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Why I Podcast: Better Than Yesterday, with Osher Günsberg
Why I Podcast: Better Than Yesterday, with Osher Günsberg
Tapping into the minds of Acast podcasters from around the world to find out what podcasting means to them.
Everyone has their reasons for picking up the mic. Perhaps they want to share an untold story, discover a creative outlet, or even build a community and start a movement. Whatever that reason, podcasting is the perfect way to get your voice heard.
For International Podcast Day 2022, we’re tapping into the minds of Acast podcasters from around the world to find out what makes them tick in our Why I Podcast interview series. Be inspired and learn how successful podcasters stay motivated when creating, what they love about podcasting, and why the medium is so special for creators and listeners alike.
Once you listen to Better Than Yesterday, you immediately understand how it got its name — tuning in for an episode will always leave you thinking a little differently about the world.
Osher is the consummate conversationalist and has built a loyal audience through his candid and open discussions about his own experiences, as well as his knack for warm and intelligent interviews with a diverse mix of guests.
We spoke to Osher to find out more about what the podcast brings to his life, both personally and professionally.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get started in podcasting?
I’m Osher Günsberg. I'm a podcaster, author, TV host, and someone who lives with a different brain.
I had my earliest test flights back in 2012 — but those shows never got published — however in 2013 I saw that the only difference between people who had a podcast and me was that one day they just started. So I just started.
I recorded about five episodes before I published, and I’ve been on air every week ever since.
Why did the medium of podcasting appeal to you in the first place?
As a long-time radio guy, I have always loved the intimacy of audio conversation. Podcasting is an extraordinarily intimate form of that — because of the subject matter. You don’t have to appeal to all of the people all the time — you can do a podcast about woodworking with hand-forged chisels, and be as niche as you like — because your audience will find you and feast on that authenticity. That’s why I love it. You can’t be this authentic in traditional broadcasting.
What is it about podcasts that attracts storytellers and their listeners?
I feel it’s because there’s an enrolment on the part of the listener. Often the listener seeks out something they’re curious about. So there’s ownership and delight on the discovery of a show you might have missed, or excitement with each episode getting released. That connection is so different to radio.
For the storyteller? There’s no other form of broadcast that allows the level of detail and nuance that podcasting can bring. You can do 40 straight minutes of interview without a commercial break, and in doing so create a level of depth and connection with your audience which is unattainable in a regular commercial setting.
Why is podcasting important to you?
To be in broadcast at a time when a completely new form of broadcast arises, and with a business model that’s exploding, is just so exciting. Podcasting allows creators to explore the intimacy and authenticity of their subject matter in a way that is impossible in other formats and I love that.
I have podcast friends. The voices that accompany me while doing the dishes, working out or driving. They don’t know they’re my mates, but I get a feeling of deep connection that only comes with getting engrossed in a deep and meandering conversation that is impossible to get in regular commercial broadcast formats.
My podcast has allowed me to make public a part of me that none of my TV jobs allowed me to show. My podcast has led to everything outside of TV for me. Getting a book deal, doing a national sold-out tour, speaking to corporate audiences about mental health, being invited to be on charity boards — even being asked to come on the nation’s leading political debate program a number of times as a voice of authority on climate action.
None of those things would have happened without the podcast.
How’s your relationship with your listeners?
My listeners love to send me what’s called a ‘podsie’ — a picture taken with their phone of what they’re looking at as they’re listening. Sometimes it’s dishes. Sometimes it’s laundry. Sometimes it’s the South Korean countryside out the window of a high-speed train.
I love to know that I’m accompanying people through their lives as they go about their day.
How does podcasting fulfill you creatively?
I’m enormously grateful for the expression I get to have through podcasting. It’s a form of spoken art, I guess.
Recently, I’ve done some episodes which have no guests — but are instead giant monologues, taking my listeners on a meandering journey that connects moments in history through to the present day. They take a lot of work to write but it’s glorious to lose myself in the flow of that creation.
Also, I am thrilled that as many people are interested in how what the British Army chose to wear while colonizing the world led directly to the invention of Wifi.
You’ve spoken to an impressive line-up of people. Do you have any highlights?
With well over 600 episodes, it’s hard to pick one guest. So here’s three that strike me as memorable today (this will change by tonight).
- Matthew Mitcham: An Olympic Gold Medal diver, we spoke about his sport for about three minutes and instead had one of the deepest, most connected conversations about sobriety I’ve ever had in public.
- Melanie Zanetti: The voice of Chilli Heeler — we found ourselves discussing what happens when you release yourself from the outcomes in the purest way possible and just be present to the process. It’s a stunning revelation (spoiler alert — she got the gig).
- Audrey Griffen: When we released my book, I invited my wife to be a guest — and we spoke about what it’s like being married to a person with a different brain. To this day I get emails every week about that episode, which was now over four years ago.
You’re always giving listeners nuggets of knowledge. What’s the most fascinating thing you’ve learnt from doing the podcast?
One thing in nine years? Jeez. There’s about one hundred!
However, one that can be applied to many things came from a conversation with Professor Roland Geocke from the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Canberra. In Australia you can walk into a hardware store and buy a hammer. A hammer is a useful tool, which you can use to hang a picture, make a fence, even build a house to shelter you and your family to help you survive a storm.
But a hammer is also a murder weapon.
Yet anyone can buy one — even a child — because as a society we’ve had the conversation about the acceptable use of that particular tool.
Clearly there’s a few technological tools which we find great utility in, however we’re well past time for having the conversations about how those tools are a part of our society. Be it social media algorithms, AI, gambling apps or apps that can deliver booze to your home in 30 minutes or less — there’s plenty of conversations we are well overdue to have.
And, finally, what’s next for the podcast?
My show has taken many forms over the years, coming into my 10th year — it might just change again. I’m nearly 50, the world is still heating up faster than we thought it would and as I have less of my career to lose, I’m willing to take more risks. Watch out.
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