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Can You Tell Stories Like Walt Disney? – Episode 130

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Can You Tell Stories Like Walt Disney? – Episode 130

TELL STORIES

Walt Disney was one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

When you examine his work, you realize he wasn’t a great story writer. He was a fantastic story teller.

Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Jungle Book. All are stories written by someone else. Disney just turned them into great stories that sometimes didn’t follow the original exactly.

Snow White – “Snow White” is a German fairy tale known across much of Europe and is today one of the most famous fairy tales worldwide. The Brothers Grimm published it in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Pinocchio – The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written in Florence. The first half was originally a serial in 1881 and 1882, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883.

Fantasia – The movie was developed around the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a German poem written in 1797 by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Bambi – Bambi, a Life in the Woods, was originally published in Austria in 1923 and written by Felix Salten.

Cinderella – This movie started as a European folk tale. The first written European version of the story was published in Naples, by Giambattista Basile, in 1634.

Peter Pan – Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie in 1902. Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, premiered on 27 December 1904 in London.

Jungle Book – The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by English author Rudyard Kipling. The stories were first published in magazines in 1893–94.

Even recent, successful movies created by the Disney company after Walt Disney’s death were based on stories written by others.

Hercules – Greek myth
Mulan – Chinese legend
Tarzan – 1914 book by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tangled – Base on Rapunzel published in 1812 Brothers Grimm

THE DISNEY FILTER

Walt Disney’s upbringing shaped his view on life and influenced how he told stories. According to the book “Walt Disney – Hollywood’s Dark Prince” by Marc Eliot, Disney’s life on his boyhood Missouri farm was harsh. Though criticized for some inaccuracies, the book gives an interesting glimpse into Walt’s childhood.

Walt was unsure of his father, because he had no birth certificate. He grew up in a very strict household where his father often used corporal punishment. Walt’s mother usually did very little to tame the strick hand of the senior Disney.

Growing up on the farm, Walt and his brother Roy were required to do chores to earn their keep. They would attend school during the day while working on the farm at night. There was no time for friends. Walt’s friends were the various animals around the farm.

The life Disney experienced on the farm influenced his films.

If you study the films created by Disney while he was alive, you see the evidence. Most of Disney’s feature-length films contain a protagonist with no father figure. The main character is typically a lonely outcast who has made friends with various animals.

Think of your favorite Disney character. Does that individual fit that description?

Cinderella. Snow White. Mowgli in the Jungle Book. Peter Pan. It is all right there.

Disney didn’t write great stories. He told great stories as seen through his filter.

ELEMENTS OF GREAT STORIES

There are four elements to a great story. Those elements include a reason to care, revealing the details, a powerful resolution and asking “what else?”.

THE REASON

Give your listener a reason to care. Begin with an engaging introduction. “Tell me if I’m gonna go to Hell for this…” That is a hook.

What do you want the audience to feel? This is what your engaging introduction should answer.

Make your introduction human. Stir emotion. Make it humorous, compelling or tragic. My radio coach Bill McMahon often asked what I would like to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand.

Find great emotions. They could include joy, sympathy, empathy, anger, tragedy, tenderness, humor, rage, patriotism or various other emotions.

Your introduction should pull your listener into the story. Give them a roadmap.

REVEAL THE DETAILS

Details are more believable than generalities. Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character. This is how listeners get to know, like and trust you and your business.

Use all 5 senses when telling your stories. We are creating visions in the theater of the mind of your listener.

POWERFUL RESOLUTION

Your powerful resolution is a strong reframing of introduction. This resolution puts a nice bow on the story.

WHAT ELSE?

Asking “What Else” will transform your show. This takes your story to a whole new level. This transforms your story from a nice piece of entertainment into an incredible piece of engaging content.

When you ask “what else”, you let your story lead to something bigger. This might mean continuing the conversation on your Facebook page. You may solicit questions or thoughts from your listeners. The story might lead into a bigger discussion or interview or skit.

The options are endless. Your “what else” step will also make your content unique and powerful.

HOW YOU CAN BE A STORYTELLER

You can become a powerful storyteller by funneling your content through your filter. Then, ask the four storytelling questions.

What is the engaging set up?
How will it be revealed in the story?
What is the resolution?
What else can you do with it?

Try a few stories in your episode this week. Let me know how it goes.

If you would like a Podcast Talent Coach worksheet to help you develop your stories, CLICK HERE.

Next week, how your stories activate the theater of the mind for your listeners. Plus, how to use theater of the mind to create more engagement.

You can find my podcast, information on my coaching services and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

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Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

Magazines

Content creators struggle with topic ideas. It is natural. There are days when few ideas are coming to mind.

The other day, I was listening to the great motivational speaker Les Brown. He says speaking is natural. You don’t hear of people facing speaker’s block. Why do people run into writer’s block?

You simply need to find topics that pique your interest.

These topics could stir any sort of emotion within you. They could make you laugh, cry, or simply say hmmm.

The good news is that you can find topics everywhere. We tend to limit ourselves to our niche or genre. Expand. Topics are everywhere.

YOUR INTEREST

During my 25-year radio career, I’ve attend many, many seminars on creating great radio. One session eventually led to a coaching relationship with Bill McMahon.

Bill had been coaching radio talent for quite some time. He had coached Jeff & Jer in San Diego along with many others. He had a great process for creating great radio.

In our sessions, Bill would always encourage us to determine what we hoped to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand. Then, start there.

Before we could get there, we needed to find the topic.

TOPIC GENERATION

The idea for topic generation came from another radio mentor of mine. Dan O’Day is probably more famous in radio circles for creating great advertising. However, he did a radio session one time on finding great topics from everyday articles. Any article could spur a topic.

Find any magazine or blog or paper. Scan through it until a headline catches your eye. As you read the article, highlight any sentence or word that captures your attention. When you are finished reading the article, find the one sentence or word that grabs you most.

With this sentence or word, spend three minutes brainstorming and freeform writing about that sentence. Set a timer. Write everything that comes to mind. Put it all on the paper. Write instead of typing. It will let the ideas come more freely.

At the end of the three minutes, look through the words on the sheet. Find the one idea that really jumps out that can be turned into a great podcast topic.

