HuffPost Readers Inspire Hit Podcast, 'Truth Or Dare'

09/20/2017 10:07 am ET Updated Sep 20, 2017

It all started with a single article on small talk.

In early 2016, I rang Dr. Bernardo Carducci, professor of Psychology and Director of the Shyness Research Institute, with a simple idea: let’s make social research more accessible.

I asked Dr. Carducci to be the first of many leading social experts to translate his most practical findings into everyday English.

Dr. Carducci readily agreed to talk about his landmark research around shyness. And his work generated immediate interest. There were clicks and shares...and a few early adopters reached out over email or social media with one message: we’d like to hear more.

A series was born.

Dr. Carducci happily provided a follow-up guest post which quickly prompted another round of reader feedback. Who else writes about these subjects? What else does the research say? Could we get more of this stuff?

Before long, I was pitching all kinds of experts to join the conversation. Print interviews featuring Geoffrey Greif, Andrea Bonior, Dana Kerford, Jan Yager, Bill Rawlins, Marco Iacoboni, and Vanessa Van Edwards quickly followed.

But the print pieces didn’t do the experts justice.

Despite readers’ gratitude, I often got off the phone with people like professor Bill Rawlins and thought, I wish they could’ve just heard that live conversation. There was something about the give and take and live interaction that let experts think on their feet, rattle off statistics, and build from one idea to the next. But it felt nearly impossible to capture the inspiration and passion packed into the calls and emails exchanged.

A podcast was born.

To overcome this barrier, I decided to take these conversations to the airwaves so readers could—in fact—listen along. The beta version of the podcast, titled Truth or Dare, invited leading social experts to share the most important truths or insights they’s uncovered...and asked them to challenge readers to apply their findings in real life.

To infinity and beyond.

After an initial beta test of 25 episodes recorded between January and August of 2016, the podcast has become a permanent fixture on iTunes. As fall’s lineup approaches, I’m hitting the studio with an inspiring cast of new experts and a more regular and permanent recording schedule where new episodes release every Thursday. (Plus, stay tuned for a special edition mini-series in the works.)

I’ll also be writing a monthly column entitled This Month in Social Health that will provide a quick overview of the top social stories trending in the news. And alongside the podcast, we’ll be developing a monthly Social Influencers List to introduce readers to a handful of leading social health experts each month.

Catch the Episodes You Missed

You can listen on any of the platforms listed below. Be sure to subscribe so you’ll be alerted when new episodes come out each week! Or, learn more about meyour author and host at sarahcunningham.org.

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