13 riveting podcasts for communicators
What are your favorite podcasts? How do they help you with storytelling?
Newly released podcast data from
Edison Research might spur you to feed your podcasting habit—or begin one.
Here are podcasts my team recommends, in no particular order:
“Influencer Inc.,” particularly the episode in which Adam Grant talks about how aspiring
influencers can gain traction by building relationships with established
influencers. Grant is an organizational psychologist, the author of “Give and Take,” “Originals”
and “Option B,” as well
as having been the top-rated professor at Wharton six years in a row.
“Serial,” from the creators of “This American Life,” tells one true story per season. The first season was based on a man who
may or may not have gone to prison wrongfully. It’s fascinating.
[FREE GUIDE: How to turn dull stories into compelling content]
3. “Missing Richard Simmons“ is obsession-worthy. One day, Simmons stopped going to his gym, and no one
saw him out and about. This podcast attempts to figure out why, where he is
and whether he’s OK.
“Up and Vanished“ looks into the disappearance of Tara Grinstead. The beauty queen from
Georgia disappeared one Saturday night from her home in Ocilla, never to be
heard from again. The podcast follows the cold case and gets interviews
with people who have memories of the day she disappeared 12 years ago. If
you like true crime, you’ll enjoy this one.
“Hidden Brain,“ using science and storytelling, reveals the unconscious patterns that drive
human behavior. It helps curious people understand the world—and
themselves. Why do mild-mannered people turn into fearsome mama and papa
bears? Does the way you park your car say something vital about you? Can
unconscious biases keep people from finding interesting jobs? This podcast
answers these questions—and more.
“TED Radio Hour” is a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, fresh
approaches to old problems, and new ways to think and create. Based on
talks given on the TED stage, each show focuses on a theme, such as the
source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or
inexplicable connections—and injects soundscapes and conversations that
bring these ideas to life.
“Problem Solvers“ features business owners and CEOs who have gone through a devastating
business problem and have come out the other side happy, wealthy and
growing. Jason Feifer, the editor-in-chief for Entrepreneur, is the host.
He highlights these stories so other business leaders can avoid the same
“How I Built This” weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and
idealists—and the movements they built. Guy Raz dives into the stories
behind some of the world’s best-known companies.
“Work in Progress” from Slack examines the meaning and identity we find in work. Host Dan
Misener talks to people about their stories of personal ambition and
debilitating insecurities, great successes and abject failures, the plans
we make and the luck that happens. It might be a cab driver who escaped
enslavement on the underground railroad. The owner of a Jewish appetizing
store, who quit being an engineer to join the family business. Some guy on
Snapchat who turned it into a career.
In “The 1-3-20 Podcast,”
host Daniel Pink chooses one book that’s made an impression on him. He asks
the author three key questions, and he provides it all in 20 minutes.
“Writing Excuses,” notably season 10, was called out by my colleagues. This podcast explores
the excuses we make when we don’t sit down to craft our art. Their goal is
to help listeners become better writers. Whether you write for fun or for
profit, whether you’re new to the domain or old hands, Writing Excuses has
something to offer.
“The 10% Happier Podcast” is hosted by Dan Harris of ABC News. He talks with celebrities, meditation
teachers and key figures in the meditation world. It is very, very popular.
(It’s a little “woo-woo” for me, but it got multiple votes from my team.)
“The Lore Podcast” sets out find those scary true stories in life. It exposes the darker side
of history, exploring the creatures, people and places of our wildest
nightmares. (If you have trouble sleeping, do not listen to it before bed.)