Meet our Host: Interview with Samantha Laurence, host of The Footprints of Leadership podcast
The Footprints of Leadership Podcast launched last week, with 3 interviews to excite and inspire leaders around the world. Podcast host Samantha Laurence is a Communications Advisor at Giraffe Consulting. She is an experienced marketing and communications professional with a passion for leadership. We sat down with Samantha to discuss leadership, the Footprints podcast, and her approach to interviews.
You’re obviously experienced in this - can you tell us a bit about your background in podcasting?
I first began podcasting in 2019 when I created a podcast called, 'Beyond The Curtain' to connect the performing arts through human stories. I love listening to podcasts and the power they have to reach a wide range of people at the same time and create a community. I also love talking to people and getting to know new people, so I love being an interviewer!
What kind of preparation do you do before an interview?
Before an interview, I will connect with my guest via a phone call or zoom meeting. This gives me the opportunity to speak to them and get to know them a little. It also helps make both parties feel more relaxed and natural when we meet again to record. I research my guests by doing a ‘good old’ Google search and finding out as much as I can about the person and their career. Then, I write up questions for the guest. On the day of the interview, I will take a moment to be still, set my intention for the interview and read over the questions.
You create such a relaxed atmosphere that really encourages guests to open up and share - how do you go about making your guests comfortable?
I always take a moment to chat with the guest before we start recording: to check in with them, make sure I answer any of their questions, and set the tone for a casual, relaxed conversation before clicking that record button. I believe that podcasts should feel like you are listening in to a couple of friends having a chat, so I am very mindful of setting the tone for this before launching into an interview.
What is it that interests you the most about leadership?
There is so much I am interested in about leadership! I feel that I have a lot to learn and am very eager to discover techniques that will help me become the leader I aspire to be. Personally, having the difficult conversations and making the tough calls is something that I know will be challenging for me, so I love hearing how our guests navigate this integral aspect of leadership.
Is there a piece of advice from one of the interviewees that you’re going to take into your everyday life?
There have been so many amazing pieces of advice, it is hard to pick just one! A message that comes through a lot in the interviews is to be authentic. This resonates well with me, and I particularly love the advice from Anushia Bleazby that "professionalism and authenticity aren't mutually exclusive." I think that's something all people in business can benefit from understanding - that bringing your true self to your role will only enhance your work, experiences and connections.
You’ve spoken with some amazing leaders on the show - are you inspired to pursue your own leadership journey now?
Absolutely! I have always been drawn towards positions of leadership and have aspired to be confident and brave in this area. The advice and insight from our guests on The Footprints of Leadership make me feel empowered to take the next step in my leadership journey.
What tips would you give someone who is going to be an interviewer?
The biggest tip I would give to an interviewer is to be an active listener. Rather than thinking about the next question all the time, listen intently; practise thoughtful, active listening and respond to your guest's answers. I would also say that preparation is key. The more you can know about your guest beforehand, the better equipped you are. And this preparation also extends to having all of your equipment and questions set up and ready to go well and truly before the interview. It is so important to set that casual, relaxed environment for your guest, so if you can be in this state before you meet with them, that will really help.