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Don't Tell my Grandma
Finding Your Voice: The Art of Podcast Storytelling w/ Christin Marvin

Join Juan, Wendy, and their guest Christin Marvin as they dive into the world of podcasting on The Don’t Tell My Grandma Podcast. Discover how they navigate cultural differences, engage with their audience, and maintain authenticity throughout their journey. Get a glimpse of the challenges, successes, and invaluable advice for aspiring podcasters on the art of podcast storytelling. Tune in to this fun, insightful, and empowering conversation that’ll leave you inspired to create your own unique podcast experience.

As a trusted strategic partner of hospitality leaders, Christin can help you enhance your leadership skills and elevate your team’s performance. With over two decades of experience in the industry, she knows what it takes to succeed and is passionate about guiding her clients towards transformative growth. Expect to be challenged and pushed beyond your comfort zone as Christin works with you to unlock your full potential. Let her help you become the best leader you can be.

If you want to learn more about Christin and what she’s up to, go to her website

Alright welcome back to the Don’t Tell My Grandma podcast!
The best podcast to learn about science, culture, and media fact-checked by a dog.
I’m your host Juan and I’m joined as always by the biggest dog lover in the world.
And also the best planner, Wendy!
Oh I don’t know about that second one but thank you for that. Thank you for crediting me.
I’m not sure if I deserve that one but thank you.
You’re half of the team. Without you this boat would sink.
Yes I would say that you are definitely more of the planner in the relationship but I appreciate that.
You’re encouraging me.
Yes striving to do more of that in the future. I’m more spontaneous but you know it’s a good balance in a relationship.
Yeah speaking of which we have a friend joining us today. A very special guest.
Her name is Kristen and we met not too long ago through Juan. Would you like to share a little bit of background on that?
Basically one of the things that I enjoy doing is just going to events where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to just share their experiences.
And people who have experience in the business world and have had the chance of starting their own companies.
There was an event in Tucson in the city and I got the opportunity to meet a lot of very interesting people, very accomplished people.
That are trying to help other people that are trying to create their own business or just get something going.
And I met Kristen there. We had a great conversation. I think that usually when you have this kind of drive to make something it’s easy to connect with other people that think the same way.
And it was just really fun to talk about not just the things that we’ve done and you’ve done a lot and of course you could have the opportunity to share that with us.
But just the idea of like what we want to make in the future too.
And I think that making friends like that is really fun is one of my favorite things to do.
So Kristen I’m going to give you the mic and please share with our lovely listeners.
What are you all about? What have you done?
What brings you to this lovely podcast?
Thank you so much. Well first and foremost thank you for welcoming me into your home.
And I’m a fellow dog lover. I’m a huge planner. Love that aspect. Love also mentoring in the startup space.
I’m a new entrepreneur myself and so I get a lot out of that mentoring for myself and really enjoy giving others.
I think it was such a memorable time you and I meeting each other and I think we had that instant connection of like hey we’ve got some big picture thinking going on here.
We’re engaging in great conversation. I think we were both really invested in really helping those entrepreneurs in that space for eight hours.
I think we had about 20 people and 20 amazing crazy fun different concepts that we were able to kind of put our touches on that day.
So that was great. So I’m a new brand new to the podcast world. I’m super excited to be here and just understand every little detail that it makes you know that it takes to make a podcast be successful.
I love listening to your guys’s podcast. I love your energy and your synergy.
So you know this is the next step for me trying to grow my business and put myself out there which feels really uncomfortable.
But I know that when I’m uncomfortable that growth happens. So I appreciate you giving me this space today.
We appreciate you coming on and let me just say that that was the best intro.
You sound like you’ve been doing this for a while. Like you are definitely a vet.
In some capacity. I don’t care if it’s podcasting, public speaking. You already got it down girl. Thank you for coming.
I would drop this mic if it belonged to me then. I’m sure so I won’t.
Yeah. So that’s what we’re excited to present to you today.
I guess just talk about the whole podcasting realm and how we got started and hopefully share some tips for you newbies out there wanting to start your own because I think it’s a really wonderful medium where a lot of people can just get started at home with minimal equipment.
And a lot of people even record from their phone. Yes. So it’s all about you know sparking that idea and taking action getting started with what you have and learning to find your voice.
And I love it. You know being an entrepreneur I’m thinking about how I can provide more value and content to my clients and to people that aren’t clients right that are just in you know my target audiences in the hospitality space.
