How To Create A Safe Space For Vulnerable Podcast Interviews

How To Create A Safe Space For Vulnerable Podcast Interviews

“You allow yourself to share your story in order to help people, right, to share hope and to help them through their challenging times.”

~Ashley Scott, Mental Health Advocate & Peer Support Specialist

Welcome to a crossover episode of a different sort. But first: How are you doing? No, really? I ask because May is Mental Health Awareness Month. So many of us, myself included, struggle to articulate how “off” we feel right now, a cruel joke given that the good folks and orgs behind this month’s observance urge us to check in with our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. 

I’ll go first (yikes!): The only way I can describe my current state of mind is fragile. Can you relate? If you’re an entrepreneur, an educator, a corporate employee, a HUMAN, I bet you can.

You’re okay. I acknowledge and honor your struggle.

This episode isn’t about mental health per se. It’s about creating a secure and attentive environment for guests to feel supported, understood, and willing to engage in vulnerable conversations. The high schoolers behind Power Your Story, my student mentee podcast, beautifully illustrate my point. Their cohort-led interview with Peer Support Specialist and Mental Health Advocate Ashley Scott showcases subtle practices anyone can incorporate to become a better listener and, thus, better podcast host.

Continued below…

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How do you turn the casual listener into a follower into a raving fan?

You create this kind of safe, intimate container to talk about things that are really important. You make the space for your guests to feel seen and heard. You make the space to be present, and you make the space for your audience to feel seen and heard; you compel them to be present in this experience with you.

Andrea Klunder

Article Continued

Co-hosts Elvis, Emerie, Jules, and Alejandro facilitate a space where Ashley feels supported to speak more candidly about her mental health. That safety is mutual: Ashley’s comfort leads the students to go off-script, to ask more meaningful follow-up questions, and to add personal observations that make for a more engaging conversation.

You can talk about podcasting for marketing, sales, audience growth, or business all day, but this genuine exchange is why I love podcasting; this is where your audience will find value.

The last few episodes of Podcast Envy have focused on hosting and content strategies guaranteed to make your show a repeat listen. By creating a safe, intimate container where you and your guests can discuss important topics, you’re signaling to the audience that they, too, are seen and heard. I appreciate that not everyone’s format is conducive to exploring tough conversations. Still, anyone can follow the Power Your Story lead, regardless of your show’s POVs, by remaining present and reflecting back to each guest.

Recommended Listening

Power Your Story: Insomnia & Dreaming of a Better Night’s Sleep with Leonardo & Dewayne; coming soon

Power Your Story: The Journey to Self-Empowerment: Mindfulness,Law of Attraction with Hysan & May

Power Your Story: Heavy Metal & Mental Health with Justin Bowling by Leslie, Carlos, Essence & ChuYing and produced by Aldo; coming soon

Power Your Story: Advocating for Mental Health & Peer Support with Ashley Scott 

Podcast Envy 106: How To Be An Awesome Podcast Host with Karen Yates, Wild & Sublime

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