Recording a podcast episode requires more than just sitting down and pressing record, but every host has a different approach. In this episode, Jason and Cee Cee talk about how they prepare for themselves and their guests for an episode and share tricks with you, too!

Earfluence Podcast how to prepare for a podcast

Episode Transcript

Jason Gillikin: Well, welcome to the Earfluence Podcast, which is a podcast about podcasting from a podcast production company. I’m Jason Gillikin, CEO of Earfluence, and with me as always is Cee Cee Huffman, social media strategist, content writer, producer editor, and co-host of this podcast. Cee Cee, what’s going on?

Cee Cee Huffman: Hello.

It’s a beautiful Wednesday. The sun is shining. The tweets are flowing. The podcasts are being edited. It’s a great day at Earfluence, for sure.

Jason Gillikin: For sure. You are giddy for another reason, and we’ll get into that later on in the show today. but let’s talk about what’s going on in the podcasting world. So we have got, we’ve got three, four or five new podcasts that are coming out.

Cee Cee Huffman: I know, it’s so exciting.

Jason Gillikin: It really is. Yeah. So like, you know, we started up a podcast, a new podcast last week, another new one started out this week, and yet another brand new podcast is starting up tomorrow. So yeah, Q1 2021 people have realized, “Okay, I need a podcast. Let’s, let’s go ahead and do this.”

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah, and it’s awesome because it’s like the more podcasts that we bring on the more like topics I get to learn about that I didn’t know anything about before, and it’s always so exciting to get the opportunity to learn something new.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, for sure. Yep. And you know, some of them are just so different than the others. You know, one of them that we’re, we’re talking to that, that may sign up is, you know, more of a pop culture type podcast and, you know, we’re, we’re doing more entrepreneurial startup stories, which are great, but if we could do a pop culture one, too? Awesome. So yeah, I mean, we celebrate diversity in a lot of different areas, and if we can have diversity of different types of podcasts, too, we’re all for that, obviously.

Cee Cee Huffman: Absolutely.

Jason Gillikin: So, you know, with these new podcasts that we’re putting together, you know, one of the things that I want to talk about today is like, how do you prepare for podcasts?

Because – some of these hosts have done public speaking before, and, you know, they’re, they’re well-trained and doing a lot of, you know, leading meetings, and they’re comfortable being involved with having conversations. But, you know, they’re not, they’re not podcast hosts and they’re, they’re a little bit nervous to get started.

And so, what we try to do is, is help them prepare obviously, but how do you do that? And when I, when I brought this conversation, or when I brought this potential topic to you? Uh, you’re like, “Yes, I would love to talk about that because I think we have different theories and perspectives on, on how to prepare for a podcast.”

So my first question to you is what did you mean? What did you mean by that?

Cee Cee Huffman: Well, I think, I honestly think when we’re going to talk about this, I think you should talk about how you prepare first because I think you have a lot more strategy into how you prepare than I do for sure.

Jason Gillikin: Okay. So the strategy, my, my guess is that I’m going to be a little bit more prepared for a podcast interview and do a little bit more research, and you are more comfortable being off the cuff. So do you think that’s more of, because you’re, you have a natural skillset and like a, like a “gift of gab,” so to speak?

Cee Cee Huffman: Oh, that’s a tough question. I think, I think it is, it is possible – “a gift of gab,” that makes me sound really powerful. But, I think that when I was younger and like I used to do all these different things where I would talk to adults.

I was kind of trained to always be prepared to answer a question and because of that, and then going through journalism school as well, where, you know, you want to get to like the really personal part of the interview. I don’t like to prepare as much personally, which is why I think this is really interesting conversation for us to have, because I think if I prepare enough to know what’s going on, but little enough to still be really curious, then I find the right balance of, you know, getting to the answer that, other people want to hear and asking the questions that the audience wants to know.

Because when you think about an audience coming into one of these podcasts, they don’t know anything about who they’re talking to or necessarily the topic maybe. And so, preparing little enough to still have that curiosity I feel like connects me more with whoever’s listening to the point where I can, you know, figure it out and kind of ask the questions that they’re thinking the whole time.

But I don’t know, I do love to talk. So I might have a “gift of gab,” as you said.

Jason Gillikin: What did they teach you in journalism school? So you did a lot of interviews there, whether it was – well, let me ask, like what, what types of interviews were you doing when you were in school?

