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Conversations that Matter: The Impact of Dialogue in Podcasting

In our final August episode, we reflect on the meaningful and impactful conversations we've had throughout our podcasting journey. From thought-provoking discussions that changed our perspective to dialogues that influenced our approach, we delve into the power of conversation in podcasting.

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Matt: [00:00:00] So, welcome to, uh, August's Push To Be More series. My name is Matt Edmundson, I am the host of the show. Besides me, still, there is, uh, Sadaf Beynon, who is the show's producer. Sadaf is in Canada on a very long vacation. Um, I'm in very drizzly Liverpool, England right now, uh, and we are taking a slight detour from our regular Push To Be More episodes for the month of August.

We've just recorded some shorter, quicker episodes to, uh, have some interesting conversations about podcasting, to tell you about Podjunction, which is going to be launching soon, a new podcast that specifically is aimed at people wanting to use podcasting to grow their own business. My guest, Sadaf, is going to be hosting.

That podcast. Oh yes, she is. Are you excited about hosting this

Sadaf: I am. I am going to be a learning curve for me, but it's going to be fun

Matt: It is going to be a learning curve for you. There's no doubt about it. And it's going to be interesting, [00:01:00] you know, with you having control of your own stuff. Um, you're going to be your own producer as well, aren't you? I suppose.

Sadaf: Yeah, or maybe you could do it for me, Matt. You should do the producing.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, no, I just think you like the, I like, I like, I think you, you like to tell people what to do. And so that's why being the show's producer is good for you. I am under no illusions that I'll ever be able to tell you what you should be doing at all. And so yeah, I'll probably avoid

Sadaf: We're on the same page then.

Matt: Yeah, we are.

We are. Um, so, do you know what I did forget to do, uh, on this episode and on the last one? And dear listener, I'm really sorry about this, but I'll remember to do the out, on the outro. We forgot the whole music thing.

Sadaf: Yeah,

Matt: just record it, we might have to edit that in, we might have to, so if you hear music on the previous episode, it's because we've gone back and edited that in and we'll probably edit music in on the intro on this one as well, whoops a daisy. We're slick, we're totally professional here, [00:02:00] um, on push, so what are we talking about today?

Sadaf: we did. So, um, last. In our last episode, we were talking about great opportunities, and we're just digging into that a bit more. So we're talking about, um, some of the wonderful, insightful, memorable conversations you've had with the guests that you've had on your podcast. So, um, actually, Matt, why don't you talk about maybe one that was most impactful for you?

Matt: That's a really, it's a bit like saying which one's your favourite child, isn't it really? Which was the best

Sadaf: Mm hmm.

Matt: that listens to the show is going to be like, Oh I hope he mentions mine, I hope he mentions mine. So I don't think, I, I'm not going to say what my favourite conversation was.

It's not because I'm avoiding it, but because I don't actually know. Every conversation. Um, has been really fascinating and you do get these really great conversations with people. Um, and so let me tell you about Andrew Kelly. I mentioned in the last episode, I've mentioned Andrew, uh, who's an absolute legend.

Now, Andrew is the chief [00:03:00] executive officer at the Antarctic Science Foundation. Which instantly makes him a very interesting person, right? Because the Antarctic Science Foundation just sounds like it could be potentially quite great fun. Um, and Andrew was one of the early guests on the show. And, um, the reason I've picked Andrew is not so much, I mean, I had, I really enjoyed the conversation, but I know Andrew enjoyed it because this is what he wrote on LinkedIn, right?

So on his LinkedIn profile, uh, he wrote, this was a lot of fun. I reckon one of life's great pleasures is good conversation. And this one with Matt Edmondson was so enjoyable. I love the fact he wrote this to his 7, 000 followers on LinkedIn. Matt is now a good friend. Again, came through because of podcasting.

The CEO of Aurion Media in the UK has an extraordinary career while maintaining his intense curiosity through full time attendance at the University of Life, which I thought was a great phrase. That should probably go in my bio. Uh, that is intensely [00:04:00] curious. and a full time student at the University of Life.

