Category Archives: speaking

Online Events Made Easy: A workshop and Interview with Super Joe Pardo

Have you ever wanted to put on an amazing online event?

Online events are a solid way to grow your base and connect with new podcasters around the world.

Joe Pardo has been putting on events since he was in middle school. A tech lover, it was no surprise that this naturally gravitated to the world of online media.

In 2020, he’s produced nearly bimonthly podcasting conferences on topics from social media to launching your show to marketing.

online events

How did he create online events for the Independent Podcasts Group

Over the last few weeks we have seen online concerts, online conferences, online meetings. Everything you can possibly consider for setting up online, we went there.

And for Joe, he went to his community, the indiepodcon community to build them out.

Joe is the host of many shows and also the founder of Indiepodcon. The quickly growing podcast conference and online community has hosted multiple online conferences on various pod related topics over the last months.

So, I knew he would be a fantastic person to chat with.

Joe tells us he uses different programs in different ways, including OBS and Streamyard. He also tells us his history of streaming and creating events and why in person events are still key to networking.


In this episode:

Online events Mini workshop

  • Things to consider before starting your event 2:17
  • Setting goals for your event 2:55
  • Optimizing stream and streaming apps to use and that integrate: 3:36
  • Zoom settings 5:19 for set up and for screen sharing
  • Other consideratoins 8:02
  • Pre Recording Check 9:48
  • Creating your event 10:16

Interview with Joe Pardo

  • Early streaming experiences with Streamyard and OBS 13:23
  • How Joe got into creating events 18:18
  • The growth of the Indiepodcon Community after a name change while moving to streaming events 24:26
  • Organizing a weekend long series 27:53
  • Working with his team on keeping workshops on schedule 34:16
  • Why in person conferences are still key to networking 49:33
  • Mitigating issues that come up and ensuring communication with speakers 56:22

Want to see more great contact?

Check out our article and workshop on helping nail your media launches so YOU can get on more shows and speak at more conferences!

Click here

Getting into Media: Press Kits, Releases and Media Strategies

media plans

Why I learned Media Plans Were So Important

Before I ever began podcasting, even before I began performing solo shows, I got a degree in creating campaigns. Political Communication is ALL about crafting a message and finding compelling ways to connect to audiences. 

Over the next decade before I started podcasting, I applied these skills to my music career, creatively funding projects, to launching a record, music festivals, and eventually working in media sponsorship on the board of PDX Pop Now, doing PR for friends solo projects including Portland’s  Y La Bamba’s revival party and writing for publications including Vortex Magazine, Paste and the Portland Mercury.

Naturally when it came to podcasting I came with the same fervor, eventually working for companies like Interview Connections before realizing that I wasn’t in love with PR and wanted to really dive into my engineering and producer soul.

But, I got a FIRM foundation in how one goes about getting on to others shows and building a solid media plan.

I hadn’t done a workshop on this topic before, so I decided it was time. These are a few great tools to help you get yourself out there with your shows.

This is a topic I’ll be coming back to soon, so please email me if you have more questions I can answer in a future date!

Watch the media workshop here

In this episode: 

  • Setting your goals for media 2:15
  • What is the idea you will be pitching 3:27
  • Finding media contacts 6:30
  • Press Releases and sending them effectively 8:58
  • One sheets and websites 18:17
  • What to do next: how to effectively follow up 26:13

If you want to find out more about setting up events, a great way to get press, check out this interview and short workshop.

I also do 101 Planning Sessions in media training! You can set up a call here!

Announcement: Gritty Birds/Jeni Wren Stottrup speaking at First Podcast Editors Conference at PodFest

This year is the first annual Podcast Editors Conference, which is taking place the day before PodFest in Orlando, Friday March 6th. The conference, founded by Mark Deal and Steve Stewart, features single sessions around building your podcast business.

My talk will be focused on organizational systems and workflows for communication and podcast development with clients. Using systems like Trello, Dropbox Paper and more to automate systems, allows us to be more organized and support clients in more creative ways.

You can buy tickets by clicking on the image below.Podcast Editors Conference

GRITTY BIRDS #NAPODPOMO DAY 2: Storytelling Saturday 1

A love story about getting over your fear

Adapted from a talk at Podcast Movement’s PMX Competition 2019. A love story, a story about creating. During the years I was studying music in Seattle, I worked with jazz legend Overton Berry. In this episode, I share our story and how he helped lay a foundation for telling amazing stories through word and music.

This is day two of NaPodPoMo and a part of Story Saturday.

