I have done almost 3000 hours of podcasts since 2010, including community radio and setting up my own digital radio platform – Eagle Waves Radio. I can tell you it takes more than a microphone to make a podcast. A lot more.
When I first started in community radio it was before podcasting took off and went mainstream. As with most media platforms, technology disrupted radio incredibly. It suddenly allowed EVERYONE to have a “show”, anyone could record a piece and put it out there…..but where was there?
Ironically the same challenge still exists today – getting an audience for your podcast. So even though technology has made it easier to produce or make or record one, there still remains two questions:
1/ Why would anyone listen to my podcast?
2/ How can I monetise it AND/OR get an ROI on it? According to Wikipedia a Podcast is:
“an episodic series of spoken-word digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device for easy listening. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient and integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices.”
Ive always been fascinated by audio, the nuances you can hear in someone’s voice, the difference quality equipment can make and how important an engineer can be….yes, a great engineer who knows there stuff can make you sound awesome 😊.
Assuming your content and style match with substance.
I did live radio broadcasting for a long time, and it’s
almost as stressful as hospitality! You depend on great guests, great ideas, people listening and sponsors caring. There is nothing like getting a nosebleed in the studio in front of a guest while your live on air and using your shirt to stop the blood. But the show must go on right?
Or what its like when guests either don’t show or come unprepared….or worse, they like to nod or shake their heads as answers to your questions.
Ive seen great presenters and enigmatic leaders freeze up in front of a microphone in a normal pre- record, but when they do it on live radio it’s a real problem!
My worst interview experience was a fabulous expert in leadership who I invited on one of my very early shows. The segment was a typical 20-minute slot, but I cut it off at the 6-minute mark. It was the longest and most boring 6 minutes of live radio I had done, or I hope will ever do.
My time in community radio taught me the skills that meant I could go forward and produce my own platform; I wanted to commercialise my skills and help others to as well. It wasn’t an easy path, fraught with challenges just like any start-up, but incredibly rewarding when you can support others to showcase themselves and their expertise. I loved having my own shows, co-hosting with some incredible talent and learning how must thirst people have to hear inspiring and motivating content. But I really enjoyed producing for others even more.
As time has gone by, the years have seen podcasting grow around the globe as a medium that is accessible for all, it has meant that the audio has really been turned up in an ever increasingly noisy world. So many people feel that a podcast adds to their brand and that they have something to say – or something that others would listen to. So off they go and make a podcast. They get their friends on, potential clients and experts. But it’s not enough. You need to plan, design and execute a podcast as if it’s a hit show already. That means your own skills have to undergo training. Especially if it’s not your day job. There are 2 kinds of podcast hosts – those that are experts who want to showcase themselves and their business, and media talent professional presenters who can host almost any type of show content. If you’re the expert but don’t have presenter experience then that’s what you need to focus on, because one does not necessarily lead to the other. At least not without practice.The single most valuable advice I can give is to listen to yourself. Record a podcast from a relaxed position to find out how you sound. Do you breathe a lot, say UM as every second word and laugh at your own jokes? Do you sound like a robot reading a monologue that could be a new experience in torture for your audience? What about confidence, can you hear authority or arrogance? If you can identify any or all of them, it’s OK. Its great actually. It means you can improve, rectify or enhance. I’m not saying you have to be perfect, not anywhere close to that. But you are asking people to listen to your voice, and even the best content won’t survive a boring voice, mumbled words or a serial umer (a person who thinks UM is a substitute for any word in the English language)
It can be a brutal realisation when it turns out you’re not No1 with a bullet, so listen and learn from yourself and others, take on board feedback and focus on the end goal – whatever your WHY is for making your podcast.
Listen to yourself, your voice is part of your personal brand, and you want to present the best it can possibly be right?