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah. I mean, I covered a lot, a lot of different things from like social issues to cultural issues, to just like feature stories. In college, my favorite was always features, which is like, of course the hardest part of journalism, because it’s not the hard news. It’s just like happy, interesting stories that you find, and I think that, that’s probably why – ’cause I think podcasts and like, feature journalism stories have a lot in common in the sense that this just something new the listener doesn’t know, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be, you know, tied to something specific. It’s just something interesting. And so, when I was looking for something interesting, I would always be the most under-prepared on the team. Like, I would always work with teams and I would be the most, you know, I would have done the least research, but I turned out some of the best stories because I had that natural curiosity because if I over-prepare, I overthink and that is just a recipe for me to not be as successful.

Jason Gillikin: Interesting. Yeah. I like to prepare. I like to know what the guest is going to answer, even before I asked the question for the most part. And I like to make sure that I am so prepared and know enough about the person that I’m talking to, and know enough about that topic, that way I can actually be comfortable and get lost in the conversation.

And if I already know about them, I don’t have to worry about, “Am I asking a dumb question here? Am I asking something that they’ve already answered a thousand times? Is this something that, you know, makes, makes me sound intelligent and allows them, you know, to, to, you know, to do their thing?” So, yeah, it’s that, that’s totally interesting.

I, I like, I like to prepare more than you. I, I think, anyway. And you know, when – and, and maybe it’s different for each host and that’s something where we need to figure out, you know, who are those, those hosts that need to be prepared more versus the ones that you know, don’t and, and can just kind of be off the cuff.

So you went to the, Raleigh chamber Young Professionals meeting this morning, or conference this morning. And one of the speakers was our client, I’ll call him my mentor, Donald Thompson. And –

Cee Cee Huffman: Yes, I want him to be my mentor too.

Jason Gillikin: Hey, he can be your mentor as well.

Yeah, of course.

Yeah, he’s awesome.

He, he is awesome and he can just – you give him three, four topics, right? And he will just knock it out of the park. He does not need all the elaborate preparation time; although, he, he seems amazingly prepared with every interview he does. You know, some of our other hosts, you know, they need to make sure that they’re writing down the questions and that they’re doing all the research for these particular guests.

So anyway, yeah, it’s, it’s interesting that, that we have a different perspective on that.

Cee Cee Huffman: Right. I, I mean, I think it just goes to show like how diverse and different people can be when they need to do these things like, to have – I think we’re both on completely opposite sides of the spectrum, but there are lots of people in the middle.

And saying that I don’t like to prepare for when I do these things for myself doesn’t mean, I don’t know how, you know? Like I make show flows and, you know, help our hosts prepare for these things. Doesn’t mean it’s necessarily what I would like to do, but I know that it’s useful for other people. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one way is better than the other, because I still think you can get very different, but also still very interesting interviews out of both of these kinds of styles.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, for sure. So, when I brought this topic, you know, one of the reasons that I mentioned it is because I listened to a Brene Brown podcast. Brene Brown interviewed Dax Shepard and Tim Ferris on her podcast. And so, those three podcasters. I mean, they’re certainly all in the top hundred of, of podcast downloads, right?

Or most popular podcasts. And they’re probably in the top 10, for all I know. I should have looked up beforehand. There, there we go. I’m not as prepared as I wanted to be.

Cee Cee Huffman: Welcome to my side.

Jason Gillikin: I said, “Hey, listen to this. Like, the first 20 minutes, they talk about how they prepare for their podcasts.” And so, what did he do with that?

Cee Cee Huffman: I listened to the first five. Yeah. I thought I could get a good idea as to what they were going to say and what they were talking about, because what I want, whenever somebody sends me something like that, I know it’s something they’re interested in talking about and something that they want to talk about.

So, I’m going to wait until they talk about it and I can have a genuine reaction to it versus being already primed and knowing what they’re going to say and kind of thinking about how I’m going to react. I want to make sure that like, whatever I say is going to be as natural and authentic as possible.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, I totally get it. And, then I had some interesting takeaways from there. So with, with Tim Ferris, you know, one thing that he said is that he will, you know, find questions that he thinks the guest will enjoy answering, so.

Cee Cee Huffman: Oh, yeah!

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, right. And that’s not something that we always think about when we’re putting questions together is, what will the guests enjoy?