I’m just I’m learning kind of step by step on what I want to do where I want to spend my time what kind of exercises I want to create but also really trying to understand how people in hospitality learn and they’re busy all the time.
Right. And so a podcast.
I’ve fallen in love with podcasts over the last six to eight months they’ve taught me a lot about how to run my business and trying things to see what I like and what I don’t. I’m not necessarily in the position where I feel comfortable doing video content though so this seems like a really great place for me to be behind the scenes like I’ve always liked being behind the scenes in you know running a restaurant from from behind and letting the team and the guests kind of shine so it feels like a very natural progression for me.
I like that connection there. And that’s a great point to start our conversation about the process of creating a podcast. So you already shared that you’re a very seasoned entrepreneur in the hospitality industry.
And I think we talked about the fact that you kind of wanted to leverage that experience and also leverage the connections that you’ve created to bring people talk about those topics and see how you can help them how you can mentor them to to succeed in any way of fashion.
Do you have any any kind of idea have you conceptualize anything about how would that look like in a podcast format.
Yeah I think one of the things about the hospitality industry and leaders within it is they’re really great about giving and we suck at receiving.
We don’t pay us a compliment. We don’t take time for ourselves. We don’t slow down to think about the things that we’ve accomplished or celebrate.
You know when I do something big I spend about five seconds going OK if even that and then I’m on to the next big thing on my list. And so being able to just slow down with people in this industry and say talk about what you’ve done and share your ideas and share your challenges.
Would give I think would be mutually beneficial for an audience and for them to just walk away and say OK yeah I did something great.
That’s wonderful. Yeah I think that just like you know creating that space where you can bring people and have a conversation just an honest conversation about the experiences and the challenges that they’ve had.
And of course as you learn through the process of becoming a better host becoming a better creator understanding what people are like what value they’re trying to get from the listening format.
There’s definitely a lot that a lot of space there for you to create your own identity. And personally like I love searching for new podcasts. I don’t think I’ve found a lot on that specific industry.
And that’s always a good sign because then you can have a space where you can build an audience. I was going to ask have you Kristin found any podcasters who have been doing that.
There’s not a lot that are out there. David Chang has one that I love. He’s just funny you know and just right. There’s a couple other chef driven ones that are out there. I’m constantly still exploring too. But I think the fun thing about the industry that I’ve chosen to spend my career in is talking about food and beverage is so much fun.
It’s so much fun. People everybody can relate to it. Everybody goes out to eat. Everybody cooks. And so many people in the hospitality industry. I mean success is success right. And leadership is leadership.
And so whether you’re talking about food and beverage and you know some sexy appetizers or whatever and running a restaurant you can take so many of those skills and apply them to so many different industries.
A lot of people that I work with have been in the hospitality industry but now they’re in tech. Now they’re in real estate. Now they’re in construction. And so those common themes are always there. You just kind of dress it in different clothing.
Exactly. And there’s always that cross pollination that allows you to create new things and how the benefit of like leveraging the experiences from different industries. I think that’s fascinating. And the fact that you understand the value that you have is a really great start.
And so we want to give you the space to ask away as many questions as you want about the process. Of course we want to make sure that you leave this podcast with a good idea of how you can start your own journey or if you want to explore working with someone else.
I think it’s really fun to always have you know the dynamic of having two people working like it’s really challenging to have engaging conversation when you’re by yourself like just regurgitating or vomiting information like sometimes it can be you can get a little bit stale.
So yeah just like any format that you feel like it will work for you. So yeah if you have any questions please ask away. Yeah I think I would ask you you know have you two always just work together or have you worked with other partners and what do you see with the benefit the benefits are of working with someone that you have a really strong relationship with versus bringing people on that maybe you don’t have that connection with.
Right. Well we’ve always we’ve started as a couples podcast as co-host from the beginning. And that was definitely not easy but had a lot of benefits because we work together in learning the process of having a good conversation and setting aside time for us to bond.
Learning something new together I think that foundation provided us with a very good start. So with that I think we were able to bounce ideas off of each other help each other feel more confident in our roles.
From there we did invite people on as guests. We haven’t collaborated in a way where it was just I think we did one episode where I think you interviewed a friend of ours and I wasn’t in the podcast at all.
And I think that’s something you can speak about that. But other than that we’ve always been on the podcast together and we’ve had we’ve had maybe 11 or 12 different guests on in our previous season which is a lot of fun people we didn’t know that we connected with on an online it’s like a the Tinder for podcast.
