Speaking of Influence

The Business of Speaking Part 2 with guest Li Hayes

May 26, 2020 John Ball Season 1 Episode 23
Speaking of Influence
The Business of Speaking Part 2 with guest Li Hayes
Chapters
00:01:39
Welcome Li
00:02:13
How did you get into speaker management?
00:04:45
Some great speaker names in your clientele
00:05:09
The unsexy part
00:06:49
But I'm a star
00:09:41
Exchange of value
00:12:00
Selling the boutique
00:14:35
What kind of speakers are getting booked right now?
00:16:39
Getting clever
00:18:18
Will there be a return to normality in speaking?
00:21:41
Narrow your focus
00:22:43
What's a 'thing'?
00:26:06
Figure out YOUR thing
00:30:57
Transitioning to digital
00:34:54
Numbers work well
00:35:41
Let 'em in
00:36:47
Do I need an agent?
00:37:46
What about a speaker bureau?
00:40:40
What should emerging speakers do?
00:42:32
Other avenues to paid speaking
00:45:21
Maybe you're not a keynote yet?
00:46:14
Good or great?
00:48:22
Speakers you have loved listening to?
00:50:36
Business is about relationships, so don't be a diva
00:52:25
If you're not getting paid, get value
00:55:38
Play the long game
00:58:51
One podcast is never enough
00:59:30
What should we read?
Speaking of Influence
The Business of Speaking Part 2 with guest Li Hayes
May 26, 2020 Season 1 Episode 23
John Ball

Do you speak professionally? Have you ever thought about getting paid to speak? Would you like some industry insights from a speaker agent who specialises in coaching emerging speakers? I thought so. Well, you're in the right place.

In this episode, I chat with an expert in speaker management who now specialises in coaching emerging speakers into the industry, Li Hayes from Go Leeward speaker management.

Her company Go Leeward connects dynamic, world-class business and motivational speakers with business event planners, marketing leaders, and executive business leaders to make your event exceed expectations and truly ‘WOW’ your audience.

As the Founder and Speaker Manager, Ishe directs an efficient and seamless process — providing a hassle-free, cost-effective experience by eliminating agencies and connecting you directly to powerful speakers. With Go Leeward, you receive personal, professional service backed by deep expertise in strategic planning, team leadership, and talent management.

Li shares insights about the speaker industry in this time of Covid19 and some powerful guidance for new and emerging speakers who want to stand out and not just blend into the background with thousands of others.

Towards the end of the podcast, Li recommends the book 'Profit First' by Mike Michalowicz. It's a great book which I have read many times over and received a lot of benefit from. I regularly recommend this book to my business-owning coaching clients.
Mike Michalowicz is going to be my next guest on the show, so be ready for that!

If you want to connect with Li, you can find her on Linked In and you can visit her Go Leeward website.

The episode is also available on Present Influence YouTube channel https://youtu.be/kmzLED3gX5I

Enjoy the show...



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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Do you speak professionally? Have you ever thought about getting paid to speak? Would you like some industry insights from a speaker agent who specialises in coaching emerging speakers? I thought so. Well, you're in the right place.

In this episode, I chat with an expert in speaker management who now specialises in coaching emerging speakers into the industry, Li Hayes from Go Leeward speaker management.

Her company Go Leeward connects dynamic, world-class business and motivational speakers with business event planners, marketing leaders, and executive business leaders to make your event exceed expectations and truly ‘WOW’ your audience.

As the Founder and Speaker Manager, Ishe directs an efficient and seamless process — providing a hassle-free, cost-effective experience by eliminating agencies and connecting you directly to powerful speakers. With Go Leeward, you receive personal, professional service backed by deep expertise in strategic planning, team leadership, and talent management.

Li shares insights about the speaker industry in this time of Covid19 and some powerful guidance for new and emerging speakers who want to stand out and not just blend into the background with thousands of others.

Towards the end of the podcast, Li recommends the book 'Profit First' by Mike Michalowicz. It's a great book which I have read many times over and received a lot of benefit from. I regularly recommend this book to my business-owning coaching clients.
Mike Michalowicz is going to be my next guest on the show, so be ready for that!

If you want to connect with Li, you can find her on Linked In and you can visit her Go Leeward website.

The episode is also available on Present Influence YouTube channel https://youtu.be/kmzLED3gX5I

Enjoy the show...



Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

The Business of Speaking Part 2 with guest Li Hayes

 

Fri, 5/22 · 12:00 PM1:03:12

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

People, speaker, speakers speaking, book, business, client,  audience, stage, expert, person, work, keynote, talk, big, thinking, emerging, paid, bureau

John Ball

0:01

On this episode, I am very happy to introduce a special guest to you that is Li Hayes. Li is the founder and CEO of Go Leeward Speaker Management Agency. She's a manager of business speakers, and also now coaching emerging speakers. So, I know for myself is somewhere where I think I would position myself and for a lot of people who may be listening in, you're gonna want to pay close attention to what he has to say, on this particular episode. Li, welcome to The Loqui Podcast.

Li Hayes

0:32

Well, thank you so much, John, I'm so pleased to be here.

JB

0:35

I'm really delighted to have you here and the conversation we had before when I recorded that as well. And I might even use some clips of it and some bonus, some bonus material for people because there was some really good stuff there. But I'll see what we end up talking about today. But and one thing you did share with me when we spoke before was your journey into speaker management which is kind of interesting in itself and, and one that I've heard from a few people as well. Similarly, The kinds of stories so tell us what led you into speaker management?

