Holly Frey

History may be a serious topic, especially compared to some of what else is out there in podcasting. But one of the ways Stuff You Missed in History Class co-host Holly Frey says her show has made itself appealing to the masses is by not taking itself too seriously, and keeping the tone of the conversation casual. In an interview with Business Insider, she said it’s something that could work for all producers.

"Talk to your cohost or your audience as if you're with a friend having coffee," said Frey. She also said when iHeartPodcast Network’s Stuff You Missed In History Class is being produced, small verbal stumbles are left in the final cut. It’s not because they’re too lazy to edit them out. Instead, Frey says it helps the hosts appeal to listeners by speaking in a style, fumbles and all, that’s more like a normal conversation. “Our show is a lot more scripted than some, but we still want to have that causal flow and feel,” Frey told BI. “[We] are just ourselves, which is what connects in a lot of ways to listeners.”

Frey ended up in front of the microphone in an unusual way. As she recounted to Business Insider, her work at iHeart-owned Stuff Media began as a copywriter for the unit’s website. But one day Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network, overheard Frey gossiping with a co-worker. He liked the tone of their conversation and when the role of hosts for Stuff You Missed In History Class opened up, Byrne turned to Frey and co-host Tracy Wilson for the job. “It's not something you can replicate," Frey told BI.