If you want to support the show, get a shout out on the feed, a recording of my “theme song” Don’t Call It Love from my last record,  and be a part of the hour AMA(Ask me Anything) on the last day of the Challenge, Nov 30, head on over to Patreon. That’s

Today, is Story Saturday.

This is a recorded version of a talk I did at Podcast Movement’s 2018 PMX Competition. Stay tuned to the end of the episode for a very special musical recording related to the episode.

Choose Your Own Adventure: An Artist’s Guide to Storytelling

Listen, just Listen

Were going to go on a little adventure today.

Its mid-morning, the sun is shining brightly into your window, birds chirping. You look in the bathroom mirror, brush your bangs our of your eyes, breath deep and think, Does this tanktop look okay? Will he like it? I hope Mom doesnt make me change.

Outside, you hear a car door shut. Your heart beats quickly. The sound of a screen door opens, screeching and swinging shut. Thump thump, thump of the stairs and then a quick knock(knock pattern).

A rush of blood comes to your face, you straighten your shirt, walk cooly to the door and open it.

Hes 16 years old, a blonde mop on his head. You find yourself smiling bigger than you mean to. Ready?

You grab your bag, look into his blue eyes and say, “yes” skipping out the door.

Mom says, drive safe! Dont speed!

You give him a knowing look and say, sure!

He starts the engine, that purr of the BMW inviting you in. The leather feels cool on your thighs as the sound of 100% Hip hop plays on the speakers. He glances over, revs the engine, touching your shoulder for just a moment and you feel your pulse race.

“Hi.” He smiles. “Lets go.

On the edge of edge of town, you hit a stoplight. He gives you a knowing look, you giggle and he revs the engine.

And youre off.

The car speeds up, hitting the open highway, pedal to the metal. The song Tennessee from Arrested Development comes on the radio. You open the window and the air comes streaming through your car.

Take me to another place, take me to another land

Let me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan.

The car speeds up, 60, the 70

Take me to another place , take me to another land

Let me forget all that hurts me, let me understand your plan

80, 90, 100

You look over, your heart beating fast, the look of his blonde hair and the sound of the music sending your hormones in overdrive. He looks at you with you with his blue eyes and you break down laughing.


and  then you see a car coming from the other direction and SCREAM!

I bet you wonder what happens next right?

It doesnt matter what I tell you.

At this point, I could go anywhere.

using cues of tempo, structure and sensory memory, youve already become emotionally invested.

I am a storyteller and a songwriter. A weaver of tales you might say. For the last decade, Ive been using basic tenants from my training and experience as an musician to harness emotion as a writer, podcast producer and songwriter.

The key to great storytelling is a getting out of your head and choosing your own adventure,

using emotion and memory to draw upon and maximize experiences to connect and inspire your audience

And today, I’m going share with you some of the basic tools Ive used as an artist that will help unlock your potential as a storyteller.


Before you do anything, you need to learn to listen.

Let me tell you a story.

In the summer of 2006, I was ready to start my life in music. I was 23 years old, had just moved from Iowa to Seattle with a vocal performance degree. I wanted to be a jazz singer.

Every Tuesday I would get into my car and drive just north of the city to the home of an elderly African American gentleman, one of Seattle’s jazz greats, Overton Berry, to study music and help him around the house.

I’d walk up the stairs into his home, books in hand, bubbling with energy. Overton would take my hand, tell me it was wonderful to see me..

Then we’d sit down, he’d steep tea in his earthenware service, pour us each a small glass, pull me up to his computer and say “Jeni I want to show you something.”

I would figit in the chair, as I waited for the lesson to begin, when wed start playing the piano. He’d open Rhapsody, a popular song sharing program at the time, choose a song and tell me, “listen”.

And we’d sit.

With Overton, there was a lot of sitting and listening.  I came to realize over time the lesson had begun the moment I opened his front door.

Even when we finally sat down at the piano, he would only let me play a simple Dorian progression.

<cue dorian loop>

And then he would tell me a story.

In our first few weeks, our first few lessons, I would sat, impatient, listening to his calm laughter, playing the dorian scale, ready for the day where wed finally START playing music.

Listen, he would say, just listen.

I would continue to fidget, getting frustrated that we were still just playing progressions. Overton would laugh saying, “Jen, remember to sit down and listen.”

See at this age, I’d performed on stages to hundreds of people for over a decade, winning awards sharing rote lines from musicals, operas, oratorios and plays written by others. I was pretty cocky.

