Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 14 · 2 years ago

14: Building Communication Skills with Ian Roth


Ian Roth of Talking Llama Media helps leaders by empowering them to speak and communicate confidently and effectively. He also runs two different podcasts, the Get Heard Podcast and The Talking Llama. We're chatting leadership, communication, and podcasting tools and tricks.

Welcome to good people, cool things, the podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. I'm your host, Jo we held and today's guest is Ian Roth, founder of Geth heard media. Ian Runs the Gethard podcast as well as the talking Lama podcast, chat and about leadership and podcasting respectively, and it's got lots of great ideas and advice on all sorts of leadership topics, being a better communicator, being more effective with feedback, productivity, lots of good stuff. We're going to get into all of that, as well as a fun little gamification of podcasting that IAN is cooking up. So let's hop right on into it and Ian, thank you for joining the podcast. And to start, how to get heard media get off the ground? I started with the get heard podcast, which is about leadership and communication, just leveraging all the stuff I've learned over the last ten or twelve years between the civilian World Military World, and I noticed that leaders, at least in my organization, phenomenal leaders, but we're just atrocious when they got up in front of people and had to speak somewhat competently in front of the group and they were just terrible. Like my really good friends got up and had to give a brief when we were in Afghanistan and like I was counting. It was like a two and a half minute brief. Like, Dude, you said, I'm thirty three times in two and a half minutes. No, no, there's the way in Hell I did. And I'm like had someone else like yeah, man counted thirty three times. And so that was that was a theme that I saw among a lot of my peers and I'm like, you know what, I think that there should be something to kind of teach people to be better communicators, better public speakers and better leaders. So that's what started me with the get heard podcasts about I think I started that shoot early end of last year, early this year, sometime awesome. and was that your first kind of foray and the podcast or had you had you dabbled in there? Before I dabble in there, I started one, it was called the high hopes initiative, in July of Twenty nineteen, so right when I got back from Afghanistan, I wanted to do something with podcasting and the high hopes initiative. Initiative was just a podcast about kind of leadership very all over the place. Just tried to see if I could first like produce a podcast, if I had like the mental capacity and technical skills to do so, and then like if I could keep a consistent basis of producing content. And I started doing it just twice a month because didn't know what was going to go on with my life and like. So I was just doing the first and fifteen of every month and episode and like, you know what, I can do that. Maybe for the New Year I'll tried doing once one a week. You know, I just thought that was so crazy to be able to do that much because, like, I fulltime job, don't have a lot of time, wife, three kids, but stepped up to the plate in January this year and have been producing a weekly podcast ever since. That's awesome. congrats on all of that and yeah, thank you. As as far as I'm glad you said you've got a wife, three young kids, full time job. A lot of listeners of this show do kind of have that sort of side hustle where I they're either, you know, working on a second business or maybe they do some freelancing, but oftentimes do have a full time job that is given them pretty busy so how are you able to consistently produce a podcast week after week? And you've got a lot of other projects that will be touching on throughout the episode. But what have you found to help with that productivity and focus? You have to be efficient and intentional with your time. That like you have to. So there are some things that you can only do when you are by yourself and it is quiet around you. So, like for me, it's what my... are in bed, which is either super early in the morning or late at night. So I know during those times. I is when I can do recording. Those times and only those times. So granted, I do enjoy spending time with my wife when the kids are in bed, so also have to weigh that in, as I'm sure many of your listeners enjoy spending times with their spouse. But again, the only times I can actually record audio and a somewhat controlled environment. Then, like the editing, I edit all my other all my own podcasts, so doesn't need to be quiet to do that. I can do those with headphones, without headphones, kids screaming whenever. So I can do those. Maybe when the kids are up playing or watching a movie, I'll sneak off with my computer and do some editing while I'm they're hanging out with them. So being intentional and deliver it with your time and then, of course, if you're able to, for solo or interview episodes, batch recording. So when you're able to capitalize on that quiet, undisturbed time, crank out as much content as you can while you have control of the situation and environment. And then the great thing about podcasting and many hosts podcasts hosts like the hosting platforms, not you and I, as host posting platforms, is that you can schedule your content to be released whenever you want it to. So you can make eight shows and one day and then have, you know, eight weeks worth of content and have your podcast host automatically release them over the course of that time. So that that's how I do it and that's that's what worse for me. Totally back up the idea of batch recording. Again, you never know what life is going to throw at you and if you have a chunk of free time where you could record several episodes, why not go for it? So definitely agree with that. Yeah, you definitely have to, and my job is very unpredictable. And could just be pulled away for weeks or months on end. So having a good backlog of contents anyway in the shoot, already ready to go, just waiting for that day to come and it gets released to the public is huge and it just gives you, gives me a huge piece of mind knowing that if I miss a week or something unexpected comes up, that I have content ready to go out and I'm not going to miss a week. And as far as that content goes, do you create a content calendar, either for a month or quarter, maybe even for the entire year, of the kind of topics and areas that you want to focus on, or does it more so depend on the different guests that you're able to get in touch with? So it is very, very guess dependent at this point, as I'm kind of I just really want to get well spoken and and good people on my show who can put out good stuff to benefit my listeners. So whatever, if it relates to leadership, communication, public speaking or podcasting, I am all about getting those folks on because I know from listening to their stuff that they will have valuable content for my listeners. So kind of all over the place. I know, as I get more serious and detailed with this venture, that I will make a deliberate kind of calendar of what I want to talk about on specific weeks or months. But and that regard no, but from my solo episodes, I will, as ideas come in my mind, take notes in my phone and then I will be more deliberate about where I placed those episodes throughout the weeks and months. So a little bit of both fantastic. Yeah, I think it's you know, in the ideal world you have everything planned out well and rance. But then, I mean, I don't know about you, but sometimes I'll meet someone where I'm like, Oh, I need to get you on here, and maybe absolutely bit, but like you're cool and like you've got a lot of good things to share, so definitely want to kind of get you in there at some point. I'm sure you've experienced something similar to this when you're chatting with people, that podcasting is just such a great way to meet New People, to like you. You know, you get to interview a different person every week and in the case of you and I, we met on a website called spotted...

