That’s season one for Talk About Talk! Tune-in and you’ll hear the best of the past 12 episodes, including key learnings, bloopers, things YOU told me, answers to a few Qs that you asked, and what I personally learned through this season. You can think of this as the final lecture of the class, where the professor summarizes everything that is on the final exam. Except – there is no final exam!
SHOWNOTES – Season One One
- References & Links
- Season One Podcast episodes
- Guest experts
- A few of my favourite podcasters
- Transcript & Photos
References & Links
Podcast Episodes – SEASON ONE
- Body Language – https://talkabouttalk.com/1-body-language-with-executive-coach-cynthia-barlow/
- Using Your Voice – https://talkabouttalk.com/2-using-your-voice-with-baritone-opera-singer-bradley-christensen/
- Why We Talk – https://talkabouttalk.com/3-why-we-talk-dr-andrea-wojnicki-discusses-her-research/
- Language – https://talkabouttalk.com/4-language-with-polyglot-tfs-head-of-school-dr-josep-gonzalez/
- Public Relations – https://talkabouttalk.com/5-public-relations-with-pr-expert-graeme-harris/
- Ratings & Reviews – https://talkabouttalk.com/6-ratings-reviews-with-homestars-founder-ceo-nancy-peterson/
- Social Media – https://talkabouttalk.com/7-social-media-with-volterra-founder-andrew-jenkins/
- Coaching – https://talkabouttalk.com/8-coaching-with-elite-camps-founder-stephanie-rudnick/
- Your Personal Brand – https://talkabouttalk.com/9-re-imagining-your-personal-brand-with-ceo-team-performance-expert-michael-boydell/
- Colour – https://talkabouttalk.com/10-communicating-with-colour-with-daryl-aitken-jenn-purkis-lori-ryerson/
- Storytelling – https://talkabouttalk.com/11-storytelling-with-harvard-professor-author-jerry-zaltman/
- Creativity – https://talkabouttalk.com/12-expressing-your-creativity-with-jenn-purkis-daryl-aitken-lori-ryerson
Guest Experts (alphabetical by last name)
- Daryl Aitken at Fabric Spark – https://fabricspark.com/
- Cynthia Barlow at C3 Conversations – http://c3conversations.com/
- Michael Boydell at Boydell Inc. – https://boydellinc.com/
- Bradley Christensen baritone opera singer – http://www.bradleychristensenbaritone.com/
- Josep Gonzalez at TFS Canada’s International School – https://www.tfs.ca/our-community/head-of-school-welcome
- Graeme Harris Public Relations – https://www.linkedin.com/in/graemeharris/
- Andrew Jenkins at Volterra – https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewjjenkins/
- Nancy Peterson at Homestars – https://homestars.com/about
- Jenn Purkis at X&In – https://www.xandindesign.com/
- Stephanie Rudnick at Elite Camps – https://elitecamps.com/
- Lori Ryerson at Focalocity – https://www.focalocity.ca/
- Jerry Zaltman at HBS – https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=6579
A few of my Favourite Fellow Podcasters
- David Nebinski – https://www.portfoliocareerpodcast.com/
- Morgane Michael – https://smallactbigimpact.com/tag/morgane-michael/
- Gabrielle Pitman – https://gabriellepitman.com/podcast
- Maria Xenidou – https://impactlearning.simplecast.fm/
Talk About Talk
- Newsletter – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup
- Andrea – [email protected]
- Brian – [email protected]
- About – https://talkabouttalk.com/about/
Season One Summary – Transcript & Photos
Hey there! Thank you for tuning in to TalkAboutTalk. I am Dr. Andrea Wojnicki. Please call me Andrea. This is a fun episode. We are going through the HIGHLIGHTS of the last 12 episodes, Season one.
We are going to take a few weeks to re-group, and then we will be back, ready to TALK all things communication, with Season 2! When I say WE, I mean me and my brother. I have told a few of you that my younger brother Brian in Edmonton has been helping a lot with TalkAboutTalk. Amongst many other cool things that Brian does, he is a qualified audio production engineer. He is also a musician. So when I told him about my plans for TalkAboutTalk, he immediately offered to help with editing and music. He wrote and produced the music and sound effects in the trailer, and he edited all of the episodes. He is talented. He is dedicated. He is smart. Whenever you hear a cheeky but clever sound effect, that’s Brian. He did an amazing job. Don’t you think? He has extremely high quality-standards. And I am so thankful for his work and influence on this project. I’m also thankful that this project has resulted in Brian and me communicating with each other more than we ever have – possibly ever in our lives. You will meet Brian and hear his voice in a few weeks when we kick off the first episode of season two together. Amongst other things, we will Talk About “sibling communication”. In the meantime, you can see Brian, read his bio, and see some photos of us together on the ABOUT page of the Talk About Talk website.
This current episode, the SEASON ONE FINALE (I suppose you could call it), will be jam-packed with highlights: The Best of the past 12 episodes, including Key Learnings, things YOU listeners told ME, bloopers, answers to a few Qs that you asked, and what I personally learned through this season. You can think of this as the final lecture of the class, where the professor summarizes everything that is on the final exam. Except – there is no final exam!
Speaking of SCHOOL – A few weeks ago I did a short presentation about PODCASTING for my son’s grade 6 English class. They are doing a unit on media studies and one of the things they are covering is podcasting. Yes, they are even producing podcasts! Anyway, you gotta love the 12-year olds. They ask the best Qs. Sometimes the most obvious Qs. One student asked me “what is your favourite TAT interview or episode so far?”
Honestly, I ❤️all of them. For different reasons. And it appears you do too. Yes, I track downloads and the difference between the most and the least downloaded podcast is minimal. But I do definitely have favourite moments from each episode. There are little anecdotes, funny unexpected moments, like when my neighbour’s loud power generator started re-charging in the middle of an interview I was conducting at my dining room table. Or when we went off script and really laughed out loud. And of course there are learnings that resonated for me from each of the interviews. I have to say, I’ve learned a LOT, very quickly.
Sometimes those LEARNINGS are things that I already knew. But then I hear it again in a different context. And sometimes repeatedly from various guest experts. Let me give you an example. BREATHING.
First, there was BRADLEY CHRISTENSEN, the baritone opera singer. What a voice, right? Not surprisingly, he spoke a lot about breathing:
It’s a shallow breathing. And if it’s shallow, and if it’s held high, you feel and you’ll probably hear a tension in the neck, and, of course, the longer we go on like this, the more we get worried, we can, of course, get to a point where we’re hyperventilating or Okay, I need a breather, I need a water, I need to chill. So for me, I think of calm blue oceans. Just breathe.
CYNTHIA BARLOW, the executive coach and body language expert also advises slowing down to take a deep breathe.
I say, punch the pause button, take a deep breath. If you are in a chair, lean back. I mean, that’s one of the best tips I have for communicating more effectively: breathe. Because when we’re not breathing, we’re not getting oxygen to our brain.
Many of you connected with me after listening to Bradley or Cynthia about how they made you more aware of your breathing. And your posture.
And then there is the metaphorical deep breathe. As in “wait 24hours before responding in an intense situation.” We heard that from STEPHANIE RUDNICK, the founder and CEO of Elite Camps in the context of talking to coaches. We heard that from PR expert GRAEME HARRIS in the context of managing corporate crises and we heard that from NANCY PETERSON the founder and CEO of Homestars, in the context of handling negative reviews. And here’s social media guru ANDREW JENKINS on taking a moment before you share that social media post:
I tell people, “Don’t say, or do anything on social that you wouldn’t say, or do, to your grandmother in front of a room of 100 people” … People get very brave and emboldened behind a keyboard. But if you were to drag them out from behind the keyboard said, Okay, now say that to my face in front of this room? Well, you’d see some people kind of shy away.