LH

1:06

Well, I guess my story is like some other people, I've heard this unemployment is what led me into it. And I got one of those dreadful calls or maybe more dreadful than most on a. One afternoon, my boss calls me at home and says, We need you to come into the office. We have an executive meeting at 3 pm. And I thought, huh, hey, I'm in the US, and she's calling me from Portugal. And B, it's Sunday. So I thought this is not a good thing. And I went into our local office and we had an executive meeting and the meeting was about we are closing the division. And at the time, I was the HR director. So I was in charge of, well, everything human resources, including you know, training and hiring speakers the time and they said, We need you to fire 272 people over the next two years. And don't let the door hit you on the way out so you will not have a job at the end of this. Thank you so much. So that's what happened. So I spent two years just making a company smaller and smaller and smaller. And I got to the point where I had nothing to do during the day at my job was to show up and sit at my desk and help people who were leaving. So I got a call from a speaker who's pretty well known, you're gonna have on your show, who happens to be my brother? And he said, Hey, I just fired my agency there. You know, it was a disaster there. And he said, Look, you've got nothing to do, Sis, Would you do me a favour and just act as my agent for a few months? Take my calls, do negotiations, you're good at stuff like that you're into legal and to negotiations and contracts, handle that for me. And then in 12 weeks, you know, you'll be done with your job. I'll have a new agency. We'll go around ways. That's it. That was over five years ago. Lo and behold, I still work with my brother and we said it would never work. siblings shouldn't work together. We work video well together. And over the years, I've been introduced to other speakers who I now represent who, you know that it slowly changes and emerges and turns over. But right now I have a small stable of amazing speakers who I love working with. But that's also taught me so much about the industry, you know, crawling up from the bottom and seeing by working with multiple people. It's a faster education because I don't have five years of experience, I have five times 12 years of experience of seeing what works and doesn't work and where success comes from.

JB

3:32

Right. I took a look at your website person and certainly some of the names on there for speakers. You have a great stable of speakers, even if it's not the biggest, there's certainly some amazing speakers, that who are with us, your clients, and that's very exciting. And I'm thrilled that we'll have one of them coming on very soon on to the past as well. And but right now, one of the things that you said to me last time that struck me is what you said you deal with the unsexy parts of speaking kind of tell us a bit more about that.

LH

4:05

Yeah, I call it the unsexy but essential skills that one needs to speak. Because speakers like any other creative or technician, I guess I'll call them, you go into speaking and I'd love to hear from you. You know, this is why you went in because you want to be on stage because you want to spread your message, right? You want to be an authority. And those are all wonderful things. But like any other technician, like if you are a chef, or a doctor, or a photographer, and you only focus on your skillset, the fun the sexy part that onstage, the spotlights, that's only a small part of business. And that's where businesses fail is they focus on the spotlight, and they forget about the bookkeeping and the contracting and the negotiation and the marketing and all of those things that you need to run a successful business. So that's what I teach. I don't teach you how to be amazing on stage. That's, that's up to you. And that's up to people who are amazing on stage. I am not a speaker. But what I do teach are all those foundational things that speakers need to be successful as a business and make money at it.

 

JB 
5:21

I think that's probably not just the speaker profession. I've been in coaching professional for about at least 15 years. And I've seen many great coaches who have been able to stick around in the industry because they haven't got that they need to do marketing and that they need to run it like a business. They just want to turn up and do the coaching stuff that they're good at. And similarly, with speakers as well then for what you're saying. And I know that for myself, what my desire to become a speaker didn't come from wanting to be in the spotlight. Although I would say I've done my amateur dramatics and drama University have like I've been in, in bands and concert singing and all sorts things. I'm not shy of being on the stage but, but it's a bit different when you're on the stage as yourself and delivering a message. And my first time learning how to do that was terrifying. But it was based for me on an inspiration from somebody called Dr Joanna Martin, who now specialises in teaching empowerment and leadership for women and she's an amazing person. And it was her it made me realise that you can make such a big difference from that kind of platform and make made me want to be a presenter and be a speaker and that's what fueled by pure by learning if you like so it's very much for me came from a place so seeing the power of it and the potential of it. But also, you don't realise when you decide that you want to do that, that there's all these other elements behind the scenes, all these ways of you have to build and grow a business. It's not just you get up on the stage and you go You're done. And so there's a lot more moving parts like that, that people just don't get. And so that's where someone like you comes in. And what are the kind of things that you've experienced from speakers who really don't kind of get that side of things or the situations that they may be found themselves in because of not taking care of the business side of speaking?

LH
7:23

Well, I knew I worked with one speaker who he was he was very good on stage. And we can talk about that in a minute about being great or being good and doesn't really matter. But he was very good on stage and he had a thing we'll talk about a thing to which he was early. He had an early video that went viral back when you know, YouTube was just getting going or, you know, Google, and he had a video that just took off, took him right to the top and he said he got a phone call one day that said we'll pay you 15,000 to come to our events speak Anyway, I'm a speaker and he became a speaker and he had his one thing and he did it for a few years. And now he has a regular nine to five job. I think you'd select to speak but you know, it never took off. And I think it was just because he wanted to spread the message. He had a great message. And he kept working on the message. I think his platform of interesting information was very good. But he didn't get the other aspect of it, which was, wait a minute, this isn't just spreading my message. It's, I need to pay the rent. I need to figure out how to get value, right? Because I think the biggest mistake speakers make is they don't look for an exchange of value. like you'd mentioned that you've spoken on stages for free. Yeah. And what I say is never speak for free. You don't need to get paid cash, but you need to get value because you're bringing value. Right, you are like you said this woman who was your mentor Have you have an amazing message, you are inspiring and helping people with your message you're spending your time you're travelling, you're training. If you're not getting a fee, you need to get value back. I think value always has to be balanced. And that's a big thing for emerging speakers, even more experienced speakers mission is looking for balance of value. I'm bringing you something amazing. What amazing thing Am I getting back?

JB

9:29

And sorry, doesn't have to be the starting money. But you're getting something back. I mean, I think one thing for me, I've done some competitive speaking and it's really good fun. I mean, it does get you a bit more exposure. And in that sense, you know, what you're getting back is maybe some maybe an award that you could use to earn your profile and maybe a bit of exposure in the event and a recording of your performance there that you can use in your own publicity but there's more besides books and back end products and things. So So I mean, one of the things I've been working with some of my coaching clients who are in the professional speaker business is getting them some additional services and products that aren't just their speeches. And I know I spoke with Lauren Petworth recently as well. And she was saying that that's a really good thing for people to be doing. And she's, she would actually actively encourage that as well. Do you see that? That's a route that a lot of people are going now and that you would encourage?

