Five Tips for Better Podcasts
Editor’s Note. This post dates back to 2011 in the early days of our podcasting journey. Sure a lot has changed since then, but the basics of how to create better podcasts, interesting programs which keep listeners coming back hasn’t changed very much at all.
BlogTalkRadio has made it easy for lots of ordinary people, business owners and consultants to host their own “radio program”. While the technology is easy, there are no instructions on how to be a good host. Inspired by a conversation with Bill Catsky we started our podcast with a few informal conversations recorded on my iphone and then expanded to a 30 minute program on Blog Talk Radio
We added a live version of More than a Few Words, to our mix in May and have learned a few things along the way. As an Indianapolis social media firm, the podcast allows us to connect with friends, clients, and prospects in an entirely different way. If you are thinking about hosting your own podcast, or you have been invited to be a guest on one, here are a few things to consider
Better Podcasts in Five Easy Steps
- Be a good listener. Everyone, guests, and hosts will come to the podcast with specific points to present. While it is important to share compelling and relevant information to the audience, it’s equally important to be a good listener. This allows you to respond to questions and comments of other interview participants. It makes the podcast more like a conversation. Sometimes you get off track, but if it is an interesting sidebar your audience will enjoy the trip.
- Speak in sound bites. Listeners have a tendency to remember sound bites. Before an interview, spend a few minutes to develop several sound bites, maybe even write them down. In the few minutes before the show goes live, talk to the host/guests about questions which will allow you to share those sound bites. Along with this remember to slow down. If you tend to talk quickly (and I do) your words may be garbled and hard to understand. Remember to come up for air, to allow your audience to catch up and your host to ask the next question
- Do your homework. As the host, know something about your guests. Prepare questions in advance, and be prepared to help showcase them in the best possible light. Conversely as a guest, know generally what you want to talk about. This will help eliminate the awkward silences.
- Use social media to encourage audience participation. Publish a call in number, share a hashtag on Twitter and publish the event on your Facebook calendar. We run a chat room and keep our twitter wall up during our podcast. It is a lot to keep up with, but the interaction with the audience takes the conversation in different directions. It also helps the listeners feel engaged. And don’t stop when the show is over. Great podcast episodes will live on in social media. Create attractive graphics to call attention to the program in the social media news feed.
- Have fun. When it is obvious you are enjoying the conversation, your audience will as well.
want to hear more?
Look for More than a Few Words wherever you listen to podcasts.