No. 091 9 Steps to Becoming a Better Podcast Listener (And Why That Matters)

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No. 091 9 Steps to Becoming a Better Podcast Listener (And Why That Matters)

We spend a lot of time discussing being a better podcast host. In this episode, we discuss some specific ways that you can become a better podcast listener — and why it’s important that you do so.

This week’s episode is broken down into three sections:

  1. 3 tips for getting more out of the time you invest in listening to podcasts
  2. 3 ways that being a better podcast listener will actually improve your showrunning karma … whether you believe in karma or not!
  3. 3 strategies for leveraging better podcast listening skills into actual improvements to your show

This episode will help you and your show on a number of levels.

And don’t forget to chime in on this episode’s debate: when you hear the term “gamer,” do you think of sports or video games? Tweet us and let us know!

Listen, learn, enjoy …

Listen to The Showrunner below ...

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The Show Notes

  • If you’re ready to see for yourself why over 201,344 website owners trust StudioPress — the industry standard for premium WordPress themes and plugins — swing by StudioPress.com for all the details
  • Follow Jerod on Twitter: @jerodmorris
  • Follow Jonny on Twitter: @jonnastor
  • Showrunner FM

The Transcript

No. 091 9 Steps to Becoming a Better Podcast Listener (And Why That Matters)

Voiceover: Rainmaker FM.

Jerod Morris: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.

Welcome to The Showrunner, where we have one goal: teach you how to develop, launch, and run a remarkable show. Ready?

Welcome back to The Showrunner, the podcast for people dedicated to creating remarkable audio experiences for their audience. This is episode No. 91. I am your host Jerod Morris, VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital, and I will be joined momentarily, as I usually am, by my not-feeling-100-percent-but-still-here-because-he’s-a-gamer co-host, Jonny Nastor, the host of Hack the Entrepreneur.

The Showrunner is brought to you by the all-new StudioPress Sites, a turnkey solution that combines the ease of an all-in-one website builder with the flexible power of WordPress. It’s perfect for bloggers, podcasters, and affiliate marketers, as well as those selling physical products, digital downloads, and membership programs. If you’re ready to take your WordPress site to the next level, see for yourself why over 200,000 website owners trust StudioPress. Go to Rainmaker.FM/StudioPress right now.

Mr. Nastor, welcome.

Jonny Nastor: Hey, thanks for having me. It’s good to hear I’m a gamer. I actually didn’t know that you knew that about me, that I like to play video games in my spare time.

Jerod Morris: Okay, now see, I didn’t mean that for video games. It’s a sport’s term.

Jonny Nastor: I need to finish this thought.

Jerod Morris: Oh, sorry.

Jonny Nastor: I finished Grand Theft Auto IV this past weekend, which if anybody who else is a ‘gamer,’ it’s a video game from, I don’t know, 2001 or 2002, 2003. It’s been kind of a long winter up here in Canada, so I decided around Christmas to start playing Grand Theft Auto, like an old used version I bought, and I finished it over the weekend. My family was actually out of town for five days, so I was all alone. I was doing a lot of gaming, if you will.

Jerod Morris: Yes.

Jonny Nastor: I finished it. Yeah, I didn’t know that you knew that about me, so that’s cool.

Jerod Morris: Yeah, as I was saying, gamer’s kind of a sport’s term. It’s like someone who even if they’re injured, even if they’re ill, they’re there. They are a gamer. They’re going to show up for game day.

Jonny Nastor: Oh.

Jerod Morris: You’re obviously a little bit under the weather. That was my way of lauding you for being here, having a great attitude, and being ready to win this episode. We are here to win the day, to create a great episode, and you’re a gamer. I feel confident with you as my teammate that we will do that here on this episode.

Jonny Nastor: All right. So we’re taking a Twitter poll right now. Tweet us — @JerodMorris, @JonNastor — both or either. I’ve only ever heard the term gamer as somebody who plays a lot of video games, which I’ve never actually been referred to as, and Jerod apparently thinks gamer as somebody who plays lots of basketball.

Jerod Morris: No, no, I just said sports, somebody who shows up in a big moment when they’re dealing with adversity. It’s very specific.

Jonny Nastor: I think that you out there listening have heard this one of these ways or the other, so I would like a Twitter poll right now and for you to tell us, is it video gaming, or is it sports? Not in what’s the correct way, just how is it the way that you’ve heard it before.