LH

10:27

Yeah, no, I definitely encourage speakers to and before they even start the negotiation, as soon as somebody says to them, we'd like you to speak or they apply somewhere to speak, think about what's the value they can get. And the value might be like you mentioned which is selling a product, right? So you might have whatever your company is and it doesn't even necessarily have to be consulting. I know one woman who does speaking she owns a woman's boutique. And watch how she sells her woman's boutique through speaking is she He speaks about fashion, and, you know, fashion for the businesswoman and tips and tricks to make you look thinner or smarter or whatever it is. But she's selling clothing but she doesn't sell clothing from the stage. She sells her knowledge. And then out of that people go Wow, you are you have such a great idea. She says Yes. Why stop by my boutique? Right? So she does local speaking and videocast speaking. So she's got the visuals, obviously. And that's how she built a business. So think about what is it you know, what is it any sort of product service you have? And how can you make more out of that by speaking so that's one thing? And like you mentioned, you can sell books, right? If you have a book, you can sell books. One of my speakers, this is how he goes on vacation every year. He has this one great gig and it's a high-end luxury. He mentioned the luxury line. I'm like, Yeah, I never even heard of it. I know I can't, I couldn't even think about affording it. It's like a billion-dollar getaway. But every year they take him and his partner for two weeks to Singapore or, you know someplace and it's a two-week all-expense paid cruise for him and his partner. And he goes, ‘I speak a few times during the cruise and I do q&a, and I hobnob’ and amazing value because he wants to go on vacation. And this is this huge, you know, I don't know, $10,000 per person, maybe 15 or 20 per person. I don't know what it is big bucks. And he speaks and that's how he does it. So there are so many different types of value. And just what you mentioned, right? Getting video, getting a logo of the company you're working for, if you go speak for Google, they're not going to pay you, but you get to put Google on your website. It's a big name, right? It makes you legitimate. There's so much there's so much

JB

12:51

I've noticed that from some of the professional speakers who I've been chatting with when you go and look on the websites, you see those things, you see those big names and as feet Done stuff like that. And that that stuff is definitely impressive from a positioning and credibility point of view. So I kind of can really see the value in it for sure. And so one thing that would be good to get an idea of a lot of people are telling me that everything is, of course going virtual right now and that speaker gigs are have changed because of that. But what are the kinds of speaker gigs that are getting booked or sought out at the moment?

LH

13:30

Yeah, it is a brutal climate right now for speakers. And I think part of speaking right now is thinking of what can you do for the client and letting them know many speakers I know are always chasing the ideas. For example, they'll come to me, what's the hot topic right now? I'll pivot to, you know, meet that topic. And what I think people need to do now is to Don't pivot to follow everyone else. But figure out what you can offer that other people aren't offering yet and go to event planners with that. For example, I'm working with one group right now that they're having speakers on each week. They're doing a 14-week series. And they're coming to they came to me and they said, Alright, here's what we want. We want one person who's going to talk about, you know, pivoting and operations, we want to talk about one thing who's going to pivot and marketing. And what I did was I went to them and said, here's an idea how about and it wasn't something on their list. And they went, Wow, great idea, grab the speaker and put them on. And it's not that they only came to me, and I was just feeding them ideas. They had all these speakers coming from everywhere, trying to fit into the mould that their team had created. And I said instead of going and saying, Here are speakers who fit the mould that you've created, I said here speakers are way outside that mould who you haven't thought of yet. Yeah, and then Oh, that's brilliant. So now instead of competing with other speakers, we were, you know, creating something new. So that's the first thing is to think of something that they haven't asked for. And, and what's going on right now. I mean, it's virtual. Everything's virtual. A lot of speakers, I have one. Here's another great idea instead of the head on the screen, because that's what you mainly see right as the face is he happens to be a Grammy-nominated pianist. And when he does a videocast a webinar, whatever, he does a three-camera webinar. One from behind him so you can see him playing the piano because between when he speaks he'll bring up a point and then explain it the point in music. He's kind of amazing. Yeah, but he does it as a three-camera shoot. So he's got one behind them so you can see him playing, playing. You have one in front of him. So that It's there for him speaking and then they have a close up so you can see his fingers on the keyboard. No one else thought of that everyone else is the head on the, you know, the face on the screen. And he's like, no, Liam, not the face on the screen. On the studio. I want people to experience a studio. Wow, great idea. Very different. And you got hired to do a series of speaking for cocktail hours.

JB

16:26

Amazing. Yeah. Oh gosh, I need to brush up my piano skills, I guess.

LH

16:29

There you go.

JB

16:31

Well, that's fantastic. And it is the stuff that makes you stand out in in the industry at all as well. And that's really important. And so when we talked before, one of the things that we also were talking about is what people who are maybe just starting out in the industry, not the best time to be starting out, but what people who are just starting out or emerging, should be thinking about in terms of where they're actually going to get business or what people are actually going to be doing. Looking for maybe after the COVID crisis and when things are a bit more, whatever normality ensues out of the woods.

LH

17:09

Now, whatever normal means, right? Well, I think when you're starting out the most important thing to do, and that's whether you're starting out now, whether and I don't think now is a bad time to start because you will grow as we get back into events, right? So I think now's a good time because you can really focus on the business and the craft and you have more time maybe now to really focus on building who you are as a speaker, and then growing as the industry grows again, but I think the most important emerging speakers need to do is find out their niche and it's got to be a narrow, narrow, narrow market because I know what I did in the beginning Not knowing any better. And what all my speakers do in the beginning, is it's called throwing spaghetti at the wall. You just start doing everything, trying to figure out what's going to land what's going to stick. And you don't look at one market, you say, All right, I'm going to try every market and see where I can find something. You know, I remember once I had a person who wanted me to represent them, and I said, What's your topic? And she says, I talk about ethics. I said, Great. What's your target market? She goes, everyone, everyone needs ethics. Everyone in business needed big companies, small companies. I went, Oh, boy. You're not going to get going. So what I recommend speakers starting out and now's a good time is research, the market, whatever the market means, and I think the best place for the speaker to start, is finding someone you know, go back in time, find a business, find somebody who works in event, someone who's going to get you on the stage or on the screen or doing Whatever it is you do and focus on that market. So maybe it is, you know, like this woman who's women's boutiques, you know, you speak about, I don't know, whatever your topic is marketing, but you don't just do marketing, you do marketing for women's boutique for women who are plus sizes, you know, narrow, narrow, narrow, narrow, and then you become so you start there, and then you try to do and it's webinars now, right, but you reach out to women's groups and say, Look, I'm the expert on marketing boutiques that are for women's plus sizes. Well, you're the only person doing that. So you're the expert. So find become an expert somewhere. And now's a good time find out where you can be an expert and become an expert become the best person at that. And then once you've built that, then you start opening up again. So I say it's sort of like looking at an hourglass. You take all that stuff that's on top and you narrow it narrow, narrow to get to the neck and you figure out yourself Sweet Spot. Then once you've hit that sweet spot now let it open again now that you're the expert at women's boutiques who do plus sizes, now other people say oh, you do women's boutiques? Oh, you do fashion? Oh, you're an inch Oh, you talk about you know, personal statements and then you can open your market back out again but become really good at one thing so you're known for something to become an expert at something

JB

20:25

yeah and that's really solid advice and definitely a good thing to do. And so becoming solid an expert in one thing and targeting that to a very narrow group of people essentially. Yeah.

