13 riveting podcasts for communicators

From true-crime sagas to exploring the quirks of the mind, these programs offer great examples of storytelling. Comb through this sampling of topics, grab your earbuds, and get started.

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. TED Radio Houris 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.

7. 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 problems.

8. How I Built Thisweaves 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.

9. Work in Progressfrom 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.

10. InThe 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.

11. 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.

12. The 10% Happier Podcastis 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.)

13. 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.)

Gini Dietrich is CEO of Arment Dietrich. A version of this article first appeared on Spin Sucks.


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