So you've started a podcast and sit down to record your first episode. Maybe you're interviewing a guest, perhaps you're sitting down with a co-host, or maybe you're flying solo. No matter your setup; here are three easy rules to help you avoid the mistakes of a novice;
- Bring the energy EVERY TIME you record. Energy is something YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER and it should remain consistent from podcast to podcast. That's not to say you need to over-caffeinate and scream into the microphone (probably a good way to turn people off) but it's also unlikely people are tuning in to hear a monotonous, nervous-sounding host drone on about God knows what. This is YOUR show. Show people you want to be there by bringing the energy every time. It's not a guarantee the listener will stick around, but speaking like 'Eeyore' is usually a recipe for disaster.
- Have a plan! Too many hosts think that because they're funny around their friends, the two (or more) of them can just sit down behind a mic and magic will happen. I can assure you it doesn't work that way, even for the greatest hosts of all time. In fact, the best hosts typically put in at least two hours of planning for every hour on the air (in some cases, much more than that depending upon the amount of research required). Never fall back on "we're funny so we're winging it." For more on how to prepare, see the future blog on topic trees for more info.
- Don't feel the need to adopt what some people call "radio voice" or "announcer voice." In most cases, this comes across as unrelatable or disingenuous. If you have a great voice, it will shine through with the energy mentioned in point one. Your goal as a host is not to sound as 'announcer like' as possible (think 1950s radio), but rather to produce a compelling product that informs and entertains your audience.