What interests you? Have you taken the time to ask yourself that question lately? Are you striving each day to be ever better? With podcasts you can explore your interests on your own schedule anywhere you happen to be. If you have an iPhone, iPad or other Apple device, take a few minutes to browse iTunes. If you have another type of phone or an e-reader, I suggest starting with Stitcher but there are other podcast apps available for phones and devices of all types.
Stitcher describes its services in this way: “Stream the latest in news, sports, talk, and entertainment radio anywhere, on demand. Stitcher is the easiest way to discover the best of over 40,000+ radio shows, live radio stations and podcasts.”
Scan the Top 100 Shows and you’ll see topics including comedy, news, self improvement, human interest, sports, parenting, technology, economics, health, pop culture and more! If you’re interesting in exploring a topic of you’re already an expert and want to continue learning, you will likely find at least one podcast. And, if a podcast doesn’t exist in your topic, consider creating one. (I did!)
Podcast shows are like television or radio shows that are mostly produced on a regular basis. Once an episode is published you can listen to it on your podcast player or on your computer whenever you have time. Learn about my introduction to podcasts in this blog post.
Start enjoying the benefits of podcasts by following these three steps.
Step 1: Use what you’ve got
- A device to browse, download and listen to podcasts: Take advantage of any generation of smart phone, eReader like a Kindle or Nook, tablet or a computer. Any device that gives you access to the Internet will work.
- Internet access to download podcasts: If you don’t have Internet access at home or work, or if your network is down when you have time to learn, find your nearest Starbucks or Panera Bread. These and other businesses encourage their customers to tap into their free Wi-Fi. Some communities now offer free Wi-Fi, so you access podcasts from a park bench or any local business.
- Headsets or earbuds: These are important for private listening no matter what your location. Earbuds are typically packaged with new smart phones, and you can find a variety of styles and colors at discount stores or higher-end versions at electronics stores. Myfavorite headset is a Bluetooth wireless LG. It fits snugly around my neck and doesn’t need to be plugged into my phone. Best of all, I don’t have to worry about inadvertently ripping the connector out of the phone.
Step 2: Download or find your podcast player
Once you’ve located or downloaded your podcast app, you’ll be ready to explore. The iTunes podcast app used to be the only game in town, but there are several other well-regarded options, and more are being developed.
Stitcher is my current podcast player of choice. I can search by subject, person and date, select and save podcasts to “listen later” and also get recommendations for short news stories and podcasts based on my interests.
Step 3: Subscribe to three podcasts
What topics inspire you? What do you want to learn about? Chances are good that at least one podcast exists on these topics that you can subscribe to for free. You’ll be limited only by the storage on your device.
To find podcasts of interest, start by searching your podcast app for terms like Integrity Network or Careers or by selecting Top Charts for a list of the most listened to podcasts. Dozens of shows are available for these categories and more:
Choose your first podcasts by skimming descriptions and maybe even listening to a sample. Select and subscribe to at least three podcasts in your main area of interest. Don’t over-think whether or not you’ll like a particular podcast; you can always delete a downloaded podcast. To subscribe
If you eventually find that you don’t like a particular show, unsubscribe and don’t waste your time listening. You may decide to end your relationship with the show for any number of reasons that you don’t have to explain to anyone. Do you dislike the host’s voice or interview style? Move on. If you find a podcast mildly interesting but not motivating, give it another chance by listening to another episode.
You’ve hit on a winner when a podcast makes you nod in agreement, involuntarily yell, “Yes,” and inspires you to take action. At that point you won’t be able to stop yourself from downloading past episodes. You’ll know it when you hear it.