LH

20:39

Right. Because then you are the authority. If it's narrow enough, there's no one better than you.

JB

20:45

Yeah, you're the person that gets caught in. You said about people having a thing and so I want definitely want to come back to that and for you to tell our audience what we mean by you got to have a thing,

LH
20:58

What's a thing? So, speakers who, especially speakers who are quickly successful, but any speaker, the question I always get is, do I need a book? Do I need a book to be legitimate? And I always say, No, you don't you need. Some people do well to have a book. But some people only need a thing. A thing is something that makes you stand out from everyone else in some fashion that makes people take notice. Some of the examples maybe are, you know, say you were looking for an airline pilot to talk about maybe leadership, you're like, wow, I think a pilot would be great. Well, there are thousands and thousands of pilots out there who fly jetliners, and they're not all speakers. But there's one guy who landed a plane on the Hudson River and saved everyone on board. That's his thing. Everyone knows Sally. I mean, I don't care where you are in the world. My dear aunt who lives in Germany. She's going, there's this pilot. Have you ever heard of him? I go. Yeah, actually. I live right near New York. I was right where he landed. But it's all over the world. But that's his thing. Not that he wanted that thing. But he became a speaker because it makes him unique from all other pilots. Say you're a Director of Operations for a company and you say, you know, I'd like to speak for your event. I'm a director of operations. You're right. There's nothing exciting about that. But if you say I'm the Director of Operations for Disney, boom, years ago, Disney, but Disney, Disney is your thing. It might not make you anything special. But if you work for a recognisable brand, that gives you a leg up. Um, I work with a woman who Yeah, so as you say what she does everyone looks over at you. She talks about leadership and about fearlessness. She was a dominatrix. Right? We just have data. Yes, we talked about data. But that's a thing right? People go she's a what? A what, in fact, I once tried to pitch her to a woman. And she goes, I'm sorry, I don't know what that is. And I said You know what, then let's just move on.

JB

23:11

Yeah, you didn’t want to explain it.

LH

23:12

yeah, I don't want to explain. Let's just move on. And she called me probably a week later and she's like, She's sweet, sweet Southern lady. She said, I just looked up dominatrix and I don't think she's appropriate for our brand. But you know what, but that's okay. Yeah, but that's okay. You don't need again, don't worry about a thing. That's great for everybody. It's got to be a thing that's great for somebody. And men are a little intimidated when a woman gets on stage and says she's a dominatrix. Women, for the most part, are like yeah, baby, you go girl. She's, you know, she's a hero. She's strong, she's powerful. So she has a great market. That's her thing. And if you don't have you know, if you never crash-landed a plane if you didn't grow up in a cult and become a dominatrix, if you don't work for huge brand, then maybe a book is your thing. But here we go again, get a really narrow topic and become an expert at one thing. So your book is about women's boutiques for plus-sizes, and have a really narrow book. So now again, your book makes you the expert at something. It's unique. It's not just digital marketing. Everyone's a digital marketer. Make it really specific.

JB

24:30

Yeah, that's, that's a really good idea. So yeah, I'm thinking wrack my brain thinking, well, what's my thing? Okay, I worked for British Airways for 12 years, but you know, I share being British Airways cabin crew with at least 30,000 people. That's not so unique. But, but a book that would make me stand out. I mean, how is someone at home going to figure out or find their thing if they don't have something as big as that

LH

25:00

But it doesn't have to be big. You know, I was looking at it as if you were a PhD candidate, every PhD candidate has to write a dissertation on a unique topic that's never been covered before. a cousin of mine their dissertation was the mating habits of the predators of the titmouse No one's ever covered that before. So I think you just need you to know, having been with British Airways for that long I'm sure there is some aspect to it. which people are unaware you know, the behind the scenes, the in the galley of the 80s something that people are unaware of or

JB

25:43

Well, that's more of a routine than anything else.

LH

25:46

OK. There you go. But maybe it's you know, tips maybe you become a travel expert. You are the expert on the best way to treat it all the inside tips on how to make travelling comfortable, but find something really tight, because you might become the absolute go-to business expert for once we get out of COVID. For people who are travelling, like John Ball is the guy, he's the guy who can tell you how to get the best prices, how to get the seat you want how to you know, maybe you become or the comfort expert or you know how to get the open row so you can sleep while yours you're travelling, whatever that might be. I'm sure you have inside information that MIT not that nobody else has probably that everybody has, who was a flight attendant, but you're the only one who's writing a book about it.

JB
26:34

Yeah, or up on the stage speaking about it,

LH

26:36

or on a stage speaking about it right that you have this behind the scenes knowledge that the common man does not have. And that's what you care about. Right as the audience. You find people behind the audience gone. Yeah, I know. But if your audience doesn't know, then you're amazing.

JB

26:56

So it's really more about being unique in the marketplace. Right? than anything else,

LH

27:01

well, you're not going to be unique in the world, right? It's every everyone has had your idea. But the difference between failure and success is execution. fact there was a question once I was asked, What's more important education or execution? Well, if everyone has the same education you have, right everyone's been a flight attendant. There have been 10s of thousands of flight attendants. But you execute on it, and nobody else does. You're the expert. Right? No one's gonna go well, there was this other flight attendant who probably knew it too. Yes. But he did not articulate it. He did not bring it to the masses. He did not bring it away in this unique way. Yeah, so executions everything.

JB

27:47

Yeah. Yeah, that's true. In terms of that, if you're not fast, you’re last, right? I remember, a friend of mine, years and years ago when I was very much younger, having this idea for a bathing suit that you could suntan through, and some years after that it was developed and it exists. I don't know if it's very popular, but it exists. And she said to me, I came up with that idea as well. What did you do with it? Nothing at all is that principle isn't it is that you say everyone has these ideas, but so few people actually act on them and follow through for whatever reasons. So that's really, really sound advice and it's got my cogs wiring in my brain to what I can think about doing for myself because this is for me, this is directly relevant as well so I'm getting good information. I'm getting some live coaching.