And then what he does, which is really fascinating to me, right, in his LinkedIn post, Andrew then summarizes or he, he writes a list of bullet points of all the things that we talked about and he goes away and he finds a different emoji for every point and there are one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty one, twenty two, twenty three, twenty four points.

That's 24 different emojis, uh, which is fascinating. So we talked about road racing in Europe in 93, dealing with life's scrapes, uh, the essential question to ask your surgeon, was great. Um, we talked about. some books which he's enjoyed. We talked about the Jack Reacher series. We talked about Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats.

Um, we talked about Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Uh, [00:05:00] we talked about Antarctica, of course, its beauty, its extremes, and its extraordinary potential. Um, and we talked about the wisdom of Andrew's dad and then he signs off his LinkedIn post saying, thank you, Matt, for the invitation to conversation on his podcast, Push to Be More. And then he thanked Simon O'Shaughnessy.

Uh, because he introduced us back and Simon again was a member, has been on the, the, the podcast. And then he sort of plays like this two minute clip, um, of the show. Now that's what my guest thoughts of the podcast of the conversation. And he's obviously very excited about the stuff that we talked about, as was I, it was a phenomenal conversation, but just about all of the conversations I've had on the podcast are.

have been really, really good. And I really enjoyed that one with Andrew. Uh, and the fact that he took such time to promote that on his LinkedIn profile with such care, uh, that wouldn't have [00:06:00] been a five minute project, by the way. That was quite an involved thing that he did. It would, and, um, I was really appreciative of it, uh, if I'm honest with you, and, um, him sharing that out there.

So I do, I talk about that LinkedIn post a lot because I, I thought it was very kind of him.

Sadaf: Yeah. And it sounds as though he's had an impact on you. You've had an impact on him. His, um, his feedback was really, he was really invested in, in that conversation and that feedback. Um, is there, is there any other dialogues that you've had where you felt like they have, um, influenced your, um, well, your podcasting journey or your thought process?

Is there been dialogues like that?

Matt: Yeah, that has. I mean, just about every interview, you come up at the end of every interview, just about every, every, every interview depends on time constraints. But I, I asked the guest on the show, how was that? Is there anything that we could do that would have improved it? Um, and so just talking with various guests as we've gone through the interviews has shaped how the [00:07:00] show is now getting their feedback, right?

So how we structure the show, how we do the show, that's all come through. Um, that sort of feedback and just asking the guests, you know, and so yeah I think I think the podcast has been greatly shaped by all of I guess all the stuff that we do Comes that you know comes as a result of that which is which is again, it's quite lovely really So, yeah, I I'm trying to think Every conversation I've had, and I'm, I'm going through the ones that I can, you know, we've done 33 and I remember, I think I remember all of them. If I scroll down my little list in my head, I can't tell you what episode numbers they were. Um, but you always come away with like three or four key takeaways, specifically because we go for this great conversation style podcast where it's like, and we do the same on EP.

So on e commerce podcasts, we [00:08:00] talk specifically about e commerce. Push, we talk about leadership and push I can be a bit more personal, um, and I can, I can push it a little bit more on some of the things that people say, which is really great, you know, and, um, and I, I I've loved doing that with every single guest where you can just lean it where they'll say something, you can just push it and just a little bit more and you find out a bit more about them.

Um, but also. You do learn some really great lessons, right? Um, I haven't got it on, where has it gone? Here it is. So I have a notebook on my desk. Oh, this is a new one, so this is practically empty. I have a very full notebook somewhere in my drawer. Which I, uh, but I always take notes, right? And I always write down the key things.

Um, whether it's, uh, from e commerce podcasts, whether it's from push, just some of the key lessons that I can learn, [00:09:00] uh, in it. And it's really fascinating when you do that,

Sadaf: hmm,

Matt: actually the, the impact it has on, has had on our podcast and on our business. So I'm just looking at one now, so, uh, let's have a look, had a conversation with.

Diana Simpson, I don't know if that's come out on EP yet.

