10th March 2021

Why I’m hooked on podcasts for learning

The popularity of the podcast has grown rapidly over the last couple of years. Where once the listening medium was ruled by the broadcasting airwaves there is now a plethora of podcasts. Whether you are tuning in for education, inspiration, for personal or professional reasons, or as a source of entertainment, there really is something out there for everyone.

2-minute read

Personally, I’ve tuned into political American soundbite ‘Americast’ with BBC’s Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis and for some light relief Radio Four broadcasters, Jane Garvey and Fi Glover’s ‘Fortunately’ for its acerbic, witty musings. During lockdown it was Louis Theroux’s ‘Grounded’, his unique interviewing skills capturing a random group of celebrities and their lockdown pandemic experiences. I’ve been captivated by ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’ and ‘The Frost Tapes’, I could go on…there’s a lot of content out there.

But what is it about the podcast that has seen listening figures continue to climb? There’s something about audio that is more personal, it’s as if the voice is speaking directly to you. That authoritative friendly presence that provides immediate, instant access to a new topic, or a top-up to a familiar subject. Let’s not forget, it’s “eyes-free” entertainment. There’s no need to focus on a screen – it’s screen-free time. When the podcast takes on that conversational style it’s natural, you listen to people bounce-off one another and it feels like you are getting the information first-hand.

Using an interview format, a talking head concept or simply a structured conversation podcasts provide the opportunity to share a learning experience. At Scott Bradbury we realised that there were some topics that leant themselves to the podcast medium. Distilling a complex management skill into a few key take-home messages enabling the learner to grasp the headlines in 5, 10, 15-minute bursts. Short and accessible training material.

We’ve heard from our network of L&D and HR professionals about how they have tuned into the medium to support remote learning. Whilst video is superb at illustrating skills and behaviour, podcasts offer an opportunity to explore different topics in new ways. There’s now a new kid on the block: the podcast. Accessed conveniently via a mobile phone the podcast wave has broken into our home space, our commute, and our office space.

One customer explained how they use podcasts with their Sales Force team. Making use of the time spent on the road, and waiting for appointments to learn new skills, and keep up to date on new policies and procedures. What a great way to make use of that ‘travel’ time and those ‘stand-by’ moments.

For me, the podcast, with its verbal storytelling format promotes a more ‘personal’ medium. For Scott Bradbury, as a publisher of multi-media resources, it delivers another on-demand medium – anytime, anywhere, and crucially - especially at the moment - away from the computer screen.

To learn more about ‘Sound Advice’, the podcast series from Scott Bradbury click here.

Why I’m hooked on podcasts for learning

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