Use articles out of everyday periodicals.

PLAN IT

The third tip came from internet marketer Ryan Diess. He suggest creating a planner that includes publish date, post type, your category, your offer and the headline. Ryan offers a list of over 40 post types. You can find that link HERE.

Finally, I’ve created a worksheet that will help you ask questions to develop your topic. Once you find the sentence that piques your interest, use the worksheet to flush it out.

EXAMPLES

Here is an example of how I would use this method in my podcast.

USA Hockey – “The Meek Shall Inherit the Ice” p20 June/July 2013
“When the nation’s top quarter of college hockey teams hook up at a neutral site, only one gets to go home with a shiny gold trophy” – What makes a winning podcast. – Dissect the winners of the podcast awards – What industry events are available to learn?

“Going back to the 1950’s, when college hockey was a relatively new thing…” – Where podcasting began. – How podcasting grew from broadcasting and the theater. – What makes great theater? – What can we learn from those that came before?

“But, every now and then, a smaller school … would crash the party.” – What can we learn from some of the fastest growing podcasts? – Review some new, undiscovered podcasts. – Review a show on the show.

TOOLS

Ten Questions from the Topic Development Worksheet

1. Why is the topic relevant to your audience?
2. How will you make the audience care?
3. What is the source of the topic?
4. How will the source lend credibility to the topic?
5. What do you find intriguing about the topic?
6. What emotion do you hope to stir?
7. In what context will the story be set?
8. Where will you take the topic? Where will the story go?
9. What details will you use?
10. What is the one thing you hope your listener will remember about you/your show?
Finally, write the intriguing introduction to your topic.

Don’t settle for the first idea. Work and mold your topic.

It is easy to do an interview exactly like you do every other interview. Just like you’ve heard everyone do every other interview. Unfortunately, it will sound like every other interview.

It is easy to approach a topic just like everyone else.

Do something different. Stand out. Make your show different. Find new questions. Find ways to ask questions differently. Gain attention by being unique.

If you are discussing an article, do something different. If most hosts would simply read the article and comment, zig when they are zagging. Grab the phone and call the subject of the article. Interview the author. Act it out. Create a parody of it that is so over-the-top that it becomes memorable. Find that unique way to rise above the rest.

If you continue to settle for the first idea when presenting an idea, you’ll keep delivering typical content. We want to make you memorable. We want you to stand out and get noticed. When your content is vanilla and just like everyone else, you become wallpaper that nobody notices. You also become easy to replace.

Push yourself. Brainstorm until you find something that is great. Then, run with it and make it engaging and memorable. Don’t settle for the first idea.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Use the Podcast Talent Coach Topic Development Worksheet to discover new podcast topics all around you.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

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How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

Review

Before we dive in, here is the link to the Podcast Review Show I mentioned.
PODCAST REVIEW SHOW

You can turn your clever podcast topics into creative content by answering a few easy questions.

Developing your overall podcast strategy involves determining how you will uniquely address each topic on your show. Whether you are presenting information, answering questions or interviewing guests, there are many ways to address each topic.

So many podcasters follow the herd. They create interview shows that sound like every other igniting interview show.

You do not need to do it the same way every other podcast does it. Be unique. Find the way that will stand out.

If you are interviewing, do you really need to ask the same questions that every other podcast asks? When you actually listen to the answers coming from your guest, you will be surprised by the new questions you can discover.

Play a game. Do a contest. Get your guests to tell stories. Different stories than every other show. “How did your mom influence you?” “What was your first business?” “When did you know you wanted to be an artist as a career?” “What is a unique talent you have that few people know?”

Here is a tip many people forget. This is show business. You are here to entertain. Create compelling entertainment?

How do you do make it engaging?

First, you know where you want to go and what you hope to accomplish. Then, you map out how to get there. Don’t just wing it.

Do you think the actors in “Modern Family” or “The Walking Dead” ad lib their lines? Of course not. Do you find it less entertaining when they follow the script? Of course not. There is no reason you cannot add a little show biz to your show.
Just be sure to always be true to the show.

9 QUESTIONS

There are nine questions on the Podcast Talent Coach Topic Development Worksheet that will help you transform your podcast topic into creative content.

RELEVANT?

How is your topic relevant to your niche?

This question will help you begin to shape your topic. If we can determine why your niche needs to know this material and how it fits into the overall concept of the show, we can make sure it fits the show.

I love hockey. However, hockey isn’t relevant to this particular podcast niche unless I’m discussing a hockey podcast. There is no relevancy.

WHO CARES?

How are you going to make your audience care about this topic? What is in it for your listener? If we can determine why they would care, we can begin in their world.

Every listeners asks, “What’s in it for me?” Care about your listener first. You will be well on your way to engaging content.

SOURCE

What is the source of the topic? Does the source matter with regard to the context and credibility of the information?

There are times when the source will help shape the context of your story. Other times, the source was simply the spark to the idea and doesn’t really matter.

We discussed it a bit last week. If I read a story about the correlation between bars and churches and it sparks the topic of “everyone wants to constantly change the rules”, the source really adds nothing to the context.

If I read a Gallup report covering the President’s approval rating which leads me to the discussion of where it is trending, the source adds context. It also adds credibility.

INTRIGUE

What do you find intriguing about the topic?

We have discussed this before. If you want to be interesting, be interested. You are only interested when you find topics that are intriguing to you. Determine what parts of the topic pique your interest. If you creates a spark in you, it is likely that it will do the same in your listener.

EMOTION

What emotion do you hope to stir?

Content is always most powerful when you stir emotion. You can make money when you sell things people need. You can get rich when you sell things people want. Why? Wants come from an emotional place.

Find ways to get your audience emotionally involved in your content.

CONTEXT

In what context will your story be set?

Determine how you will approach each topic. Will you play audio examples? Will you play voice messages from your listeners? Are you going to read e-mail? Maybe there is a guest contributor. Determine each approach before the show begins.

Add some context by making the topic personal. Drugs mean different things when you add context. Are we talking criminals or pharmacists? That is context.

JOURNEY

Where will you take the topic? In other words, what is your point?

This is like your headline. It is the one thing you want to drive home about this particular topics. With this episode, I want you to understand there are defined steps you can take to create shape your content.

Your point (or intriguing introduction) is where your episode will begin. Take time to define it.

DETAILS

What details will you include in your episode?

Vivid details make your stories come to life. Find great words and details that make visions dance in the theater of the mind.

YOUR ONE THING

What is the one thing you hope listeners will remember about this episode?

Your “one thing” goes hand-in-hand with your point. The one thing you want to drive home to your listener is very similar to the one thing you want them to remember.

My point here is the fact there are steps you can take. What I want you to remember is that you can do it, and the steps are easy to understand. The point is the “what” and the one thing is the “why”.

Start with your intriguing introduction. Lead with the headline. Then, shape the content to support your point with some passionate “why”.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

6 Ways Stories Make Your Podcast Powerful – Episode 106

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6 Ways Stories Make Your Podcast Powerful

Powerful PodcastStories

The art of storytelling can be powerful. A story can pass life lessons from one generation to another. Tales can help people remember information. Stories bring words to life.

There have been thousands of great storytellers throughout time. You don’t need to be Chaucer or the Brothers Grimm to use stories to make your content come alive. Use stories wherever possible, and your information will become engaging and entertaining. It will also be memorable.

Here are six ways stories help the information in your podcast become powerful, engaging content.

A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY

Stories help your listener escape his everyday life. A tale that is told well will transport your listener to another place and time through their imagination. You help them forget their problems.

When you tell stories in your podcast, you give your listener hope. Tales of success help your listener see what is possible. Tragic stories make him thankful for what he has. Stories that simply make your listener think help her better understand something.

Stories that contain wonderful, vivid words create fantastic pictures in the mind of your listener. When your listener is intently focused on your story, she forgets she is listening to a podcast. She is so engrossed by your story, everything around her has disappeared. Your content has become her sole focus.

HEY, I KNOW YOU

People trust people they know. If you’re selling a product or service, people buy from people they trust. If you hope to make that sale, you need to create strong, meaningful relationships with your audience. Stories will help you develop those powerful relationships.

When you tell stories about yourself and your experiences, you reveal things about yourself. Revelation is a natural part of storytelling. Self-revelation allows your listener to get to know you. Your listener spends time with you every week as you tell him more and more about yourself. Then, even if you have never met him, your listener feels like he has known you for years. You’re building a relationship without ever meeting. Stories of self-revelation help those friendships develop.

A great anecdote helps define your character. Your listener wants to know what to expect from you and your show. The stories you tell help define who you are. Your listener will get to know you. After some time, she will be able to predict how you will react to things. You become familiar. Familiarity is another ingredient to a healthy friendship.

HUMANITY

Stories are either compelling, humorous or tragic. A great narrative will make your audience marvel at, laugh at or better understand something. Feelings make you human.

When you evoke emotions in your audience, your listener feels like you are just like her. Your stories reveal real-life experiences. You are telling her you’ve had similar things happen in your life. She can relate. She thinks in her head, “You’re one of us!” Your relationship continues to strengthen.

I REMEMBER THAT


Grimm’s Fairy Tales are so memorable, because they are lessons disguised as wonderful stories. Over 200 lessons were included in the books from the Brothers Grimm. Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Hansel and Gretel are all stories that are remembered well nearly 200 years after they were written. Stories link words to pictures in order to make the words memorable.

Great stories will make your information memorable as well. Use the tale of your latest saga to make your point. It will help your listener remember your content.

LIVE VICARIOUSLY

Your listeners can live vicariously through you when you tell them a great story. If you tell you listener how you made a fortune with your information, he gets to experience your joy almost as if he made the fortune right along with you. Your words help create the imagery in his mind.

Help people dream. Create fantastic stories that people can see in their own theater of the mind. Paint great pictures with your words. Your listener will see your story in his head.

Stories allow your listener to feel they joy without experiencing the risk. Your audience can walk through your hardships and feel the elation as you survive without actually living the pain. Delightful stories entertain listeners, because they can experience so much in a short period of time through you.

TAKE A CAR RIDE

Your podcast is 30 minutes long. That’s quite a bit of time to spend with someone. Will your listener want to spend 30 minutes in a car with you each week? When you record a podcast, you are asking them to do just that.

Your listener will spend meaningful, personal time with you each week. You better do all you can to create a strong relationship with your audience. Get listeners to like you.

When you reveal things about yourself through your stories, people will decide if they like you or not. Be real. Don’t force your story or change the details simply to make people like you. Tell the truth. If you bend the truth this time, you may forget next time. The truth will always come out. When it does, your relationship will be tarnished for good.

Reveal the truth. People will see you as a real human being. They will get to like you for who you are, flaws and all. The friendship will develop. Next thing you know, you’ll be taking a 30-minute car ride with them every week. Stories can make that happen.
Stories are powerful tools. They help your audience escape their problems.

Anecdotes help your listener get to know you. That’s where relationships begin. Your tales will show you are human. You are a real person with real flaws, just like your listener. Stories will make your information memorable, by drawing pictures in the mind of your listener.

Your audience can live vicariously through you when you tell them about your experiences. When you create that friendship, your listener will be willing to take that 30-minute car ride with you every week.

AUDACITY WORKSHOP

Click Here!

I would like to thank Steve Stewart over at MoneyPlanSOS.com. He has created a wonderful learning tool called the Audacity Workshop. This past week, he included me in one of the modules.

Our webinar was called “How To Create Killer Podcast Outlines”. We covered all of the steps laid out in the Show Prep Planning Worksheet available in the Free Worksheet Section at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Then, I added another 30 minutes of bonus content exclusive to the Audacity Workshop. That bonus material covers ways to really refine your content in the planning stage in order to deliver killer content.

We discuss how to structure your introduction. You’ll learn how to effectively tease and promote the content in your episode, how vivid details bring your stories to life, and what content to include in your powerful call-to-action.

The best part … that is just one module. The workshop is packed full of great material and guest instructors. It is worth a look.

If you would like access to the content, here is my Audacity Workshop affiliate link. Take a look. I think you will be impressed by the depth of the instruction.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Begin creating great stories today, and make your podcast powerful.

