Someone asked me the other day if it was strange listening to myself on podcasts.
I'm now doing a monthly Q&A show on Dave's (my husband's) Coaching for Leaders podcast, as well as the weekly Teaching in Higher Ed podcast. I listen to many of them before they air, so that I can create the show notes. All of them wind up in my listening queue on Overcast (my preferred podcast app). My weekly routine has me often listening to them in the car, or when feeding our baby girl at night.
There are often moments when I listen where I wish I would have phrased something differently, or not laughed when I talked about something quite serious. Lately, I'm frustrated at the number of times I'm saying the filler word “so” on the show. Prior to that, the recordings were littered with “you know”s. I'm always working on some aspect of my speech patterns that could potentially be distracting to the listening audience.
Yes, it can be uncomfortable to hear myself, especially during some of my less-than-stellar recording moments.
However, there are so many great things that have come from “working out loud,” a phrase first coined by Bryce Williams. When we work out loud, we make our work visible to a network of people with similar interests and missions as our own.
John Stepper describes working out loud as:
…making your work visible in such a way that it might help others. When you do that – when you work in a more open, connected way – you can build a purposeful network that makes you more effective and provides access to more opportunities.
Robbin Good has a content curation guide that explores emerging practices in content curation and how to get started. There's also this interview with Maria Popova, the editor of Brain Pickings, one of the greatest examples of content curation that exists. It almost feels wrong to refer to it as content curation, or even working out loud. She refers to her work in a far more descriptive and eloquent manner as she writes on her “about” page:
Brain Pickings is my one-woman labor of love — a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why. Mostly, it’s a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — and an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life.
It is risky and takes dedication to work out loud, but the benefits are plentiful.