And it’s really cool you get to meet all these speakers from across the world. And with that dynamic it took a lot more planning and figuring out how to how to bring out the best in the speaker the other speaker, and also not.
I guess, take over the conversation too much. So we really tried to put the spotlight on them. Yeah. So it takes a lot of balancing and just figuring out what we’re about before we even bring another speaker on.
We needed to nail down first the dynamic of just like this duo. I would always say that if you don’t have a good energy when you’re talking like if you’re not excited about what you’re going to talk that is not worth recording is not worth pressing the record button.
It’s important that you are familiar and comfortable with the person that you’re recording with the co-host not necessarily the guest but eventually you’re going to develop the skills to feel the energy of the conversation and steer it away wherever you want it to go so thatt can be, it can stay engaging the energy stays up, depending on of course what you want to do, but it’s something that just takes work. And I think that season three I think I think it was where we started really interviewing a lot of different people and we wereeally surprised with how everybody just wanted to just be in the podcast, it doesn’t matter your size, like they just, they were just excited to share either their story or their book or whatever they wanted to share and you make connections so quickly.
We developed the skills to to feel the energy of the conversation and know what to ask and feel like okay, we’re going too far into this let’s let’s cut it up here let’s ask this question let’s shift this here and there.
So, for anybody who’s thinking about like oh I’m not really good at interviewing, I’m not really good at like having my presence. We weren’t either like you can listen to the first few episodes.
Maybe don’t.
It was, it was a bit, you know, it was, it was tough, but we were just excited about the possibilities. And I think that’s why we we lasted for so long because we just love having conversations with each other, we just put a mic on, on, on the, on the place on the area.
And that helped us. Do you think we would have been able to do this if it was just one of us like could you post your own podcast because a lot of people do, and it would be entirely different so maybe we wouldn’t be the best people to ask about that, because that’s just another story although there’s, I’m sure there’s a lot of perks to doing it yourself as well.
Is that what you intend on doing?
I mean, ideally, I’d love to have a partner. I’d love to have someone to just have similar, you know, similar perspectives, completely different perspectives. I think I can sit here, you know, and say something and it will spark something completely different for you guys.
And so I think that those, those differing perspectives help everybody else in the audience either connect with that or say well maybe I look at it through this lens.
Right, right. Yeah, I do enjoy a lot of podcasts like myself, listening to the different perspectives that they bring and we have a friend who we just visited in Vegas and she has two other co hosts and they just, you know, they banter and they have a lot of fun, bringing different things to the table so I think that’s a huge benefit whenever you’re considering posting a podcast for sure.
Yeah, hope that answers your question.
At least from our perspective, I’m, you know, I’m thinking about just the content, you know, and with me being a planner. How do you balance, you know, planning your sessions and your topics so far in advance but also staying relevant in the moment to maybe what the needs of your audience are?
That’s an interesting question. I would say that we, we try not to worry so much about that. We try to worry more about. We did. We used to. We were so concerned, especially in season three when we were starting to have more guests on having a mission we had this mission of like we want to bring value to our listeners our listeners are, we kind of planned everything like we identified our target audience we identified kind of like what their needs were and we were trying to meet those needs with the content that we were trying to bring to our listeners.
With the content that we were creating.
Which isn’t a bad thing by the way.
It’s not a bad thing at all. If that’s what works for you, that’s perfectly fine. We realized that what we, what we have to offer them like we have a lot to offer in terms of like experience and expertise and and maybe even like technical knowledge.
But what people loved about our conversations was just our energy, our chemistry, and I think that in the end we realized that it was not sustainable to just continue to look for like, okay, what is the extra amount of value that we can provide here and there?
And depending on what the target of your podcast is that could be something that you want to do that like there’s a lot of great podcasters like the School of Greatness Impact Theory all those podcasts that are trying to focus on like let’s try to find the highest value guest and then just get as much value as we can from them.
But to be honest, most of the podcasts that I enjoy the most are just people just having a normal conversation like there is value in you know you’re having a conversation about like why it sucks.
Why Fridays, why Fridays are great and Mondays suck or something like that.
That sounds like a really Monday conversation, but there’s a lot of value that you can get out of that because it’s inevitable that you’re going to share about your personal experiences, challenges, there are things that people are going to relate to that they’re going to appreciate even just like saying something funny that can like you know lighten up their day because what we want really is for our listeners to feel like they’re right there in the couch with us.
