The secret to why podcast audiences are growing and attracting new voices might be authenticity. In addition to being more diverse, podcast hosts are better at sounding like themselves. Even tightly edited podcasts like “Serial” and Gimlet Media’s “ Startup” allow people to speak spontaneously and conversationally. Some voices aired are slow and others accented. Not only do audiences listen in spite of this authenticity, they appear to listen because of it. Online courses, on the other hand, sometimes sound like infomercials promoting expert knowledge rather than inquiries tempered by humility or curiosity. If we want to build engaging content, this is a mistake.
“Listeners want you to be real, a real person…I think the more human you are, the more people can then relate to you. The whole point is…people will want to take my hand and come along. It’s so they feel like they trust me enough to come down the road with me,” observes Kelly McEvers, host of the NPR podcast “ Embedded.” (Source)