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.
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
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
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
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.