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On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, Maria Franzoni talks about her career, and her Speaking Business Podcast.

JJ Barnes editor of The Table Read online creativity, arts and entertainment magazine

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed podcaster Maria Franzoni about the work that goes into her Speaking Business Podcast and what inspired her to start podcasting.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Maria Franzoni, Speaking Business Podcast, on The Table Read
Maria Franzoni

I like to call myself a recovering speaker bureau owner.

I work with speakers, speaker agents, and bureau teams to help them grow their speaking businesses – in other words, get more bookings, make more money, and create profitable businesses.

I am an experienced speaker booker having held senior positions with 2 of Europe’s leading bureaus; CSA Celebrity Speakers and the London Speaker Bureau (named by the New York Times as “the only international speaker bureau”).  From 2007 to 2021 I ran my own multi-million-pound international bureau imaginatively named Maria Franzoni Ltd. (MFL)

Over the years I have worked with the good and the great of the speaking world, including first man on the moon Neil Armstrong; Body shop founder and environmentalist Anita Roddick; singer-songwriter and political activist Bob Geldof; business magnate Richard Branson; international singing legend Liza Minnelli; former trader and author of Black Swan Nassim Nicholas Taleb and F1 and NASCAR racing champion Jacques Villeneuve …. To name (drop) a few.

How and why did you start podcasting?

I originally started podcasting for my speaker bureau as a way of creating content to share with my prospects and clients. The podcast format was an interview format showcasing speakers’ expertise.  When I closed my bureau and “pivoted” (don’t like that word let’s say “pirouetted”) to working with speakers in July 2021, the format remained interview style, but the experts are now sharing content specifically aimed at helping speakers.

What is your current podcast called, and how did you come up with the name?

It’s called Speaking Business because we are in the business of speaking, but we are also talking about topics related to business.  Fortunately, the title still works even when I changed target audience.

Speaking Business Podcast, with Maria Franzoni, on The Table Read
Speaking Business Podcast

What platforms can we find Speaking Business Podcast on?

Apple podcasts




What is Speaking Business Podcast about?

I describe it as a practical no waffle no nonsense podcast packed with actionable advice for Speakers wanting to be more bookable and make more money.

Do you host Speaking Business Podcast alone, or have guest hosts/partners?

I host alone but from time to time I use the audio from a weekly live stream show (Speaking Business TV) I co-host with SuperCreativity speaker James Taylor, so some of the episodes have two of us asking questions.

Do you edit Speaking Business Podcast or have someone who does it for you?

We keep editing to a minimum as I really like to go with the original conversation.  So, we simply add music, an intro and an outro which is done by Sian on my team.

Do you script Speaking Business Podcast, or just chat as you go?

I have a scripted intro provided by my guest.  Sometimes I have to edit it if there are some tongue twisting words that I can’t get my mouth around.  The questions are agreed in advance, but I do have a tendency to go off script.

How has Speaking Business Podcast changed or developed since you began?

Maria Franzoni, Speaking Business Podcast, interview on The Table Read
Maria Franzoni at home in Thursley, Surrey

Since we began, we have got much more efficient when it comes to arranging the podcast guests, scheduling them, and sharing the episodes on social media and on our emails.  I hope I have also improved as a host, although I still have some way to go.

What are you biggest challenges with Speaking Business Podcast?

I think the biggest challenge is attracting new listeners.  Other than that I think we are into a pretty good routine now and enjoying the process. 

What are your favourite podcasts to listen to?

My all time favourite, and in fact the podcast that got me into podcasting is The Advanced Selling Podcast hosted by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale.  So, I was thrilled when I got them to guest on my podcast, it was surreal having listened to them every week for months.

How and where do you promote Speaking Business Podcast?

We promote our podcast episodes on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, in my speaking business FB group and to our email list.

Do you earn money from podcasting, or is it a hobby?

I don’t earn money directly from Speaking Business podcast though I do get work as a result of people listening and getting to know more about me and my work. 

Maria Franzoni, The Speaking Business Podcast, The Table Read
Maria Franzoni

I am paid to host The Speaker Show podcast for Speakers Associates Speaker Bureau; when I moved audiences, they grabbed me asking me to take over as their host they loved what I had been doing. 

What’s something you never expected about podcasting? What have you learned that surprised you?

I was surprised at how accessible it was. When I started, I thought that it would be incredibly difficult but it’s not, the software and platforms are all incredibly easy to use. 

What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to start podcasting?

Make sure you are going to last the distance.  Many people start out very enthusiastically but then run out of content or steam.  One of the reasons I have guests is that I know that if it was down to me to provide all the content every week that it probably wouldn’t happen.  So, I would say be sure that this is something you are going to continue to do, unless of course you have a fixed end point in terms of what you want to share.

And, finally, are your proud of what you’re accomplishing with your podcast? Is it worth the effort?

Absolutely.  My guests are amazing, they make me look good.  I really don’t see it as an effort at all, I really enjoy talking to people and learning from them.  It’s my favourite way to create content.

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