Like when they’re having a conversation with a friend, they just love being there and company.
Yes, the company, you know, feeling like you’re not, you know, like you have a good company and and I think that’s why we just answer your question.
We try not to plan it too much or too far ahead.
What we do is we have an idea of what our listeners want, like what as we said, like we want our listeners to feel like they’re part of our circle and we try to orchestrate conversations that our listeners would like to be part of.
So if we want to talk about, let’s say, for example, we want to talk about a show that we liked, we have a conversation about that we try to we’ve learned with experience and time to to keep it, you know, lighthearted and fun and know what to talk about.
How how much we can talk about that.
Like introduce some twists and turns to make it so that it’s fun listening.
And we also have opportunities to bring hard conversations, bring topics about, like, say, for example, we were talking about buying real estate in the U.S., how difficult it is.
We talk about cultural differences. We talk about discrimination. We talk about real stuff.
But we try to make it so that, again, it feels like you just went to visit a friend and you talk about everything and you had a good time.
So I guess it just comes down to what to feeling out your audience and that, like you said, that takes time and experience to actually figure out what that is.
But catering to your audience and not really falling into the trap of like every single thing you talk about needs to be for your audience because you can get caught up in that as well.
But you kind of learn to gauge what people are looking for, what they’re searching for.
And then it depends, like a lot of podcasts do a lot of research because you don’t want to just be spewing out opinions whenever people really want to learn and want good, sound information.
So it does depend. Like a lot of our episodes don’t rely on us.
I’m not going to say they don’t rely on the truth, but they don’t want like we’re not going to be out.
Yeah, we’re not spewing out facts and stats and stuff.
But if your podcast does cater to that, then of course you’ll want to spend some time on research for sure.
It just it really depends on where you’re trying to go.
And maybe some episodes will be more based on facts and others might be more anecdotal.
Yeah, I love that. It’s very empowering to say, you know, here’s your topic, but just let it let it kind of go where it wants to go.
I think your topic and the conversation, it may not, you know, every single point may not land with people, but maybe one little point lands with different people.
I’m curious how you’re getting feedback around your podcast.
Well, we do get feedback from, you know, close friends and family.
We do get feedback from the stats on different platforms that we see the downloads.
We see sometimes we see comments when we were posting on YouTube, we would see comments of people just like, hey, we love the love the energy or like that was really fun.
Yeah, we got a couple of recent comments we haven’t posted on YouTube because it just it was not sustainable.
I wasn’t ready to be on camera and to just go into that whole new realm of video.
I thought podcasting was a lot already.
So we kind of took a break from that and maybe we’ll revisit that in the future. But it is nice that it’s still you know, it’s still an avenue where we can connect with people.
And we did have a couple of recent comments where people reached out and they were wondering where we were.
Yeah, that was a really cool feeling.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s like, oh, people are actually finding our stuff and they actually care.
That’s a cool feeling.
Aside from that, we’ve we’ve shared our podcast with some friends and we’ve gotten we’ve received some comments through connections that we have.
We used to do social media and people would like our content, but not too into the social media thing these days.
And I know that you’re not too big on that either. But that is it is a way.
But I mean, I graduated college in 2004 with a marketing degree. We didn’t talk about social media.
So it’s definitely a learning curve. And you can spend a lot of time and energy.
And so I’m trying to figure out the thing with social media with me is I don’t I don’t want to feel like I’m forced to put out content.
I want to feel authentic.
And I when I thought about social media back in the day, I thought every time I put something out there, I felt like I was bragging.
And now I’m trying to think of it as the perspective of I’m just sharing a story.
Yes. Most people. So in a way, you have to keep it so that when you when you create a piece of content, our managers here, he’s supervising us.
He’s breathing. He’s breathing very heavily into the mic.
That’s usually telling us that, OK, guys, we need to we need to wrap it up.
We try to keep it so that every piece of content has some value and like eventually you realize, like, OK, this episode maybe wasn’t the right energy.
And we we are not we have no reservations to just like shove it like, OK, this episode wasn’t really good enough.
Or like even through made recording like, I don’t know, this energy is not it’s not there.
We stop because I think if you’re not if you’re not enjoying the process and the listeners are not going to enjoy listening to it, it can sometimes be, you know, a lot to ask, like, oh, it’s a 45 minute episode.
I don’t know. Yeah. You’re asking people for their time. That’s the most valuable thing any one of us have.