You know, we’re more thinking about the audience and what’s going to be a hit for, you know, for, you know, to grab that, that audience. But, I think it’s important to make sure that the guest has fun with it and enjoy answering these questions and really have them be thought provoking instead of monotone.

And that way, they get excited about it and they are more likely to share it. And not just share it, but be excited about actually sharing it and telling their friends about it.

Cee Cee Huffman: Oh, definitely. And then just being more excited and natural in their answer, that’s going to make for a much more exciting podcast to listen to as well.

Like if you ask somebody a question that they’ve answered a thousand times, they’re going to be kind of giving you a boring answer because that’s rehearsed. Like if you asked me, I have, so this is kind of a funny example, but when I was, just between my senior year of high school, my freshman year of college, my car drowned in the Crabtree Valley Mall parking deck. And so, if you asked me about that story, I can give you a perfect rehearsed version of that story because I’ve told it so many times. Right? And if you ask somebody that question, they’re going to give you that perfect rehearsed story, because they’ve told it so many times. But, if you ask them a question that they necessarily don’t get it, they’re excited to answer, all of a sudden your podcast is much more exciting.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, so, okay. Tell us the story. What’s your, what’s your story?

Cee Cee Huffman: Yes. So well I’m going to do an abbreviated version for this one, but basically – so I was going to meet my friend at Kanki and it was raining. And I remember thinking, you know, “Crabtree kind of floods sometimes, so maybe I shouldn’t park on the bottom,” but then I drove through the whole parking deck. The only spot there was on the bottom. So I parked on the bottom, ate my food, was about to leave, and the waitress is going like, you know, “If your car is parked in this parking deck, it’s flooding.” I’m like, “Oh, wait. What?” Like, not my car!

And I was like, “Wait, it’s flooding?” She holds her hands next to her knee, and she says, “It’s about up here.” So I don’t even know if I paid for my food to this day. Like I have, I have no idea if I paid for it. I sprinted out, I walked into the mall. There’s sirens going. I walk out to the parking deck.

There’s like two feet of water, like the girl said. I took off my boots, rolled up my jeans, walked to my car. This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done, too. I walked to my car, opened it up, shut the door. My feet are underwater my car, like five or six inches of water in there. But I’m like, “You know what? I’m just going to see if it turns on. Just, just for fun, I’m going to see if it turns on.” And so, I flip it and it turns on and I’m like, “Okay, well, it’s on, I’m sitting here, maybe I won’t drown today.” So Jason, what I did was I put the car in reverse. I back up, I drive through the rest of the water and I drove the thing all the way home, which was the dumbest thing I’ve ever done, right. In retrospect, the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. And about two days later, the tow truck comes, and this was after, you know, a couple days of my friends coming over to help me just scoop water out of the car. It was insane. Tow truck comes, they take it off. A couple of days later, they call my mom and they tell her that it’s totaled.

And so, we go to get the stuff out of the car, worst smell I’ve ever smelled in my entire life, by the way, like Crabtree Creek is what flooded into it, so the water was coming from the sky up from the grates, it was  discussing, and it’s polluted.  And so that, it just smelled  horrible. And what they told us was they turned the car on, checked everything, decided it was total turned the car off, took the key out and the car kept going.

So it was, it was insane. And so like, if somebody would ask me that question on a podcast, like you just did. I’ve told that story so many times you can go and find a YouTube video of me telling it, it’s the exact same story. But if you ask me something like that in a different way, it might be more interesting.

Although, that is a very interesting story no matter when you ask.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. Okay. So, that’s the thing like, when, when Tim Ferris and Dax Shepard and Brene Brown are talking to these celebrities, you know, odds are, they’ve told these stories a thousand times, and you’ve told that car story a thousand times, but the thing is that, you know, millions of people haven’t heard that car story a thousand times, right? And when, let’s say, Jerry Seinfeld is talking to Dax Shepard, Jerry Seinfeld fans are going to have heard all these, these same stories, so that’s why they need to come up with something different. When, when we’re doing these podcasts, you know, as popular as we are now, as, as a local celebrities that we are now.

But, the reality is like when we’re preparing these guests for these interviews, they probably like, their fans probably haven’t heard these stories before. So anyway, that’s why I like to be prepared because we’re not necessarily talking to the, the Jerry Seinfeld’s of the world.

Cee Cee Huffman: Definitely. I think the key is, is knowing what your audience is going to find interesting and queing to your guests in a way that makes it feel like it’s not something they’ve said a million times or not a question they’ve answered a million times.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, for sure. And you know, one trick that they both mentioned, I think it was Tim Ferris specifically who mentioned it is, and this is something that we recommend is they talk – he talks to the guests beforehand. So, you know, they always recommend that they do some sort of pre-call with them just to feel each other out, and just to get a sense of, “Well, what is it that you would want to talk about? You know, what are those great stories that you can tell and where do you want to this interview to go?” And, I think that’s really important just to get some sort of, you know, nerves taken away and you get some sort of comradery with that person, especially if it’s somebody that you don’t know all that well.

Cee Cee Huffman: Right. I think that’s important too, but I also think that it’s important to still ask those questions that aren’t in that discovery call, and that aren’t always, you know, something that they’re necessarily prepared for ’cause that’s when you get a really authentic person is when somebody doesn’t know what they’re going to be asked and doesn’t always have perfectly prepared answer because that’s when it’s going to feel the most like natural and human in an interview.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. So, one question, and I go back to that interview with Renee and Dax Shepard and Tim Ferris, ’cause I thought it was so interesting and, and obviously we’ll put it in the show notes here, but one thing that Brene asked both of them is, on your podcast, is it an interview or is it a conversation? So, what what’s your ideal situation there? Like is, are podcasts episodes meant to be interviews, or are they meant to be conversations?

Cee Cee Huffman: That’s a great question. I think it kind of depends on the context of your podcast, honestly whether or not it’s an interview or a conversation.

But I also think no matter what, it should always feel like a conversation, even if it’s an interview, because I – interviews are scary. Like, if I sit down in front of somebody and they’re like, “Tell me about yourself.” Like, I lose my mind, don’t ask me that. Like, I don’t know what to say, but if somebody sits there and like asks me questions about myself, I’ll be able to answer.

You know, and we just kind of talk about our lives together and then I, I can answer those questions. But like, interviews to me? Kind of scary. And I think every podcast should feel like a conversation because if I listen, when I listen to podcasts that are strictly interview, I get those same “Tell me about yourself,” kind of nerves.

Jason Gillikin: Mm. Yeah. Okay. So it’s like, how do you want the audience to feel with this? Do you want them to feel like they’re at a dinner table with you and just, or just listening in to this dinner conversation? Or, do you want them to feel like they’re watching 60 minutes, you know?

Cee Cee Huffman: Exactly. And I think depending on what your niche is and what your topic is, either one of those can be good.

I tend to lean to more comedic, like, conversational podcasts – other than like the daily news podcasts that I listen to – because that’s just the kind of style that I like, but some people really like, ‘I want to know the answer to this question, please answer it,’ and that’s what makes them happy too. So it really, it really just depends on your audience and you.

Jason Gillikin: Yup. Yup. For sure. One thing that, that Tim Ferris likes to ask on that discovery call, of the guest is – and I think this is important and something that we need to do more of – is what would be a home run for you. So, you know, what would, what would you want to come away with from this?

And once, once our hosts have a better idea, once we have a better idea of what the guests are looking for, what is that home run? You know, that’s when they realize, “Oh, wow. I don’t have to be on guard at all. This person is my teammate, so to speak and, you know, wants to help me promote myself. And, you know, I don’t, I don’t have to be nervous about coming on here because I already have given them what I want out of this.”

Right? So I think that’s a, a great way to phrase a question in a discovery call.

Cee Cee Huffman: Definitely. I think the, even when you ask questions to, in an interview, the more open-ended you can be the better, because it just gives people more freedom to answer with more broad, more interesting answers.

Jason Gillikin: Just simple ones like, “Do you have any brothers and sisters,” you know, like. You know, “Yeah, I’ve got, I’ve got a brother and a sister,”  versus “Tell me about your family situation.”

Cee Cee Huffman: Exactly.

Jason Gillikin: Something like that, where it’s, it can be so much more wide open, to have a broader answer.

Cee Cee Huffman: Right. The more opportunity with your question, the better.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. So, one thing that’s interesting from that conversation, Dax Shepard is always concerned that he’s going to steamroll his guests, meaning he is going to prepare too much and, you know, know about certain topics that they need to be the star of.

You know, do you feel like that could be a problem if, if you were to research too much for a show?

Cee Cee Huffman: Oh, yeah. I think that’s exactly why I don’t like to prepare because that’s scary. I don’t want to do that too much if I end up, like I said, if I know too much, I’m not curious anymore. And if I know too much, I’m probably going to talk too much.

And if I’m having somebody on my podcast, the whole point of them is, you know, being interesting and kind of being the guest star. And so, like definitely if I research too much, I will steam roll.

Jason Gillikin: I don’t see that. Come on. So you’ve got a podcast also, you don’t only do this one, you do the podcast for Looks Attached. How did, how do you two prepare, how do you and Ken prepare for that?

Cee Cee Huffman: So Ken and I record once a week, and we have guests occasionally from like, the arts, entertainment space. And when we have guests, we’ll say, “Hey, come with one topic you really want to talk about, about yourself, and come with one topic you really want to talk about, about the world.” And Ken and I will get on – whenever it’s just him and I -and we’ll be like, “All right, what do we want to talk about today? Let’s come up with three things.” And we are such good friends as well that we can start with one of those things, go to 25 other things and still make sure to hit all of those three topics that we talked about in the beginning.

So it’s very loose. It’s like, we want to talk about, you know, the election, Megan thee Stallion, and you know, our favorite fashion tip of the week, and we’ll somehow make it to a million different things along there, and we do that when we get on to record. So we’ll say, what do you want to talk about? All right, these three things record, let’s go, and it’s just that easy. And when we have a guest we’ll do – I’ll come with the topic, he’ll come with the topic, they’ll come with the topic. We’ll talk about it beforehand. And then we’ll go. because we all like to prepare as little as possible.

Jason Gillikin: That’s great.

And you know, I think the challenge with that though is, when you go from topic to topic to topic, you, you sometimes don’t get back to that first topic that you really wanted to, like, maybe there was something that you started and then you went down a rabbit hole of train of thought in your mind, and then you forget to get back to where it was before.

So, I know I’ve done that a bunch and you just get lost in this conversation, you’re like, “Oh shoot. I wanted to do that.” And so now what’s this focus for, for this episode? But, if you can just get lost in your thoughts anyway, and have a great conversation from that. I don’t know. You’re, you’re already winning.

Cee Cee Huffman: Thanks. Yeah. I mean, there definitely are those times when we have like, you know, “Well, what are we – did we say everything we wanted to say on something?” And there are also definitely times where we’re moving onto the next thing. And we’re like, “Wait, we need to go back because I want to add this,” whatever.

But I also think that sometimes if you move on to the next thing, and you maybe have a thought that you didn’t get to say, maybe it wasn’t necessary, you know, maybe you said everything that you needed to say before you got there. But I think for me, podcasts are important – like the most important thing is having the most natural and kind of organic conversation that you can, and so that’s how I try and go into them.

Jason Gillikin: That’s a good, good way to put it. So, one challenge with podcasts and preparing for podcasts is if you have two guests on the show.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah, that’s tough.

Jason Gillikin: It is tough. We, we have a new podcast coming out with a higher education institution, and they’re going to have – the host will have two guests on w with each, and they don’t necessarily know each other and they don’t necessarily have the, the dynamic already.

And so how do you prepare for that? You know, with, with Brene Brown interviewing Dax Shepard and Tim Ferris, what she did, which I thought was really interesting was she sent out the exact same questions to each of them and had them answer it before the podcast. So like, you know, she would, she would ask the same question to them in the podcast, but she already had their answers.

Any idea why she did that?

Cee Cee Huffman: I mean, so she can see where they’re going to be the same, where they going to be different, how she should naturally lead from one to another. Those are my guesses, but I don’t know.

Jason Gillikin: Probably all those reasons, but the one that she mentioned was that she says that people tend to change their answers based on what other people will say.

Cee Cee Huffman: That is true. That is very, very true.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. I, I thought it was so insightful and she called it the halo effect where the person with the most influence will shape the other answers. So, let’s say we had DT on this podcast and, you know, he’s giving an answer, we would be like, “Oh, that’s convincing. Yes, let’s go with that. Let’s go with that answer.” And there’s also the bandwagon effect, which is similar, but everybody tends to gather around the group, the group mean. Like, everybody tends to gather around what everybody thinks in that conversation. And don’t, you don’t always bring your true self when you’re doing that.

So, anyway, I thought it was a very fascinating way to prepare for an interview with two people. It would take a lot of work to send all those questions out beforehand to everybody, and have them respond back to you, but, you know, that’s something that we can think about doing for our, for our clients.

Cee Cee Huffman: Oh, definitely. And like, podcasts are different because I see it as more of like a round table discussion when you have that many people on there. But when I was in journalism school, they said never interview more than one person at once because you’re not going to get the real answer. I mean, it’s exactly what you were saying.

That’s exactly what they teach because people really do, they will change what they’re thinking or what they’re saying based on what somebody else before them has said, because you know, they want to make sure that they still sound good and appeal to everyone who’s around them. So, yeah, it’s definitely true.

Jason Gillikin: That is true. What, what else, what else are we missing about being prepared or, or not being prepared in an interview?

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah, I will say I don’t like to prepare too much, but if I’m going to talk to somebody, I want to know like the basics, like the, who, what, when, where, and why kind of aspect about them. So like, when I say I don’t prepare, I don’t mean like, I’m going to be like, “So what’s your name?”

You know, like general of like a conversation. I’m going to know who, what, when, where, why, but the reason that I get onto the podcast is to figure out the, how, if that makes sense. So like, you want to make sure that you know enough about them to where they’re not a stranger to you, but they’re not your best friend either, so I want to put that disclaimer in.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, yeah. It’s, it’s interesting. And so, when you are preparing a, a guest do you prefer, let’s say you’re the host of the podcast and I know how you do it with, with Looks Attached, but let’s say you’ve got your own podcast, you know, totally different topic, you know, let’s say it is, is about entrepreneurship, right?

And would you, give them questions beforehand? Would you give them topics beforehand? Like how would you prepare that, that guest for this interview?

Cee Cee Huffman: I think that I would tell the guests that we’re going to talk about topics that are relevant to them. But I, like I said, if I give them questions, I feel like they’re going to prepare an answer, and that’s not what I want necessarily. Because when you have a prepared answer, it’s kind of finite, you know? Like once they run out of their answer, then there’s not as much left to talk about. And that’s kind of a loss for the podcast, right, because the whole thing is we have something to talk about.

So no, I personally, don’t like to send questions in advance. I know some people really do like to do that, and it makes some guests feel really comfortable, and if a guest asks for it? Sure, of course. Like if that’s what’s gonna make you feel better to come and talk to me, then definitely.

But if they don’t ask for it, I’m not gonna send it to them, for sure. What would you do?

Jason Gillikin: I think there’s a couple of ways to handle it. I, I’ve really shifted my thinking from sending, let’s say 10, 12 questions to sending them four or five topics.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah.

Jason Gillikin: I think you can do both, but if you’re sending them the questions, you need to be clear that the best responses, the best responses have personal stories wrapped around these answers.

So like there’s – when, when somebody is preparing to answer a certain question, and they have that answer in front of them, they tend to speak in generalities. They tend to say, “This is how you do this, this and this,” rather than wrapping around a story. When they, when they don’t quite have the knowledge beforehand of what the question is, and they just know the topic, they can start to think naturally of the story that they would want to tell.

They, they think of a story that’s personal to them, and it’s a little bit more off the cuff. So as long as they know that the best responses have stories wrapped around them, then I think that that works for podcasts that  But, I’ve really shifted. I mean, I do like four or five just topics.

Some of our, some of our clients want to do, you know, 10, 12 questions. Cool. You know, that works for them. But for me personally, I like just the, the main topics.

Cee Cee Huffman: Right. I think the more, the more general you can be the better.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, but it also kind of comes with how comfortable you are in being a host.

Right. Because –

Cee Cee Huffman: We haven’t even talked about that.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah. Like if, if you, you know, if you’re not quite comfortable, if you’re nervous right away, you know, having those questions laid out for you can be super helpful. But, if you’ve just got four or five topics and you’re kind of stumbling with the questions to ask based on that -and that’s okay, like everybody evolves and you know, they, they will get more comfortable with it, but it’s harder to do with just the topics if you’re, if you’re not quite there yet in coming up with those questions on the fly.

Cee Cee Huffman: Right. I mean, I think that’s a great point. I can’t even believe we haven’t talked about it yet.

