Are You Media Ready?

John Alexander Ball
6 min readMay 31, 2022


When you’re a guest on a podcast or TV show, are you ready to wow your audience or will you be quickly forgotten?

Not every podcaster listens to podcasts. It might seem paradoxical but I can understand it; time can be tight and some people are way more focused on creation than consumption. However, I think there’s a risk of missing some important factors of podcasting if you are not tuning in to other shows, mainly as to what makes a podcast interesting, engaging or innovative.

If you have no idea what your competitors are up to, how will you even know if you’re doing the best you can with your content? You could be leaving downloads and potential income on the table simply because you’re not paying attention and as any coach worth their salt will tell you, when you don’t pay attention you pay with pain.

I have a feeling that even regular podcast guests don’t listen to so many podcasts and maybe not even to their own interviews and I think they should. I’ve been training people in public speaking and presentation skills for years and now I train people on presentation and communication skills for podcast media. People don’t generally like watching themselves on video or hearing their voices played back to them but you just need to get used to it. Repeated exposure will help.

Consider it research. The joy with podcasts is that you can listen to them pretty much anywhere, so do that. Listen to your own interviews and see if you were happy with how you come across? Could you have phrased some things better? Did you get a bit lost in the weeds or distracted? Did you say anything memorable that you want to use again?

It saddens me to say this but there are podcasters who clearly do not listen to their own recordings and I think that should be a crime. I edit my own show but even if I didn’t, I would want to make sure I listened to the playback before I okayed it for publication.

I’ve listened to shows that if the host(s) had listened back they would understand why they need to edit it or buy a microphone. I’ve listened to shows where the hosts are really just phoning it in (energy-wise) or reading a repeated list of questions or end up having an unstructured and meandering conversation. As hard as that can be to listen to, you can learn a lot from listening to people getting it wrong.

When I listen to shows that are getting it right, I get inspiration for improving my own show and I try to model the things I like. I listen to several shows that are about podcast growth and from those, my own evolution as a creator, host and even as a guest has accelerated.

When I listen to guests that get it right, both on my own show and on others, it is a joy and is definitely something to be modelled. You don’t need to become the person you model but you do need to take a leaf or three from their book.

Why do you even want to go on a podcast or have a podcast if you are a personal brand business owner? Well, hopefully, it’s so you can let people know you’re there, help them with some of your knowledge, experience and stories and guide them into your own online tribe or community. So here’s the thing, every time you appear on a podcast, your own or otherwise, you are representing your brand. You are the ambassador for your own business.

Look at it this way, back when I was a trolly dolly I would have to wear my uniform to work, I would have to be well-groomed and clean and I was expected to behave myself appropriately. Even off the plane, if I was in uniform I was representing the airline. If I was down route (airline speak for staying at your destination), I was expected to be an ambassador for the airline at all times, even out of uniform. There have been numerous times that cabin crew have misbehaved, both in-flight and down route that were considered newsworthy enough to make it to the national press and damaged the airline’s brand image.

When I encounter guests who seem not to want to be there or don’t consider the show host at all and make it all about them, I can’t help but think they are damaging their brand. Hosts who do the same tired interviews, again and again, are damaging their brand and probably their downloads too.

Content consumers come to expect a certain standard of quality. This happened some years back with YouTube, where creators were no longer able to get away with publishing crappy looking and poorly edited videos because the standards were elevated by those who were taking it seriously and investing in their development, both with time and money.

The same thing happened with RuPaul’s Drag Race, kinda. If you were to go back and watch some of the early seasons (pre-Michelle Visage) you will see a very different standard of drag to what you tend to see on the show these days. At the time it was great but as things go on, standards become raised and so do the stakes.

This is, I feel, where podcasting is right now. There is a wealth of opportunity for the personal brand business owner who wants to get their brand out into the world and be generating leads, building a following and develop a deeper relationship with their audience as a host and as a guest, but only if you’re ready and prepared to elevate your standards. This is not about imitating someone else, this is about being a better version of yourself in your media output.

I was very fortunate to get to chat with Lee Carter today, the author of a terrific new book called Persuasion — Convincing others when facts don’t seem to matter. That episode will be out in July when the show relaunches (and it’s unmissable). Lee regularly appears on TV news media to talk about things like persuasion in the political world and she has been a regular contributor to Maria Bartiromo’s Fox News show among others.

I asked Lee if she could share any media tips from her own expensive appearances and (as a taster for the episode) I will share with you one of the gems she said. Apart from making sure you are prepared, which is hopefully obvious, try to have two or three clear points you want the audience to remember and to try to distil those into simple and memorable sentences you can make sure you say. It’s hard to be concise if you’re not prepared and in the fast-paced media cycle, this is undoubtedly good advice. Aim to have some distilled wisdom you can share in your media appearances too.

In my podcast this week we’re talking ethical enrolments and building a business without social media with coach Jan Broders. Fancy a listen?

I wanted to leave you with one of my favourite songs from the late 70s, early 80s. I was thinking about how podcasting may well become a more dominant force in media and content consumption as the numbers go up all the time and more people are turning to it for education and entertainment that they can listen to pretty much anywhere. Will podcasting kill the YouTube star? Probably not but certainly online content creators are dramatically impacting the traditional media landscape.

Most personal brand business owners have three main problems when it comes to scaling their business income: poor lead flow, awkwardness around sales and low delivery confidence. Podcasting, either as a guest or host (or both) can solve all of these problems to get you a hot lead flow, effortless conversions and big delivery confidence. If you’d like to know more about how, book a FREE 15-minute, no-obligation strategy session with Johnny



John Alexander Ball

Host of the Podfluence podcast. Professional speaker & ethical influence coach. The James Corden of podcasting, a chubby British guy who thinks he’s funny.