Close your eyes and listen to me speak. Pause, rewind and listen again. No one else is here. It is you and me. Hear me and listen to me.
There is an intimacy involved when I put on my headphones and turn on a favorite podcast. I am alone with the show host. He or she is speaking to me and me alone. This is a conversation and we are sharing a story. My world expands.
“In a sense, I’m painting something but I’m not holding the paintbrush. You are. So it’s this deep act of co-authorship, and in that is some potential for empathy.” – Jad Abumrad, RadioLab
I love this quote as it gets to the heart of why a good podcast works. The eyes can deceive. A good podcast is storytelling at its best and most profound. We are sitting around the fire once again, slowing down and moving from hearing to truly listening, finding understanding in the words.
Podcasting is enjoying a renaissance. Thanks to many professional and content rich podcasts available, anyone can find something of interest to listen too. Some podcasts such as Serial, have broken through to where mainstream media takes note.
I am a dedicated podcast listener. There are several podcasts that I have listened to for many years and others I discover from time to time. I look for great topics to expand my world. I miss my bike commutes to work where my choice of podcast (listen through bluetooth earpiece) was vital to my journey. As such, I welcome (call me crazy) any new and even longer work commute to allow for more podcast time.
With no commute these days I still find time to listen to podcasts everyday. While cooking and washing dishes I listen. On walks alone or working out, I listen.
If you have not jumped into listening to podcasts, I invite you to jump in and try it out. I use the embedded iPhone app for my podcasts as well as the third-party app, Stitcher. Explore and you will find topics of interest.
Here is my list of favorite Podcasts:
On Being – Host Krista Tippett does a masterful job interviewing influential people and creating a great story with each podcast. She has introduced me to many great thinkers, leading to deeper exploration and reading. I have saved and re-listened to several of her podcasts.
The Break – Host Father Roderick, a Dutch Catholic Priest is one of the pioneers of podcasting. He has run several podcasts continuously over the years. His core show is “The Break” covering topics from movies, pop culture, catholic teaching, and technology. He is known as the “Geek Priest” and runs two other podcasts that I actively listen to, “Geek Week” and “The Walk”. Father Roderick is a favorite and his podcasts, from his studio talking about Star Wars or from the Vatican reporting on the actions of our new Pope, are educational, fun, and inspirational at times.
Serial – Count me as one of the legions who listened to the first season of Serial. A true story of an investigative reporter looking into the murder of a teenager over 10 years ago. A man is in jail for the crime, but did he do it? This podcast made the long recent drives to Southern California bearable.
TED Radio Hour – This podcast takes the live TED talks and reproduces them for audio podcasts. So many great topics.
There are others too, Total Soccer Show, The Nerdist, Working, Writing Excuses, and Harvard Business Review Ideacast. Other podcast discoveries are around the corner.
Close your eyes and listen. Better yet, leave your eyes open and listen.