Or at least that I had phrased it the wrong way...
What makes speaking better than other options for spreading a message?
In general, speaking, like podcasting, isn't necessarily "better" than other options when it comes to spreading a message. However, the argument could certainly be made that each has unique elements that are very, very good for spreading a message effectively.
As luck would have it, a few hours later, I happened to get on Quora and see this notification:
Here's the question he asked:
Is podcasting a better business than blogging?
The answer to this question is the same as the one I asked: It depends!
Why Podcasting Isn't For Everybody
For some people, podcasting is an amazing way to connect with others on a personal level. Like speaking in person, there are elements of your personality that come through in arguably better and clearer ways than something like blogging.
You have inflection. And pauses. And pitch.
This recording shares a thousand little things about me that you don't get from reading this blog post. For my guest on this episode, Pedro Pena, the difference would be arguably even more pronounced since Pedro is a person who stutters – that wouldn't come through at all in writing.
It's these nuances that make podcasting a very powerful way to really hear somebody. But not everybody should have a podcast. If you're more comfortable spreading your message (and building your business) via blogging, none of the "bonuses" you'll get from podcasting matter.
Podcasting Can Hurt Your Business
I've spent the majority of my business in the entertainment industry, working primarily with musicians, but also with comics and other performers. And one of the very common things that still blows my mind is when I talk to somebody who is amazing on stage, but completely different offstage.
As an example, I recently met a well-known comedian while backstage at an event. On stage, he was amazing, but away from the crowd, and without his well-rehearsed lines, he was somewhat awkward.
This situation is common with bloggers (and other writers) as well.
It's easy to hide behind a keyboard and fake a blog. Like an actor learning lines from a script, you can play the game of being somebody you're not when writing 1000 words at a time.
But what happens when you get to the end of those 1000 words and have to go off-script?
That's what podcasting is like – you're "off-script." You make successfully fake a few episodes, pretending to be somebody you're not, but the format will eventually expose you if you're not being honest about who you are.
I'm not saying you need to be perfect from the beginning. I'm not saying you can't add an element of "flash" to yourself (and your stories) to make for more entertaining episodes.
But if you're not being yourself, who you truly are, with a personality built upon something authentic, your podcast is eventually going to expose that. And that exposure is going to hurt your business, because people who listen to podcasts do so in part because they're looking to connect with a message (and a person) that's real.
Don't Worry, I'm Probably Not Talking To You
If you're on this site and reading this, you probably have nothing to worry about. Like a "sociopath test," if you question whether you may be afflicted by this, that's better than not questioning at all.
But do take this opportunity to ask yourself, "How can I bring more authenticity to my podcast? Where am I holding back?"
This is worth thinking about for all of us, not just with podcasting, but with anything we're doing.
Here are some thoughts from Tripp Lanier of The New Man Podcast to help you get started: