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Next Level Guy

Jan 14, 2022

Today’s guest is Chris Van Vliet on cameras, connections & Insight 

Chris Van Vliet is a 4-time Emmy award-winning TV Host, Entertainment Reporter and YouTuber based in Los Angeles, CA. He has traveled the world reporting from events like the Oscars, Grammys and the Cannes Film Festival.

You may be familiar with the interviews that Chris posts on YouTube but to just call them “interviews” doesn’t seem fair because they are so much more than that. Chris dives deep into interesting topics with his trademark conversational approach that makes it feel like two old friends catching up. This is the case when it’s a wrestling superstar like John Cena, The Rock or Hulk Hogan or a Hollywood A-Lister like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise or Will Smith.

Chris’ broadcasting career began in 2005 after graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University with an honors degree in Communication Studies. His first on-air job was working as a news reporter and videographer for CHEX-TV in Peterborough, Ontario before hosting the MTV-2 show “969” in Vancouver, BC and then hosting “Inside Jam” on SUN TV in Toronto.

In 2010, Chris moved to Cleveland, OH to work as the Entertainment Reporter for CBS affiliate WOIO as also as a radio personality on WDOK. While in Cleveland, Chris was named Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Bachelor of the Year and donated the $10,000 prize money to The Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland. He was was also awarded the “Personality of the Year” honor from the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2012.

In 2015, Chris moved to Miami to join WSVN’s prime time entertainment program “Deco Drive”. He is an avid bass fisherman and is the co-founder of the outdoor brand WOO! Tungsten. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

In this interview, we discuss:  

  •  How to connect with a guest.
  • Having deep interviews using authenticity. 
  • Building a community.
  • Using Insight to change your life.
  • And so much more.

Here are some key points that I would advise you to concentrate on

  • Chris decided to chase his passion and did what he loved and built a career and a very successful podcast from it! 
  • Be open to new things, new events, new sports etc. Find something you are interested in and dive in - go all in and see where the passion may take you .... it might be a new hobby but it could be a career etc! 
  • Broadcasters play a ramped up version of themselves. You can do the same, you can be another version of yourself in work, playing sports etc, to tap into some energy and confidence that you need to work at the top level.
  • You need to watch and read your material back. Listen, read and view it as a fan, see it from a fan's viewpoint, and see how your fans and audience view your material. See how it shows, does it give the right impression you want, is it your best work, how can you tweak it to be better and more authentic and use the tips and learning on the next piece of work.
  • People can tell when you are not being authentic. However limited energy brings limited views. 
  • To improve your interview technique for your podcast, show etc, stop thinking of them as interviews and instead think of them as conversations, and look to make them authenticate, connect with the guest and ask questions you truly want to know the answer to. 
  • The interview begins, when you meet them, not when the red light comes on.
  • Remember your guest is a real person, not a God or something else. You can have respect, but don't forget they are human too, and want to have a fun, exciting conversation too. 
  • Top performers make their goal their identity, and tell themselves they will be that goal and work until it becomes true. 
  • Top performers are always open to feedback, criticism and learning each day. 
  • You can research a guest to get to know them, but over prepping can make an interview dull, bland and emotionless. You need to find a healthy balance between preparation and curiousity. 
  • You won't be perfect every-time. Expect to make mistakes but don't beat yourself up when you do. Learn from the mistake and figure out how to avoid doing it in future interviews. 
  • The medium that you are showing your content on, will dictate the best style of message, interview etc you should use.
  • Don't be afraid to go into dark places, and shine a light on the performers darker places or events BUT make sure you ensure the guest is comfortable and open to discussing these topics - this can be asking for permission beforehand or checking them are ok to keep talking about the topic as you chat.
  • You can build a reputation and a chance to bigger and brighter opportunities, by consistently publishing. Use the content as social proof to build a reputation and interest in others. 
  • You won't be perfect from the start, but if you wait to be perfect, you will never start. Learn and grow as you go, stop holding up, being held up analysis paralysis. You will grow and learn as you go, just keep evolving as you go. 
  • If a guest has done something that you want to do, ask them about it, learn how they did it. Then reverse engineer how to go from your current state to the goal state ... and you can make an awesome amount of content from it too! 
  • Authenticity is the key to building a true tribe, a real community of fans for your show/series etc. 
  • Celebrate the small wins in your life. A 1% improvement each day, will lead to a 365% improvement at the end of the year. 
  • Chase what you want in life, but remember to show gratitude to what you do have. Appreciate what you do already have in your life, to appreciate where you are and how far you have come. 
  • Make the key parts of your life, sleep, the gym etc, set the things that helps you grow evolve and be better, and make them non-negotiable in your life and block them off in your calendar. 
  • Stop thinking of all the thing you HAVE to do and think of them as GET to do, you are lucky and capable to do the things and the language you use on describing thing, changes your life outlook. 
  • What are you waiting for? What is stopping you from living the life you want? It's you ... you are the person who can achieve it, and the person stopping yourself from doing it. Get out of your own way and chase your dreams. 
  • Set goals to achieve in your life. But they need to be specific and have a timeline to achieve them. What is measured gets managed. Be specific, and set a deadline to complete it by and hold yourself accountable. 
  • Always be hungry. Never rest on your laurels. Find your WHY you want to do things. Stop limiting yourself and do it!