How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

Sometimes you are just too close to the content to recognize the issues.

I was recently working with two coaching clients. They were both struggling with the introduction to their episodes. The opening of the shows didn’t feel powerful enough.

As we dug into the shows with each podcaster, we realized they were missing their “why”. The hosts were not giving their listeners compelling reasons to stick around.

We would never have realized the issue had we not performed the show review.

In sports, coaches and athletes watch game film. Corporations use the annual review. Scientists incorporate theory evaluation. In the world of podcasting and radio, we call it the aircheck show critique.

Review your work. It is the best way to improve your show. Listening to the podcast like a member of the audience will reveal things you don’t hear while you’re recording the show. Your review will expose areas that need attention and focus.

There are a few ways to critique your show. One way is to review the podcast yourself. The other is to have a coach review your podcast for you. Both can be very effective if used correctly.

An experienced coach can be very powerful for your show. An experienced coach has mentored many shows. That professional has been exposed to many elements that have effectively attracted and entertained an audience as well as those that haven’t. You will also received unbiased feedback from a coach, because they aren’t as personally close to the content as you may be.

This episode should not turn into one big advertisement for my coaching services. Just know that I am available if you would like someone with experience to review your show for you. If you would like details regarding my coaching services, visit www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. It is affordable and rewarding.

You can learn to review your show on your own. It takes time, but is possible. This episode is focused on helping you with the self-critique by providing some critical questions.

To effectively review and critique your show on your own, you must be brutally honest with yourself.

To help you review your podcast, I’ve created a free series of Podcast Talent Worksheets. You can find them at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

It is not easy to separate yourself from your podcast. Becoming an unbiased onlooker to something you’ve worked hard to create is tricky. You will often find yourself justifying things you do on your show because it is personal.

To effectively critique your show, you need to ask yourself if the audience truly understands and is entertained by the content. Then, you need to honestly answer the question and be willing to change if necessary. Force yourself to be honest about every piece of content.

Not everything works. There will be times you fail. That’s ok. That is how you learn.

In order to properly critique the show, you need to listen to it in real time like an average listener. A few days after you’ve recorded the show, when the excitement of the new show has dimmed, go back and listen to your podcast. Play it in real time while taking notes.

Waiting a few days will remove many of the justifications you would normally use to explain away things that need to be adjusted. The content won’t be so fresh to you. The excuses will fade. You will find it much easier to be unbiased.

Actually listening to the audio rather than just remembering it in your head will make your critique more authentic. You never remember a show exactly as it happened. By listening to the audio, you will hear the exact words you used. It will be much easier to honestly review what really happened.

Listening to your own voice won’t be easy at first. That is alright. Most people do not enjoy the sound of their own voice. That is natural. Listen anyway. You will get more comfortable with it the more you listen.

When you critique your own show, you need to know where to look for areas that will make a difference. If you understand what content will engage your audience, you will begin making strides to add more of that content. Determine the goal for the show. Know what content will make a connection with your audience. Then, create a plan to add more of that powerful content.

If you have not yet downloaded the Show Review Worksheet from PodcastTalentCoach.com, get it HERE. We walk through the nine questions on that worksheet in this episode.

Here are 9 questions you can ask as you critique your show.

1. Did you accomplish your goal for the show?

Every show should have a goal. You should have an idea of what you hope to accomplish before you even open the mic. Be specific.

What do you hope to make your make your audience feel? Is there something they should better understand? Are you incorporating a call-to-action?

Write down your goal before the show begins. A written goal makes the show critique easier and more effective when you return to the show for the critique. As you review the show, find the areas that did and did not help you accomplish your goal.

2. What did you like about the show?

What parts of the show really jumped out at you as you were reviewing your podcast? Jot those parts down on a sheet of paper. If you can find ways to recreate similar experiences, you will be well on your way to creating a podcast that is consistently entertaining.

3. What was memorable about the show?

Your listener needs to remember your podcast, so they can return and listen again. That is the way to build a following. If each show has a few more listeners than the previous episode, you eventually build a solid audience.

It really doesn’t matter how many people listen today. What builds a strong podcast is the number of listeners that come back the next time, and the next time, and the time after that. You build your audience slowly with more listeners this week than you had last week.

Get your listener to remember to return. Most people will remember one or two things about any particular show. Find the big parts of your podcast episode that are memorable.

4. How did you make the audience care about your topic?

Nobody wants to watch our home movies unless they are in them. People will only care about your topic if affects them. How does your topic relate to your audience?

The best way to make people care is to first care about them. Show your audience that you have their best interest at heart. They will come back again and again. Start in the world of your listener.

If you truly want to engage your listener, put her in your story. This doesn’t mean create a fictitious part of your story where she becomes a fake character. Include details that are so vivid that your listener feels like she is right there in the moment.

Stir the passion within your listener with great emotion. You create strong engagement with emotion. Find the parts of your show where you made a connection and made your audience care.

5. Where did you surprise your audience?

You will delight your audience when you surprise them. When the show is predictable, your audience will get bored. Find ways to make them say “oh wow”.

This doesn’t mean your show shouldn’t be consistent. You can use benchmarks and bits that regularly appear on every show. You should simply find ways to keep them fresh with unique content.

Great comedians delight their audience, because the punchlines of their jokes aren’t expected. The material takes turns you don’t see coming. Great movies do the same thing with their plots. That is what makes movies and comedians entertaining.

Find the great surprises in your podcast. Make your audience say, “Oh, wow”. Add that same movie experience to your podcast more often.

6. What did you reveal about yourself?

When you tell stories during your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Self-revelation is the beginning of great friendships. Friends will support you every chance they can.

People like to do business with people they like. Find those little nuggets that reveal wonderful details about you. That content will make you more approachable and human to your audience.

7. Where were the powerful words?

Storytelling is an important step to revealing details about yourself. Vivid details are a vital part of great stories. Your listener will enjoy your podcast stories more when you include very vivid details.

The more vivid the details, the more your listener will enjoy the story. Make your audience see the story in their mind. Draw the mental picture for them. Details help your listener experience the story rather than just hearing it.

Details are powerful words. Find those words in your podcast. Learn to recognize them. Then, add powerful words more often.