Sadaf: hmm. Not yet?

Matt: Naomi's coming on our podcast, isn't she? So she's coming on to PUSH. Um, and in my notes here, just this phrase she used, help people share their knowledge. That was her mission, was to help people share their knowledge with her business. Um, and I thought it was a phrase that I wrote down, you know, how can I help people share their knowledge?

Well, I guess we do that, I suppose, a little bit with the podcasting, asking people's interviews and stuff like that. But it sounded. Um, I loved how she was so totally clear in her, in her mission. Do you know what I mean? This is what we do. This is why we're here. And so that's [00:10:00] from my notes. So I'm from Deanna, uh, from Diana, sorry.

Um, let's see, uh, we were talking about e commerce and she asked this question, why should people care more about your product? Well, that's the question I wrote down in my journal. Why should people care more about our product? And so as, as she's making these statements, I'm making notes as much as anybody, do you know what I mean?

And I'm kind of going through it and going, well, how does that impact my business? What does that mean? Um, and so, yeah, so I can go through any of these, uh, these notes really, and I'm trying to think who we got here, Irfan, who came on, uh, you know, we always ask people at the start of the show, start of push anyway, if you had a podcast and you could have any guest on the show.

Sadaf: mm

Matt: influenced your life, past or present? Who would be a guest and why? It's a great way to start a conversation, because it just bypasses all the nonsense and all the small talk. Um, and so he said, and I love this, he said [00:11:00] David Attenborough. Um, and we got into that, and by digging into that, I started to understand the values that were important to, um, Irfan, which meant I could then ask more poignant questions

Sadaf: yet?

Matt: the line.

Do you see what I mean? And so, um, yeah, I'm not going to go through every single conversation. But.

Sadaf: No,

Matt: conversation has had an impact.

Sadaf: no, I think Matt, you're, um, you know, you're, you're a great host and you're great. Um, I agree with Andrew. You're very curious, intensely curious and, uh, and, uh, you know, I

Matt: maybe.

Sadaf: and you do end up having these great conversations. And, um, so what are some of the things that you, that you do as a host? Like, how do you, how do you make sure you're having a great conversation?


Matt: That's a very good question, uh, Sadaf, and I can see why you're gonna host PodJunction, uh, asking questions like that. Um, I think it's a really interesting thing, isn't it? Because how do you, [00:12:00] how do you have great conversations with people? I think um, and this is true whether you're podcasting, recording a podcast interview, or whether you're just, you know, in the pub with somebody, really. Um, I think you have to be able to ask questions fundamentally. Great conversation is made up of great questions and to ask great questions. You, for me, I, I never go into an interview knowing the questions that I'm going to ask. I know some people like that. I know some people like that methodology, right?

They like to have a list of 10 questions and they're just going to work through them. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. For me, I like to be a little bit more spontaneous. I'd like to know what the first question is gonna be. Um, I like to know a bit about that person and you guys, you know, you, you do a great job of giving me all the notes so I can read ahead of time.

So I understand the context because I don't, before I record the interviews on push now and also on EP, I've not spoken to the guests before you, you, you, you know, the production team, [00:13:00] you've done that, um, you've had those conversations, you found out about person. And so I have those notes on the system.

So I understand the context of the person I'm looking at and I read that before I get on. And like I say, that first question is the powerful question and understanding that question leads then into a great conversation because you understand what matters to that

Matt: person. So,

Sadaf: hmm. Mm

Matt: uh, who's had a big influence on your life, past or present?

And putting it in the context of a podcast, because obviously it's aurion media that we're, we're promoting with the podcast. So if you had a podcast, if you could have anyone on your show, past or present, who's influenced you? Who would it be and why? just really fascinating, you know? And so we've had every single answer, well not every single answer obviously, but we've had such a wide range of answers.

Which just sparks different conversations. So when Irfan talks about David Attenborough, well, it's easy then to connect with David Attenborough. He's big on nature. He's big on the documentaries. He's big on, you know, [00:14:00] saving the planet. He's got some really interesting quirks and so you can kind of then...