Jerod Morris: Okay. I like that. And if you are a good podcast listener, you will take us up on that call to action, which is a perfect segue into today’s topic.

For today’s topic, we obviously talk a lot on this show about being a podcast creator, being a showrunner — creating a remarkable experience for our audience. But what about being in the audience? Because part of being able to create a remarkable experience is being able to recognize a remarkable experience.

A big part of that is just experiencing podcasts, and listening and being a listener. We’re going to give you nine ways that you can become a better podcast listener, and we’re going to break that down into three sections. The first section is so that you actually get more out of the time that you spend listening to podcasts. The second section will be to improve your showrunning karma. Then the final section would be so that you can actually improve your show.

We’ll go through those — one, two, three — and give you nine ways to become a better podcast listener right now on this episode of The Showrunner. You ready?

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, let’s do this.

Jerod Morris: Of course you’re ready.

Jonny Nastor: I’m a gamer.

Jerod Morris: You’re a gamer. You are a gamer. Okay.

3 Tips for Getting More Out of the Time You Invest in Listening to Podcasts

Jerod Morris: Let’s jump in here, Jonny, and let’s start with becoming a better podcast listener so that you get more out of it. Independent of you being a showrunner and you being a podcast creator, chances are before you did that you were a podcast listener. Maybe you listened to podcasts to be entertained. Maybe you listened to podcasts to be educated. Maybe you listened to podcasts to be inspired.

Whatever it is, there was a reason that you started listening to podcasts, and there’s a reason right now that you pull out your phone, you dial up a podcast, and listen to it. How can you get more out of it? Well, I found three specific ways that have really helped me get more out of being a podcast listener.

Let’s go through these one by one, Jonny.

Tip #1: Practice Just-in-Time Listening

Jerod Morris: The first one is practicing just-in-time listening. I find that when I’m listening to, especially an educational podcast, and it’s not immediately relevant to something that I’m doing in my business, for a podcast, or something that’s going on in my life, I’m just not that engaged in it. I found this especially to be true recently.

Being a new father, I’m obviously very interested in topics about parenting. We’re getting ready to find a preschool, a daycare for our daughter, and I was really interested in learning more about Montessori schools. So I went on and found podcasts about Montessori schools. Now, I never would have been interested in this topic before. It would’ve totally disengaged me. But now because it’s very relevant to a decision I’m getting ready to make, I found myself totally engaged in it, engrossed in it, and I got more out of it.

And it’s been like that for personal improvement endeavors that I’ve had — maybe time management, or getting healthier, or getting better at a particular element of my business. Just listening to those shows randomly, it doesn’t do me a whole lot of good. When it’s about something specific that I can take action on soon, I’m much more engaged, and I get more out of it.

Jonny Nastor: This is interesting. This is kind of like, I don’t know if you’re eluding to it in this way, but it’s making me think of a previous episode, I think from last week, where we talked about thinking more and taking that time. You mentioned turning off the television, so it’s not just constantly a chatter in the background.

I think sometimes the radio or podcasts, that have now kind of replaced the radio in that way, we can just have them on because we just want to have them on. In the shower, everywhere we kind of go we just have it on. It’s almost like a separate step of just in time. It’s not just listening for listening sake, but listening for a specific. It’s time to figure out what the heck Montessori schools are, so listen.

You’re right — not only would it have been completely irrelevant to you two years ago or five years ago, it would’ve been probably kind of weird. Guy doesn’t have any kids. He’s listening to podcasts, just devouring podcasts about different kinds of kindergartens. We should probably look into that sort of thing.

I hope I’m not stepping over one of the other nine things, but I think the just in time is also sort of not just doing it just to do it. It’s specifically having that reason, which is the whole just-in-time learning thing we’ve talked about before. You have that reason. You have that need for it now, so now’s the time.

Tip #2: Listen Actively

Jerod Morris: And to go along with this one, the second step in this getting more out of the podcasts that you listen to, this can be somewhat difficult with podcasts. Because we do, we tend to listen to them passively. It accompanies us while we’re doing other things — when we’re in the shower, when we’re driving in the car, when we’re working out, when we’re walking our dogs, all of this.