...guest, and I don't, I mean would our paths have ever crossed. If not for that. Yeah, I don't think so. I mean podcasting is like a new form of social media, almost. I mean you can meet all these awesome people and then, like, you immediately have something in common because you enjoyed podcasting. Your podcast could be about something completely different from mine, but we just have that podcasting interest in common. Absolutely, and especially now with people practicing social distancing. Go Out and listen to your podcast or if you've ever been wanting to start one, you and I are both happy to answer questions, and you have another podcast that focuses on podcasting, so tell about that. I do. It's crazy. So I didn't think that I could produce content like on a consistent weekly basis when I first started in July of last year, and now I have to podcasts, which is freaking nuts. So yeah, thanks for bringing that up, Joe. It's called the talking Lama podcast and my website is talking Llama media and it's exactly what you said, man. It's a podcast about podcasts, kind of helping plant the seed, or maybe water the seed and people's minds who are thinking of starting a podcast, kind of giving some resources, all totally free and connecting these people to other people who are podcasters and interested in making podcasts. So it's been awesome. We're going to do some cool stuff with it. Connects some really cool people together and, you know, just kind of take it from there. Awesome. And can you give us just the the quick little scoop of Your Home Studio? What alls in it? My Home Studio, so I'm sitting behind a road procaster and that is like the pinnacle of my technological prowess here, which is a phenomenal microphone. And then I'm looking at I have a couple foam things taped to the wall to make myself believe it's some sort of soundproofing mechanism, and then right in front of me I have a little piece of wallpaper that it looks like wooden board that was supposed to be fancy and professional but actually is not big enough, so it looks really, really cheesy. And then I have an American flag, which is probably the best piece of decorative art in my studio. And then, of course, I have my two thousand and twelve. I'm AC here, also two thousand and twelve and still kicking. I like it. It is still kicking. Good Investment and I don't know. Just take good care of it and have a couple external hard drives with all my junk on it to keep the memory, I guess, free and and Sharp. Going back to the American flag, I should note that, in addition to being a nice decorative piece of art on your wall, also serves as a nice way to help but keep sound bouncing to a minimum and try and reduce some echo and reverb that might show up otherwise. That is true. So I mean if you, if you guys, are worried or have really terrible reverb in your space, because I'm just in an extra bedroom that borders the street and the sidewalk, so I pick up like all this ambient noise, just throw some like towels or blankets against your wall and it does does a pretty decent job. Any kind of stuff against the wall. It really does. And this is going back to the company that I work for. When we were doing our podcast, we bought a lot of that acoustical foam as well, and then we moved offices into a much more we had been working in a house that was converted into an office and then moved into more of an open collaborative space. The lot of offices are going for these days, and so our conference rooms are like glass doors, glass windows and pretty terrible for a yeah, really kind of recording situation. So we got a full on like almost like a shower rod curtain to like put across the entire wall and hang up and we'd hold the curtain on there and it worked effectively, although I will say that getting it up there was quite the hassle because you basically had to shorten it and then like widen it out inch by inch until it got to the...