Yet when it came down to sharing something that felt intimate and personal, something that Id .. I found myself stuck at the first note, nervous and completely unsure of my own voice and perspective.

What I didn’t realize was that I was absorbing information. Similar to a toddler, every lyric, every note, every chord progression, every plot had been finding it’s way into some part of my reptilian brain.

Slowly but surely Overton was teaching me all the keys I needed to be a great storyteller and songwriter.

I called him up last week as I was on the road. We check in often and I wanted to see if he had a take away to share.

He said, “Listen like you’re eating.”

In all those lessons, in the 20 years before I began writing music and stories, this what I was doing, eating.

In music, the #1 piece of advice to practice, practice, practice. And to do so, with intention. Wed be asked to go concerts and listen to albums, to write down chord progressions and translate lyrics. As a student, my preparation was very tied to taking information in.

And as storytellers, before we begin anything, we need to listen, listen, listen. With intention.

The more sensorial information we can take in during daily lives, the more smells, flavors, sounds and sensations we take in, the more we can use them as we craft narratives from our interviews.

Sometimes we scarf down moments because we’re hungry. Sometimes, we take them in slowly and savor it. Sometimes we look back at an experience and understand, That was one damn good meal. Its hose moments we didn’t realize were so important can be the ones that inform our art on the deepest levels.

Lets go back to the story we started earlier. The details are pulled from my own memory, of my first love. Theyre shaded by time, a mix of many moment.  Theyre memories that might remind you of things youve experienced yourself.

But I can recapture that feeling to set up a story, an adventure that you leaves you wanting to know more. The feel of first love, the joy of disobeying your parents, the rush of pushing limits, the moment of fear when you realize you might have gone too far.

The take away is to bring in as many experiences as you. Write them down, fill up your pot with images and memories, transcripts that will open the doors for your stories.

Dont let anything go, use every moment as a learning tool. Intentionally.

Set the tempo

The next key lesson as a student of the arts is to explore tempo and tone.

One of the most frustrating elements for me as a music student was slowing down. In my lessons with Overton, he would have me write down scales in every key along with their chords. Then, in major and minor. Then, I would spend an hour most days, practicing these scales with a metronome.

And every time he would tell me to slow down, to lower the tempo and feel every note.

This exercise is one of the keys in any lesson program. The slower you go, the more that you will build your muscle and aural memory. 

Eventually, Overton and I began working on songs. The first he taught me was Loverman, a tune first made popular by Billie Holiday. In her version, its upbeat, with movement.

The first time we sat down, I counted off the beats and he followed me.

I dont know why but Im feelin so sad, I long to try something Ive never had

Lovin and a kissin, boy what Iv ebeen missin

Loverman oh where can you be.

I sang it and was so proud of myself. Id show him, all these weeks of practicing scales. FINALLY I could show him that I didnt need it, I was a great singer.

We stopped and he was unenthused. He said, that was okay. But I didnt hear you.

My face dropped. He laughed. Oh honey, youre always in a rush. What did I tell you, slow down! Listen”

He invited me to sit down and close my eyes, to put my hand on his body. He asked me to imagine someone I loved, someone who got away.

The first thougth in my head was that boy when I was 16 years old. I saw his blonde hair, instinctively. I felt that tug in my heart.

Overton asked me to follow him this time and to sing like I’d been practicing, intentionally, to sing every note from my heart

1 2 3 4

I dont know why but Im feelin so sad, I long to try something Ive never had

Lovin and a kissin, boy what Iv ebeen missin

Loverman oh where can you be.

We finished the song, there were tears in my eyes.

Oh girl, he said, THAT’S what I was talking about. You have to feel the beat in your heart.

Its so easy to rush through our stories, to trivialize the message. To take the obvious approach to a story.

But you have to choose your tempo and tone intentionally. Not the one you think you know, but the one that makes sense for the story. The one you can connect to, that the character asks for.

This is the value of setting TEMPO. Its the choice that sets the mood and tone of your song or your episode. Its the elements that guides your listeners emotional investment.

Imagine tempo and tone as a flashlight. Its how fast you talk, the music you choose underneath, the movement and pace you begin with.

By accessing the information of what you are taking and then allowing your narrative to guide the pace of your story for your listener.. Its the elements guiding your listeners emotional investment and keeping them hooked till the end.

And these two elements are the BASIS of every important choice you will make a storyteller.

Last fall I started the third season of my podcast Gritty Birds. Each season Ive slightly tweaked my format to create more emotional impact.

Each time, Ive used these two basic tenants from Overton: listening and letting the tempo lead the way. He encouraged me to take songs I knew and try them in different ways, to experience it fresh every single time.

