5 Useful Things I Learned from Being a Guest on a Podcast
Almost a year ago, I was interviewed for the UI Breakfast Podcast by Jane Portman. While appearing as a guest on a podcast was on my to-do list for a while, I didn't pause to think of the positive ramifications it would have in my professional design career.
Here I share the top 5 things I learned after being interviewed by Jane, and why I think you should never skip out on a speaking opportunity:
1. Industry authority
While my episode focused on Building Successful UX Teams and was geared more towards leadership thinking, a lot of the questions I've received as a result have come from designers themselves. Having to shift my message around when describing the fundamentals of building a team to how to be a better team member is a truly humbling experience.
I really enjoy coaching and answering questions from fellow designers that want to be effective, valuable and heard by their companies or employers has become a personal goal.
2. Research opportunity
Knowing your subject before you speak is key, but sometimes we can become trapped by our own theories and message. Preparing for a podcast interview allowed me to further research my topic, update my thoughts and compare against thought leaders from the design community.
3. Polish your story
One thing is developing personal standards on how to conduct a job, based on experiences and challenges met to date. Another thing is flipping that around to a teaching format. One of the most challenging things as a designer, however, is having to tell your story without visual aid. Chris Do from The Futur recently posted a video titled How To Sell Strategy Without Design or Visuals. While his video focuses more on sales tactics, the important thing to learn is that we should adapt to our medium. Relying on a conversation alone to convey an idea, is fun and challenging.
4. A good interview is an amazing resume
Oddly enough, I never thought about this. Whether you're searching for a new opportunity or are otherwise just growing your personal brand, a podcast interview allows potential contacts to understand your frame of thought. Listening to audio where you answer questions and offer insights, allows people to briefly step inside your head and have a look around.
5. Interviewing for a podcast resets your personal bar
Possibly the greatest value I got from interviewing with Jane was freezing my thoughts at a point in time. This allowed me to hit a sort of reset button and drew a line on the wall from which to grow. At any point in time, I can listen to myself describe my thought process and personal philosophies, and assess if I still feel the same way. I can challenge myself to find new perspectives and expand on my previous thoughts.
Go tell your story
While I don't actively look for speaking opportunities or podcast interviews, I advise other designers to accept those opportunities as they come. The reward is far greater than the initial effort put into participating. If there are current avenues through which you can speak your mind, grow your personal brand and tell your story to the world without relying on visuals, you should challenge yourself to pursue those.