...part where it would like secure itself. And every once in a while we'd think like we've got this and then mid episode we'd be interviewing a guest and it would just all crash down, which is pretty terrifying if you're not seeing it happens. So we had no kidding you jumping guests and of course said to apologize, but this doesn't always happen. It's totally fought. Yeah, right, but yeah, just you definitely don't need to invest in anything super crazy to get a podcast off the ground for jure. Definitely, and with with USB microphones, I mean, if you get a half decent USB microphone, your sound quality will be good enough to produce some professional stuff, for sure, and there's ways where you can kind of game a fi podcasting a little bit, which is if having to podcasts and a family is not enough. You've also started Pod XP, which I think is a wonderful idea of kind of turning podcasting into a little bit of like an RPG style game. So where did that idea come from and how can people learn more about it? All right, so thank you for bringing that up. It's like we talked about this stuff for the podcast. I mean, man, or you're just reading my Mindy Lang, which is also possible. Yeah, definitely. No. So Pot XP. So we were sitting here in this quarantine life and on March twenty two thousand and twenty, a big thing happened during the quarantine time, and that was animal crossing was released for the Nintendo switch. So totally sarcastic now, I mean it's just it was released on that day. But so it's a game my wife played as a child. I never heard the thing. I was not a big Nintendo person growing up, but it's like a little RPG for kids really, and here I'm thirty two and she's thirty and this is a game we play. But besides the points, just kind of thinking, you know, RPG is it's so cool you can do this stuff, you are you unlock achievements in this little world doing stuff. And you know I like video games, Gy Ram, all these other RPG's. Also like podcasting and like well, what what if you could kind of tie the two together? And then I think ready player one came into my head as I was sitting there, like what, I guess you could, and like will what would? How would you do that? Well, you could, with your podcast, do different things which would be achievements, because that's video gaming, something you want to do when you're playing video games. And with doing getting these achievements, you could unlock experience points. Well, what would experience points go to in a podcast? Well, they would add to your level. Yeah, sure, okay. So then I started thinking this and coming up with some things and kind of came up with this concept that's called pod XP. So a couple of the achievements. I just happen to have the paper sitting on my desk, not intentionally, it always just sitting here from earlier today. So like an achievement called broadcaster one. So get a hundred downloads of your podcast overall gets you fifty experience points. Go into let's see, influencer one. A thousand followers on any of your social media accounts gets you five hundred experience points. Old, faithful one is an achievement. So upload a podcast episode two consecutive weeks will get you two hundred fifty experience points. So stuff like that stuff that we should be doing as podcasters in the first place if we want to have any order of success in this craft. Just kind of make it fun, make it exciting and make you kind of hold yourself accountable and have others who are involved in this hold you accountable also, and make a you know, make it a little competitive and, again, fun. I keep saying fun. Have some fun with it. Yes, it's. I know when we were talking about this you brought up Pokemon as well as kind of an influence on this, and I I remember playing. I mean I was a couple of years behind the curve with the original pokemon games of red and blue, but I remember like playing that game so much and just you know, even the crappiest Pokemon like I'd get a wheedle for all my my gen one ers out there and I...

