Podcasting opens doors to a diverse range of abilities, from content creation and technical expertise to communication and marketing. In this blog post, we’ll explore how the craft encourages you to acquire and refine valuable skills, unlocking new horizons for personal and professional growth.
Content Creation and Storytelling
At its core, podcasting is about telling compelling stories. As a podcaster, you learn to craft narratives, structure episodes and deliver content that attracts your audience. This skill is, obviously, transferable. Not just to other creative endeavours, such as writing, filmmaking or even marketing but in general conversation, business settings and teaching your children.
Audio Production and Editing
As podcasting involves the technical aspects of audio production and editing. you become familiar with recording equipment, sound editing software and audio engineering techniques. These skills not only enhance your podcasting capabilities but can also be applied to other audio-related projects. The principles, taking out what’s not needed and keeping what is, cleaning up the background noise and tweaking the voice a little are all skills that apply to video and the written word. Video adds the visual element and the written word is different in other obvious ways but, I would argue, the principles and therefore the production and editing skills learned in podcasting are transferable.
Communication and Public Speaking
Effective communication is a necessary life skill. Podcasting provides a platform on which to develop, experiment and refine it. As you create and deliver episodes, you enhance your public speaking abilities, learn to articulate your thoughts clearly and engage your audience effectively. Adding emotion, nuance and emotion as you deliver becomes second nature, as you develop within the craft. Initially you’re likely to be obsessed with the technical side of the craft, especially if you’ve not dabbled in audio production before. As you become adept at the technical side, and that’s a continuous improvement area of endeavour, you’re able to focus more on the words, the delivery, the background effects and the general crafting of the audioscape. This is context dependent, I rarely use background sounds, I find them distracting in other shows, but there are times when they add value to the communication. Over on Sound Collages, I experiment with some of these techniques. The episode entitled Skibbereen Soundscape makes use of a recording I made walking around the township of Skibbereen in West Cork that I placed under a narrative track. These are things you can experiment with in podcasting and such skills can add depth to public addresses, webinars and so on. Maybe not ideal in a job interview but might work in certain contexts. Certainly the ability to structure communication on the fly, a podcasting skill, is handy in that situation.
Marketing and Promotion
Podcasting isn’t just about creating content; it’s also about reaching and growing your audience. To succeed in podcasting, you need to learn the fundamentals of marketing and promotion. you will become proficient in social media marketing, email marketing and audience engagement strategies. Clearly these skills are useful in most forms of employment.
Time Management and Consistency
A podcast requires consistent planning, scheduling and time management. you need to meet deadlines, especially self imposed deadlines, for recording, editing and publishing episodes. These skills can improve your overall time management abilities, making you more efficient in all areas of your life. Fitting your life around your show has a ripple effect throughout your life. Things get done so you have the space to record, edit, etc. As mentioned back in episode 2 of this season, 9, podcasting’s effect on time management can have positive mental health benefits too. That episode refers to the show “Thanks Podcasting” from the podcast host Libsyn.
Learning to podcast teaches prioritising tasks, setting goals and maintaining a consistent work ethic, valuable skills that lead to increased productivity in all areas of life.
Interviewing and Interpersonal Skills
Interviews are a particular style of podcast. Learning how to engage with guests, listen actively, ask insightful questions and create an engaging and respectful environment are all part of the game. Interviews are a more formal version, perhaps, of having a chat. Not every conversation you have will need a deep dive into the passions, motives and methodologies of your co-conversationalist. But when the time for such discussions arrives, you’ll be well equipped from your podcasting practice. By understanding the power of open ended questions and actually listening to the answer, without judgement or predetermined outcome, the depth of connection is quite remarkable.
Clearly this makes for great audio but it also makes for an enriched life, deeper connection and a more fully human way to be in this world.
Critical Thinking and Research
Research, more correctly, reading around a topic, gathering information and being able to critically analyse content is a key part of the podcasting process. We can all think of a well known podcaster who just buys into whatever falls out of the mouths of his guests. Critical thought, on the fly, is a skill that takes many years to develop. Once you have a handle on it, your mind becomes like a sword, cleaving nonsense, conspiracy theory and downright political lies from reality.
Critical thinking and research skills are invaluable in decision-making, problem-solving and staying well-informed across all domains in your life.
Adaptability and Problem Solving
Podcasting isn’t without its challenges. Technical issues, unexpected obstacles and creative dilemmas can and will arise during the podcasting process. I recall occasions when I’ve recorded the same script three times only to find the file empty of audio. Turning laptops off and on, changing cables, using different mics all one change at a time. I ended up with the original setup and then the file was recorded properly. To this day I still ponder the causes of the failure to capture the sound and I still have no idea what happened. The point though is this, issues will arise, things will go wrong. You need to have or develop a sense of resilience and an ability to work through problems to find a solution. For the same reason you should always subscribe to your own shows and be one of the first to listen. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, on perhaps three occasions, something has gone awry between publishing and the episode landing on my phone. I reloaded the same files and followed my usual workflow processes and the file loaded perfectly the second time. Things go wrong, be prepared and take steps as required. This is a good mantra for life in general but podcasting provides a way to learn this resilience.
Above all else, resilience learned through podcasting is the most powerful intangible skill you’ll learn. It’s applicable to every aspect of your life and should never be underestimated.
Learning to podcast is a dynamic journey, empowering, upskilling and boundary stretching. So if you’re seeking to expand your skill set and embrace lifelong learning, podcasting offers a creative and rewarding path to achieve this. JMPS will be offering a course based on 1000s of episodes, nearly a decade of hard won experience and all predicated on 40 years of meditation which might not seem related but it is. Through the meditation practice, I’ve learned to discern the necessary from the superfluous. The Course, as it’s coming together, will cover just what you need to enter the medium and nothing you don’t. I’m looking at a Black Friday/Cyber Monday launch date. If you’re interested, drop me a line at email@example.com or through my Linkedin profile, both are located in the show notes for this episode.
The next episode, #9 in Season 9 is entitled: Amplifying Connections Through Podcasting.
If you’ve found some value in this episode, please tell a friend who might be interested. This really is the best way you can help this show spread the word and such referrals are deeply appreciated, thanks.
In Show Links:
Skibbereen Soundscape: https://mrjonmoore.libsyn.com/20-skibbereen-soundscape