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Today’s article is not about mental health, but it is adjacent. Before continuing, realize I am not a psychologist. If you have a personality disorder, are in therapy, or are working in any capacity with a professional mental health provider; do what they say. Not this yokel.
There's a lot that we can change about our podcasts we feel like we need a change.
We can change the topic of the show and our episodes. We’re not one-dimensional creatures, so we’ve a variety of interests and lived experiences in our repertoire we can pull from. Or we can acquire new experiences and knowledge, passing that along in our podcast if that's what we wish to do.
We can change the angle of approach we take with our topics. That’s because we understand that, to be persuasive, we sometimes have to make subtle shifts in how we talk about a topic to make that topic more palatable to the people listening on the other end. Or we do this to help us have better engagement and deeper connections with a guest or co-host.
We can change the overall format of our podcast. We know that millions of podcasts already exist, and something like 20,000 new shows added to that pile every single week. Even listening to a small fraction of those new podcasts exposes us to clever new ways people are using podcasting to share their thoughts and ideas. And we can learn from many of them.
We can change the branding elements to give our podcast a fresh look. Or we can change the audio branding elements inside our episodes, giving our episodes a fresh sound. We can take that a step further and actually change our voice on our podcast. With the help of Speech-Language Pathologists or vocal coaches, we can gain confidence in our voice. Confidence that our voice sounds as close as possible to the person who we really are inside.
There are myriad other changes, some subtle and some gigantic, that we can make to our podcasts. But what about changing our personality?
This Is Your Brain On Podcasts
I now direct your attention to the top paragraph of this article, where it should be abundantly clear that I'm not qualified to offer an opinion on the age-old question, “Can people change?” Nor am I suggesting whether or not you or anyone else should or should not attempt to change who you or they are at a fundamental level.
Leaving those thorny pitfalls aside, I do think there are some aspects of your personality that are “affected habits” if you will. A sort of “muscle memory” of brain-behavior that is expressed outwardly, to use a layperson's and probably clumsy metaphor.
I’ll use me as an example. If you know me, I'm pretty quick with the joke. And that makes me, in my opinion, not a great interviewer. Or even a good interviewer. I recognize that about my own personality, which is why you’ve never heard me interview anyone on Podcast Pontifications.
But oddly enough, I'm actually paid to interview people on other podcasts. No, you’ve never heard those shows and, unless you randomly stumble across one of them, you probably won’t. They’re podcasts built around interviews with professionals on markedly non-funny topics that have nothing to do with podcasting.
So why am I doing the interviews? Partly because I get paid to do it, obviously. But also because those interviews force me to suppress my natural knee-jerk, “quick, crack a joke now!” reaction. I think that experience and forced behavior change is making me into a better, more well-round rounded podcaster. And those could be handy skills for Season 4 of Podcast Pontifications.
I’ll use my friend Don as another example. Don is a long-time podcaster who managed to successfully monetize a long-running, multi-host show. But in the almost-decades he'd been podcasting, he'd never done a solo show or scripted show.
So he decided to try and is now quietly experimenting with both of those new-to-him things on a semi-secret show. He has no plans to continue the show after the set number of episodes he established at the start of this experiment. But I bet Don will take the lessons and newly emphasized parts of his personality and incorporate those in his multi-host, more off-the-cuff podcasting efforts.
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And then there’s my friend Terry who’s only been podcasting a couple of years yet has already experienced a bunch of starts, stops, and changes in focus along the way. Terry is well informed on a lot of related interests, so he tends to wax both poetically on and tangentially to topics, finding it hard for even himself to follow the thread of an episode.
While Terry has been taking a break from his podcast, he’s finding great success on a short-form video platform. A video platform that forces him—and rewards him— for being much more succinct. When he comes back to the podcast, it will be with a slightly modified external personality that, hopefully, the podcast audience will appreciate.
I'm not sure any of those examples truly qualify for a changed personality. But I do think each represents someone who’s making (and able to make) a decision on which parts of their personality to emphasize and expose, and which ones they de-emphasize and keep out of the podcasts you hear.
We’re all three trying to make better podcasts. Not just for us, but for our audiences as well.
If my relationships with other podcasters are any indication, many podcasters recognize that not all parts of their personalities are conducive to making a great podcast. For some, expressed personality traits might even be getting in the way of their podcasting efforts. If you know someone like that, please share this episode or article with them to help them work through the process for themselves.
And if you loved this idea and the rest of the content I bring to you daily on Podcast Pontifications, I’d greatly appreciate it if you went to BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra and purchase a virtual coffee for me.
I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.