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6 Podcasts That Will Help You Strike Up a Conversation With Anyone

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Hello. Such an easy word, right? It’s simple, succinct, and it’s almost always the perfect way to start a conversation with someone new. But, what comes after that? How do you go about creating an engaging, interesting conversation with anyone, from your new colleague to a cool CEO you meet while networking?

[Related: Dazzle Everyone With These Amazing Conversation Starters]

One of the best ways we’ve found is to find common ground. Maybe you’ve both been following a particular news event or you’re both in the middle of the same great book. By equipping yourself with a wide breadth of knowledge, you become a force to be reckoned with, since you can have a conversation with anyone and everyone. And the best way to quickly learn a lot while also having a blast? Podcasts. They’re fun, easy to access, and incredibly diverse. But since it can be hard to know where exactly to begin, we’ve rounded up the ones you need to listen to in order to become a master at conversation.

1. Women of the Hour

Lena Dunham’s new podcast is about all the things you already discuss with your very best friend: love, work, friendship, your body, and so on. It’s casual, fun, and the perfect compliment to the days when you’re not reading Dunham’s newsletter Lenny or watching Girls. Plus, there’s a good chance that anyone you talk to has interacted with Dunham’s work in some way, shape, or form.

[Related: Lena Dunham Made a Major Ask of the Female Leaders in Hollywood]

2. Serial

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I’ve been having a tepid convo with someone when all of a sudden the subject of Serial comes up and suddenly, the conversation goes from 0 to 100 in less than a second. Anyone who has listened to Serial has something to say about it, and the second season just recently came out, so now there’s even more to share.

3. Internet Explorer

This BuzzFeed podcast has been around for less than a year, but it’s still a must-listen if you love the web. In the show, two BuzzFeed editors explore all the strange and random corners of the Internet, giving you plenty of ammo when talking to anyone who even vaguely likes technology.

[Related: 40 Conversation Starters That Will Make Networking (Dare We Say) Fun]

4. Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

I’ve never heard someone talk as emphatically about a podcast as my friend talks about Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Even though some episodes can be up to four hours long, don’t be intimidated by the length. Carlin makes learning history an exciting event, and you’ll be geared up to dish out facts with any history buff.

[Related: How to Deal with Awkward Conversations]

5. The Nerdist

Another podcast classic, The Nerdist is hosted by actor and stand-up comedian Chris Hardwick with his friends Jonah Ray and Matt Mira. It’s a great mix of nerdiness and comedy, and occasionally you’ll hear interviews with people like Quentin Tarantino, Kirsten Dunst, and Jack Black. Plus, most people have at least heard of Hardwick and The Nerdist, even if they’re not huge podcast fans.

6. This American Life

Let’s be real, we couldn’t make this list without mentioning This American Life. While podcasts can occasionally seem like something for the younger crowd, This American Life is such a classic that most people, even if they’re not crazed fans, are familiar with it. And the show covers such a wide range of stories (seriously, there are over 500 episodes) that you’ll find yourself walking away knowing everything from the intricacies of public schools in Chicago to the life of Frank Sinatra.

Bonus: Modern Love

I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t be more excited that pretty soon the mega popular New York Times column will be transformed into a weekly podcast. If you don’t already read Modern Love, it’s a column dedicated to the “joys and tribulations of love” and it can be heartbreaking, beautiful and lovely all in one well-written package. Even though there’s only an introductory episode up right now, the rest of the podcast is going up early this year, and it’s sure to be a great listen.

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#Homepage #Connections #Network #Conversation Starters Podcasts Career Advice
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Definitely going to listen to these!

Andy Malone
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This is a great list! I also like Anna Faris' "Anna Faris is Unqualified". For those who are also into sports and "guy talk", Joe Rogan Experience and The Kid. :)

I needed an place to start. Thanks for the great list.

Thanks for recommending Women of the Hour, I'd never heard of it! I'm a fan of quite a few others on this list. Some of my other favorites are Death Sex & Money, Freakonomics Radio, Keepin' it 1600, and Revisionist History.

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The only one I have checked out on this list is Serial. I got into podcast last year and now I listen to them more than I listen to music. I like stuff that is funny like Anna Farris' Unqualified and then business inspiration stuff like She Means Business and Pursuit With Purpose. I actually started my own in August called Creatives Crushing Anxiety.

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