Like, it really does depend on who you are as a host. So like, you know, everyone’s heard that you and I prepare for things very differently, but you know, there are so many other people who also prepare for things very differently than the way that we do, and it’s it all – at the end of the day, this is access of your podcasts depends on how you’re comfortable with, you know, telling all of these other stories or telling your story even. And like, you can take little bits and pieces of these tips of advice that we’ve given you and combine them or take, none of them are just like, you know, think a little bit about more, how you, how you plan these things out because it really is different based on every person who’s gonna host.


Jason Gillikin: percent, and there is no one way to do this. The thing that you want to remember, there’s two things: that you need to be respectful of your audience’s time, and you need to be respectful of your guest’s time.

So if you can do that, the what, however you prepare and get to that point? You, you’ve already, well, one you’ve already you’ve come up with a great way to prepare or not prepare. All right. Well, we are recording this on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021. Inauguration day. So we watched, and I alluded to this beforehand, you were giddy with excitement all day.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yes. I practiced a little bit of “your recodr drunk, edit sober.” I had two glasses of champagne in the afternoon in celebration.

Jason Gillikin: Nice. Good for you. That’s really cool. But yeah, so Joe Biden was inaugurated President of the United States today. Kamala Harris was inaugurated Vice-President United States. So the first woman Vice President of the United States, it was a –

Cee Cee Huffman: Yeah, Black female vice-president, first Asian-American female Vice-President like, just a great – all-around great.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, for sure. And, one thing I, I show my daughter, my older daughters, they’re eight and six, you know, made sure that they watched it and they were asking all these great questions. Who’s that? Who’s that? Okay, well, that’s Mike Pence, that’s Mike Pence actually talking to Bill Clinton there, and they disagree, but you know what?

They can be civil with this, other than, you know, the, the person who wasn’t there, obviously couldn’t, couldn’t be civil with, with anybody. But there’s, you know, George W. Bush talking to Barack Obama, they butted heads, too, but goodness, you know, they, they are for America here. Anyway, so it’s an  exciting time. It brings a lot of hope, but one thing that this Trump presidency has taught us is, well, let’s see. Let me ask you. What’s one lesson, what’s your biggest takeaway, what’s your biggest lesson from the last four years? What’s your biggest takeaway from the Trump presidency?

Cee Cee Huffman: The biggest takeaway is such a tough question because, you did ask me this earlier and I don’t like to prepare, so I kind of thought about it for a second and then didn’t think about it much longer.

But, I mean, there’s so many lessons that could have been learned from the last four years. Like Trump was the president my entire time in college, right? College is supposed to be when, it’s like your formative time and you learn about the world, and I learned, I learned a lot about the world, for sure, maybe some things I wish I had known, but I mean, I learned a lot and honestly like, thinking about all of the kind of, you know, people that we work with and, you know, going to this conference this morning. Like, I think in a lot of ways from Trump, I learned how to be a leader, but that was based on the things that he didn’t do.

Right? And like, one of the key things that I learned was like, in order to be a great leader, you need to unify the people who are under you, you know, like make sure that everyone underneath you knows that you’re looking out for them. And you’re working towards the common goal together. And I think in the last four years, we haven’t seen anything of, of, you know, bringing people together. And it’s all been really, really divisive. And I think the key to being a great leader is to bring people together and work towards a common goal. And that’s something I’m really looking forward to in the next four years, and I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning and have a President that I truly believe like, wants that for all of us, but I really think that if there’s one thing that I could take away, like one bigger thing, then that’s, that’s something that I’ve learned.

Jason Gillikin: That’s a good one. And Joe Biden was talking about unity in his inauguration  and address, right, he’s not just going to be the president for the people that voted for him, he’s going to be the president for all Americans. And that’s not something that we heard over the last four years. It was very much us versus them, and I hated that for, you know, to, to hear that. And I think disagreements are healthy. I think arguments and debates are healthy, but I think that, but the disrespect that was given just was just disgusting.

I couldn’t handle that at all. And your point on leadership is well taken, that’s that’s a good one.

Cee Cee Huffman: Right. I mean, I think like you were saying, you learn by talking to people who are different than you, and not just deciding that people who are different than you are bad because they’re different. Differences are an amazing, an amazing thing.

And you can learn so much more and become so much stronger by talking to people about their differences and things that you don’t understand. So, yeah, it’s big.