...was like, Oh, I need to get this wheedle into a Cocuna, into a bedrill, and then, you know, after it's at like level forty, I'm just like, Oh, this is as good as it gets. Oh, trash, wasted a lot of time. That's but that's part of the joy. Is like growing your team and going from like Oh, I start with my one pokemon at the start of the game, to eventually catching I mean, if you, if you're really committed, getting all one hundred and fifty one, which involves some trading and some I guess, if you if you had to like go to a special event to get a mew, although I recently learned a couple of years ago that me is in the game. You can force a glitch to happen and get get yourself a fancy mew. Yeah, I know it is glitch involved. I'm glad you bring up pokemon because the leveling system is like actually based off of the formula for Jen one pokemon. So I found that on the Internet and I plugged it into excel and I have all the way out to level fifty, like the XP required and stuff like that, based off of Pokemon. Jen One. So bringing some nostalgia in there, I think could be a lot of fun. So I encourage everybody to check it out. Looking at doing a four week kind of Beta test to see what I need to tweak with the kind of XP values and any of the leveling stuff. So go to talking lamacom forward, slash POD XP learn more, sign up right there and hoping to get a whole bunch of people involved. And I think it's you touched on this a little bit. It beyond it just being a fun sort of competition, it's also a great way to network and learn about other podcasts and perhaps, you know, maybe this this community you find some other good podcast guests for your show on it, maybe shows that you could appear on, and it just a really creative way to network beyond a lot of facebook groups that have popped up where those kind of ultimately just be, you know, they end up being, Hey, listen to my podcast and then thirty other people comment, Hey, here's my podcast to and that's less building relationships and more just kind of throwing links out there. And so I think this is a really clever way to both grow your podcasts and meet a lot of New People. Yeah, I can't stand the people that just blast their their links all the time and that's it. Like, you know, talk to some people, and I think this will be really cool because if you see someone absolutely crushing it, who's just blowing through the levels faster than anybody, be like hey, guy, Gal, like, what are you doing? You know, let's have a conversation. I want to take my game to the next level. What are some things that you're doing that maybe I don't know of or I'm not seeing for mine and and kind of help each other out. So yeah, definitely awesome tool for networking. Fantastic. Looking forward to being a part of the Beta test. I believe I'm invited, so you are. Yes, I have your invitation in my inbox. I'M gonna be fine in tuning the rules that I'm going to send out to all the participants so they can know what to expect, what's expected of them. But right now it's just more than likely going to be like a once a week, maybe on like a by Friday, give me a screenshot of your analytics page on your podcast host and that's it, and then I'll be able to see what achievements you've earned from their excellent. Looking forward to it and I will get to work on creating my Avatar. Yes, it's definitely not required, but highly encouraged. I wonder if I can draw a crummy POKEM I always remember being so disappointed see it like I'd catch a pokemon that I liked and then the view you have during a battle is from the back and I'm just like, you look terrible, it's so lame. Yeah, I know, it really is magical. So I wanted to something I ask all my guests when they come on as a question that they wish they were asked more frequently, and yours I thought was super interesting. Of can you give me feedback on my performance, which I think is hard to do, and whatever profession you're in, is to ask for feedback when you know, if you're working on a project, you have a second set of eyes re reviewing it. You're...

...probably expecting feedback, but you often aren't asking for it. It's just something that's kind of a part of it. So I kind of have a two part question for you. How can people more gracefully or naturally ask for feedback and then, as the person giving that feedback, what makes for good feedback and constructive and helpful feedback for the person asking for feedback. I don't think people ask for feedback enough. You know, there's things that I do during my job and I kind of I don't know what my boss is thinking, or I kind of just see his gears turning, or maybe he just won't say anything, and then me, as the employee here, just go with okay, and I guess no news is good news, so carry on and do stuff and then maybe a week later I'll find out that, you know, I'll get feedback a week later. And I went to wrong direction, like. Well, man, you were staying there at the time I was doing this, like I wish you would have said something. So just asking like hey, boss, how am I doing here? Or Am I meeting your intent am I going the direction you want me to go? So me, as the employee, need to do that more and I think other people should do that more. Also, don't be afraid to get your boss's opinion. Your boss is there to provide you feedback. So it's nothing out of the ordinary that you're asking them to do. You're asking them to do part of their job. So simply, how am I doing? What do you think about this, am I meeting your intent those are some good questions you can ask to get some kind of on the spot feedback from your boss. Awesome, super, super easy to do, but not something I think a lot of people think to do. And don't be afraid of your boss to ask those things. I mean, again, don't some people have that kind of fear of their boss, and I mean it's natural. Some bosses aren't aimidating, but just ask the question and then, from the perspective of the boss, providing feedback. I mean, be honest. Don't be a jerk about it, but be honest. Somebody is asking you for feedback, will say in this situation and that feedback is a gift. I mean they're asking their seeking your advice, leveraging your experience in your knowledge. So don't be a jerk about it and give them some honest feedback, in some constructive feedback to either tell them they're doing good job or to guide them in the direction that you think they need to go. And I think something that's good to remember as well is that if you're getting feedback, it's from someone that wants you to do well. Like we're not out to make each other fail. At least at most companies. You don't want right your collings to fail. You're giving that feedback to make the project, the assignment, whatever they're working on, to make it better. And I think sometimes, especially if you're just reading feedback, you know if it's a comments on a word doc or an email or something like that, that you might take something as being harsher than it is just because it's written and you don't get a sense of the tone in it. But it's just the person writing something and they had no ill will or anything like that. Yeah, that's a good point. And regarding providing feedback, tried to do that in person as much as you can. Sometimes there's restrictions where we can't, but in person for the reasons just like you said, Joey. You know there's you can hear inflections and voice, you can see body language. I contact the whole nine yards there, where as if it's written in an email it's just very blunt and there's kind of no reading between the lines, if you will you know, for use of that example, you don't know if there's any anything else behind the words. It's not explicitly written. Or maybe you think there is and there's not. So if it all possible, do it in person, very minimum over the phone, so the person receiving the feedback can at least hear your voice and make assessments from the queues of Your Voice. Exactly, and maybe even more important now that we're all kind of on you know, shelter in place rules here. Yeah, definitely make phone calls or don't be sending feedback through...

