January 27, 2015

Listening Out Loud with Dave Miller
Category: 2015 Event, Speaker Announcements

Dave Miller

If you’re a lunch-time OPB listener, Dave Miller’s voice is a familiar part of your day. As the host and moderator of Think Out Loud on weekdays, he gets to talk with scientists and senators, writers and ranchers, cooks and cops. His aim is to create a daily space for civil, engaged, and meaningful unscripted conversation by focusing on listening to each other.

Dave knows a thing or two about the power—and the challenge—of listening. He has spent 14 years listening on the radio.

Wait, what?

I know, it sounds strange when you pause to consider I’m talking about someone to whom other people listen on the radio.

“It’s surprisingly hard to truly listen to other people—to hear what they’re saying, as opposed to our own ideas of what they’re saying, or our own internal monologue,” says Dave. “But if we don’t listen to people, if we don’t pay attention to them, we can never know them.”

Dave believes that becoming a better listener could change the world.

It does sound simple, doesn’t it? Stop and listen. Yet, even for someone whose job it is as an interviewer, the task poses a daily challenge.

Listening—giving care and attention to what someone else has to say without thinking ahead to our own next words—and then engaging in meaningful conversation… that is not easy.

We asked Dave to share his interpretation of our theme, Roads Less Traveled:

“At its best, it means not following the herd—not going where everyone else is going. Blazing a path that’s meaningful to you, not to your family or your friends, your critics or your fans. It means trusting an internal compass, not an external guide.

It also means that sometimes you’re going to get lost. But so be it. It can be fun to get lost. Sometimes being lost is more fun than ending up where you were planning to go. (But bring water.)”

Perhaps it’s hard to fight human nature. We want to be heard. We have something to say.  We want to find something in common—or not!—with another person.

In keeping with our theme, listening more could be considered one of those less-traveled roads. We invite you to explore this idea with Dave Miller at TEDxMtHood on May 2nd. Tickets go on sale February 9th!


Dave Miller, in his own words:

  • “I grew up in Syracuse, New York, which instilled in me a lifelong love of snow (and Orangemen basketball), and a kind of spiritual immunity to Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
  • “I’m married, I have a cat, and I like to cook.”
  • “I like the idea of gardening, but I seem to like planting the starts and harvesting the veggies more than all the stuff in the middle.”
  • “Most of my senses are only average, but I like to think I have an above-average sense of smell.”
  • “I have a theory that if you have to randomly hang out with one member of a brass band made up of people you don’t know, you should seek out one of the trombone players. I’ve never met a bad-apple trombone player.”

Ivonne Ward

Though Ivonne now lives in Seattle, she remains tight with the TEDxMtHood family, and this is her second year with the planning team. Passionate about people, volunteering and problem-solving, Ivonne is guided by curiosity and a desire to make a positive and meaningful impact in her community.