Your Intended Message

How to be an outstanding podcast Guest: Alex Sanfilippo

February 3, 2022

Podcasting is an easy way for people to get to know, like and trust you.

Leverage the power of podcasting to build your brand.

Alex Sanfilippo is an entrepreneur who started his first business at the age of 10. He recently launched services to help podcasts guests and hosts to make podcasting simpler and more fulfilling.

Episode 80:

We explore:

  • Addressing the "Why?" of podcast hosting or guesting
  • Why podcasting is a powerful channel to nurture trust and build relationships
  • Five key points to cover when pitching to a podcast host
  • How to sound and feel when on the podcast
  • How to handle awkward moments during the interview
  • How to prepare yourself for your podcast appearance


Alex Sanfilippo founded a provider of services for podcast hosts and guests. -  Automatically Matches Ideal Podcast Hosts And Guests For Interviews

podmatch_logoao8kt.png - Software For Podcasters To Manage The Workflow Of Each New Episode Release


Alex Sanfilippo is based in Florida, USA.


Excerpts from this conversation between Alex Sanfilippo and George Torok



There are listeners who because of their experience, expertise and wisdom are potential guests for podcasts. What what can they do that might help them appear attractive to a host? 

The first thing I would say, and you mentioned pod match, which I'm so thankful that you mentioned that George.

Have a place whether it's pod match or not, where you can have all of your information. So you don't have to put it all in a message is that what you can put that link into a message with here's the 30 things I've done, here's a picture of me, here's this, right, have all those things somewhere.

And I can easily get you and your audience kind of a list of the things that they should have, that's pretty easy to find, I can get you a link for that. Actually, if you just go to

Get Your copy of the free checklist

There's a list of 12 things you can look at, that will help you be able to set up a really nice one sheet.

Again, you don't need to use my services, that's something you can just look at as a free resource. But once you're actually getting to the pitch, and you want to keep it short, so we can have that link where you can send them more details.

But the first thing I always tell people is to lead with value. Lead with value. Leading with value simply means to me to to actually care is to start off so George, like when I when I reached out to you to be on your show. I liked the name of the show. I liked the description. I liked your voice. I was like, Man, that sounds pretty cool.

But that wasn't enough. I could have led with that. I was like, No, I'm gonna listen to an episode. I picked an episode.

As a matter of fact, I want to recommend that episode because it goes well, we're talking about today, because we're not going to get into storytelling today. But as with Graham Brown, and he talked about the three bucks storytelling technique, that's episode 68 of your intended message, go listen to that episode.

Phenomenal. As soon as I listened to that I had the lead with value section done, I had listened to that. I liked it a lot. And I liked it so much I left to review the podcast.

So when I reached out to George I told him, Hey, I left you a review of your podcasts I listened to Episode I got a lot from it, I learned how to tell better stories.

And then once I did that, the next thing I did, so number two, that's lead with value number two, is to make a meaningful request.

A lot of people when they're doing pitching, they don't actually ever make the request. They just kind of leave it open ended. And a lot of podcast hosts or potential clients are it's kind of like, well, what am I supposed to do with this?

Give them a clear action, something they can take. So I actually made a meaningful request. I told George, hey, here's a spot that I think I could add value to your audience, would you be willing and interested to having me on the podcast, and that left it very, that gave him the chance to actually say yes or no to me.

The third thing I'll mention is to offer credibility. And offering credibility simply means that if I know somebody that knows George, I'm going to reference their name and be like, hey, you know, if you want to talk to Tiffany, she's a mutual friend of ours. 

You can reach out to her I was on her podcast, anything to add a little bit of credibility to show that you know what, you have some skin in the game that place or I spoke at this conference last year, I've been on 30 podcasts and last year, anything that's going to help something really short.

And then the next thing I'm going to mention is to to make it easy to say no, this is kind of how I end the thing is I usually make it really easy.

A lot of people, they just don't hear back, you don't hear back from people that you're pitching about your business idea, or that you're pitching to be on their podcast because they don't want to break your heart. If you already did all those nice things.

Now they're feeling like they can't really hurt your feelings. I always say, hey, no pressure at all. I only want to be on your podcast, if you think I can add value the audience. If not, it's probably better that we don't do this.

Leaving open like that. I've heard a lot of no's in my time a lot people have said no, no, thank you, I really appreciate it.

They wouldn't usually respond to other people, which is laid out in limbo forever. I personally like to hear back. And so that's something that's really worked for me.

And the last thing I always like to do is when I kind of have like a signing off tagline is I like to mention they'll share the episode. Because in all honesty, I will I love to share episodes I've been a guest on. And not all guests do that.

So if you do that only if you're willing to like don't lie, if you're willing to share it mention that because that as a host is like oh great, this guest is actually gonna help me promote a little bit, which is a tough thing that we have to deal with on the hosting side of the mic.



