Blogs & Podcasts Writing/Content

The Art of Storytelling Through Audio: How Radio and Podcasts Can Illuminate the Human Experience

Image courtesy of Unsplash

For as long as human beings have held a capacity for communication, people gathered around campfires and swapped tales to exchange information about the world around them. Nowadays, our campfires attract global audiences, and the storytellers are radio and podcast hosts. 

As of 2023, there are 464.7 million podcast listeners worldwide — a number that will climb to 504.9 million by 2024 — with over 5 million podcasts globally. Although there was an expressed fear that the pandemic shutdown would lessen the love for podcasts and radio shows, given that people were no longer commuting as much as before, that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

Simply put, people are hungry for stories. The topics that can be covered within a radio or podcast show are endless, and there are stories out there that will hit home to nearly anyone with access to these shows. Radio shows and podcasts dive into the politics of the day, explore business and thought leadership positions, investigate crimes, or simply entertain with humor or excellent writing.

Through the power of storytelling, we can do so much more than just share information — we can share ideas, connect with people, and change their lives.

The Power of Storytelling

The power of storytelling is undeniable. A good story can educate, entertain, and engage listeners all at once. It can be just the tool you need to grab your listener’s attention, connect with them, and even change their perspective. 

Storytelling illuminates the human experience in a way that other mediums cannot. Stories teach people about themselves or the world around them through sound alone. As such, storytelling has become an important part of many mediums, especially radio and podcasts — two formats that rely on audio as their primary mode of communication.

A good story is a package that wraps many important things inside. Engaging radio and podcast hosts tell stories that allow them to share part of their world with listeners, including their passions and interests, as well as their knowledge, experience, and expertise. 

Stories even give them non-obtrusive platforms to share their opinions, beliefs, and perspectives on current events or issues in society. If one show or podcast fails to float your boat, there is always another out there somewhere that is just what you needed — and wanted — to hear.

The key to a successful radio show or podcast is to think about what your listener wants to hear. What stories can only you tell that people would be interested in? Do you have a hobby or interest in a particular subject that would resonate with others? Are you a subject-matter expert? These are all questions to ask yourself before diving into starting a radio show or podcast.

Stories Start the Conversation

Stories invite people to listen to you and what you have to say. Sharing your story with others can be extremely rewarding, especially if they share their stories with you in return.

In today’s fast-paced world, stories from radio and podcast hosts allow us to connect with others in a way that we rarely do anywhere else. A well-crafted story breaks through our bubble and makes us pause to listen during our morning commute, on our daily jog, or while we prep dinner. We can easily join millions of other listeners around the world to share experiences, connect with people with common interests, and learn about new things.

Stories told through audio in the modern era are a uniquely effective method of communication, as thousands of people can download a podcast and share an experience together. At the same time, each of them has an individual experience with the story. 

Everyone has his or her own perspective on the message and why it matters that this story was told. They all have their own take on the story, and they want to talk about it. If you can engage customers with stories about your restaurant brand, they’ll keep the conversation going.

Storytelling Allows Radio and Podcast Hosts to Convey Passion for Their Subject Matter

When you hear someone speaking with passion, it’s infectious — you want to learn more. It’s easy to connect with someone excited about what they’re talking about, especially if that excitement is genuine.

When you have a personal connection to a story, the passion shines through — even just over the air. If you tell your story well, they will remember what you said, feel drawn to be part of it, and take action. Your listenership will build and your story will grow. 

We live in a media-saturated world. In 2023, we have access to more information than ever before, but less of it seems to engage us. However, podcasts and radio shows are thriving through the power of storytelling, with millions of listeners tuning in every day to hear real human beings talking about their passions and experiences.

If you are seeking to reach others, consider using a podcast to share part of your world with your customers. Instead of advertising, entertain them with a story and offer valuable information.

About the author


David Purdy

Dave Purdy is a publicist at Otter PR. He was born in Massachusetts and grew up in the Tampa Bay area. Purdy is a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy and a graduate of the University of South Florida. He spent many years in radio broadcasting as a DJ, traffic reporter, news anchor, show host, and producer, and sold radio and digital advertising for a couple of years. Purdy made the transition to public relations in 2018 and specializes in getting great radio and podcast interviews for his clients. His clients have been featured on ABC Radio, Westwood One, Bloomberg Radio, and many more. Purdy calls Tampa Bay home and in his free time, he enjoys bike riding, kayaking, camping, stand-up comedy, and enjoying the great outdoors.