You, you take that piece of information and that steers and guides the rest of the conversation because you've always got this active listening thing going on. And it's just that, ask a great first question, listen to the answer and allow that to shape the next question. Have some idea. I mean, we have a basic structure, don't we, to our conversation, we, you know, the push to be more.

So we want to know where you've had to push, um, to overcome something. We want to know to be what you do to sort of recharge your batteries and what you're doing to be more. What does growth look like? How you. How, how are you doing that deliberately? In some podcasts, we may not even get past just the challenges.

In other podcasts, like, we might just focus on the how do you be. But I've got a sort of a rough structure of, uh, a rough outline, you know, beginning, middle and end, I suppose, in my head of where the talk's going. Um, and then I like to, so I like to know who the person is that I'm talking to. I like to know the first question.

I [00:15:00] like to then listen to that question, which then creates the next question and steers the conversation in a basic format that I appreciate it's going to go down. And then the thing that I've really enjoyed doing, uh, is this on push. It's the question box. Dun dun dun

Sadaf: us

Matt: I need, yeah, yeah, yeah, I need.

Again, if you're a regular to the show, you'll have heard what goes on here, but this is where, uh, I just, I bought a box of questions. I don't even know where it's come from, to be fair. Who did this box? Tools for a more fulfilling life, theschooloflife. com Okay, so that's where I got the question box from.

Full disclosure, I have removed some of the questions from the box because they are not, uh, they are not, uh, appropriate, yes, for a podcast like Push To Be More. So we've taken some of the questions out, which is why when, uh, what I do is I flip through the questions, the guests will say stop. So let's try this with you, Sadaf, cool.

So we're going to go through, you're going to say stop.

Sadaf: And stop.

Matt: Okay, so I will then drop the cards down below the [00:16:00] screen. I will have a quick scan to make sure it is an appropriate question, and if it isn't, I will shuffle, and you can't see that on camera, but on this occasion, Sadaf, I will then pick up the card, I'll read the question, and I'll pick it up, and I'll go, who is your biggest fan?

I'll turn that to the screen, and then you can answer that question, and I'll write your name on the card, actually. Where's my pen? There it is. Uh, Sadaf. So, and you're going to answer the question by the way, not sit there in silence. So let's have a go at the question box. Who's your biggest fan?

Sadaf: Okay. Well, my dog is the happiest to see me when I walk in the door. So there's that.

Matt: Dogs are amazing, aren't they? They are amazing. So fiercely loyal like that. Always pleased to see

Sadaf: Yeah. So even if I've stepped outside for two minutes, come back in. You [00:17:00] know, the reception I get is if she hasn't seen me in years, so that's nice.

Matt: So your dog is your biggest fan, but is that what you're saying? Ha! Bearing

Sadaf: she's the most, like, always happiest to see me, uh, when I walk in the door.

Matt: that's fine. Just bear in mind that when I see your husband and kids I'm going to go, uh, excuse me, can you please explain to me? Why?

Sadaf: him to step it up.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Gotta up your game. You gotta up your game guys. Just hashtag, hashtag the same.

Gotta up your game. But you see how just asking a random question like that, I didn't write that question, it's just a random question I got. And in fact, I've never tried this certainly live on a podcast, but I'm going to give it a try now. What would happen if I go to chat GPT. I'm right in there. Uh, give me a random.

Question, random but engaging. Let's try that. A random but engaging question. [00:18:00] I can ask my podcast guest, the topic or the question can be about anything that would spark a meaningful. Conversation, right? You can hear me typing away in the background. So you don't have to go and buy a box of questions. You can just get a chat GPT to, you know, write questions for you, get AI.

Um, so always to give me more than once, give me a high, it's just going to keep going. Uh, and so I can, um, I can take that question and go, well it's written 10 questions here, so give me a number from 1 to 10. Let's just do the random thing again.

Sadaf: Six.

Matt: 6. Question number 6.