...text messages. You know phone calls can't go in person, or at least within six feet of people. So give some good six feet plus feedback. Right on, and kind of tying into that, that segment is very nicely into the top three which of course, get her podcast all about lessons in leadership. So can you give us your top three traits to be an effective leader? My top three traits, the first and foremost is courage. You have to have the intestine and afford it to the guts to do what is right or say what needs to be said. So first and foremost, courage, do what's right and say it needs to be said. Number two, equally, if not probably the most important on this list is selflessness. So that moment that you become a leader, you are no longer worried about yourself. You are worried about everybody else and you putting yourself at the very end. Leaders. Leaders eat less as a phenomenal book. If you haven't read that, have to read that. But you are putting everybody else's needs before your own, because that is what a good, effective leader should do. So for a big transition and hard concept for some folks to understand when they go into the leadership role for the first time. Moment you take that title of leader, everybody else before your own needs. And then the last one is trust. People have to be able to trust you. They have to trust that they can come to you with hard decisions and that you will make the right decisions. And they have to trust that they can come to you sometimes with confidential personal information and that you will not tell anybody, you'll keep that sensitive information and even just be a sounding board for those people. So courage, selflessness and trust. Boom. Love it well, and you are officially off the hook. Thank you so much for hopping on the PODCAST, Joe. It has been a pleasure and man, love what you're doing. Thank you for being on my show a couple weeks ago. And Yeah, just from meeting on spotty guests a couple weeks or months ago, and and look at us. It's like we're old time friends now. Yes, we go way back now, we go way back, way back. And if other people want to get involved, if they want to reach out to you, become new friends, where can they find you? So I am on Linkedin, I am on instagram. INSTAGRAM handle is Ian Roth one. I an rot h the number one. Believe it or not, somebody else was Ian Roth, so I had to add the one in their very impressed. And then the yeah, I know. And then the website is talking lamacom, real easy logo. Is Awesome. Talking llamacom. I do enjoy a your logo a lot. One of my favorites for sure. When I saw the Guy Design it, I just knew it. I knew that was it, no question like that. That's it. Man, love those magic moments. Yeah, but it was a magic moment. I heard that song going on in the background, loose mangic moment as I laid my eyes on it, like yeah, excellent, shout out to Jay in the Americans. It's a great song. Yes, Oh, yeah, and I guess the drifters. I believe do a cover of that as well. Right, so I am familiar with the drifters one. I didn't know. I didn't know, Jane, the Americans were the OG's of that. I'm making that claim. I actually don't know. I might be vice versa. Might be the you have, could be the drifters have the first. But yeah, I feel like I learned at least once a month that a song I really enjoy is actually like the fourth version of the song. It was just the one that happened to be the most pot yeah, and you know, a lot of motown songs did that. I mean it's just crazy. A lot of them got the songs got passed around between different bands and groups, and I mean shoot, like even a lot of like what a proud Mary. You know, Crean'scluding credence, clearwater revival did it, and you know that goes way back to Tina Turner and I turn it did it, I think, with temptations. Marvin gay did some cover songs heard of through the grape vine.

Was One of them that's been covered by like everybody. So yeah, including towns, flooding CCR, including CCR. Yeah, they love their motown stuff a little lie their version is a little too long. It's got kind of a long breakdown in the middle. It is way yeah, it's like a jam band, like Dave Matthews Band, length song. They're just they're having fun out there. That's we could who can blame them? Yeah, good deal. Well, Ian, thank you again. And of course we got a wrap up with a Corny joke, as every episode does so in this you know, in this time of self isolation and everything, I wanted to pick up some new reading, so got myself a new thesaurus. But it's terrible. Not only that, it's also terrible good after today, people, I love it.

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