LH

28:43

But when you write when you because we have time, I guess we have time now I don't know I think I’m busy morning tonight. But really think into your past. Think about what you’ve done. Think about every flight until you hit on that one thing when you go wow, that one story, that one thing that happened that's memorable. And then grow that thing.

JB

29:01

Yeah. For me, the flying stuff is more where I'm gonna pull out some of my anecdotes or funny stories rather, something I want to focus on for my speaking. But yeah, it's, it's definitely an area that I would be considering but for me, I kind of know where I want to go with my speaking it's just putting all the bits in place and my stuff is very much about I want to speak about the tools of influence and persuasion and I know there are some people doing that. So it's figuring out how to make that a bit more unique I guess is where I'm at. And we'll continue to work on and how I present that but for anyone then who is maybe having to make the transition now from live presentation to digital. I know because I've been doing online presentation for a long time and webinars in the lives and you know as well because you've been doing it too but they're not the same but you can't just shift from one to the other, that there are differences. What would you see those as being? And what are the things that people need to be thinking about in terms of how they adapt themselves to the online world for at least for the time being?

LH

30:15

I think if, if a speaker before they develop the change, wait, let me start here. So yes, you're right. People who are wonderful on stage are not necessarily good on what I'll call on screen right as a webinar, and vice versa. And some people will never be able to make the switch from one to the other, which is fine. Figure out what you're good at and focus on that. But for people who do want to make the switch, I think you need to think yourself, think of yourself as the audience member first, and then how you're going to reach them. So if you're doing a live event, you're sitting in a room with 100 500 1000 people. You're captive, right you are you're seated between other people. You can't leave. And your focus is the stage in front of you. If you start reading your email on your phone, you might irritate others. So maybe you're not going to do that. And now that you're there, not only do you want to learn, you want to be entertained and to be in to have that person on the stage capture you. They need to take you on a journey. I think I think the best speakers take you on a journey. They let you either there's some people, right that you just you go on their journey, right? So you have celebrities, they talk about themselves, and you get to see the inside of their world. And then you have people who take the audience on the journey, right, that they'll say, Did this ever happen to you? And how can we fix it together and they take them? When I say journey, it's I think the most successful speakers go on an emotional journey. Right that you get excited and then you go, Oh my God, you're frightened and then you know, you have to go up and down. So it's really important and stories can be Long stories can go on for 10 minutes because they're building and they're building and they're building and oh my god, and then you crash with them. And then you get the big standing ovation and people cheer and that and also right you have this stuff around you, you have spotlights you have I was watching a speaker this morning. He has like sparks that fly up from the front of the stage, you know, those jets because he's a performance speaker. And that you know, that the spotlights come up in and blind the audience from so it's just entertainment performance, it's big. And then you say at those same speakers that say oh to a webinar, and within two minutes your the audience's forehead down sleeping, or they just they ignore it and they go to their phones and because nobody can see them, right. So now you have a non-captive audience. They can leave the room, you never know it. They can just shut you off. It's so easy to get distracted because in an audience, everything is facing forward. And that's All you got around your people, I'm in my home now I've got things going on outside, I've got my kids, that person has to work in a very different way to capture me. And what I have found because like you I do a lot of broadcasting again, I'm not a speaker, I'm a host, but we do video. And I watch as we do Facebook Live and you watch the numbers go up and down as people come in and leave. And what I have found works the best because I do this week after week after week for the last two years is your topic needs to have short sound bites your stories can't be more than Listen to me droning on write your stories can't be more than two minutes. You need to come to a point.

LH

33:45

I find that the numbers work very well. Today we're going to talk about the five things speakers need to do to discover their target market because then people are going oh, I've heard the first four. I just need number five so they'll stay for five. So short sound bites, numbers working Well, remembering that your audience is an audience of one of speaking to you, AUDIENCE MEMBER see who that is make an avatar in your mind because you're talking to one person, you're not speaking to 1000 people. It's no longer we it's you, it's me and you talking to each other. But that you that the audience, they also want to be a member of something because we're all feeling so isolated right now. So one thing that works for weeks, or you do Facebook Live is is chatting is letting them be a part of the experience. I don't let the whole chat run on screen because it would just become too chaotic. But I select which comments will go up but as soon as I put a comment up, the volume of comments increases, people become engaged because maybe my comment will show up on the screen. And now I'm the focus right, my name will show up on so I try to engage the audience by letting them be a part of the experience.

JB

34:57

Great. Yeah, that's certainly stuff I find worse in a lot of the online stuff that I do, and that you need to keep the engagement strong and include some personal elements in there. I think when people have a realisation that they might be the person who’s comment gets read out as only though it does turn up that engagement factor a bit more for sure. So these are already cool tips for the online presenting transition. And who knows about people should definitely be thinking about what comes after all this as well, which is all great things to be thinking about. Let's say I've got my stuff together. I know who my Nisha is, I know what my expertise area is. How do I go about on the journey of getting bookings and getting paid to speak? Do I need an agent or can I do this by myself? Watch what should I be doing?

LH

35:51

So, that depends. There are pluses and minuses to having an agent and I'll talk for a second about being A lot of people want to get into bureaus I've had speaker say leak and I get into a bureau because then my business will take off. If you're working with a bureau, a bureau is a company that has thousands of speakers right? It's these big names. You've heard of that. If you try to look on anything on Google for speaker, you get advertisements for five or six bureaus that pop up first. The thing about working with a bureau is you are one of 1000 or 10,000. And their concern is a commission. So what matters is your fee, they're not going to try to sell your books, they're not going to try to get you video they're not going to try to get you a cruise because they don't get paid on that fee is the only worry so if you have a big fee and all you want is free and that's your concern. A bureau might be a good thing because they're going to work for the highest fee. There are exclusive and non-exclusive agreements with bureaus. If you are exclusive with the bureau everything you do has to Go through them. If a lead comes to you, that has nothing to do with them, you still have to give it to them because you've made that contract. If they find you something that obviously though they're going to work out for you, everything goes to that one, that one Bureau, from what I understand the fees for that commission can be 30 to 40%. That can be very high, but they're pushing you because they make the most money on you. So if come somebody comes in and says, Hey, I'm looking for a speaker who's going to talk about you know, whatever, whatever topic. The first speakers they're going to recommend are their retained their exclusive speakers, that's where they make the most money. So in that regard, it can be good. You can have an agency that's pushing you all the time. If you're exclusive if you make good money. That's what it's all about. If you're not exclusive, just a fair warning to everyone because I've had this happen. The story I love to tell is one of my clients wanted sugar. Leonard to be a speaker. He is a boxer, right if people who are not boxer people, Sugar Ray Leonard famous boxer, he's now a speaker. I contacted Sugar Ray Leonard office, I got in touch with his office and his assistant. And she said, Oh, he is exclusively represented or not even exclusively, I don't know that for sure he is represented by such and such an agency. You have to go through them. Okay. So I reached out to the agency and I said, I would like Sugar Ray Leonard, can you please send me information? They sent me an email with six different athletes, all in the price range. And Sugar Ray, I think was the last or second to last one they even mentioned. And I went Wow,