In the first season, the first 13 episodes, I started simply. I asked a series of about 60 questions. They were the basis of the tempo of the series. In the beginning this was very important. I did minor editing, but used the questions to guide the listeners

As the second season hit, I started editing the show for time, using the questions as a basis, but getting rid of answers that lost flow.

Then, on episode 21, I completely overhauled the show with after being picked up by local Radio network XRAY.FM, shifting the format to narrative storytelling

The transition to narrative was challenging, but these first 20 episodes, where I took my time were the groundwork.. they were the scales set met up for success,  that helped me transition.

Just like in music, starting simply and building in to more complex tricks made a huge difference.

I found myself really drawing up on my experience as a songwriter and teacher to make the narrative shows work. It was then that the tempo and movement Id used in music became even more important.

The last two episodes I produced are the ones Im most proud of. I got rid of the fluff, moved to shorter segments and the use of music for entire episodes.

But I didnt get rid of my questions. I still kept to what I knew. In fact, I found myself using my listening ears even more, dialing down hour long interviews to 15 minute features. What I realized was that even if there is 60 minutes worth of material, if there is 15 minutes of a great story, thats a win.

And eventually, I started writing music again.

Because this works. If were good listeners and use our stories as our guides, the emotion is going to come naturally.

Get over it & Trust your Gut

After my EP, I  starting interviewing artists. Ive been honored to talk to over 100 musicians on record, written dozens of artist features for multiple publications and produced close to 60 episodes for Gritty Birds. The question that I always ask, my bread and butter, the dorian scale’ of my interview process I come back to every time is:
what advice would you give to an upcoming artist today”

And almost 100% of the time, it comes down to trusting your gut..

My best advice is to relax.  I think a lot of people put way too much pressure on themselves. Natasha Kmeto

If I have an emotional response while a song is coming to me that is a clear indicator that this is good, this is something worthwhile David Bazan of Pedro the Lion

This is my job.  It’s my only job and who knows how long I’m gonna want to keep doing this.  So I treat everything I make like, this is going to be the last thing. Ezra Furman

And thats it, if you can listen, really listen and keep cultivating your practice, you will be successful.

Overton didnt teach me to write, he lit a flashlight I had all along, that left me able access everything in the darkness.

Lets go back to the story of that blond haired boy.

A couple months before I left Seattle, I went through a minor breakup. Things were rough, jobs were hard to find and it was clear that I would have to leave soon.

Itd been a few months since Overton and I had one of our sessions. I sat down at my piano at my decaying band house in South Seattle, started with that Dorian scale at home..

and for the first time a song flooded out of me. Just like the first time I sang Loverman with Overton, I thought of that boy. I thought of that drive that day with the wind blowing through our hair as we hit 100 on the way to the lake. I took the emotion from the man Id just stopped dating and let the energy of my first love drive the story.

And I wrote my first song, a ballad that became the leading single off my 2013 EP.

Ultimately, whatever happened with that blonde haired boy, doesnt matter. The reality isn’t as interesting as the feelings that it informed as I unlocked my creative voice.

All those hours SITTING STILL had created something in me, a relationship with my voice and a piano that had been building in all of Overton and Is quiet afternoons, in those summer drives and in a million moments in between.

You just need to make room for the light.

Then, you can tell YOUR story. Choose your OWN adventure.

If you Listen, just listen.

She Podcasts Live and Podcasters Kit NOW!


This week there are two awesome opportunities to get support for your currently existing show OR the show you’ve got developing.

And guess what, I’m part of BOTH!


Next week I’ll be speaking, on two panels AND doing one on one coaching at TWO different locations at the inaugural She Podcasts Live!

Tickets are sold out, but if you are attending, check out my schedule!

You can also see my schedule here: Podcasts


Since not everyone can attend She Podcasts and not all podcasters have a budget to travel YET, I’m really excited that I’m part of the Podcasters Kit.

50 podcast leaders including myself.

Less than $40

You’ll get access to all the talks PLUS a ton of downloads.

I’ll be offering a link to a live version of my talk at She Podcasts Live on Content Development available only to Kit followers AND also including access to the slide deck of my years ongoing Podcast workshop with Portland’s Siren Nation.

Since I’m not giving the talk this year, this is the only place you can get this info this fall. It’s filled with an insane amount of content on creation, gear, hosts and more.

Pre registration is open now, click HERE or the photo below to sign up for registration reminders as we hit next week!

If you haven’t yet, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook!