Monday, April 3, 2017

"Every Speaker Has A Story" Podcast ShowNotes: Episode 6, "South by Nor'easter"

by Steven S. Vrooman

March 15th I was supposed to be podcasting live from SXSW.

I was in New York to see my son's high school band play at Carnegie Hall:

Then this happened:

Which led to this:

And left me feeling like this:

We were stranded in New York by the blizzard called Stella, and here are Michelle Johnson, aka @doodledblooms, and I at the very minute my podcast was supposed to be starting back in Austin, Texas:

SXSW and all the interviewees I had to cancel with were all very cool about the whole thing, but it was still a disappointment.

Still, I did have some audio from some rogue podcasting I was doing at SXSWedu the week before the Stella fiasco. I interviewed a few people and had like an hour of me monologuing into my microphone.

I processed it all and made this episode, which I think is a lot of fun:

As is my tradition in these ShowNotes posts, I wanted to give you some information and links on my participants.

But first, I wanted to give a shout-out to a free service that I REALLY relied on this time. Fellow podcaster Tucker Harley has suggested Auphonic to me a while ago. It is a sound-clean-up service. I had used it in episodes 4 and 5, but it wasn't an earth-shattering level of fix. I record pretty decent audio, usually. But at SXSWedu, I was podcasting from an echo-y, crowded space. I noise-reduced it myself in Audacity, but it all felt pretty thin in tone. Auphonic really helped a lot. If you are a podcaster and do less than 2 hours a month, it is worth checking out.

Anyway, on to the stars of the show:

1. The Bystander

Massie Ritsch (@MassieRitsch) walked by, saw me talking into a microphone, and came over to find out what was going on. He is brave and assertive and, it turns out, funny. He's worked for the Department of Education and Teach for America. Now he runs the strategic storytelling company 5e, which you can check out at

2. The Robot

I interviewed Milo (@robokind), the autism education robot and his human designer, Richard Margolin (@CarnivorousGnar). You can check out what they do at

3. The Caffeinated Man

Reshan Richards (@reshanrichards) arrived with a full cup of Starbucks. I could tell he meant business. He is a professor and the Chief Learning Officer at Explain Everything, a collaborative whiteboard app for educational settings. He's also a co-author of the book, Blending Leadership: Six Simple Strategies for Leading Online and Off.

Here he is speaking at TEDx:

We all spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out why people are not more interactive when presenting at theoretically interactive events like SXSWedu. We all have a strong belief that that is important, and we were often surprised by what we saw at the conference.

I also spent a lot of time arguing that khaki pants are a failure of the imagination. They exist only to be not-jeans and not-slacks. There is never a time when one actually *wants* to wear them.

Thanks again to all my episode contributors.

We'll try SXSW again next year :)

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