That’s the big benefit of podcasts, but every now and then when we’re listening to a show about a topic that we’re very interested in, there’s something that gets us leaning in. There’s something that gets us really engaged, and there’s something that makes us think, “Oh crap, I got to remember this. I got to use this.” Don’t be afraid to stop, rewind, and listen to it again, or stop and take notes.

Just like you would do when you’re reading in the book and you write in the margin, or you dog-ear the book page, or you do something so that you remember, “Hey, I want to go back to this,” or you take notes on it so you remember.

Again, maybe this is a personal thing because I find myself doing this. I don’t know if everybody else has this experience, but I do tend to think that just the general podcast experience doesn’t lend itself very well to this. When you have those moments, stop what you’re doing. Pay attention. Make a note.

A lot of times, I’ll quickly share the podcast with myself to my email, and that reminds me to go back. I’ll leave a little note with what I wanted to remember. Then I’ll add it to Evernote, or I’ll put it directly into Evernote. Sometimes I’ll text it to my wife, text-share the episode with her so that she can listen to it, and then I can go back and see the note that I left. Or I’ll just go back and rewind a certain section and listen to it again.

Whatever you do, don’t let those moments pass you by. If you’re listening for a reason and then you get a nugget that will really help, don’t let it go. Capture it, and use it so that you can really benefit from it moving forward.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I agree. It’s almost like it’s becoming active when you’re listening. With a book, you’re active because you find yourself completely drifting and not paying attention, you kind of stop reading, or else you go back and read it all.

But often times with podcasts, I know I’ll be walking, and all of a sudden it’s like, “Whoa, I don’t know what they’re talking about right now.” And I won’t necessarily actively rewind it, like you would go back in a book, because you have no idea what’s going on all of a sudden. I like that. It’s the idea of sort of being an active listener rather than a passive sort of listener. Therefore, to take notes, rewind, do whatever it is you need to really make the most out of that information.

Jerod Morris: We’ve talked before about how, when you listen to podcasts at a faster speed, you can get through more podcasts. What I would say, because I do this, I listen to podcasts a lot of times now at 1.5 or 1.7 speed, and it does allow me to get through them a lot faster.

Now, I’ve got to have headphones and really be engaged to keep up, but it’s kind of like my way of scanning. Then when I find a part of a conversation that I really want to engage with, stop it, slow it down, and listen to it at a normal rate of speed. It can be really easy to just kind of go in one ear and out the other, and it’s really fast when you’re going 1.5 or 1.7 speed. It goes really fast, and it’s kind of hard to capture it and remember what you’re doing. When you find that moment …

Jonny Nastor: That was well done. Everybody listening on 1.5 speed right now is like, “Oh my goodness, what just happened?”

Jerod Morris: So when you find that you’re doing that, then stop, go back, listen to it slower, and make sure that it really sinks in.

Tip #3: Regularly Prune Your Subscriptions

Jerod Morris: The third step here in getting more out of your podcasts is to regularly prune your subscriptions. I do this maybe once a month because I’ll subscribe to a show, like one of the shows that I subscribed to recently about picking daycares well, eventually that show isn’t going to be that relevant to me anymore.

But every single show that’s in my feed, I’ve got to look through those headlines to decide what I want to listen to next. I don’t just download every episode and then play it automatically. I like to be very specific with which ones I download. I don’t want to be having to sift through headlines that aren’t relevant to me anymore.

I want to save time, and I want to maybe replace that with another topic now that is more relevant. So I really try to prune my subscription list. Obviously, there’s some that just stay in there all the time. Hardcore History, that’s never leaving my feed. Hack the Entrepreneur, never leaving my feed. There are other ones that will because they’re no longer relevant to me.

I think that can really help you make sure that you’re always really dialed in on the stuff that you really want to be listening to. And you don’t take up any valuable excess mental energy by looking at headline after headline for a show that’s no longer relevant, deciding that you don’t want to listen to it. So prune your podcast subscriptions actively and regularly.

Jonny Nastor: In a way sort of leading into the next section, which is to improve your showrunning karma. Would you ever or have you ever, Jerod, if a show you liked at one point and you’re still into the topic, but you’re now no longer into that show for some sort of reason, something changed or something happened, would you email or Tweet the host ever and tell them that you unsubscribed and what reason to maybe help them? It would be amazing to hear that from people.

Jerod Morris: Yes.

Jonny Nastor: But I’ve never heard that before, except for like, “Oh my God, I’m never listening to you … ” It’s like, “Okay, well you didn’t … that’s cool.”

Jerod Morris: No, no, I do try and do that. If I hear something that I really think can help or there’s a mistake, yeah, I will try to do that — now, not always. Sometimes I just unsubscribe because it’s time to move onto another topic, but if there’s a reason, something that person did that they could’ve actually corrected, I do always try to let people know.

In part just because I feel like that’s kind of our duty based on kind of what we do being showrunners and wanting to help people out in that way. But yes, I think it’s helpful. For instance, you listening right now, we would love for you to do that to us if you ever decided to do that. I always try to take that mentality of, I want to treat others like I want to be treated. If I want people to do that for me, I certainly want to lead by example and do it for them, so absolutely.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah, I like that. Okay, that’s cool.

Jerod Morris: Which does lead us into the next section, which is improving your showrunner karma, and we’re going to get to that here in just a second.

Before we do, another quick reminder that you should go check out the new StudioPress Sites. As I mentioned before, it’s a brand-new turnkey solution that helps you develop your website, and it gives you the flexible power of WordPress. A lot of the stuff that you don’t want to pay attention to — like hosting, security, updates, and all of that stuff — that gets handled so that you can focus on your content, so that you can focus on your design and creating the right brand for your show and for your site.

Go check out and see if StudioPress Sites is right for you. If you are looking to build a new site, if you’re looking to move your site from where it is right now and maybe start fresh, this is definitely an option that you should check out. Go to Rainmaker.FM/StudioPress to do so.

3 Ways That Being a Better Podcast Listener Will Actually Improve Your Showrunning Karma Whether You Believe in Karma or Not!

Jerod Morris: All right. We are talking about nine ways to become a better podcast listener. We just went through three ways to help you get more out of the time that you invest being a listener. Let’s talk now about how you can actually improve your showrunning karma. Okay, maybe you don’t believe in karma. Maybe you think that that’s all just kind of hogwash, whatever.

#1: Respond to Calls to Action

Jerod Morris: I do think that there is something to if you want other people to do something that you have asked, but you are not willing to do that when other people asked, then who do you think you are to expect that other people will do it for you? We have to treat people how we want to be treated and vice versa. I think, as showrunners, if we are going to, for example, deliver calls to action in our show, as you did earlier, Jonny. You asked people to send us a Tweet with how they hear the word gamer. Is that a sport’s term to them, or is that a video game term to them? We would like people to respond to that.

Well, how many times do you listen to a podcast and a showrunner puts out some sort of call to action — and you’re engaged in the show, you like the show, you like the people, it’s relevant to you — do you take them up on that call to action? Because if you don’t ever do it, then why would you think that other people would do it to you?

That seems like the height of arrogance to me, and arrogance is not going to build you an audience. Humility is going to build you an audience. I think that’s something that we can always keep in mind. I think that responding to calls to action as a podcast listener is a great way to improve that showrunning karma.

Doesn’t mean that you need to respond to all of them, but make it a regular practice. Maybe once a week when a call to action, when you really like a show and they deliver a call to action maybe to Tweet, or to share, to rate, or to review, whatever it is, take them up on it.

Jonny Nastor: I agree. It’s hard — the disconnect I think between being the host and being the listener, and being the host and wishing people would take you up on that call to action, and then being the listener and just sort of brushing it off. I think it is something that we fall into sometimes, and I think it’s great to be aware of it.

Jerod Morris: Here’s the other thing, too. This jumps ahead a little bit when we talk about improving your show, but one of the great reasons to take a call to action is to actually see what happens, to see the flow that those people have. If people take this call to action for us on Twitter, do we actually respond? Or is it just kind of an empty call to action — we said it because it sounds nice, and we just want to see engagement? Or will we actually get out there and respond to people on Twitter?

If someone’s call to action is to go sign up for their newsletter, okay, this is a great chance for you to learn. What is that sequence like when you sign up? What is the email autoresponder like, and what is your user experience that they’re creating? Because there may be something for you to learn there, too.

It is a selfless act I think of responding to a call to action and being a good member of the podcasting community, but you can also benefit from it as well. That jumps ahead to our third section, but I thought it was important to mention here.

#2: Rate and Review Shows You Like

Jerod Morris: The second part of improving your showrunning karma really goes along with the first one. That is, taking time to rate and review shows that you really like. Here, I’m not just talking about doing it when you hear a call to action to do it.

Look, you are a showrunner. You understand the importance of ratings and reviews. You don’t need the showrunner of the show you’re listening to, to tell you, “Hey, if you liked the show, consider leaving us a rating or review.” You know that’s important, so don’t wait to be asked. If you like a show, if it makes an impact on you, if it helps you, just go rate it and review it. You know it’s going to be beneficial.

And again, it’s just something that puts positivity for you out there into the world as a showrunner. I believe that eventually gets paid back in the future, and if you do that, then maybe that person that liked your show and is considering leaving you a rating and review, maybe they’ll be a little bit more likely to do it because you’ve been putting this positive energy out there in the world doing it yourself.

Whether you believe in that or not — or think it’s all, again, a bunch of hogwash — it never hurts to lead by example.

Jonny Nastor: It does hurt, though, to leave a rating and review and then to track the person down on Facebook or something and tell them that you did and then that you want one back.

Jerod Morris: “Hey, man, I rated your show. I reviewed your show.”

Jonny Nastor: I get people that do that — “Here, you should do that to me, too.” It’s like, “I don’t even know who you are. I’ve never heard of you or your show.” I don’t even want to say thanks for leaving me a rating and review at this point. It’s kind of like you only did that it was completely self-serving. It was just so we could both game the system somehow.

Jerod Morris: Right, I agree.

Jonny Nastor: Please don’t do that.

Jerod Morris: There’s kind of a fine line, but there is a difference there. You’re going out and leaving ratings and reviews because you like that show. Now you may think, “Okay, and I’m hoping other people do it for me,” but just straight doing it and then reaching out to the person and being like, “I did this,” and expecting one in return. No, that totally misses the point, totally.

#3: Share Episodes with Your Network and Provide Proper Context

Jerod Morris: Finally, the third element of being a really good podcast listener that will help you improve your showrunning karma is sharing episodes with your network and providing proper context. It’s not always just Tweeting out the headline and the link, or just sharing it on Facebook with no comment. Let people know why they would really want to listen to it. Or if it’s not something that your entire network needs, email the four people that you know who could really use this.

Think about it for us, Jonny, if you have 1,000 followers on Twitter and you’re a podcaster, but your audience isn’t really into podcasting, it’s not going to do us a whole lot of good if you just share an episode of The Showrunner. If you have three people in your city that you’re in a mastermind with that all really like podcasting and you email it to them and say, “Hey, this is a really good show because they talk about X, Y, Z, and I think you guys will really like it.” That would mean a lot more to us than the bigger, broader share.

Always think about that. It’s a better use of your time. It’s going to help out the showrunner of the show that you’re sharing, and it’s going to help out the people that you’re sharing it to because you’re giving real context. If they are applying the principles of just-in-time learning that we just talked about, now they are going to be more likely to listen to the show and to do it in the spirit of engagement and learning that will really help them get something out of it.

It takes, what, 60 more seconds to do it that way? I really think being really intentional and a little bit more detailed, and a little bit more strategic with how we share, is really a great way to be a better podcast listener and just helps everybody who’s involved in that situation.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah. I want to extend this out a little bit even if I can. There’s different ways to share. I have found episodes of a show that I really like like we did in episode 85, One Podcast, One Audience, or One Topic. Justin Jackson, he’s a Canadian entrepreneur and podcaster, and I really, really dig his show. We did an episode based around that. We talked about it. We linked to it. You know what I mean?

There’s ways that you can do that. Even, you listen to NPR, at the end of NPR, they always mention, “Hey, now that you’re done listening to this, go listen to … ” It’s always another NPR show, but if you just listen to an episode you really like and in any way it’s loosely tied to your audience, you could just say that.

You could say, “Hey, now that you’re done listening to this, go check out this.” It doesn’t have to just be, “Well, I shared it on Facebook, or I did this,” or if you don’t want to necessarily email people, there’s so many different ways to share this. There really is. We’ve brought up other shows on this show so many times. I think that you can sort of think about the best way that you could approach it for yourself, but make sure to share that episode. There’s no right or wrong way necessarily to do it. If you want to do it within your show, make a show about it, whatever it is. I think that, that option is there.

Jerod Morris: Yep.

3 Strategies for Leveraging Better Podcast Listening Skills into Actual Improvements to Your Show

Jerod Morris: Okay. We have talked now about how to get more out of it. By being a good podcast listener, how you get more out of listening to podcasts, how you improve your showrunning karma.

Let’s talk now about how you can actually improve your show by being a better podcast listener.

Strategy #1: Don’t Over-Listen to Podcasts

Jerod Morris: The first one is don’t over-listen to podcasts. This actually harkens back to our last episode. If you’re filling all of your time listening to podcasts, well, that is time that you could probably spend thinking. If every single walk that you go on, you’re listening to a podcast. Every single time you wash the dishes, take a shower, do all the things that we do while we’re listening to podcasts. If you always have something in your ear, it’s going to be very hard for you to actually explore the thoughts that are in your head.

If you’re interested in learning more about why it’s important to spend more time thinking, listen to our last episode. This goes along with that. Find a happy medium. Listen to podcasts. Expose yourself to new ideas, to new shows, new formats, all of that stuff, but don’t over-listen. At some point, you have to reserve time to think about your show and to execute on your show.

There is an opportunity cost to the time that you spend listening to podcasts. Make sure that you’re doing it to the level where it’s beneficial, but not beyond that to the point where it’s cutting into the time you need to be spending on your own show.

Jonny Nastor: Yeah. I’ve talked about this so much, the idea of just being the producer not the consumer. Sometimes I struggle with being both to the point where I have to just stop consuming things within the same realm that I’m creating. I find that it sort of can knock me off track, where you make a decision and you need to start recording, you’ve picked your format, all that stuff, and you’re doing it. You sometimes just need to put your head down and not listen to what everybody else is doing. Yeah, you’ll always get ideas, ways to improve your show, all that stuff. Sometimes that’s not what you need. You actually just need to sit down and produce.

Definitely listen to the shows, get what you need, but make sure to always turn it off and get that time back into producing.

Jerod Morris: Yes.

Strategy #2: Make Note of People You’d Want on Your Show as Guests

Jerod Morris: Next up in improving your show is to make note of people that you might want as a guest on your show, or even a future show. I was listening to an episode of THINK, KERA’s THINK with Krys Boyd, who was a guest on a recent episode of The Showrunner, gave us some great, great insight about interviewing. That’s four or five episodes back, definitely take a look at that if you missed that episode.

But she had a guy on who was talking about the end of expertise and how now with the Internet everybody is an expert, but really no one is an expert. Just the kind of ramifications that, that could have. I thought, “Man, if I ever fire up the Primility podcast again,” which I am planning on doing one of these days, “this would be a great conversation to have.”

This thought goes through my head, and it’s like, “Okay, well, I want to make sure I don’t forget this. I’m not doing it right now. I can’t take action on that right now, but in six months, that might be a golden idea because it would be a really good interview.”

That thought, I made a note of it in Evernote, and it’s sitting there. So at some point, when I put that podcast back out there, I’ll have kind of a list of people that I’m really interested in talking to with a note on why they’d be interesting and a reference point back to that podcast if I want to listen again to see why I was spurred to like them in the first place.

I think one of the best ways to find great people to be on your podcast is to listen to podcasts. Those are obviously people who are guests on podcasts, number one. You’ve already overcome a barrier right there because there’s a lot of people who would be interesting to talk to that either don’t know what podcasts are, don’t go on them, don’t have experience.

That’s the other thing, with someone who either hosts or has been a guest before on a podcast, they’ve already gotten some practice out of the way, so they’ll be a little bit better for your audience when it’s your time. I really think not just making notes of topics or something that you can learn from, but really using it as a way to identify people who could be guests on your show.

Again, it’s a great way to help you maximize the time you’re spending listening to podcasts by improving your show in the future — even if you don’t have a clear idea yet of how or when they’ll fit in. You just know that you want to explore that in the future.

Jonny Nastor: I actually do this. I think I have adopted sort of doing this just throughout my day. If I read a book, if I read a blog post, if I use a new piece of software and all of a sudden it’s like something catches my eye, it’s like, “Who built this?” It’s like, “I want her on the show.” That’s just how I do it now. Rather than trying to like, “Okay, now it’s time to find people.” You can sort of aggregate ideas. Every time I listen to shows, almost every time, I’m like, “I need this person on my show.”

Obviously, it’s awesome when you have hundreds of episodes, and it gets easier for people to say yes. It’s a good feeling to just be like, “Yeah, I want her on the show.” Track down an email, email it off, and within an hour it’s booked. It’s like, “That’s pretty cool.”

Jerod Morris: That is awesome.

Jonny Nastor: It’s a good feeling. Yeah, it’s a cool feeling. It’s good. This is definitely such a great way to go about it because you’re right. They want to be on shows. They’re good at it. You kind of know it’s going to especially help sort of frame your interview because you already have a baseline of an interview. You can see what they’re good at answering, what they’re not, and you can kind of push it further in those directions.

Jerod Morris: Yep. All righty.

Strategy #3: Make Note of Elements of a Show You Like

Jerod Morris: Finally, number nine in our nine ways to become a better podcast listener is make note, take note of elements of a show that you like and that you may want to adopt. As you’re listening to a show and you hear an intro that you really like, make note of it.

You’re listening to a show, and you really like how after the main topic and even the outro music, a guy comes on with a voiceover and explains how you can support the show. You think, “Man, that’s a really good idea, because the people who listen all the way through and actually listen all the way through to the end, those are probably the most engaged people. What a good idea for exposing the whole idea of supporting again to these people.”

I had that happen on a show that I listen to recently, and it stuck out to me. So I made a note of it. I’ve already implemented it on one show that I do. I’m going to implement it on another one. I never would’ve gotten that idea if it wasn’t for listening to other podcasts. That podcast, from a content perspective, has nothing to do with any show that I do. Even the format of it has nothing to do, but this one little element I was able to pull out.

These can be small little things. The way that they ask a question, a turn of phrase that they use, the way the music comes in here at this element. You can learn from any single show that you listen to. You really want to try and listen on a number of levels. Obviously, you want to listen as an audience member, just as someone who wants to learn or be entertained. Going back to that, to the first part, the just-in-time listening, but also try and listen on that other level of, “Hey, is there something here that I can take and make my show better?” Then make note of it.

Again, don’t hesitate to stop — put the podcast on pause, stop your walk for just a second, make a quick note of it, and then keep going again. Those moments where you have those eureka moments and something stands out, if you let it pass you by, it might. And that could be something that really makes a difference for your show. Take the 10 seconds. Make note of it. Then later on, review it and see if it actually makes sense to implement into your show.

Jonny Nastor: Yep. I just thought of the weirdest thing. I was kind of thinking there’s no downside to stopping and taking that time and taking those notes. Last week, I don’t know which day it was. It was Monday or Tuesday or something. I was out walking, and I was walking down Queen Street, which is a fairly busy street. It was kind of raining a bit. So I was listening to this show, and I stopped because I was like, “Oh,” and I wanted to open up the notes in my phone. So I did. I leaned against a building side just to get out of the rain a little bit. I started typing in a note, and all of a sudden a pigeon pooed on my phone.

Jerod Morris: Oh wow.

Jonny Nastor: I look up, and it was like 20 feet above me. I was like, “Oh my … ” It was so disgusting. As you were just saying that I was like, “There’s no downside to stopping … ,” and then I was like, “Wait a minute ”

Jerod Morris: Except …

Jonny Nastor: Except you got to watch out for the pigeons. I really didn’t have to share that, but it was funny. That’s literally what happened.

Jerod Morris: Wow, okay. Beware of pigeons ladies and gentlemen. Beware of pigeons. Real quick to review, our nine ways to become a better podcast listener. First step is to get more out of it, so practice just-in-time listening, regularly prune your subscriptions, and make sure that you stop, take notes, rewind, and really pay attention to the moments that make you lean in while you’re listening.

Second step here is about improving your showrunning karma, so that is responding to calls to action, taking time to rate and review shows that you really like without being asked, and then sharing episodes with your network and providing the proper context in whatever way it makes sense to share that episode.

Then finally, when it comes to improving your show, don’t over-listen. Make sure that you leave yourself space to think, make note of people that you

114 episodes