Sadaf: Uh

Matt: What is the most challenging part of your work, brackets, working with Matt,

Sadaf: Yeah. My boss.

Matt: that most people don't understand or see?

[00:19:00] So what is the most challenging part of your work that most people don't understand or see?

Sadaf: Interesting question. Um, I think I would say all the making sure everything actually works at the end of the day. So there's so many different things that are happening, keeping all the balls in the air, juggling everything and making sure it all pans out when the time comes. It's probably,

Matt: the most challenged. Well, I'm glad you didn't say me, but it is, um, it is true, right? So you've got all of these things, all the deadlines have to be made, uh, you know, everything gets released at a specific schedule. So all the balls have to come into, into line at the right time. So I totally get that, right?

And so if we were doing a podcast now, I would, I would just riff off of the answer to that question. So you can see how with something as simple as a random question.

Sadaf: Yeah.

Matt: which I didn't really have to work hard to [00:20:00] do. It just sparks really interesting dialogue. And so the thing that I'd say here is if you can do something like this, don't be afraid of the silence.

So it took you a few seconds to think of the answer to this question, but there's no pressure from my part of you. I can always edit out silence if I need to, but I never need to because I think it's more authentic. Um, And people always lean in when there's a bit of quiet as well. Uh, but so off the back of that, I would go, well, it's interesting.

You've got a dog. What kind of dog have you got? You know, how long have you had the dog? What, and there's all kinds of questions around the dog because a lot of people love dogs, right? Um, and then the most challenging part of work. So why, what do you mean bringing all the pieces together? What specifically, and you can start that conversation around that, right?

So. Great conversations come from great questions, but great questions don't have to be hard. Um, and then you can just totally riff off of them. And that's all that happened with Andrew Kelly. Uh, he just started talking about riding a, you know, I didn't realize this for, before we started talking, but he, he was almost a professional cyclist.[00:21:00]


Sadaf: Hmm.

Matt: And I was, I just found that really fascinating, you know, and, um, you can just start asking questions around that. I don't know anything about being a professional cyclist. I know I ride a bike, but that shouldn't mean that. So I don't need to be an expert to ask questions around it. I don't need to be a questions to ask him questions about Antarctica.

I just have to be really interested, uh, and just, just ask a sensible question, which if I'm honest with you, most people who do podcasts or who we talk to about podcasting, if you're a business leader or CEO or something like that. You've probably got everything you need to ask interesting questions anyway.

Otherwise you wouldn't be in the position that you're in. Does that make sense?

Sadaf: Yeah. Totally. Totally.

Matt: Good! I'm just going to have a little drink of water because I'm coughing. So yeah, great conversations start with great questions. And for me, just plan the first question and away you go. Um, and then something like the question box works really well because there's no planning for that. Do you know what I mean?

It's just a completely random question. We've had conversations about life after death. We've [00:22:00] had conversations, you know, about pets or work. We've had, let me just look at what chat, what other questions chat GPT have put out here. If you had the power to change one law of nature, what would it be and why?

That's interesting. Do you know what I mean? All these sort of... Engaging questions that you wouldn't ordinarily get to ask people, you can actually ask them in the, in an interview format of a podcast and just listen to the answers because it's amazing the information that, that comes out of it. Does that make sense?

So that's how I would do it.

Sadaf: does.

Matt: and I would just be totally chilled out. I'd be laid back, but I'd be, uh, as Andrew said, just curiously, intensely curious. Uh, and if you can do that, you can be a good interviewer, I think.

Sadaf: Yeah. I really like what, um, what you said, that the, the secret to a great conversation is the great questions, is great questions and digging in, like you're saying, I think is really important. It helps the, it helps the person you're interviewing also feel like you're paying attention to what they're saying and, you know, they'll, they'll give you more if you, if they feel like you're invested in them.

[00:23:00] Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, they will totally do that. And don't be afraid to ask for more. So if you're, one of the things that I, I love to do is I, I, the reason why I wear headphones is because it enables me just to focus in on the conversation, right? And that's all I can hear. I can't hear the wind and the rain outside. I can just hear the conversation, which is a beautiful thing.

