I’ve been listening to podcasts regularly for over a year now. Podcasts have become—by far—the greatest asset to my growth, so much so that I decided to start one under the tutelage of Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcasting A-Z course (which I’ll review in a future post). Here’s why podcasts have become such an integral part of my personal and business development:
1. Podcasts are a passive medium
Because podcasts are spoken word, I don’t have to stop what I’m doing to listen to them. I listen to the majority of podcast episodes while driving. Three days a week, I have a 2-hour commute. I have a 1-hour commute the other days. That’s 8 hours a week, the equivalent of a full work or school day! Instead of listening to sports radio (“gossip for men” according to my wife), I tune in to a number of podcasts. I also listen to episodes doing work around the house or working out. If I need to take notes, I just use the voice type feature on my phone.
Compare this to video content or reading. I’ve never been too big a fan of video blogs (or “vlogs”) because both my eyes and ears have to be locked onto the content. I can’t do anything else. It’s a big commitment of attention unless I just listen to the audio, which essentially boils it down to a podcast.
And while I love reading, I can’t read while doing other work (the many cracks in my iPad attest to this). Reading also makes me a lot more tired than an engaging podcast.
2. Podcasts are more in-depth
When it comes to blogging, the majority of readers seem to like shorter, consumable content. For my blog, that usually means my posts are between 500-800 words. There’s not too much that can be covered in that kind of length.
In just 5 minutes of audio, a person can speak well over 650 words. Now imagine a 15-minute podcast, or even a 30-minute podcast. There is just so much more content that can be shared via spoken word.
3. The podcaster rubs off on me (in a good way)
Listening to a podcast is a much more intimate medium than reading a blog. Consider the differences between the various mediums of communication:
- When reading someone’s words, you get only a fraction of what (and how) they are communicating. You don’t hear vocal inflection, rhythm, or other intangible means of communication.
- Hearing someone’s voice provides a much fuller representation of that person. Not only do you hear inflection or rhythm, you hear some of the things that make them human, like the pauses, “uhms”, and other expressions that make them more personable.
Because voice is more personal, I feel like I “catch” the personality, mindset, and “spirit” of the podcaster I’m listening to. If I spend 4 hours a month listening to a particular podcaster, it’s almost impossible for them not to become an influence on me—in a good way.
Because of these factors, I’ve also started my own podcast called Up and To The Right, which is about marketing for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. I’ve had a lot of public speaking and audio production experience, so podcasting seemed a good fit. New episodes release every Wednesday. Would you take a listen to my first podcast episode? Just click the picture to subscribe on iTunes or read the show notes here.
If you haven’t yet made podcasts a regular part of your development, start this week. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn…for free!
Question: What are your top 3 podcasts, and why?
Liked this post? Check out:
- How To Find the Thread That Ties Your Story Together [Podcast]
- How To Steal Time For Self-Development
- Why I Love Jared Easley’s Starve the Doubts Podcast