8. What could have been better?

There are always parts of your show that could be better. You need to find those parts. Become aware of your weaknesses. That will be the only way to improve.

Your shortcomings could be the introduction of the show. It might be the way you transition from one topic to another. You may find yourself using jargon and cliches most people do not use in natural conversation. Find the areas of your podcast that do not fully support the goal for the show. Those are typically the areas that need work.

9. What is your plan to make the next show better?

To improve, you need to develop a plan. Discovering the areas that need adjustment is only half the battle. You then need to figure out how to improve those areas. Put it in a plan.

The improvement plan is where a coach can be incredibly effective. A good coach has worked with successful shows. They know what works and what doesn’t when trying to attract and engage an audience. A solid coach can review your show and provide you an unbiased opinion. Sometimes that tough love is just the prescription necessary to break through to true improvement.

It is possible to critique and improve your podcast yourself. You should learn from others who have done it successfully. You will also need the ability to be extremely honest with yourself.

If you have studied successful shows to the point where you can consistently recognize quality content, you may be able to effectively critique your show. Give it a shot. Remember, you can find my free series of Podcast Talent Coach Worksheets to help you at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

If you would like my coaching help and are serious about improving, you can receive a free coaching call. Details are on the coaching page at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let me know how I can help.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Have You Tried These 6 Audio Imagination Tricks? – Episode 104

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Have You Tried These 6 Audio Imagination Tricks? – Episode 104

Imagination

Imagination. It is the wonderful result of recorded audio. When you listen to the radio, podcasts, audiobooks or other recorded audio, the imagination is in full motion. Your imagination belongs to you and you alone. You have full control. Your imagination is unlike any other.

Your imagination is used for your sole benefit. The characters and scenes created in your “Theater of the Mind” are exactly how you want them to look. The images are created in your mind in a way that gives you the greatest pleasure. It is all to benefit you.

The wonderful details in a story can stir the imagination in magical ways.

Last week, we talked about the element of surprise and delight within your podcast. Pieces of audio can add a wonderful element of surprise.

Video typically doesn’t stimulate the imagination the way audio does. When you see a car in a video, you know exactly what it looks like. If you and I both see a car in a video, we would both describe it in very similar ways. There is not much left to interpretation.

If I describe a cherry red 1968 Ford Mustang to you, I couldn’t possibly describe every detail. What does the interior look like? Where is it parked … or was it moving? Is there anybody in it? What kind of tires are on it? Hard top or convertible? There are many details to the story left to your interpretation.

Your imagination creates the car in a way that adds the most to your story and vision. That is the magic of recorded audio. Vivid details take your stories to another level of engagement that video cannot.

WAR OF THE WORLDS

You and I often discuss the incorporation of stories within your podcast. Stories reveal a lot about you as a storyteller. Stories also bring your content to life in the “Theater of the Mind”. Audio simply makes those mental images even stronger.

War of the Worlds” was an incredible radio broadcast in the 1930s that brought mental imagery to life a little too well.

The episode by the great Orson Welles changed the way broadcasters approached their on-air responsibilities to the public for years to come. The show became famous for allegedly causing mass panic, although the reality of this mass panic was disputed.

Regardless, broadcasters changed the way they presented information on the air in order to keep the government off their backs. The audio was that powerful.

“War of the Worlds” was an episode of an American radio drama called “The Mercury Theatre on the Air”. This particular episode aired as a Halloween episode on October 30, 1938 when shows of this nature were performed live.

The story is an adaptation of the H. G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds”. The story was shortened to fit a one-hour performance. It was presented as a series of fake news bulletins reporting an actual alien invasion.

The audio and effects added to the realism and the ensuing panic.

Later that evening, a few hours after the show aired, Orson Welles was standing in Times Square in New York City. Staring up at the New York Times building, he read the news bulletin, “Orson Welles Causes Panic.”

The media and politicians were in outrage the next day. They called for regulation by the Federal Communications Commission that would limit material allowed to be broadcast. They were upset that the broadcast was TOO REAL and therefore deceptive to the public.

The production was TOO GOOD. How crazy is that?

Over the years, Welles rose to fame as a producer and actor. This particular episode added to his meteoric rise.

Audio has that power to supercharge the imagination.

How are you using audio in your podcast to spark the imagination?

There are different ways to include recorded production elements within your show that will enhance your listener’s imagination and experience. When you add recorded elements, the imagination of your listener will be further stimulated. You will help create elements within your listener’s “Theater of the Mind”.

Here are a few recorded elements you could easily add to your podcast to spice up the listening experience.

1. INTRO/OUTRO

This is showbiz. Your podcast is created to entertain just as much as inform. It is just as much “show” as it is “business”. Add some sizzle to your show.

A produced “intro” and “outro” for your podcast is easy first step. The “intro” opens the show, as in “introduction”. The “outro” closes the show, similar to a conclusion.

At a minimum, find a great piece of music that will open and close your show. You can find many sites on the internet that sell music clips for just a few dollars.

Check out THIS SITE for an example.

2. INTERVIEWS

Guest interviews are a great way to add depth to your audio. A second voice on the show will stir the imagination. Listeners will wonder what your guest looks like. The stories told during the interview will create visions in the mind of your listener.

Listeners enjoy eavesdropping on other conversations more than listening to a lecture. By adding interviews to your show, you allow your listener this pleasure. Sure, you could provide the information yourself rather than going through all the work to secure, arrange and conduct the interview. If you are hoping to develop a relationship with your listener using content that will be engaging, go the extra step by including interviews within your podcast.

3. LISTENERS

Adding listener audio to your show will add additional depth to your podcast. When you simply read a listener e-mail, the question typically lacks the passion that would come from the listener. The inflection is a little different than the caller would use. The question is also asked in the same cadence, style and voice that you ask every other question.

When you add listener audio, a second dimension is added to the show. Though the caller isn’t actually there, the second voice almost creates a conversation. Your audience is now listening to a conversation rather than a monologue. The question will also be asked in a way unique to the caller.

Similar to the way interviews stimulate the listener’s imagination, callers can add to the “Theater of the Mind”.

