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In Podcasting, Stories Beat Advice Every Time
Episode 2626th August 2021 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
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Evo Terra:

It doesn't matter how long your podcast episodes are,

Evo Terra:

so long as you tell a great story.

Evo Terra:

Great storytellers make all podcasting better.

Evo Terra:

And with some work and dedication, you too can join their ranks.

Evo Terra:

Today's episode is brought to you by the Advancing Podcasting

Evo Terra:

community at advancingpodcasting.xyz.

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Because why would I do anything normal?

Evo Terra:

It's a special community just for listeners and readers of

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications and it's populated by like-minded working

Evo Terra:

podcasters just like you who also want to make podcasting better.

Evo Terra:

You're already listening to the show.

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So why not extend the conversation and your influence on the future of podcasts?

Evo Terra:

Join us today at advancingpodcasting.xyz.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

Evo Terra:

My grandfather was not a podcaster, obviously.

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I mean, I'm a grandfather and podcasting's only been around for

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a couple of decades, so - time.

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My mom has been sending me the stories that she pulled out of my grandfather

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over the last decade or so of his life.

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And wow, would my grandfather have made for one of the best,

Evo Terra:

most entertaining podcasters ever.

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I credit any skills I might have as a storyteller to him, direct line to him.

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He had the knack for storytelling and remains the kind of storyteller

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I continually strive to be.

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And you hear evidence of that every single time you listen to Podcast Pontifications.

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I don't have to tell you, the working podcaster, how important storytelling is.

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And it's very likely that you are already a good storyteller, especially

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if your podcast has been out and running and doing well for a long while now.

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But not every podcaster feels that way.

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In fact, many of them struggle with the idea of storytelling.

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Either they're just not good at it or due to that pesky imposter

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syndrome that we can't escape.

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So, how do you, the working podcaster, become a better storyteller?

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Because I will tell you, all things remaining equal, the podcaster

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who is better at storytelling will out-podcast someone who isn't.

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I'd go so far as to say that storytelling is an integral

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part of the podcasting process.

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Chances are, we can all be better storytellers, which will, in fact,

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make all of podcasting better.

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Now, I'm reticent to give advice on how to become a great podcasting storyteller.

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I'm not a teacher of storytelling.

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I'm a practitioner, if you will, of storytelling, but I'm not

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designed to teach storytelling.

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But I can at least share with you the things that I do - tell you

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stories about the way I tell stories and became a better storyteller.

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First thing, I listen to and also read a lot of great

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stories from great storytellers.

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I consume a ridiculous number of fiction podcasts.

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I listen to audiobooks.

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I read books.

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But I also read articles written by great storytellers.

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I listen to a lot of history podcasts.

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I follow the words of great science communicators, and many more.

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I fill my eyes and my ears with great stories all the time.

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That lets me recognize the rhythm, the scent of what a good story really is.

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And yeah, the mechanics are important, how you structure

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a story and all those things.

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That's true.

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But I'm really seeking out things less for the structure and more for the

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ability to grab me and pull me inside.

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And when I'm listening to, or reading, somehow consuming that content,

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I'm also actively stealing ideas.

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I'm pulling things aside and saying, "Ooh, I like that."

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And I'm incorporating those ideas that I share - steal,

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if you will - into this show.

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I do it also for my guest appearances.

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I mean, everything that I do is oftentimes a result of the things that I listened

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to, the things that I read out there.

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You know, storytelling isn't an ability that will suddenly

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spontaneously generate in your brain.

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I'm fortunate I had near constant exposure to storytelling as a kid,

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and I try to continue that today.

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So same for you.

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Surround yourself with great stories.

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The second thing I do is I outline.

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Now, I always hated outlining, really did.

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At least, I hated the way that I was taught to outline by the school systems.

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But then I was thrown into writing Podcasting for Dummies, and that

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experience changed everything.

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See, my publishers required an outline first.

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And not just a few bullet points on where I thought the conversation might go.

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No, an extremely detailed outline of the concepts I would be presenting

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in each and every chapter.

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I don't want to say it was quite a one-to-one ratio, bullet point to chapter,

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but it wasn't too far off from that.

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And I do that still today on episodes of Podcast Pontifications.

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Case in point, the outline for today's show, I kid you not, 46 lines, 885 words.

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It's all written down.

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Not every single thing I'm saying, but, again, 886 words written in an outline

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before I sat down behind this mic.

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And once it's done, once that outline is done, it's very easy for me to fill

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in the gaps like I'm doing right now.

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I don't have to worry if I'm getting my point across or if I'm

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going to get to the conclusion because it's all in the outline.

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I just have to follow it.

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Another thing that I do is I have favorite stories in my back pocket

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ready to go at the drop of a hat.

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Because if someone drops a mic in your face - don't panic your podcaster,

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you can handle that - and they said to you, "Tell me a story now!"

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Could you do that?

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I've got a few.

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Like the time I got kicked out of my very first college football

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game and probably should have been arrested for that same thing.

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Or the shared midlife crisis my wife and I went through that led us to selling

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every single thing that we own here in America, and then traveling abroad

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and living abroad for three years.

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And I've even got one non-joke that I've made my own and can make

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fill a fifteen-minute spot without a problem, entertaining everybody

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around me with the exception of my wife who forbids me from ever telling

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the said non-joke in her presence.

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And I also practice.

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Yep.

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I practice, obviously, here on Podcast Pontifications I get a chance to

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practice four days a week on you.

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But I also practice when I'm making guest appearances, like I did a couple of times

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yesterday, when I'm on other podcasts.

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I practice every single time I'm giving a presentation, whether that's in-person

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- I miss in-person - or virtual events.

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I, over the years, have submitted to and presented at a lot of local

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storytelling events like Reignite Phoenix, like PechaKucha, like

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other little storytelling events.

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They're all there.

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And I talk to myself a lot.

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I work out ideas and concepts and how to thread things together from some of those

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trivial things, some of the most boring things, or sometimes even the most lofty

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of things like if I were giving a speech to the UN on how to combat climate change.

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I know that's never going to go anywhere, but it's practice.

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I'm practicing throwing out ideas in my head out loud because practice

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builds your storytelling muscle.

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Apologies to the physicians and biologists out there.

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I know that the brain is not a muscle, but I mean metaphorically, not literally.

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You get the idea.

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The human brain has been shaped by hundreds of thousands of years

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to create, to crave stories - to create and to crave stories, right?

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You need to fill that need on your podcasts because, as I said, given

Evo Terra:

the choice, stories are going to trump advice every single time.

Evo Terra:

Speaking of stories, I'd like to read you a fable.

Evo Terra:

No, wait, I wrote that down wrong.

Evo Terra:

I want to read you some Boostagrams!

Evo Terra:

Now it's time for the boost-the boost-the boost- Boostagram C orner.

Evo Terra:

Boostagram Corner.

Evo Terra:

I don't know a thing about crypto.

Evo Terra:

Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting fame and the actual podcasting

Evo Terra:

hall of fame used Fountain podcast listening app to send me 500 Satoshis.

Evo Terra:

Thank you, Dave.

Evo Terra:

With a message that just said, "Boost for you!"

Evo Terra:

Thanks, Dave!

Evo Terra:

'Preciate it.

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And then there's Nick.

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I don't know who Nick is, just simply Nick.

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I don't know where Nick is from, but thank you, Nick.

Evo Terra:

Nick also used Fountain to send me 500 sats with the

Evo Terra:

message, "Some very wise words.

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Great listen."

Evo Terra:

Thank you very much, Nick.

Evo Terra:

If you received some value from this episode and you would also like to send

Evo Terra:

me some value back and you're using one of those value-for-value enabled apps,

Evo Terra:

like Fountain, please send me a boost with a message, a Boostagram, and I'll

Evo Terra:

read it out to you right here on the show.

Evo Terra:

And if you're not, I get it, man.

Evo Terra:

This whole thing is the opposite of intuitive.

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You can always buy me a virtual coffee at BuyMeACoffee.com/evoterra.

Evo Terra:

Buy twelve while you're at it!

Evo Terra:

No episodes tomorrow.

Evo Terra:

I like to keep my Fridays sacred.

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So with that, I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

Evo Terra:

Cheers!

Evo Terra:

Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

Evo Terra:

section of your podcast listening app.

Evo Terra:

A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

Evo Terra:

podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.