By S. Housley
Before you begin podcasting develop a plan and a format
for your show. Determine the focus of your podcast and what types
of guests you would like to interview. Time spent planning your
show will contribute to it's success.
Location, Location, Location
When you are producing a podcast on a regular basis it is important
that you select an appropriate location for the recording to take
place. The location should be free of external distractions and
relatively quiet. It is easiest if you use the same location each
time, that way the equipment can remain in place and will not require
moving or setup each time you produce a show.
The room should have a carpet or furniture that will
absorb echoes and dampen the sound. The room should also have a
door, so that you will not have unexpected interruptions. Reduce
extraneous noise by turning off fans or any equipment. Consider
hanging a note on the door, so that you will not be disturbed while
Recording Away from Home
When taking your podcast on the road it is equally important that
the quality of the podcast is not compromised for the sake of portability.
Consider using a directional microphone or finding a quiet alcove
for interviews when on the road.
Make every effort to minimize background noise, at the very least
use software that will allow you to edit out extraneous noises that
occur while recording.
Before you begin recording sample different volumes and microphone
distances and determine what levels result in the best recordings.
To save time, do a test recording and listen to it prior to every
show, this will help you catch anything that was inadvertedly unplugged.
Spending a little more money on your microphone goes a long way.
Permissions and Contracts
The legalities surrounding audio recording are a bit muddled. Regardless
of what the legalities are in your region, it is best that you request
permission prior to recording anyone!
When requesting an interview with a specific individual,
be sure to tell them the topic of the show and give them an idea
what types of questions to expect. Let them know how long the interview
is planned for and the format of the show. Let prospective interviews
know whether the broadcast will be edited or will the interview
be broadcast live. It is always a good idea to provide interviewees
a link to previous interviews. If the interviewee will require any
specific equipment or software, provide them ample notice and do
a test run to ensure that everything is working properly.
A little preparation goes a long way; if you have an interview scheduled,
be sure to adequately prepare. Make sure that you can accurately
pronounce the interviewers proper name, and ask them prior to the
interview how they would like to be addressed. Research the interviewee
and come up with a list of questions. In some cases it might be
appropriate to provide the interviewee the list of questions prior
to the interview, this will not only help them prepare but help
them relax and prepare for their on-air debut. If you prefer not
to tip your hand in providing the questions prior to the interview,
then be sure that you have an idea of what their reaction and responses
will be. Follow up questions should based on the interviewee's reactions
to your queries. While broadcasting, use your research notes as
talking points to direct the conversation. When you guest is talking
let them explain their point of view; don't interrupt them unless
there is a point to clarify.
Biographies of show guests should be included in the
show notes or on the shows websites. Request the interviewee send
a photo to be included along with the biography. After the show
is published be sure to thank the interviewee and provide them a
link to the finished interview along with instructions on how they
can listen to the show.
Use voice inflections to add emotion and passion to your comments
and questions. Use music between segments not only does theme music
create a brand and audio identity, it also helps transition one
segment to another. Intro and outros can soften a podcast and give
it a little extra polish. Introduce your podcast at the beginning
and end of the show. Remind listeners who and what they are listening
too. This is your opportunity to establish your audio brand. And
finally have fun, listeners will be able to tell if your podcast
is a labor of love or a painful rendition, keep your spirits up
and your mood light!
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.
In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.