LH

38:41

wow. Like I specifically I told them that his office told me to contact them and I need information on him. And they sent me a selection because that's what they do. They want to land the client. They're not so worried about landing the speaker. So is a speech so as an agency or a bureau right for you, it depends how big you are. It depends on how flexible you are. It depends on how much money can you make for them. But a bureau will not launch your career won't happen

JB

39:07

with me to be someone who people would be actively seeking out you say otherwise right? Name amongst many others.

LH

39:14

You're one of thousands. We look up any bureau there are just thousands of speakers and many speakers, they don't even have their bait and switch speakers. Try to book Richard Branson. All right, every Bureau in the world lists and most of them have no way to reach him because I had somebody want me to book him. They're like, yeah, we can't You can't get him. very narrow how you get to him, but everyone shows his face because he's a draw. He's a magnet. What I recommend for speakers who are emerging is that you need to invest in yourself. There is no because I get that too, right that that speakers will come to me and say, Hey, I'm looking for an agent would you represent me? And because I my structure is a commission structure. I'm like, I'd love to help you, but the amount of time amount of hours I have to put in to try to get you your first gig, I'm going to be broke, I'm going to starve to death. What you need if you're an emerging speaker is you need a speaker agent who charges a retainer. And for that retainer, they're constantly pitching you for no other. Like, you got to be pitched many times before you land that first one. So you're paying them to do that. Or you need a good PR person. And again, find somebody who's PR in your niche. But you want to create, you want to create some buzz you want to create, right? You want to be the expert, you want people to know you're the expert. So I recommend that emerging speakers get a good PR person who gets them on TV, who gets them articles, who gets them, you know, a blog in the Wall Street Journal, whatever it might be, to make them an authority to get draw, I find pushing speakers to client potential clients to try to get gigs is not nearly as effective as possible. them in by making yourself interesting.

JB

41:05

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And if a new speaker, Microsoft decides that, well, maybe I can maybe I don't need an agent right now maybe I just want to get myself seen and get on some stages and get paid for that. You said earlier about going through the list of people you already know. But what other avenues may be open to actually getting some space? Some paid speaking gigs? And just to add to that, how many keynotes would you does somebody really need to have to be able to get started? Like, do you need to just have one good keynote? Is that enough? or?

LH

41:43

Yeah, you only need one good keynote to get started and then just tell because what you tell the client is, this is my topic, however, I can customise it for you. And when I say customise, I don't mean rewrite the keynote for every customer because then you're never going to be good, right? Every time you get out there you have new material. And most experienced speakers who are really, really good have the same keynote every time. Because they know where the laugh is. They know where the sobbing is right? They know exactly how the audience is going to react, but you customise it, you tell me how to customise it. And the only thing you need to do is use the language of the audience. Like if say, I'm going to do a workshop for Disney, well, you make sure that you're talking about cast members and not employees. You make sure you're talking, you know, you, you interview the event, the event planner, and find out what is their language, what is their thing? Because every industry thinks that they're like nobody else. I found that one thing talking to clients, every client says, well, like, your speaker might not be right, because they don't understand our client. They don't understand our customers different than anybody else's customer and I'm going really are they really? I remember I had a limousine company that told me that late you don't understand people. People who go in limousines or they're different than anybody else. I said, Well, I'm willing to bet they buy food like everybody else, I'm willing to bet they have rent like everybody else. And 97% of what they do is like everybody else. But the client is worried about the 3% because that's what makes them unique. So the speaker has to say, I have this great keynote, but I understand that your industry is like none other and I will customise for you. And then you talk to them, you find out what those few words are that 3% that makes the whole keynote seem fresh and just for them, so have one keynote, but customise it 3% to make it fit them. But the other thing is, emerging speakers don't look for the keynote. You don't. You're not a keynote, you know, new people, they're not a keynote, a keynote has to own the room. And if you're an emerging speaker, chances are you don't own the room. Start by doing breakouts, start by doing, you know if your quote-unquote key Noting but it's for the Chamber of Commerce. It's really not a keynote presentation. Don't try to be the best before you're good. Do the workshops, do the small presentations and you can still get paid for those. But it doesn't have to be the keynote because you're not a keynote. you're a beginner.

JB

44:19

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think, you know, I don't know. I don't even think I've got time right now to put all the energy into creating my keynote. I've got plenty of things I've talked about and have talked about and teach about train about get up on stage and talk about in Toastmasters and wherever else, but a keynote speaker that takes a bit of work in crafting so it's, it's a relief, actually, to hear you say, That's not the thing to work on. When you're getting started out. From from your perspective, who other than people who are on your list, who are your favourite kinds of speakers from people you've seen, who would you rank is obviously the people who you work with. Outside of that, who would you rank has been great speakers who you would love to have maybe love to have any books?

LH

45:06

Yeah, well, you know, it's interesting. Great is the enemy of good. I like people who are really good because you know what, when I see a what I can what I consider a great speaker is a speaker who's really good on stage. Maybe they're not the best presenter ever. They don't have the fireworks and the lights and all these things. But they're really good. Like when they leave the audience, the audience goes, wow, that I really got something out of that they were really good. Solid, you know, somebody who really knows their craft. Someone who's easy to work with the moment a person is a diva, they're gone. I don't want to work with divas. I recommend my clients don't work with divas. And some speakers think that being a diva is a plus that it makes them look more important. You know, well, when I go there, they need to have fresh-cut flowers in my green room and I need. It's like that doesn't make you look more impressive. It doesn't make you appear to be a better speaker. It just makes you a pain in the back end. So I like people who are, they have a great worth work ethic they put their client First they want to do the best job they can for that client. They want that audience to walk away, thrilled with what they do. They want to deliver great things. So those the speakers I look for that impressed me are the ones when I listened to them and I go wow, that I just feel like that speaker worked so hard for me, the audience member I got to take a lot away from it. I was entertained. I loved it. But I didn't get that feeling of Wow, they were impressed with themselves, you know it. So that's what I look for in a speaker I look for a speaker who speaks to me who takes me on a journey who realises that I'm at the centre of their business, they're not the centre of their business.

