S9 E5: Building Confidence through Podcasting

Learning to podcast is not just about creating audio content; it’s a journey that builds confidence in all aspects of your life. In this blog post, we’ll explore how podcasting empowers individuals to discover their voice, overcome self-doubt and cultivate a sense of self-assurance that extends far beyond the microphone.

Embracing Vulnerability

One of the most powerful ways podcasting builds confidence is by encouraging individuals to embrace vulnerability. When you record an episode, you are essentially sharing a part of yourself with the world, opening up to potential criticism and feedback. Consistently facing the fear of judgement and rejection that comes with putting yourself out in the world, you come to realise the opinions of others are of little consequence. Fear of criticism is much more easily faced in podcasting. It’s rarely face to face and to be fair, I’ve not received the vitriol one hears about online. I’ve received feedback but never been personally attacked. Like most of our fears, they are mostly in our heads. 

Finding Your Voice

Learning to podcast is an opportunity to find and develop your individual voice. As you create content you will, particularly if you’re self reflective in any way, discover your distinctive style. I remember realising, after hearing some episodes through the podcatcher, I’d taken on the voice, to some extent, of the books I was reading at the time. It was only after this realisation I was able to fully claim my own words.

This process of self-discovery is part of every life’s journey. For some it comes through writing, others music or painting but I can’t think of a quicker way to find and face your individual voice then through podcasting.

Once found, your voice will carry authenticity into other aspects of your life. You can, if you choose, to speak your mind with conviction, share your ideas confidently and embrace your individuality or you can hold your own counsel. Only once you have your voice do you have this choice.

Overcoming Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is a common obstacle that can hinder personal growth and prevent individuals from pursuing their passions. Podcasting forces you to confront and challenge your self-doubt head-on. At the outset, you may have to “fake it till you make it”. You’ll still question your abilities, worry about what others will think or fear making mistakes. To be fair, your “voice” will not be front of mind,at the beginning. You’ll likely be worried about the technical aspects of the craft. Things like mic placement, levels, converting your .wav to .mp3 files and whether the file makes it from your laptop to your host and is then propagated through the podcast world. These are things that still sit within my consciousness but are no longer front of mind. 

However, as you gain experience and produce more episodes, you’ll begin to trust your skills and knowledge. Overcoming these initial hurdles and witnessing your growth in podcasting will significantly boost your confidence, proving that you’re capable of taking on new challenges and succeeding. This feeling of success permeates throughout the rest of your life, at varying degrees of speed but it does happen.

Speaking with Authority

Podcasting encourages you to speak with authority on the topics you’re passionate about. As you become more knowledgeable and well-versed in your chosen subjects, you’ll naturally speak with greater confidence and expertise. This is a thing that can creep up on you. Again I realised in hindsight how much my scripts had changed only after time. Know it’s coming and follow your workflows. The process is what produces the change.

This authority extends beyond podcasting, as you’ll find yourself better equipped to communicate confidently in professional meetings, interviews and even casual conversations. Again, the need for self reflection raises its head. Self reflection is about the best way I know to grow as a person and is one of the principle ancillary benefits of the craft.

Facing and Overcoming Fear

Fear often holds us back from achieving our full potential. Podcasting provides a platform to confront and conquer these fears. Whether it’s the fear of public speaking, the fear of judgement or the fear of failure, podcasting allows you to face these fears obliquely in some ways. Because we sit behind a mic and not in the full glare of one on one or one on many circumstances, we get to do what’s needed in our own spaces.

Once we begin to continually push through these fears, we build resilience and self-assurance.

Constructive Feedback and Growth

Podcasting encourages feedback and self-improvement. As you engage with listeners and receive constructive criticism, you’ll learn to accept feedback gracefully and use it as a tool for growth. This feedback loop helps you identify areas for improvement and refine your podcasting skills. It also teaches us to be discerning in our acceptance of feedback. I remember an old professor suggesting we only ask close friends to critique our writing and then dismiss 90% of their suggestions. The key, he stated, was knowing which 10% to act on. Learning this lesson through podcasting is a transferable skill to all aspects of life.

Effective Communication

Effective communication is a vital life skill; good podcasting is effective communication in action. Through the process of creating your episodes, you learn to articulate your thoughts clearly, engage your audience and adapt your communication style to connect with listeners.

Communication skills are never wasted, making you more effective and persuasive. Confidence in your communication abilities will change your life for the better.

Expanding Your Comfort Zone

Podcasting can push you out of your comfort zone, forcing you to confront challenges, tackle new technologies and engage with a global audience. Even the idea of a global audience can be change inducing. If it’s overwhelming to begin with, just talk to one person as you record. In essence that’s what you’re doing anyway, just one person at a time all at once.

As you expand your comfort zone through podcasting, you’ll become more open to trying new things and taking calculated risks. This adventurous spirit will empower you to embrace change and uncertainty with poise and confidence.

Connecting with a Community

Podcasting often leads to the formation of a supportive community of listeners and fellow podcasters who share your interests. This sense of belonging and camaraderie is one of the great intangible benefits of the craft.

Knowing your words resonate with others and you have a community of like-minded individuals who appreciate your perspective can be a powerful confidence booster. I received an email from one listener who told me they listen twice, the first time as they drop off to sleep because they found my voice soothing and again the next morning to make sure they’d understood what I’d been saying. I’m still amazed when I think about that particular feedback. You don’t always know the difference your making but rest assured you are making a difference!

In conclusion, learning to podcast is a transformative journey that can significantly boost your confidence and help you grow into a more fully rounded individual as a result. Podcasting empowers individuals to grow, evolve and become more confident versions of themselves. So, if you’re looking for a powerful way to build confidence and unlock your potential, consider embarking on the exciting journey of podcasting—it’s an adventure that will change your life for the better.

If you are considering taking up the craft of podcasting, I’m considering running a course in the near future so drop a line, email and linkedin contact details are in the show notes for this episode.

The next episode, #6 in season 9 is all about mastering the art of storytelling through podcasting.

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