6 Tips to make the most out of the podcasts you listen to

September 21, 2015   

Do you like to listen to podcasts? Can’t remember the subjects talked or the advice given in the podcast you listened to yesterday? I’ve experienced this many times. I would listen to a great podcast episode, but then I would totally forget what was talked and I wouldn’t apply any advice that I would be given. These tips are some of the things that I try to follow to get the most out of the podcasts that I listen. I hope they help you as well!

1. Connect with the broadcaster

It’s no surprise that you will have a great experience and a genuine pleasant conversation with someone if you find common points of view with the person you’re talking to. If you really have things in common and similar experiences with others, you will most likely remember them in the future. I believe that it is no different when you’re listening to a podcast. Whatever the subject of the podcast is, try to find a common ground with the broadcaster. Listen to his/hers ideas. Do you understand where those ideas are coming from? Are you sympathetic with the broadcaster/do you understand what motivated him to create the podcast or that episode? Did you have a similar experience? Ask yourself this questions while you’re listening. You can even stop the podcast to think about this. You will retain more information because the broadcaster’s experiences resemble with your own experiences so you understand what’s the motivation and the purpose of that podcast.

2. Practice actually being focused

You will not retain any information if you’re not actually focused on what you’re listening. You can see this as an actual exercise for the mind. In today’s chaotic world, it’s easy to get distracted by literally anything so try to be mindful about what you’re doing. If you like to listen to podcasts while commuting, consider getting some headphones that isolate sound so you can get the most out of it. The important thing is to actually focus on listening to the podcast. If you find yourself wandering around and not paying attention, then maybe that podcast or that particular episode is not for you or doesn’t serve your interests. Just stop listening to it and do something else/listen to other episode/podcast.

3. Take notes

If you’re like me, I only listen to podcasts while commuting or exercising. Now, taking notes of what you’re listening while you’re exercising it’s not practical. If that’s your case, try to practice focus while listening, and look at tip 6. If you’re listening to podcasts while commuting (or any other way, as long as you can use your phone or have access to some form of digital or even physical writing), take quick notes of what you’re listening. A nice quote that you heard from the broadcaster, some idea that you found interesting and want to remember later or advice’s and tips that you listened. While I’m commuting, I usually have the default notes application of my phone open and ready to receive input so that If I hear anything I like, I’ll write it down and I’ll check it later.

4. Read the show notes

This might seem obvious, but it’s something that I rarely did and I bet you rarely do too. Often, the broadcasters will include interesting links in the show notes. Some podcasters take the time to create informative show notes to help you understand more about what the podcast is about. You can read it, extract any useful information from there and save it to your notes.

5. Reflect on what you listen and consider acting upon it

You should be reflecting on what you listen. Do you agree with the broadcaster? Do you not agree? Do you have another point of view? This is key to get a good experience from a podcast. Every time you listen to something you don’t agree, consider writing it down. Later, you can send an email or a tweet to the broadcaster telling your opinions about that subject. Of course, if you did agree with everything that was said and if you feel like it help your life in any way, you can always thank the broadcaster too!

This is not just good for you: the podcast also is affected (in a good way) by this, whether is positive feedback or constructive criticism because now the broadcaster knows if there is something that needs to be changed or, he/her will just be happy that he/her made a positive impact in somebody’s life, which, in turn, is a good boost of motivation to keep on recording episodes. I never did a podcast, but I’m pretty sure that it’s not easy at all, especially if you REALLY care about your audience and you’re trying to impact your listeners life’s.

6. Re-listen the episode

This one is too obvious, right? But sometimes, by listening to that episode twice, you extract something from it that you didn’t the first time you listened to it. If you listen to podcasts while exercising, this is a good time to quickly jump to the parts that you found interesting and to take some notes. I have some favorite episodes stored from my podcasts that I re-listen once in a while just because there is so much good content there or because some of them serve as an amazing boost of motivation for me.

I believe these are simple but effective techniques that you can apply from now on to get the most out of your podcast listening experience. It certainly did help me! I hope they serve you as well. If you have any other tips about this, please do email me or comment below, I’d love to hear your opinions!

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