You don’t need to include the entire phone call. It is show biz. Use the part of the call that will most add to your show. If the call includes a bunch of details not relevant to the question or the show, feel free to edit those parts out of the call. As long as you are not changing the intention of the caller, or making it sound like they are saying something they didn’t say, editing the call is perfectly acceptable.

4. AUDIO EXAMPLES

When you make reference to a piece of audio, play a sample. If you are talking about an interview that Jimmie Johnson gave after a race, play a clip of that interview. Your listeners will be further engaged by the additional voice. Audio examples are just another way to add that additional level of production to your show.

Additional audio will take your listener to another place. An interview clip will transport your listener to the interview location. An old television clip with create memories of seeing the show. A sample of a classic speech may elicit visions of the orator. Use audio to enhance the listening experience.

5. CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

People like to have their decisions validated. That is why many companies hire celebrities to endorse their products. If Michael Jordan wears Hanes, it should be alright for me to wear Hanes as well. I don’t feel like I’m the only one doing it when I see Michael Jordan doing it.

You can use this concept to benefit your podcast. If you can get a well-known name in your area of expertise to record a quick endorsement for your show, that piece of audio will add an element of credibility to your podcast. Your listeners will feel like they are not alone in liking your show. They will be validated.

6. SOUND EFFECTS

Sound effects can easily enhance the imagination. You need to be careful that you don’t overuse sound effects. Too many effects can make your show sound amateur. However, a well-placed effect here and there can add to the delight of listening.

Adam Carolla has a producer who is responsible for adding sound effects to the show. If you haven’t spent time with Adam’s podcast, listen to one episode simply for the production elements. His content may not be your cup of tea. However, the production of the show must be admired.

The magic of recorded audio comes from the imagination. When you stir wonderful visions in the “Theater of the Mind” of your listener, you will truly begin to engage your audience. You can then begin to build meaningful relationships with your listeners and keep them coming back again and again. Use these ideas to add a little “show biz” to your podcast today.
If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach podcast, please spend two minutes to do so. I would truly appreciate your generosity. Click the LINK and then the subscribe button in iTunes.

Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

4 Ways To Make Your Podcast Different Starting Today – Episode 098

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4 Ways To Make Your Podcast Different Starting Today – Episode 098

Your different podcast

When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Make people take notice. You are an expert at your opinion. Give it to people.

Take A Stand

Pick a side.

Some of the nicest people make the worst podcast hosts. They try to please everyone in the audience. Those people tend to blend into the background and go unnoticed.

I once coached a radio host who was one of the best storytellers I had ever met. When he and I would meet one-on-one for coaching, he would tell me some of the funniest stories I had ever heard. He would tell me stories of his dad that would have me crying from laughing so hard.

He once told me his dad was absolutely convinced the PT Cruiser was the best car ever made. As much as my host would try to explain that the PT Cruiser was basically an incarnation of the Dodge Neon, his father wouldn’t believe it.

The two of them would get in these heated arguments in public about this car. Of all the things in life you could argue about, this happened to be the PT Cruiser.

The way the story was told was full of fabulous details. The host really had the ability to make the stories come to life.

As much as I would encourage him, the host would not tell those stories on the radio. He didn’t believe the audience as a whole would be interested.

Instead, he played it safe. He only discussed vanilla content that would not upset anyone. Unfortunately, the show never took hold.

Ray Romano is a great example of success stemming from the stories of real life. Ray used stories of his family in his stand-up comedy. That routine eventually became the hit TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

Upset Someone

If you are not upsetting someone, you aren’t trying hard enough.

I would much rather have half the audience hate me and the other half love me rather than the entire audience have no opinion one way or the other. If the audience doesn’t have an opinion, they don’t care. I’m doing nothing to stir their emotion if I’m not making them pick a side.

If you haven’t picked a side and really focused your topic, people won’t care. They will not be passionate about your show.

Speak your mind. Be different. Get noticed. Make people care.

4 Steps

Here are four ways to make your podcast different from other shows in your niche.

1. Be real. Be yourself. Do no simply try to be an imitation of another show or host. Above all, tell the truth. It is much easier than remembers a character you have created.
2. All people to know you through stories. The details within your stories will reveal who you are. People do business with those that they know, like and trust. This is the first step.
3. Pick a side. Stand for something. That is the only way to stand out.
4. Avoid shades of gray. Be drastically different.
I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

4 Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

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Four Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

Powerful Storytelling

Why should you use storytelling in your podcast?

Have you noticed a lot of the business interview podcasts sound the same? We are hearing the same guests answer the same questions time and time again. How do you become unique in this sea of sameness?

Use stories.

Storytelling can transform your podcast.

The power of storytelling can help listeners get to know, like and trust you. Through that knowledge, true friendships are formed. Stories help define you and your character and personality. Great storytellers create fans.

Don’t fit in, stand out.

In this episode, we discussed great storytellers in various genres, such as country singer/songwriter Lee Brice, pop singer/songwriter Jason Mraz, Walt Disney and Zig Ziglar. All are great storytellers in their own right.

In podcasting, you cannot afford to be boring. Interest in your story never remains constant. Your information can only become entertainment when interest is rising. A great story continues to develop the plot and raise the interest.

There are four elements to great storytelling.

Give your listener a reason to care, reveal the details, create a great resolution, and then ask what else?

Give Her A Reason To Care

Begin by creating an engaging introduction. What do you want the audience to feel? Begin your story there.

Your engaging introduction is the roadmap for your listener. This will tell your listener where the story is going.

Reveal The Details

Details are more believable than generalities. Be sure to use all 5 senses in your details. Put your listener in the moment by creating wonderful images in the theater of the mind.

Details help reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character. Listeners begin to know, like and trust you.

Powerful Resolution

Your powerful resolution is a reframing of your introduction. This is where you put the nice bow on the package.

What Else?

Asking “what else” will transform your show. This helps continue the conversation. “What else” will let your content live on long after the episode is over.

Let your story lead to something bigger. This is all part of your strong call to action. Get your community involved.

How Can You Be A Storyteller?

Ask yourself these questions:
What is the engaging set up?
How will your point be revealed in the story?
What is the power resolution?
What else can you do with the material?