Jason Gillikin: And that, that leads to my biggest takeaway.  What I’ve realized recently is that people – and I really felt like Biden would win by a landslide.

I felt like people would see the last four years as just “This as an embarrassment,” but what I realized recently is that it’s human nature to look for any evidence that you can that will conform to your original thesis. So, when people are thinking that Donald Trump is going to drain the swamp, and they are all, they are all in for Donald Trump, whatever evidence that they are given to contradict that, they are not going to believe that.

And they will try to find any other evidence that’s out there so that it can support their original thesis. So they will, they will look for the most outlandish evidence out there, the Q Anon stuff. They’ll figure out, you know, that, that Joe Biden is this, this and this. You know, Trump is not so bad because this, this and this, and it’s just, and it is just conspiracy theory stuff, but people want to believe that because they don’t want to be wrong.

And they can, they can look at this guy talking to them directly into the screen, and clearly seeing that he’s a buffoon, clearly seeing that he is not a civil person, clearly seeing all these things that are wrong, and that he should not be, as you said, a leader. And yet, and yet they will say, “But, this is probably the case because Q Anon told me this is the case, and there’s this conspiracy theory that this,” and they choose to believe something that’s not right in front of their face. That’s actual evidence. So the power of the, you know, the power of people not wanting to be wrong. And I know there’s a psychological term for it, and I’m not thinking about it right now, it’s just incredible to me, and it goes to show that when, when, when Trump was just talking nonsense and telling lies and telling lies and telling them lies, people will believe it because they want to believe in him because they believed in him from the beginning. So, you know, from, from a marketing standpoint, even, and, and Obama talked about this recently, is you need to keep getting the message out there.

Just keep getting the message out there and out there and out there, people will believe it. And yeah. It’s like, we’re not going to use that information from any sort of diabolical perspective. Like, like somebody like, like a Trump would, but at the same time, like keep pushing out there, the stuff that we believe in, keep pushing out there, the stuff that’s important, keep pushing out there, our message at Earfluence, our clients’ messages at Earfluence. So anyway, uh, that was, that was my biggest takeaway, my biggest surprise from the, the embarrassment of the last four years.

Cee Cee Huffman: Really. I mean, it’s like, were you – a confirmation bias? Is that what you were looking for?

It’s like, I like to think that, that will not be as prevalent because he’s not a normal politician, obviously. And he wasn’t a politician, he was a reality TV star turned president. Like that’s not a politician, but I like, I’m hoping that, you know, we won’t have to experience anything like that again, because, you know, it became like a Trumpism thing. It wasn’t, it was no longer, you know, Republicans supporting Republican ideals because like, that’s not personally, that’s not my thing, but like, if that’s what you believe in, like go off, I guess, like, that’s fine. As long as you don’t want to hurt people, like, I don’t really care what you think.

Like that’s totally OK. So I just hope that the amount of extremism that we’ve experienced in the last four years, we won’t have to experience ever again, but knock on wood for that.

Jason Gillikin: Gosh, healthy debates, healthy conversations. Yes, please bring that back. And, and like being, being different is okay.

Cee Cee Huffman: It’s great!

Jason Gillikin: Like having different opinions is okay, and yes, you will grow from hearing those different opinions, but not if presented in a rude, uncivil type of way. So anyway, all right. That was a digression, but I wanted to, to get that out there because it is a special day in the United States.

Cee Cee Huffman: Very special.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, for sure. All right. Well, that’s, that’s it for today! Cee Cee, this was, this was a lot of fun.

Cee Cee Huffman: Of course as always. This is a very fun one, for sure. I like it when we have differing opinions, because it makes it more interesting. That just goes back to what we were just saying.

Jason Gillikin: Yeah, for sure. That’s right.

All right. Well, this has been the Earfluence Podcast. If you need any information on podcast production, that’s something that we do. You can head over to We offer full service podcast production, or even just podcast editing, podcasts launch help, podcast strategy. Whatever you need related to podcasting, we can help you out.

And again, that’s earfluence dot com or email us For Cee Cee Huffman, I’m Jason Gillikin, and you’ve been listening to the Earfluence Podcast.

Cee Cee Huffman: Yes, see you later!

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The Earfluence Podcast is a production of Earfluence Media and is hosted by Jason Gillikin and Cee Cee Huffman.

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