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How to Be a Coveted Guest with Jess and Ciara Stockeland

Jess is the President and Founder of Interview Connections, the first and leading podcast booking agency. Every Thursday, Jess hosts Ask Jess! where our clients can pick Jess’s brain about all things business and podcasting. Last week’s Ask Jess featured IC Client Ciara Stockeland!


Ciara Stockeland has owned and operated businesses since her early teens. As a serial entrepreneur, her business mindset and tenacity led her to open her first store, Mama Mia, a high-end maternity store located in Fargo, ND in 2006. Most recently Ciara has launched the Boutique Workshop, a coaching program for retailers.

Ciara has been recognized as a Small Business Champion through SCORE and most recently was awarded the Outstanding Franchise Small Business Award. Through her coaching program, the Boutique Workshop, Ciara strives to motivate boutique owners to dream big and build simply. She was recognized by Prairie Business Magazine in 2015 as a recipient of the 40 under 40 for her leadership in business and its 2016 40 Under 40 Women in Business. 

Ciara asks, “When you’re on a podcast with a host that doesn’t have a lot of enthusiasm, how do you jazz the conversation up a little so that when the listeners listen they enjoy listening to you?”

Jess explains that the bottom line of podcast interviewing is that two different humans are coming together. Everyone has different energy levels and different personality types. It’s important to try to match energies! Every interview will have a different vibe. If one feels like it might not be super high-energy, don’t get discouraged!

Even if the host isn’t high-energy, the target audience is still listening. It’s important to make sure your personality shines through. The audience already trusts the host, so if you show up and let your personality shine through, the right people will connect with you. In many instances, a great guest can carry an interview.

Ciara then asks, “How do you become a coveted guest?”

One of Jess’s biggest tips is to embrace the golden silence after you say something really powerful. That silence allows the speaker to own their work. It shows that they know how to speak in an engaging and entertaining way. She recommends dropping a really great quote and leaving a moment of silence for the listeners to really take in what you said.

Some people say something powerful and just keep talking. That can show a lack of confidence. It takes confidence to be in silence! 

The people that hosts want on their shows are guests that are easy to work with! Guests who are positive, friendly, have great energy and give great interviews. A great guest will promote their episodes and be friendly to the host! An important thing to keep in mind is that you want to serve the host. Ask, “What can I do to make you look good? How can I be a great guest for your audience?”

Jess is reminded of Interview Connections client and friend Oscar Trimboli. Listening to any of his interviews will give you a sense of what it means to be a great guest. Hosts would recommend Oscar to other podcasts because he was such a fantastic guest on their show.

Some other tips about being a great guest include giving great stories and painting the picture for the listeners. Jess recommends speaking in slow cadence so people can really take in what you’re saying. Most importantly, always ask the host for feedback. “How was that? Do you have any feedback on what I can do to improve?” Embrace humility. You’re here to serve, and you’re here to learn.