JB

47:08

Great. Are there any specific names other than your own clients who stand out for you then?

LH

47:15

Well, that nobody who would ever, you know, really at my docket, but people that I've loved, General Colin Powell, who was Secretary of State in the US years ago, I saw him speak. And he talked about himself, but he took the audience on his journey. And it was so exciting to go on Air Force One and to travel with him and, and that's what he really did was he took that the audience on that journey, and I found him a tremendously engaging speaker. At no point did I go, Oh, my God, he's got such an ego. I can't, you know, I just don't want to listen to this. He took us with him. Who are other people who are really just I mean, some athletes but again, To share their excitement with the audience, not people who go well I won the Heisman Trophy. And then I was number one, and then I did this. But people go, You know what? You can if you can learn how to throw that ball if you can learn people who engage you so, you know, Joe Montana football player loved him American football. I'm just gonna try to think of names of people who are really just it's hard to know until I've worked with them. You know, I've had people because clients will reach out to me and say, can you get such and such a celebrity or such and such a speaker? And what turns me off or turns me off is the experience with the speaker and not not not just necessarily what they're saying not just their stage performance, but the whole experience with them.

JB

48:51

So that would be from the people they work with as well as them themselves.

LH

48:54

Yeah, the people they work with, but the first thing is when I get on the phone, with Speaker and if they say what can I do to make this a great experience for the client? I go, Hmm, I might enjoy working with this person, regardless of what their skill set is, regardless of what they're talking about. So they don't have to be a great speaker. They have to be really good but they have to put the audience first and they just tickled me those people I love

JB

49:19

when we were planning the episode, you said something to me that really resonated about your perspective on business being primarily about relationships and that's something I really like and relate to. Is that something you can expand a bit on for the audience listening in?

LH

49:38

Absolutely, I think and that's a little bit of what I just said that you want to client is great to work with. And the reason you need to be a speaker who's great to work with is because, if your client loves you, not only what you did on stage but working with you, they are more inclined to recommend you they are more inclined to give you a testimonial If you are a diva, they're going to go wow, I had this person, but I'm not recommending them to anybody, because they're a nightmare. So I get 90% of my business through referrals, recommendations repeats, you know, there's very little that I get by cold calling. And anybody who says, you know, an open call for speakers on the internet, don't bother. Unless you're only looking for an experience somewhere. Yeah, because a call for speakers means that, you know, maybe we'll accept you like you're working so hard to get accepted just to do some crummy little job. I think that's a nightmare. But try to build relationships with people who run events. And again, if you're just starting out, don't try to be the keynote, but say, Hey, I have this great topic. I'm willing to do the little back room. I'm willing to do the breakout But be helpful, be supportive, have great ideas, build relationships. And a big thing about building relationships is often speakers will be lowered to do something for low or no fee, because the event planner will say, oh, they're going to be so many people in that room. I know these people, they will want to hire you. What I recommend, I think my might one of my best recommendations is really, please introduce me to those people before the event. Because that way, when I get there, I can spend some quality time with them. I will know who they are, I can do this. Because that's always a promise, right? Oh, there'll be these people there.

JB

51:39

You're gonna get so much exposure, you're gonna get

LH

51:42

Yes, so much exposure. Great. Who are those people? Name three of those people and introduce me to them. And if they can't, then you know what, you're not getting any exposure.

JB

51:52

Yeah, that's really important. And I've had those kinds of approaches and it's never appealed to me because I really can't see what I'm getting out of it at all. And why I don't is empty promises,

LH

52:08

right. Don't work for empty promises.

JB

52:12

Unless I know what's going to come out of it is just recently hearing that somebody who booked an event for a well-known speaker, not anyone who I'm connected with and probably not you either but he ended up not paying her for the work after some stuff because it was all done on promises and safe and I get that there's an authority with some people. Okay, well, you know, you have some standing or I have heard of you before, but even then you have to think about the business side of thing, get your contract, get things written down. And I've done that before in business of being offered a verbal contract on a job and then and then having it taken away before anything happened. It's

LH

52:56

It's awful and that's one big thing I talked about, you know, in speaker one, No one is you need a contract every time even if you're not getting paid. Because a contract is a great way to communicate, it makes things very clear. Yeah, what I'm promising what you're promising is very clear. And you're right. There are some big groups. I know, one of my speakers was approached by a group and they said, you know, won't speak for free because we're amazing. And he said, they start name dropping, all these people are going to be there. I'm going, but what's he going to get out of it? He's, other than getting to hobnob with these exciting, you know, TV personalities? How does that help him? He's not getting any value at all. But they're able to draw people in with their own celebrity. Like, of course, you'd want to speak for us because we're amazing, but there's no balance of value there at all. Unless you really want to get their autograph or picture other than that.

JB

53:48

Well, if you get the stars in your eyes, you might want to do it, I suppose. But yeah, so I think it's better to approach it from the business perspective or where is the real value there and investors are the real value of association or some work likely to come from it. And it may not actually be worth spending some time on. And I know as a business owner whose time is always full of something to do that, you know, I've done about you, but I always wish there were a few more hours in the day. So you could get a few more things done from time to time with taking on stuff that just isn't actually giving you value or progressing your businesses doesn't make sense.

LH

54:26

You know, you shouldn't waste time. However, I don't like to always be focused on me. I think a lot of the business that has come is because I play the long game. And I'm not always looking for the immediate return. I really try. I mean, my best clients are people who have the potential to be clients or relationships. I frequently reach out and say, hey, what can I do for you today? without expecting any return? Because I know that one day, they're going to say, you know what, let me do something for you. Yeah. So I'm not always looking for you. No, give, give, give, or if, you know, I'm not gonna deal with this person cuz they're not worth anything to me right now. I actually had an he's an expert in networking. His thing is teaching networking. And what he said to me once was if you don't see the value that you're going to get out of a relationship and the first 60 seconds walk away. And I went, Oh, no. When I'd rather say what value can I give to you? And can we form a relationship? And if so great. Let's, you know, because the next person they introduced me to might be the one who brings me value.

