Ideas for Podcasting

After recording my interview with Sam Coley I started to think about ideas for podcasting and general principles that i could use in the future:

1. Identify your podcast verbally

Always identify yourself and what is your podcast about in the beginning. If you have a name for the podcast or if it is part of a series, always say it in the beginning. In my podcast I didn’t say my name which was a big mistake. I should have started with: “I am Mariana” or “My name is Mariana”

2. Use Music

Normally I like simple podcasts but after trying out a podcast with or without music I have to admit that music in the intro softens the podcast.

Also, see if it is suitable to use music in the betweens. If you think your podcast is too slow try to use music, sound effects or something similar between your segments. It is not a rule but  a matter of trying out and see how you like it. A good way to end a podcast, after your goodbye, is to use music fading out.

Adam Westbrook has a list of useful websites where you can use music for free.

3. Don’t take yourself seriously

Relax and see your podcast as a normal conversation. You don’t have to be formal to talk about something serious. Take the example of Coffee Spanish Break, a series of podcasts where you learn how to speak spanish while you are drinking a coffee!

4. Know your public

Have in mind that it will difficult to have a podcast that is interesting to everyone. Ok, Steven Fry does it but he is known all over the world and he is amazing in what he does. Why? Experience.  However, not everyone is like him.

A good example of a interesting and specific podcast is “The Digital Story”. It is made by Derrick Story with tips about digital photography. If you are interested in photography or, if by any chance, you need to learn some techniques this is a good tool.

5. Show notes on the podcast

Soundcloud allows you to make notes on your audio clips which is very useful. If someone mentions an article, a book or a song put the link to it on your track. It makes it more interactive and easy to follow.

In this podcast, Franzie Baehrle talks about the importance of audio and makes a few notes to helps keep up with her podcast:

6. Make it as short as possible

Podcasts should be not be too long. Since it is “just” audio it demands a lot of attention. I am not saying that time should be your primary concern or that you should edit to make it short but try to be concise. Unless you are interviewing Barack Obama or a dead person  people won’t listen to you for long.

7. Don’t rumble

Don’t turn on the mic and rumble. Prepare questions in case it is an interview and do some background research about the interviewee. In case it is just you, have guidelines and a mind map with your topics. Basically, the same principle about planning explained by Sam Coley applies here.

8. Don’t rush

Take a deep breath and start speaking. I know, it may seem paradoxical since I said that a podcast should not be too long. Nevertheless, a podcast is not a run against time. You should take your time to introduce the podcasts, ask the question you need, have fun and make it interesting. If you listen to my podcast you will see that it seems I was in a hurry to start the interview and my introduction is too fast.

9. Finally…Edit it if you have too

Professional and experienced podcasters are able to record everything in one take and sound amazing at the same time. If you are a beginner, the chances that you are going to record a podcast that doesn’t need edition are very little. So, remove the parts that you think are not worth it or where you think the answer is not so good. A little production works towards building a good podcast.

After this I decided to create an official podcast with Sam. Here is how it sounds with no edition:

And after the edition:

Finally, here are some good websites to help you start podcasting:

Do you have other tips? Comments highly accepted!

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