Communication Techniques from a Retired Spy: JJ Brun

January 27, 2022

Imagine being sent into a war zone with the mission of collecting information and influencing behavior of combatants.

Unlike James Bond, you don't have a license to kill, Nor do you have a fancy car and fancy devices.

You survive and succeed by communicating effectively.

Episode 79

JJ Brun was a "Contact Handler" in a war zone in Bosnia Herzegovina. His official title was Director General Intelligence Strategic Debriefing Officer. He was there to collect information from the people. He survived and succeeded in his role of building a large intelligence network of local people.

Ideas and concepts that we explore:

  • How to mentally prepare when you know you can't shoot your way out
  • The importance of appreciating names and getting them right
  • Why deception is not the best approach
  • Developing your listening and observing skills
  • Key phrases to build trust and encourage open conversation
  • Assessing personal types and adapting your approach

Get your free copy of "The 10 Most Effective Ice-Breaking Feel-Good Questions" by sending an email to

Learn more about JJ Brun and his services at the website

YES, you heard that right, JJ Brun offered to provide a no-charge workshop of up to 60 minutes on "Making Sense of the People Puzzle in Times of Change"

To learn more about that program and to arrange that for your team, contact JJ Brun at

Tell him you heard about this offer on the podcast, Your Intended Message.

His first book, Sell Naked on the Phone, sold over 60,000 copies.



Excerpts from this discussion with JJ Brun


Now a contact handler. Very unique skill set is a person where he or she is sent into a hostile environment where he or she has to cultivate sources within that environment and determine their intentions, or even modify their behaviours if and when required.

Without the use of any Jedi mind tricks. So my claim to fame within the intelligence community is that I was the first one volunteered to be a contact handler.

I was sent over to the UK to be trained to learn the skill sets and then I deployed into Bosnia Herzegovina being the first Canadian trained within this field since the Second World War.



Perfect. I was provided with my identity. Gov stories, funds, everything that I need all the little administrational aspect and I was provided with my weapon.

And that was a shock to me, because I was provided with a pistol two empty magazines that can hold 10 bullets each and 10 bullets, one pistol, two magazines, 10 bullets.

And I'm like, where's the rest of the bullets? As in? I've got two magazines. Should I not have 20 bullets?

To which we had an argument. Either I sign that off and I have to then come when I leave, bring back the pistol, the two magazine and the 10 bullets.

I was in trouble when I said to the gentlemen, what if I use one and I only bring nine bullets? Do I have to bring you the empty casing to prove that I've used one. He responded with if you don't bring me 10 bullets, you're going to get court martial.



JJ, I heard two, two points here that intrigued me. One is that you provided them with a voice. You were simply a conduit to allow them to have a voice. And my question is, why was that important to them? And even more than that, you said you had a network of bad guys. And why would the bad guys want you to convey their message?



Okay, well, the first one is that everybody wants to talk. And there's a saying, I don't know who's the author from this? Or who came up with this, but people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

Right. That's a famous statement, and applies also across across cultures. Over there. There's different ethnicities? Well, back then he was the Serbs and Croats and the Muslims.

And everyone wants to be heard everyone wants to share their story. And you just have to provide them a safe environment where you want to receive their story.

And they want you to document they want you to to know that you're looking to make a difference. Now we were trained, we can't promise anything. You don't fake it, you don't promise the moon, you have to be authentic.

And quite often I would say, I can't promise you anything. Let me go back review what you've just shared with me. And Let's reconnect, when would be a good time for you Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, morning or afternoon, we'll book a meeting from a meeting.

And people, if you come with the sincere interest of sharing the story, right that their life mattered. And I was more of a reporter, in a sense of you're going there, you're looking to build a canal to find a connection with now, in every interaction we have with people either going to compete or complete that interaction.

Right, either going to compete or complete. Now, English is my second language. And when I'm reading the word complete and complete, one has the letter L. And so my brain was goes to well, What's the L factor in order to complete an interaction?

Until you can find a common link, a common luck or common love, no connection. As soon as you can find a common link common, like a common love, you have an opportunity to make that connection.


Your Intended Message is the podcast about how you can boost your career and business success by honing your communication skills. We’ll examine the aspects of how we communicate one-to-one, one to few and one to many – plus that important conversation, one to self.

In these interviews we will explore presentation skills, public speaking, conversation, persuasion, negotiation, sales conversations, marketing, team meetings, social media, branding, self talk and more.


Your host is George Torok

George is a specialist in communication skills. Especially presentation. He’s fascinated by the links between communication and influencing behaviours. He delivers training and coaching programs to help leaders and promising professionals deliver the intended message for greater success.


Connect with George


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