Yeah. What is that? Yeah. You can’t get it back. Right. What is that like sweet spot for the time, the length of a podcast episode?
For us, 25 minutes. Yeah. Yeah. Because we’ve gone way. It’s easy to have a conversation.
It’s like, oh, two hours of this. Wow. We could still keep going. But no, we don’t want to do that for us.
It’s been around 20, 30 minute mark. And then you always have the option of breaking your episodes into, you know, eventually you learn eventually you learn the like as you record.
So like, OK, we can keep it up. We could keep it here. Keep talking about this in a future episode.
And then you close it and you can continue recording. Right. OK, let’s record the next episode.
Start from the beginning again. Continue the conversation, especially if you have a guess. Right.
Because, again, it’s very easy at the beginning. Like, you don’t know if you’re always just looking at the clock.
You’re too distracted to be present in the conversation. And that’s a problem that sometimes I think a lot of creators do.
Including us. To feel like, OK, this is enough. We can continue the conversation, break it up and and make that value digestible for the listeners.
So, yeah. Do you find that you are recording multiple podcasts in one sitting or are you kind of breaking it up as the.
Ideally, you want to be doing that so that you can create a backlog. Right now, we have about three episodes.
We’re three episodes ahead. So there’s a lot of episodes already scheduled to be released.
But if that’s not sustainable for you, then you can just record once a week.
What I think is the most successful is to release twice a week. But that can be sometimes too much.
So if you can, for example, OK, let’s keep the episode like 20 minutes and make a one hour recording session.
You can record three episodes and get ahead more than a week in terms of content to be scheduled.
But whatever works for you, really, if if your content is really high value and you’re planning on just releasing once a week, that’s totally fine.
I asked Wendy this earlier, but what’s the biggest piece of advice that you would have for somebody just starting a podcast?
That’s great. I mean, you can answer for us if you like.
I would say don’t feel like you have to earn or learn or acquire certain skills,specially if you are a fan of other podcasters that already have honed their skills and are really good at interviewing and managing their time and keeping engaging, keeping the energy good.
Just start like with whatever you have.
The biggest podcasts started with literally with the microphone that comes in and the earbuds, the earbuds,
I think it was called on the iPhone and just like recording, like talking to it and then passing it to the other person with whatever you have.
Just start recording. Know that the skills that you need, that we have, that people are good at to to to handle a conversation.
They will come to you if you keep working on it.
And eventually you will be proud not only of like, oh, wow, I created this this content.
I brought so many people to the table to have interesting conversation.
I learned so much. But like you grew as a person and like having good communication skills.
So, so good. Especially if you want to branch out and do other things.
I would say that and just have fun with it.
Because there’s been so many times where we sit down and we’re like, oh, our podcast episode has to be this.
And we have to monetize by this month and we have to reach this amount of followers and thinking about the numbers and all that bullshit.
Now, we just totally lost the whole point.
And the point is to have fun, obviously, to help people if you can.
But that’s going to take some time to reach out to the right people.
Just bringing your authentic self. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s it’s so important because you can get really wrapped up in the idea of being someone else and trying to do what the next podcast is doing.
So trying not to lose sight of that, I think has really helped us find our voices.
And we’re still working on that, too. So that’s just a ongoing challenge that you have to face as a podcaster and just realizing the realistic challenges as well and finding a community.
I’m so glad that we know each other because we can share this experience.
Not everyone has that when they start. And that can be so powerful to know what someone else is going through.
I love that. Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. I think that’s all the questions I have.
Those are awesome questions. Awesome. Yeah.
I think that, of course, there’s a lot of other things that are that involve creating a podcast.
And we would love to bring those conversations with you next time.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us to Don’t Tell My Grandma podcast at
We would love to hear your your questions, your opinions.
If you think that we said something wrong, you want to angrily say something about about that.
We welcome that. We welcome that. You know what? I can be wrong. We can all be wrong.
That’s so horrifying. This is an honest conversation. And we are humans, right?
And I think our manager is very sternly telling us that we are going over time.
But we really love to have you over.
Kristen, thank you so much for for driving all the way here.
I know that you guys have a lovely place full of lovely dogs waiting for you.
And hopefully we can have you another time and let us know how how that journey goes.
And also how we can help to how we can help. Yes. Thank you for having me.
Yeah. Thank you. Any time we know your podcast is going to be awesome because you’re going to be the host or at least one of them.
Yeah. Thank you so much. We will see you or talk to you in the next episode. Bye.

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