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Infomercials and Life Lessons: A Conversation with Brian Richardson - Part 2
Episode 20013th September 2023 • Audio Branding • Jodi Krangle
00:00:00 00:23:13

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“So a lot of times they feel like they have to pack this thing with so much dense information. I'm like, dude, you have 30 minutes and you have three of those to hook somebody and you still need to leave a little bit for Q&A. You still need to leave a little bit for engagement. So if you're not going to answer everybody's question about something highly technical in the span of a podcast or the span of a technical talk, the span of an explainer video, you always have to get them to that act. They need to take a step and learn more. And that's where then you get a next level of engagement. You have a more detailed conversation. You have a one-on-one with somebody.” -- Brian Richardson


This episode’s the second half of my conversation with technical communicator, Dragon Con host, and Play It With Moxie drummer, Brian Richardson as he shares his advice on effective communication, some of the most memorable actors he’s worked with at Dragon Con, and the surprisingly rustic direction his life’s taken thanks to a move to Oregon and his new YouTube channel.

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Knowing When to Speak

As the second half of our discussion kicks off, Brian tells us more about the advice he gives technical professionals for connecting with their audience, such as gauging how fast you talk and making sure you’re engaging with the listeners. “Some of it is voice and some of it is language options,” he adds. “There's also a third element depending on the audience, which is when to speak. So when we get into a lot of it, it’s basically word choice.” He shares his stories from Dragon Con, including some surprisingly introverted actors that he’s helped along the way. “Actors are not always outgoing people,” he says. “Some actors are actually introverts. And some of those folks really love the panel environment. They feed off of it. And then they will go back in their little cocoon at the end of the hour.”


Fandom is Fandom

We talk more about Dragon Con, his experiences with the casts of shows like Firefly, The Expanse, and Strange New Worlds, and how he works with guests so they know he’s on their side. “‘Is there anything we shouldn't talk about?’” he quotes his list of pre-show questions. “’Should I deflect from the audience?' And that's your safety zone, right? Now you understand that I'm not just going to feed you to the wolves because fandom is great. But fandom is also sometimes fandom." He also explains how his skills as a moderator have also proven useful when it comes to helping technical experts bridge the knowledge gap with clients. “This idiot in a colorful shirt,” Brian says, poking fun at his own role as the panel host, “said ‘I'm sorry, we have to go.’ So I'm, I'm essentially a buffer, a valve between those two sides. And in some cases when I'm doing technical work, I'm doing the same thing.”


I’m Not Here Yet

Brian also tells us about an unforgettable interview with MCU star Benedict Wong, just as the Marvel movies were getting underway. “He, like, bursts through the door and he's like, ‘Ignore me. I'm not here yet,’” Brian recalls. “And then he sneaks behind the table, and I introduce him, and he comes back up and he's funny as hell.” As the episode comes to a close, we also talk about his YouTube channel NerdSteading, which combines geek-culture enthusiasm with his DIY experiences in rural Oregon. “You’ll see me being sad about roof leaks and doing a full demolition on a workshop,” he explains, “and eventually releasing a video where I built a chicken coop that looks like a TARDIS.”


Episode Summary

  • Knowing when and how to speak, and making room for your listeners.
  • Some of the most introverted and outgoing actors Brian’s hosted at Dragon Con.
  • What being a convention host and technical speaker have in common.
  • Brian’s most memorable interviews as a host and his NerdSteading channel.


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