Sparking Conversations, Best Practices of Podcasting, and The Origin of Penguin Latte (#28)

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In this episode I’m interviewed by my buddy Robbie Crabtree (@RobbieCrab). Robbie Crabtree is a trial lawyer with a decade of experience handling some of the world’s most brutal court cases. I’m talking domestic violence, child abuse, homicide — all the nasty stuff we’d rather not think about. To call him thick-skinned would be an understatement. Robbie first appeared on the podcast in episode 18, which you can listen to here.

But to call him intimidating would be an overstatement. Robbie’s one of the most generous souls I’ve ever met. He’s also packing 10 years of public speaking experience into a month long online workshop called Performative Speaking (which I’m producing videos for).

So why the heck is this powerhouse trial lawyer interviewing little’ol me? Hell if I know! But Robbie was generous enough to reach out to talk to me about sparking conversations, the best practices of podcasting, constraints, formatting, what to name your show, and much more. This is an episode for anyone thinking of starting their own podcast. So, please enjoy!

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PS: Does The Penguin Latte Podcast remind you of the excitement of fresh presents on Christmas morning? If so, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It takes all of 60 seconds (or 120 seconds if you’re feeling extra spicy). By leaving a review, you’re making the podcast 1% better. So, if 500 of you leave reviews, the podcast gets 500% better (if I have my math right). Plus, I love reading all of your juicy comments. Thanks so much!

A tip for podcast hosts: The Spontaneous Summary

There’s a gazillion tips out there for running a podcast. But there’s hardly any for how to have a good conversation. So here’s a quick tip for all you podcast hosts aspiring to become better conversationalists.

When your guest finishes speaking, summarize what they just told you.

I call this The Spontaneous Summary.

It’s spontaneous because your guest isn’t reading off a script (and neither are you). And it’s a summary because one of the best ways to show someone you’re listening is to test if their ideas work with your ideas.

The Spontaneous Summary is like a form of intellectual eye-contact. “Not only do I see you, but I understand where you’re coming from. And even if I don’t, I’d like to at least try.”

You don’t need to do this all the time (because that’s annoying). But if you do it often enough, your guest will know that you’re paying attention and not playing flappy bird or some damn thing.

The Spontaneous Summary gives your guest a sense of trust and connection. And it gives the conversation a boost of momentum.

Your guest trusts you’re not checking Twitter while they’re speaking. Your guest feels more connected to you as you try to work your way into their worldview. And the conversation gains momentum as your guest knows that speaking to you isn’t a waste of effort.

Here’s the same idea in 5 words.

To be interesting, be interested.

Dale Carnegie