Very few podcasters have been on professional radio courses. But, that’s fine, because this is a form of content production that is quite unlike it’s closest relative.
If you’re yet to dip your toes into the world of podcasting, you can think of it as a recorded discussion on a specific topic by knowledgeable people within that field; that’s it. It isn’t scripted, forced or in any way contrived; it’s the most natural form of content marketing you’re likely to find.
There’s just one problem. If you decide to start producing a podcast for your business, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact you’ll need to find an in-house presenter, because it’s highly unlikely you’ll be tempted to pay for the services of a professional podcaster.
If the presenting responsibility falls on your shoulders, good news! We’ve got five tips that will make it far easier for you:
1. Get to know your guests beforehand
Podcasts are at their best when there’s a guest or two on board.
With that in mind, you’ll need to make sure you get to know your guests beforehand if they’re not close acquaintances.
If it’s convenient location-wise, arrange to meet up and chat through the podcast outline (see tip 2). Alternatively, a phone call or Skype session will give you the same opportunity to build a rapport that you can carry through into the podcast itself. It’ll make a huge difference.
2. Prepare a rough outline – not a script
You’ll feel far more at ease with your first podcast if you work from a rough outline.
Just bear in mind that this is very different to a script in that it aims to (as the name suggests) outline the key points of conversation you’ll be having.
Scripted podcasts sound dreadful and put everyone involved ill at ease – avoid them at all costs. By comparison, your outline should be five or six bullet points that are nothing more than a sentence each.
3. Take your time and remember – mistakes are allowed
Podcasts aren’t live – they’re pre-recorded and then edited before publishing. That means you can make mistakes! You can ‘umm’ and ‘err’ a little (although try and keep it to a minimum!) without fear of losing your audience. All that stuff can be edited out later on.
The most important thing to do is take your time. Set a rough duration with your guests, and keep a clock running, but avoid ‘running for the exit’ by rushing through the outline at breakneck speed.
4. Give the conversation breathing space
In order to take time with your presenting job, you need to give the conversation breathing space. That requires you to do two things:
- leave nice, comfortable pauses in-between the natural breaks in whatever it is you’re saying; and
- allow everyone to have their say; don’t interrupt, talk over people or jump in when you think someone is about to speak.
5. Be you!
Sure, you’re not a radio DJ, but as explained at the start of this post – you needn’t be one for a podcast. In fact, that would be the worst possible thing you could be!
Podcast audiences want to hear the real people behind the episodes they listen to. And that’s wonderful news from your perspective, because it means you don’t have to put on a persona that simply isn’t anything like the real you.
Enter the podcast as you would enter a room that’s full of people you know. Be yourself.
If we could single out one tip above, it’d be the last. As noted at the start of this blog, podcasting is designed to be a natural, flowing conversation. And, if you enter the role of presenter as someone else, that simply won’t happen.