JB

55:33

Well, they might know the person who does and might be in their network. And that's pretty much how the business network I'm in works. You know, it's like, even if you even if the purse people you're having lunch or dinner with are not your client, it's not your customer base. And more often than not, for me, they're not. And it's the conversations you have is the people that they introduce you to sometimes it's the connections and realisations. There's so much more in terms of value. Certainly doing something like this podcast, it doesn't take anything. You know, I get, I get no money from this. But I do get to speak with amazing people it is given me a great opportunity to have lots of good conversations, interesting conversations that are helpful to me and interesting to me, but also wildly helpful. And that is a service thing. But it's also for me, it's part of my positioning for what matters to me is being in being someone who gives good information and has great conversations with people and is sharing value. And that's the service side of it. I think, if you're not actually being of service then and that's a high value for me that I want to always be providing service and giving that kind of value for people and if, if that's not happening, there would be something wrong. Is it always solving a problem or you're always giving good knowledge and educating people? That for me is what this podcast is about,

LH

57:01

right. And this podcast is your long game, right? Because it's not just, you know, you get something out of each guest but your listeners you build this community of people and you pick you to become their expert, right. So you become the expert at your podcast. And hopefully, you're gonna have listeners now where who say that guy? He's, he's a great speaker. In fact, I know I have two speakers in mind specifically who get a lot of business from podcasting. Okay, because that's, you know, that's where people you know, one because he leads a large podcast he's known as the guy that gives up that information. And the other one cuz he's on a lot of podcasts and people find him interesting. And hire him from there. So I think podcasting is a great thing. It's great, but it's a long game. One podcast won't do it for you. You have to commit and make it a part of your business plan.

JB

57:53

I just today published my 20th episode yesterday, I recorded another episode with a really interesting guy. He was saying to me I probably need about 200 episodes really for it to properly be flying and taken off. So only another 180 to go that's good to know well I'm in it for the long haul I love doing this and I love having conversations with people that you just got to learn so much. One thing I do like to ask is there a book that you would particularly recommend maybe your clients to read or that you just think is a good book to have in on your shelf? And to know I’m probably going with nonfiction, but it doesn't have to be.

LH

58:38

Well, I mean, because I live in the business world, right? I live in small business, that's my world, my clients, my speakers, they're all small business, and the number one book and of course, they're going to go I know this book, Li, the number one book that I have seen people walk up to the speaker and hug him and say thank you for saving their business. The number one book that I've heard People just talk about, like friends of mine, will say oh, I've read that and it moved me ahead in business, it changed my business and the book that kept me on track from day one because I had access immediately and they set my business up that way is Profit First.

LH

59:17

Right, Profit First, it's as amusing as a business book can be. But that's the one book and again, like I said, I speaker one on one, I believe in the business of whatever you're doing. Business means that at some point, you are financially sustainable. And that is the number one book to make any small business financially sustainable for morons. me like I'm a non-finance person. I hate dealing with money. I understand profit first.

JB

59:48

Yes, I love it. And it's a book that I remember my business marketing coach recommending it to me. And ever since I read it, I've been recommending it to all my business owner clients. as well and they love it as well I'm sure that they're recommending it. To me, it’s one of those books that I'm sure is growing just as much by personal recommendation as by any online promotions or Amazon promotions or anything like that because it's a very easily recommendable book and I'm very much looking forward to speaking with Mike Michalowicz. And it might well come up in the conversation,

LH

1:00:24

it may come up, but you know, it's but it's exactly what we were talking about before, which is I've had people read the book and go, Oh, yeah, I thought of that. Like I, I thought of how to do that, or that's something my mom taught me. But he's the only one who put it on paper.

JB

1:00:39

Yeah. I teach a programme through T.Harv Eker, who I've been working with for years, and it's a money management programme that they run. And so helping people get the foundations for financial freedom. It's a really cool programme and we've been running it successfully for years and have created this money jars system, which is for a system for managing your personal finances. But what always gets asked in those programmes is about how you do that with your business. And that's where Profit First is really helpful. Well, the jars system is great for your personal finances, for your business, read Profit First and implement that.

LH

1:01:26

Mm-hmm. Exactly. So...

JB

1:01:29

Very sound advice. Are there other any other key elements around speaking or the speaker business or just any final thoughts that you wanted to impart to emerging speakers, existing speakers that you think might be useful?

LH

1:01:47

Well, again, I believe that speaking is a business. Just like any other craft, any other art, and anything you do, and the reason 80% businesses fail small businesses is because people just want to go, I'm not interested in the business part, I just want to do the exciting part, and focus on the business. If you focus on holistically what you're doing, why you're doing it, how to be successful at it, you will be successful at it.

JB

1:02:23

Yeah. So a good sign that I've kept you talking too long is that your throat’s getting a bit dry. So I’ll let you go and get a drink Li. But you've given us so much great information. It's been a fascinating conversation. I'm really happy that you've come on the show and shared so much with me and with the audience here. So thank you from the bottom, my heart, really appreciate it. And thank you for some of the connections you've given me as well as through connecting on this podcast that I got introduced to you. So I'm very happy to the people who led me to connect with you and that's all been about building relationships along the way, which is exactly what I talked about. So thank you so much and hope to speak to you again very soon.

LH

Li Hayes

1:03:07

Oh, thank you, John. It was a great experience. Have a great day.



Welcome Li
How did you get into speaker management?
Some great speaker names in your clientele
The unsexy part
But I'm a star
Exchange of value
Selling the boutique
What kind of speakers are getting booked right now?
Getting clever
Will there be a return to normality in speaking?
Narrow your focus
What's a 'thing'?
Figure out YOUR thing
Transitioning to digital
Numbers work well
Let 'em in
Do I need an agent?
What about a speaker bureau?
What should emerging speakers do?
Other avenues to paid speaking
Maybe you're not a keynote yet?
Good or great?
Speakers you have loved listening to?
Business is about relationships, so don't be a diva
If you're not getting paid, get value
Play the long game
One podcast is never enough
What should we read?