So breathing is just one example of something I already knew that really came to light through the interviews. Another example of something that I learned more about from my guest experts is the significance of meta communication and paralanguage. Of course, I had some idea about this. This is what Talk About Talk is all about, right? It’s not just the words. Well, let me back up. Your choice of words matters a LOT. Here is Professor JERRY ZALTMAN on how important your choice of words can be.
If you are shown a video of two cars banging into each other at a street in intersection and I asked you to describe what happened at this accident site. You may not mention a lot of broken glass if I use the word accident, but if I use the word Crash, showing you the exact same film, you’re going to recall the story as having a lot of broken glass. So the words accident and crash activate or suppress the presence or absence of glass.
That’s a little frightening, don’t you think? Imagine the impact of using the word ACCIDENT versus using the word CRASH in a court of law.
Here’s GRAEME HARRIS on the power of words and public relations:
So when you’re dealing with the reputation issues of a company, I realize all throughout my career that if I say something wrong in the media, and it gets published, I could knock $2 off the stock.
However, words are only a small proportion of what we communicate. There’s facial expression, vocal elements such as tone, pitch and cadence, and body language, including how we use our hands. CYNTHIA BARLOW spoke a lot about how we need to be self-aware, and aware of what our hands are doing. Here’s her take on Trump’s hands:
… look at the number of times Trump sits with his hands down in triangles. Right in front of his genitalia. His legs are spread, and he’s got his elbows on his thighs, with his hands, pressed together. Comme ça in the stapled position. That’s all unconscious. He is giving a contradictory meta message. This means authority. Priests do it at the at their desks. And psychologists do it. It’s more “you shut up and listen…”
It’s true. He does do that hands-in-a-steeple thing a lot. Hmm.
Beyond our body language and our hands, Even the colours we are wear communicate something – however implicitly. Here’s decorator JENN PURKIS describing how black is perceived or interpreted as privilege:
Black is a colour that I absolutely love. It’s actually not colour. To me, it’s very stylish. So that is why I’ve always found that cars, clothing, handbags, great boots, (which is my passion we haven’t talked about). I just find it so stylish. And I always feel like you’re already two steps ahead with black, just because it’s stylish. So if you’ve created a new a new model of a car, or whatever it is –a new boot, you’re already two steps ahead. It’s like privilege. And then it’s like privilege now because it’s easy. It’s easy. You’re already you’re already ahead by using it.
So there is a lot to think about here in terms of meta-communication. Beyond our words we have vocal elements, body language, our hands, the colours we wear…. Sometimes this whole communication thing can be overwhelming. Thankfully, several of the Talk About Talk guest experts provided some perspectives and advice to help us. There’s ANDREW JENKINS the social media guru who understands that many organizations and individuals feel overwhelmed with social media. Instead of worrying about creating a complete strategic plan for social media, here is what he suggests:
To your point, some people say, “we need to be in social” and often, “we need a Facebook strategy.” And I know I sound kind of Snarky … but Facebook didn’t have a Facebook strategy when it first began.
Speaking of social media, when I asked Dr. JOSEP GONZALEZ if he has a podcast or blog that he recommends, he advises instead that we go back to books – basic heavy texts.
AW: Is there a podcast blog or email newsletter that you find yourself recommending to other people the most?
JG: There are many, okay. But I’m not going to recommend one. And I’ll tell you why. I think that in the kind of society where we live, I think that because our society leads us towards a certain shallowness of communication and sometimes social media can lead to that. I think that rather than recommending any of the blogs and podcasts– which I follow, I’m going to recommend going back to basic –heavy texts– and for the history of culture that is going to give us, you know, that food-for-thought that’s going to give us, encourage us, to add more and more layers to our depth.
Wow. That’s heavy. But it is fair. I love books too.
STEPHANIE RUDNICK also provided useful advice, particularly encouraging parents to let their children advocate for themselves. She also encourages us to share stories of our epic failures. Listen to her tell us about when she shares stories of her epic failures with her kids:
You can hear a pin drop when I talk about all my failures in my car. They don’t want to hear about grit, how great I was, or that I won a medal. They don’t want to hear that. They want to know how I lost. They want to know when a coach yelled at me, or threw a chair at me, or all those fun things that happened. Or when my teammates were rude or not nice. They want to hear about that… Yeah, they love it.
That’s funny. True too, I think.
NANCY PETERSON also helped us out by providing us with a list of several things to watch out for in online reviews — to ensure they are valid and to help us make the right purchase decision. Like checking multiple sources, looking at more recent reviews, and looking out for batched reviews. Here is her general advice:
I would just tell the audience that I’d be suspicious about a company that’s been around for a long time if it has no reviews on the Internet. It doesn’t matter on what source– Google, Homestars, any platform. You just have to be cautious. I would also add that reviews aren’t the only source of homework. You have to do your homework and make sure that you’re checking to make sure that they’ve got insurance. If you’re doing a big job right, see their insurance. People should never give large deposits for work. Why do you need a deposit? Have that break down and be very specific. It should be a very small number. Under 15% or whatever, just to get the project going the materials etc. So you just want to have your eyes open and if something seems off, it’s off. Check into it. If you’re getting funny vibes from a company, then just pause.
And there’s MICHAEL BOYDELL, who outlines several exercises to help us re-imagine our ideal personal brand. Here he is describing just one of those powerful exercises:
I do believe that “personal brand” is as much about how we show up to the world as it is about the definition that we put on it. So if one is at that that kind of career crossroads point, going out and asking people as opposed to sitting and defining it yourself… If you had three words to describe who I am, what would those three words be? It’s an awesome exercise. You ask customers and you ask clients and you ask peers. Don’t just ask your friends. Don’t just ask the people that are you know, in your corner, supporting you. Ask a true sample. What are the three words that really rise to the surface?
You know what? There were so many actionable learnings here that I could go on and on. Instead, I am going to summarize the top three key learnings for each of the episodes in the shownotes. Email me, [email protected] right now and I will send you the PDF!
I was thrilled that many of you reached out to me, telling me about something you learned from TalkAboutTalk, something you did differently because of what you learned on TalkAboutTalk.
- For example in the episode where I describe my research, I provide you with some suggestions for how to word your request for recommendations from friends. There are certain ways to word your Qs so that the response is less biased. Like if you’re asking for suggestions about “what car to buy” or whatever. A few of you said you tried it and it worked.
- Many of you also admitted that like me, you hadn’t heard of Vocal Fry before you listened to the USING YOUR VOICE Episode with BRADLEY CHRISTENSEN. You know, that voice that seems trendy amongst teenaged and twenty-something girls in particular, that sounds like this and fries your vocal cords? Don’t do it! It can cause damage (COUGH). By the way, one of the Talk About Talk listeners told me she wanted to hire Bradley as a vocal coach for her child. I love that!
- Several of you also told me that after listening to DR. GONZALEZ the head at TFS Canada’s international School, you would love to send your children to a school run by someone as enlightened as him.
- And after hearing DARYL AITKEN, the advertising executive turned fabric store owner, a few of you told me that you planned to go check out her store.
- One listener wrote me an email and shared how after hearing NANCY PETERSON of Homestars share her advice on how to handle home service providers, she fired her absentee snow removal service and successfully negotiated a refund. Yay! Thank you Nancy and thank you Homestars!
All of the guest experts also INSPIRED me. There’s NANCY PETERSON who implicitly inspired me to be more empathetic to service providers (They are just human, she reminds us. Oh yah. Right!) There’s Harvard professor JERRY ZALTMAN who inspired us in many ways, particularly in terms of being conscious and mindful of our thoughts:
I think so much of how we think is largely unconscious and we’re only aware of the product. That is, what we think when we’re actively reflecting or speaking, talking about what we think. And that’s a little late in the game to be exercising quality control over the content of thought.
As Jerry says, we need to focus less on WHAT we’re thinking and more on HOW we’re thinking.
Here’s DARYL AITKEN who inspires us all to do something creative every day:
Well, you know, if you imagine the absence of creativity… how horrible. That’s just unimaginable. You know, nothing would ever change. Nothing would be tested. Nothing would be modified at a societal level. We would we would forego innovation and evolution. I believe we should all do something creative every day. I think it’s easier to sleep if you’ve done something creative that day. And it doesn’t have to be in a traditional sense of creativity, you know, sitting down at a sewing machine, it doesn’t have to. No, not in any way. I think we can we can apply novel ways of doing things to almost anything we take on. But I but I have a pretty broad definition for creativity. But I do think it’s important that you exercise that muscle because it makes you sleep better. Yeah, and I think it also stimulates other things in your life.
And here’s photographer LORI RYERSON, who inspired us all to just go out and learn! Amen sister.
I encourage people to learn. I encourage people to do things that are out of their norm. If you’re someone who works in an office, then I encourage you to get out of that office and go to the bathroom. Or go see some experimental theater or go jump in puddles or learn to do hip hop or… take someone who is afraid of heights and teach her how to do Flying Trapeze. Jamie Maisel, who is a very brilliant photographer, said, “if you want to make more interesting photographs, be a more interesting person.”
Looking back at all of the episodes, I noticed that a few common pop-culture references kept popping up. Four in particular. There’s the movie THE MATRIX. I think it came up at least three times. There’s Colin Kaepernick and the Nike campaign. That also came up several times. And of course there were many references to Harvey Weinstein & the MeToo movement. The fourth pop-culture reference is the elephant in the room – Donald Trump. There were many many references to Trump. In fact, whether explicit or implicit, I would say Trump came up in almost all interviews. Here is CYNTHIA BARLOW’s take on Trump:
He is a scared little boy. He is a frightened child, caught in a corner, and doesn’t even know where to turn. And we are seeing the effects of that. So unfortunately, communication, he’s a con man. He can’t help what he’s doing. But trust your instincts when you’re listening to him.
Professor JERRY ZALTMAN didn’t mention Trump, but when I asked him about his new book, listen to what he said:
It didn’t start out as a book per se. I didn’t plan to write this book. The way it began is about two, three years ago, I began to worry a lot about the information world that my grandkids were growing up in. A world that we now call fake news or a period of truth decay. Especially a period of time where opinion seems to determine fact, what we accept as a fact, as opposed to a fact determining what our opinions might be. And as I thought about that problem for them, and began writing …
Fake news and truth decay? Hmm. Don’t you just love that Jerry decided to do something about it, instead of just complaining about it?
Dr. GONZALEZ never named the politician south of the border even once in the interview. But implicitly, the message was very clear. Listen to this:
Language is a vehicle for democracy. So if we ensure that we all become more sophisticated, from the point of view of our mastery of our own language, and perhaps also little-by- little, learn other languages, it means that all of us become more sophisticated in our thinking. And therefore true democracy is more authentic, because we can go beyond a populist sort of debate into more substantial and profound debates. I think we need to go further than that. And enable, empower, everyone to be able to be part of the construction of our future. By being able to enter in this kind of complex dialogue, in terms of gender, complex dialogue in terms of the environment, complex dialogue in terms of rights, in terms of responsibilities. It’s extremely complex and we cannot discuss that without language. We can express emotions without language. We can love without language. But we cannot express all of those very serious topics that will construct our future without sophistication of language. So for me, I repeat, language is the vehicle for authentic democracy.
That was intense. Inspiring but intense. We had some lighter moments too in this first season. For those of you who listened to baritone opera singer BRADLEY CHRISTENSEN, you know he recommends focusing on your inner smile. The inner smile makes your voice sound better. And it makes you feel better. Certainly, smiling outwardly and laughing out loud is contagious and fun!
I remember after interviewing GRAEME HARRIS the PR expert for 90minutes at my DR table, my face HURT. I realized that because I was smiling the entire time! Who knew that public relations could be so fun? Well, trust me, it was! Here he is at the very end of our interview, still smiling, and advocating for truth:
GH: The best possible situation for PR person is the truth because the truth can’t lie. The truth protects you. And the truth is what you really want in the marketplace.
AW: So I heard recently that the truth is just so much easier to keep track of.
GH: And that too.
JENN PURKIS is the decorator I interviewed for two different episodes, one on colour and one on creativity. Jenn is one of those smart, talented and funny people who could have a successful career doing just about anything. But she says she was BORN to be a decorator. In the interview she described how as a teenager she constantly re-decorated her bedroom, for every holiday and for every season. And how one year she finally convinced her parents to let her paint her room BLACK. And in grade ten she started relentlessly pursuing a career where she could be creative. And how she now looks at her teenage sons playing video games and she cringes. Of course, she shares this in a clever, funny way:
By grade 10 I knew that I needed a career that was creative. It helped me refocus my entire high school career. And I thank God, because I realized that as soon as I could articulate it in my mind — that creativity in whatever form was so important to me… I worry about that. I look at my kids and I’m like, “do you really know what makes you happy? surely, surely. fortnight doesn’t make you happy.” It scratches an itch right? You know? Surely, surely watching YouTube videos does nothing more than scratch an itch.
That is hilarious. Can’t you imagine her talking to her kids about Fortnight scratching an itch? How about when photographer LORI RYERSON was sitting at my DR table, declaring how much she hates the colour beige. My walls on my main floor are all beige! Here is Lori:
And if you look at a number of my photographs from a winter trip to Iceland, you will see a whole bunch of grey in there. But it works. It works. But that’s not beige. Beige is in a category by itself and really should be illegal. It shouldn’t even be allowed to be called colour. Beige is an absence of — it’s a black hole of colours.
Lori is hilarious. She even trolled me on social media about that.
Then there was when I interviewed Dr. JOSEP GONZALEZ. Josep is a polyglot. He speak 5 languages fluently and is proficient in others such as Latin. He advocates learning languages for the reasons we’ve all heard, like more job opportunities, exercising our brain, etc. But he also says that learning another language makes people more sophisticated thinkers. Wait – what? But I only know one language. And he knows that. Listen to this:
JG: I would say that by being bilingual or trilingual or multilingual — what happens is that you add another layer of complexity which makes you more sophisticated. I think… Because then you have to think,…
AW: Did you hear that? That was a smack down. I only know one language. He knows five!!!
I was seriously laughing so hard. And of course, Dr. Gonzalez was very gracious.
Sometimes something happens during an interview that is only funny in retrospect. Like when I was interviewing STEPHANIE RUDNICK on the cold filthy floor at the end of a high school hallway. Stephanie and I were sitting on either side of my mic and recorder and talking very intensely. It wasn’t until he was only a few feet away that I noticed the school janitor quietly walking towards us. He respectfully asked us if we were ok and then asked us if we were having a therapy session. WHAT? That’s pretty funny. But at the time, we were talking so intensely that we didn’t pay him much attention. It wasn’t until afterwards that I said to Stephanie: “did that really happen?”
Of course, there were all sorts of other bloopers that got edited out of the interviews. Like when I was interviewing and recording Dr. GONZALEZ in his office at TFS, there was a siren and — it must’ve been a helicopter flying by. Then there are the interviews we did at my house. I live on a relatively quiet street. But while interviewing other guest experts at my DR table, fire engines drove by my front window, my neighbour’s generator started charging, my other neighbour had loud construction work going on, the doorbell rang when Amazon parcels were delivered, and yes, we forgot to mute our cell phones. Thank goodness these interviews weren’t live!
There was one blooper – we will call it a technical difficulty – in the weekly email blog . This particular blog focused on social media and the Grammys. I had done a ton of research, and, as I always do, I embedded many links so readers can dig in to learn more. It’s always a bit scary for me to hit SEND for the blog. It’s even scarier a few minutes later to receive an email from my brother Brian saying, “Hey, none of the links are working. I sent it to my friend, and he says the same thing.” WHAT? It took several hours to figure out the glitch. We fixed it and decided to resend it ASAP, with an apology. Kind of ironic for a blog focused on communication, don’t you think?
There was also one blooper on the website that has been fixed. If you go to the ABOUT page, there is a headshot of me and a short bio. Then there is a headshot of Brian and his short bio. Then there is a row of photos of us together, ranging from 40 years ago until now. We didn’t mention anywhere that we are siblings. OOPS. One day, someone asked me, “Who is Brian? That’s not your husband is it?” NO. OMGosh no. YOWZA. Needless to say I quickly changed it to clarify that we are siblings!
My favourite blooper of the season is one that I’m excited to share with you now. At the time, I didn’t think it was a blooper. In fact, I thought it was fantastic material. I was interviewing baritone opera singer BRADLEY CHRISTENSEN and we were talking about how Pavarotti can hold a note for over a minute. I asked Bradley how long he could hold a note and eventually convinced him to hold a note for us for 10 seconds. Anything beyond that could temporarily damage his voice. Bradley was a great sport. He stood up and belted out an amazing note. But alas, my recording equipment wasn’t built for recording an opera. So his voice got distorted. Guess what? I’m going to play that for you now. So hold on to your earbuds. Here it is:
I still think Bradley sounds phenomenal. Not sure how it sounded on your end? Let me know!
I loved hearing from many of you who reached out over the past few months with suggestions and comments and questions. I hope that communication will happen more in the future. YES, I do read everything, and I do respond personally. Someday, maybe when we have a million followers, that will be a different story. But for now, I would love to talk!
Several of you asked whether the interview with Stephanie really was on a cold filthy floor of a high school corridor. YES it was!!! I wish we had taken a photo., Maybe we should’ve paused and asked the janitor to take our photo!
Many of you have also asked where I do the interviews and my own recording? Well, it varies. I did a few interviews using Skype and Call Recorder (that was Professor JERRY ZALTMAN and executive coach MICHAEL BOYDELL). I did a few interviews in people’s offices (including JOSEP GONZALEZ and a few that I have already recorded for Season two!). Most of the interviews were conducted at my dining room table on the main floor of my house.
For most of the episodes, I also recorded an introduction and conclusion, with just me on mic. You will never guess where I record those. Can you guess? I record myself in my walk-in closet. It’s a small walk in. But with lots of clothing jammed in there. (I will go tidy it up now and take a photo of it for the shownotes so you can take a look.) WHY would I record myself there? Well, two reasons:
- It is in the middle of the top floor of my house. So it is insulated from the sirens and construction and leaf blowers outside!
- All of the fabric in my closet works perfectly to absorb extraneous sound. It is kind of like a sound production studio. I have a routine now. First, I go around the house and turn everything off. I turn off the furnace or the air conditioner. I turn off all the fans. I unplug the CO detector in my room. Then I bring a glass of water, my script, my mic and recorder all into the closet. I close the door. I set everything up on a shelf, and press RECORD. The funny thing is, when I am recording, I kind of feel like I am talking to Brian. I tell him stuff. Once I get going, I feel like I’m talking to all of you. Yes, it is a weird, unique, but amazingly enjoyable experience. Oh – a few times when I was all done recording, I forgot to turn the furnace back on in my house. My family is on high alert now for temperature changes. They go straight to the thermostat and they know who the culprit is.
Now, I want to close by sharing with you my personal top 2 learnings from this experience, in learning to podcast and in producing the 12 episodes for Season One.
- I learned that this is WAY MORE WORK and WAY MORE FUN than I anticipated. I knew it would be a lot of work. I underestimated the number of hours it takes to do research, write scripts, record interviews, edit interviews, prepare transcripts and shownotes, write weekly blogs, update the website with fresh material, and do all the social media. Hopefully someday soon I will have a sponsor so I can hire some people to help me with some of this stuff. I really want to focus on the research and the interviews. In the meantime, there is a lot of work to keep me out of trouble. Thankfully, it is also way more fun than I imagined. I’m thinking that is because I love to learn, and I love engaging conversations.
- I learned the true value and impact that the support of the people around you can make.
- First and foremost, my brother Brian. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I can’t wait to see what we do next.
- Then there’s my family, who has put up with me being constantly on my laptop, day and night, weekdays and weekends. And the shushing when I head in to my closet to record. And forgetting to turn the furnace back on. I thank you for your patience and support.
- There’s also The Podcasting Fellowship FB group that I check in with a few times a week. David, Maria, Morgane, Gabrielle, …. I could go on and on. I continue to learn from you, and I thank you for your support and encouragement, especially you, David.
- Then there are the many friends who have supported me on this journey. They have supported me:
- by calling and emailing me with suggestions and compliments,
- by sharing my social media posts and recommending the email blog to others,
- by suggesting new topics and guest experts for future episodes,
- and by generally talking up TalkAboutTalk.
- I heard over and over again that you can’t count on friends and family to help you build your business. You should think of anything they do to help you as a bonus. Well, I certainly do, and I appreciate you very much.
Last but not least, there are the twelve impressive guest experts that took time out of their very busy schedules to let me interview them. You all floored me with your passion and your expertise. I was thrilled to re-connect with several people whom I haven’t spoken with in years. Talk About Talk served as a catalyst for me to call JERRY in Boston and reconnect with him. Similarly, if it wasn’t for Talk About Talk I wouldn’t have had an excuse to re-connect with DARYL, the ad exec turned fabric store owner, and NANCY, the founder and CEO of Homestars. I used to work with both Daryl and Nancy eons ago and I always thought so highly of each of them. It was wonderful to reconnect with them and be reminded of why I respect them both so much. ANDREW, BRADLEY, CYNTHIA, GRAEME, JENN, JOSEP, LORI, MICHAEL, and STEPHANIE, I am honoured that you all trusted me and that you took the time to share your passion and expertise with me and the Talk About Talk listeners. And frankly, I feel blessed. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
So there you go. My two meta-learnings from this experience: There’s the fact that this is way more work and way more fun than I imagined. And more importantly, there’s the incredible impact and support of the people around me.
As you can correctly gauge, I love this gig. Brian and I are taking a short hiatus, just a few weeks, then we will be back with Season two. I have already started a few interviews and I’ll be doing lots more over these next few weeks. I can tell you one thing: we are in for some amazing TalkAboutTalk.
Here’s a sneak peek: one of the topics we will cover in season 2: artificial intelligence. I’m thinking the title for that episode will be “Talking with Siri & Alexa: Communications and A.I.” Clever right? That reminds me, try this. Say:
HEY SIRI. SUBSCRIBE TO THE TALK ABOUT TALK PODCAST.
Bam. Done. Pretty cool right? If you haven’t already done so, please SUBSCRIBE to the Talk About Talk podcast. Whether you’re on Apple or Spotify or Stitcher or whatever, all you have to do is click subscribe. If you subscribe then you won’t miss the first episode for season two when it starts-up again in a few weeks.
One last ask. I would love it if you would sign-up for the Talk About Talk email blog. It’s free. It’s weekly. And it’s short. Mostly, it’s an email full of exclusive communication-focused content that I think is worth thinking and talking about. I promise you will enjoy it. And of not, you can unsubscribe anytime. Just go to Talk About Talk and click on the blog tab to sign up. (There’s also an archive there on the website of past blogs.) I always fill up the email blog with links to more information — in case you’re like me and you want to learn more! I hope you’ll sign up.
That’s it. So take care and we WILL Talk soon!
THANK YOU for listening! And READING!
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