We have looked recently at how to set up your own podcast. but one topic i have not discussed previously is how to perfect the recording itself. How to make yourself sound like a pro and get much-needed attention to your show. So let’s take a look at how to complete the perfect podcast recording.
I have done podcasts now for over a decade. First as a guest, and as a sometime host and contributor for at least three years. I will use my personal experience to guide you through how i became a much better podcaster (I hope!). And that starts with preparation. My shows would be rubbish if i just recorded on a whim. Every show i do is prepared for. I write out a full agenda, and distribute to everyone who will be on the show. I consider talking points, follow up questions and the ideal length of the podcast.
We could debate forever how long the perfect show should be. If you are doing a solo podcast, it is more likely to be shorter. On my podcast we do some short podcasts and some longer. They are as long as they need to be to cover the topics we include. But there is a general thought in the podcasting community that shows should not be over an hour. This is due to people’s concentration levels waning by that point, if not before. I find 50 minutes a nice counterbalance length.
Look, we all need to make money and pay for our time. and with podcasts, you may need to cover the costs too for your equipment, costs of hosting the podcast, advertising and more. I do not begrudge having adverts in a podcast at all. My only point is that the perfect podcast would not have adverts. Let’s be honest, few of us welcome adverts in a podcast. And most of us completely ignore them.
Like anything in life, the more you practice, the better you get. To be the perfect podcast host, you must have a snazzy, but short intro, be comfortable with guests, and know which buttons to press. You need to research the topic and have a feel for when to interrupt points as you may be losing listeners, and when to move on to a new topic. The more you podcast, the better feel you will get for maintaining a flow during a show.
After audio quality, the worst thing for me in a podcast is people repeatedly talking over each other. I have stopped listening to one particular podcast because no one ever finished a sentence before someone talked over them. It was so annoying i had to give up, despite the general content being top notch. So as a host or guest, you must learn to let other speak and do not talk over or interrupt unless you feel it necessary. You can make a counter point when they have finished talking.
As a host, you must act as the conductor for the show. Do not let people go off on tangents, get everyone involved equally and be aware of timings and rhythm. Be clear and concise, do not hesitate, or stutter at questions and keep your agenda close at all times. But do improvise if you feel there could be gold at the end of the rainbow by suddenly going down a certain path.
As a podcast owner, keep your content fresh. The same two people discussing the same topic every week may begin to feel stale after a while. So try to keep things fresh. Get new guests on, discuss leftfield topics, offer subscribers plenty of varied listening.