famously, curiosity killed the cat. But in podcasting, it is essential, especially for those striving for a deeper conversation.
Always the inquisitive type, Kate quickly recognised that she could thoroughly scratch her curiosity itch as a podcast host.
“I interviewed my grandfather, who is 91. Only because I wanted to ask him questions about death. I couldn’t do it as a granddaughter because I felt too emotional, but I could do it as a podcaster.”
It was once she was in the room with him and had the equipment set up that she was able to ask him the more provocative questions. “I was able to ask so many questions that my little Kate inside wanted to know. It was beautiful.”
“He really enjoyed it, that’s what I was most surprised about, is that finally, someone asked him questions. Like is he scared to die? Those types of things. It was very healing for him as well.”
When you really tap into your curiosity, this is when you can have some of the most profound and enlightening conversations, no only for you but for your guest too.
Many of us go through this world taking on multiple roles. Kate is one of those people; mother, wife, naturopath, nutritionist, yoga instructor – her list goes on.
But, when it comes to her podcast, she is just Kate.
What this means is she allows herself to be open and present. Lean In isn’t your average Q&A formatted podcast. Instead, it’s like a cleansing of the guest’s essence, where they share some of the most profound aspects of themselves.
Instead of rattling off a ginormous list of meaningless, predetermined questions, Kate tries to connect on equal ground, on a human base level.
“For me as a creator, it feels so important to be authentic,” says Kate. “I cry a lot when people are sharing their stories. I don’t try and hide my tears or suck it up and get on with it. I really let what’s in the room be there.”
Don’t Be Afraid To Have Tough Conversations
Sometimes having a deep and meaningful conversation isn’t always appropriate- there’s usually a right time and a right place. However, as podcasters, we already have that platform laid out, where even the shyest guests often come out of their shells with a willingness to share.
This is what Kate has found since she has entered into the world of podcasting.
“Some of it's heavy, some of it’s dark. The episode that came out this week was domestic violence,” says Kate. “Ashlee, who I interviewed, she has a horrific story.
But, how lucky is she that she gets to share it, and how lucky am I to sit with her. If we don’t share our stories we’re not sharing our medicine- ourselves.”
“How I dealt with that was to stay really, really present with what was going on,” says Kate.
“When you’re using your voice in any way, shape or form,” she says, “even if it’s having a conversation that you don’t want to have, if you’re not a little bit scared, then you’re not doing it right.”
There is so much value in sharing stories, that goes far beyond just ourselves. Not only can it be cathartic for guests, but it allows your listeners to share in something that they may be experiencing. This can give everyone a sense that they’re not alone. “If you feel less alone in the world, you’re already moving into a healing space.”
Be brave, be open and don’t be afraid to go deeper. You may just change someone's world.
There are mountains of books on the art of conversation, but when it comes to getting to the true core of someone, it takes more than reading a self-help book. Approach the conversation with your own stamp of authenticity. Dive into the deeper questions. Be curious, and above all stay present. It will help your guest to open up.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.