So I can focus in on the conversation and all the time I'm thinking, especially if I know the person, this is a common thing. If you're interviewing somebody that you know, there's a lot of assumed knowledge.

Sadaf: Yeah,

Matt: Um, and so you'll talk about things like we've been talking about things. There's probably been one or two in jokes that we've unknowingly made that if you're new to the show, you're going to listen to that guy.

I've got a good clue what they say. You can feel a bit like an outsider. And so one of the things that you have to do as a. as a host, as an interviewer, is be willing to ask the foolest question, right? Now what do I mean by that? So let's take something like e commerce podcasts. Well, I know a fair bit about e commerce.

Uh, I've been around e commerce a little while. But I'm aware that people [00:24:00] listening to the show may be fairly new to e commerce. So if my guest uses... Because e commerce like every industry has three letter acronyms coming out of their backside, right? So if if someone comes along and says, oh CAC we need to measure CAC.

I can't be afraid to go Just explain what you mean by CAC because all the time I'm thinking in my head if someone's new to this show Will they know what they're talking what they're talking about? And so that I think that's the second great trick, right? So you you you learn the ability to ask questions But you're constantly digging in.

What's the story? It's one of my favorite questions. What's the story here? And how do I get them to give me the information in such a way that anyone new to this show will be able to understand it, so people don't feel like an outsider. So if I'm talking to a leader or a CEO, it's easy to fall into leader or CEO speech, isn't it?

It's like, well, we just have to make sure our strategy is hyper effective for quarter four marketing [00:25:00] targets. And you kind of go, well, if someone's just starting out, Today they don't even know what the word strategy means and what strategy means to you And what strategy means to me are going to be two different things.

And so that in itself is a conversation And so being able to ask clarifying questions Well, what do you mean by that or can you dig into that a little bit more and I think is super important And so yeah lean in Um, ask the clarifying questions and then ask, ask questions about the interesting bits. So, um, you know, like you were talking about the dog, you say the dog is always pleased to see me.

I might go, that's really interesting. So who's living in your house? Why do you not feel like they're pleased to see you on some occasion? I wouldn't ask that question directly, but that's the kind of way my brain works. Do you know what I mean? It's like I would want to dig into that a little bit more.

And so, um, maybe cause I'm a little bit of a nosy git and I think, you know, that's probably about fine really. So they, they're my top tips. I, we should probably end it there because, uh. Who knows how long we've been talking on this one, uh, the tip number [00:26:00] three, don't go on too long. Oh, brilliant. Tell, tell the good ladies and gentlemen about Podjunction. They've heard enough of my voice. Tell them we're talking about Podjunction a little bit. What are you going to be covering in Podjunction?

Sadaf: So Pod Junction is all about, um, talking about where podcasting and business meet. So how you can use podcasting to grow your business. We'll be having conversations with guests who already use podcasting to grow their business and how they do that. So we'll be learning tips and tricks from them, understanding how it's done.

Um, just like Matt was talking, I guess you're talking now about how you're going to. You know, really unpack what they're talking about to get under all the layers and really have a better understanding of what they're doing and the strategies they're using. So, similarly, we'll be doing that with Podjunction as well.

Matt: Fantastic. I'm looking forward to [00:27:00] it. I'm looking forward to it because I've, I've heard the first. 10 episodes I suppose. Uh, and I know some of it, like Chase Climbers coming on and some of these amazing people. I'm really excited to hear what they've got to say. So, yeah, make sure you watch out for that coming mid September.

Do subscribe to it. Let me play... This, I think that should hopefully, there we go, we've got the music playing in the background now, so that's my cue to say thanks for joining us on this episode here in August. Just to say, if no one's told you yet today, you are awesome, yes you are, created awesome, it's just a burden you have to bear, I have to bear it, Sadaf has to bear it, you've got to bear it too.

That's it from us. Back to normal next week. Thanks for joining us in August. Bye for now.