Resources

Here are a few other episodes that can help you refine your storytelling:

Powerful Podcast Stories – Episode 043

Stories Transform Your Podcast – Episode 047

The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – Episode 076

 

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

A Memorable Podcast Brand – Episode 088

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A Memorable Podcast Brand – Episode 088

Lionel Ritchie is a class act and every bit of a gentleman you would hope he would be.
Lionel Ritchie is a class act and every bit of a gentleman you would hope he would be.

Do they remember?

When you consider the options podcast listeners have, the importance of creating a powerful brand really becomes apparent.

I searched iTunes for podcasts about hockey. There are hundreds of hockey podcasts available. Thousands and thousands of episodes exist that deal with hockey. You can find various topics, including drills, NHL teams, coaching, fantasy hockey and many more.

How do you stand out? How do you get noticed?

Your listener needs to remember your podcast, so they can return and listen again. That is the way to build a following. It really doesn’t matter how many people listen today. What builds a strong podcast is the number of listeners that come back the next time, and the next time, and the time after that. You build your audience slowly with more listeners this week than you had last week. Get your listener to remember to return.

Using your brand to create strong relationships with your listeners is critical to the health of your podcast. If you are bland, you will get lost in the sea of average. There are over 100,000 podcasts available for consumption. Most of them are average or worse. If you refine your content, turn your information into entertainment, and transform your podcast into powerful relationships, you will easily stand out from the crowd. It is a must not only for your success, but your mere survival. Begin your brand today.

When it comes time for your audience listening again, do they remember?

Be Yourself

A great podcast is a great relationship. It is just like creating a great brand. In order to develop that solid relationship, you must be yourself. You can’t fake it.

When you try to be someone or something you are not, you will not sound authentic. Eventually, the truth will come out.

Have you ever met someone you had admired from afar, only to have them do something that didn’t fit with your image of them? Maybe it was a baseball player, or a movie star, or a politician or a musician. You met them with great expectations of an encounter with your hero only to find out they were rude and average. It turned out they were only being who they thought they should be for the public when really they were someone completely different in real life.

Everyone has their flaws. That is what makes them human. Howard Stern has flaws. He makes his flaws part of his show. Domino’s Pizza admitted the errors of their ways with their cheap, low quality pizza. They laid it out for the world to see in their marketing. Your listener will accept your flaws. They will feel like you are “one of them” when you admit your flaws upfront. Don’t be afraid to expose yourself.

When your listener discovers you are something other than the character you portray, the bond of trust will be demolished. Your relationship will be forever damaged.

Build a solid brand. Be yourself.

Unique, Vivid, Mental Images

When someone tells a story, on the radio or in a podcast, it is theater of the mind. When you hear the old time radio show describe the dim light on in the servant’s quarters, the scenery is playing out in your mind in a unique way unlike the way anyone else could envision it. No other person is imagining the clothing of the characters the exact same way you are imagining them. That mental theater is unique to you. You are listening and imagining by yourself.

Podcasts make the one-on-one approach even more important. Podcasts are often enjoyed through headphones. Your audience is truly listening by themselves. The headphones block out all other sounds and distractions. You have multiple “one person” audiences at the same time. Yet, it is still one person.

Connect with your “one person” audience by creating a great theater. The theater will be different for each listener, because they are using their individual imagination. Create a movie and put the listener in it. Make the story an individual experience for the listener. Engage the listener with vivid details and a fantastic storyline. Make them forget they are listening to a podcast. Create great theater of the mind. Create unique, vivid, mental images.

I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

At Last, The Secret To Podcast Chit Chat Revealed – PTC Episode 052

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At Last, The Secret To Podcast Chit Chat Revealed

PTC Episode 052

Podcast Chit Chat

Chit Chat at the beginning of your podcast has long been discussed. Is it appropriate? How much is too much?  When are you wasting the time of the pirates listening?

I was listening to a marketing podcast once. I just about gave up and moved onto another show. I had to force myself to stick with it. You would have thought they may have uploaded the wrong show.

Here is the opening of the podcast. I’ve eliminated the names and other identifying parts. I really don’t intend to call out anyone. I simply want to show you how chit chat can destroy your engagement.

Show host: Welcome to (marketing podcast). I’m your host (host name). (website). We’ve got a couple people hangin’ out in the live chat with us. (chat link) And you know, I shouldn’t say that, because I’ve taken the link down from the site. But if you’re listening and wanna see the schedule, it is fairly current. Although, not exactly throughout the summer. I am joined today, as I frequently am lately, by (co-host name) of (other show name). How’s it goin’ (co-host name)?

Co-host: It is wonderful up here.
Show host: Is the … uh … now you guys probably didn’t have a lot of snow like we didn’t have a lot of snow, which I’m still bummed about. But, I’m trying not to talk about it. How’s your … how’s your weather in ____?
Co-host: It’s pretty good. It’s, uh … it’s been a pretty warm winter.

They proceeded to discuss the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion for the first 10 minutes of the 30-minute show. At 10:45 into the show, host says, “Should we get into some questions?”

This is a show designed to coach businesses to attract more customers.

How did we get lost down some path about temperature conversions?

I’m not even sure I can say it got lost. The show never laid out the expectations of the show. Neither does the show title. As I’ve written before, the opening of the show must tell your audience what the show is all about right at the beginning. Let your listener know what to expect. Assume they are listening to the show for the very first time.

Six minutes into the show, they actually say, “You’re safe by now skipping over the first 10 minutes” of the show. What!?! You’ve got me, now you’re actually telling me this isn’t worth my time?

At this point they aren’t really lost. They are well aware they are wasting my time. There are over 100,000 podcasts available. These shows are all trying to attract me. These guys actually have me paying attention (the tough part) and are wasting the incredible opportunity. What are the chances I’ll actually be back?

In addition to the chit chat that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic, they gave you info at the open of the show that you can’t even act on. They gave you a chat link that isn’t even active anymore. They gave you a schedule which is “fairly” current, “although not exactly”. Then, they tell me I can skip over this part of the show.

This sort of chit chat destroys your credibility and trust. People have come to hear you deliver on your promise of your topic. Talking for ten minutes about the weather does not accomplish that, unless you are the Weather Channel podcast.

Your show must deliver on the brand promise right out of the box. That is the key to audience engagement. Your listener has come to your show for a reason. If you get lost on some tangent, your audience will be gone in a heartbeat.

In this case, there are many podcasts available dealing with marketing. Instead of continuing to listen to this podcast, I moved on and found the “Unpodcast” with Scott Stratten. Scott was one of the keynote speakers at NMX2014. Scott has a bit of chit chat in his episodes. The difference is the relevance of Scott’s chit chat to his topic.

Chit chat during your show is appropriate if you can link it back to your topic. Let’s say you open your show with, “My local television news did an amazing marketing job getting in front of 100,000 people this weekend at the sporting event simply by keeping fans up to speed on the weather.” If you follow that with some chit chat about how crazy the weather has been and how the station used that to their marketing advantage, you have linked it to your topic.

Chit chat here is perfectly acceptable. It makes sense.

If you are talking about the new studio you have built on a show about podcasting, that would be completely understandable.

If you are talking about your weekend fishing and have no way to link it to your podcast about automobile parts, you are wasting time.

It is a fine line. If the information supports your topic, you are on the right path. If it does not fit with the subject matter at hand, find another story that does.

Lay out the expectations in your introduction. Deliver on those expectations immediately. If you find you’re getting off on a tangent, get back on track as soon as possible.

You will quickly find you are talking to yourself if your listener says to themselves, “I think we’re lost.”

Intriguing Introduction

Use a great, personal story to lead with an intriguing introduction. This is where chit chat comes in handy. It is a personal, chit chat story that will engage people. Your chit chat brings them into the topic for this episode.

This is true for your podcast in general as well as each individual topic. Your intriguing introduction should hook your audience, let them know exactly what to expect, and allow them to enjoy the story.

What do you hope your audience will take away from this particular discussion? Your introduction should spell it out. It should set up what is to come.

If your goal is to make your listener laugh at your misfortune over the weekend, lead with it. “This weekend was so disastrous, I wouldn’t have had time for anything else to go wrong even if I tried.” The audience will now have time to enjoy the vivid details of your horrible weekend rather than trying to figure out what point you are trying to make.

When you begin your story with the details, your listener spends energy trying to determine the point you are trying to make. They are trying to figure out what the story is about.

Have you ever been stuck listening to someone tell a story while you’re thinking, “Will he ever get to the point?” That is what we are trying to avoid.

Here is an example of a story you might hear. “This weekend we went to the mall. It was just the two of us. We were looking for a gift for my dad.” Are we telling a story about finding gifts? Is this story just recapping the weekend? Maybe it is about my dad. You don’t know. I haven’t told you. There is no lead to this story.

To hook your audience and allow them to truly enjoy the story, lead with an intriguing introduction.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find other tools including worksheets, a workbook and videos to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Stories Transform Your Podcast – PTC Episode 047

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Storytelling Transforms Your Podcast

Magazines

Have you noticed a lot of the business interview podcasts sound the same? We are hearing the same guests answer the same questions time and time again. How do you become unique in this sea of sameness?

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. Stories help you develop that knowledge, likability and trust.

Your stories define you and will touch many more people than typical information. The stories you tell and the details you include reveal many things about you. That begins to develop that like and trust.

It can be a bit scary to reveal things about yourself on your podcast. Develop the ability to recognize your unique thoughts and the courage to reveal them on your show.

Two radio coaches have influenced me greatly over the years. They each have similar views on storytelling.

Radio consultant Randy Lane says use stories to “make it human by making it humorous, compelling or tragic”.

Radio talent coach Bill McMahon suggests you decide what you hope to make your audience “Laugh at, marvel at or better understand.”

How do you want your audience to feel after hearing your story? Frame that feeling in your engaging introduction. Decide what you hope to reveal about yourself with the story.

Stories help you connect, motivate and inspire.

There are four parts to the storytelling structure.

 

Engaging introduction

This pulls your listener right into the story. Your introduction should tell your listener exactly where the story is headed.

 

Vivid details

How will your emotion be revealed in the story? Use vivid details to make your story come to life in the theater of the mind.

 

Powerful conclusion

Wrap up the story by reframing of your engaging introduction.

 

What else?

Asking “What Else” will transform your show. Don’t let the story simply end and fade away. Turn it into something powerful.

Many treat a subject in a similar manner. That is why we hear the same style of interview. If you want to stand out and be different, transform you content by using your unique style.

“What Else” can we do with a compelling story? You could create a video, continue the conversation on social media, follow up with listener input in the following episode or various other things. Let your story lead to something bigger.

Ask “what else can we do” and see where it leads.

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

 

A few housekeeping notes this week.

Coupon code ends this week!

Get a one-hour coaching session with Dave Jackson and me for only $50 if you act before June 30, 2014.

Dave and I are now hosting the Podcast Review Show together. Our guests appear on the show to have their podcast reviewed by the two of us.

Typically, hiring the two of us individually for an hour would be hundreds of dollars. Not only do you get an hour of consulting from us on this show, you get to plug your show for a sixty minutes.

Our guests typically pay $99 to be featured on the show. Dave and I have decided to cut you a break. By using the code “coach50”, you can appear on the show for only $50.

You get half off. Still an hour. Still feedback from both of us. Still plugging your show. Half the price.

The code is “coach50”. This deal ends June 30, 2014. Get in on it now before we close it.

GET REVIEWED – CLICK HERE.

 

Podcast Movement

If you are truly serious about building your podcast, improving your show and increasing your traffic, you should also be attending the Podcast Movement in Dallas on August 16 & 17.

Find my affiliate link online at PodcastTalentCoach.com. We are only 8 weeks away from the Podcast Movement. Register today.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Memorable Podcast Brand – PTC Episode 042

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Memorable Podcast Brand – Episode 042

Have you noticed all of the interview shows popping up lately?

It seems everyone wants to have an interview podcast. Many simply copy the other successful interview podcasts and hope to stand out. How can you be different while being the same?

Jared Easley and I were talking the other day. He publishes the wonderful podcast “Starve The Doubts”. We were discussing his approach to make his interview show stand out amongst the sea of sameness.

Jared creates a unique approach to the interview show in a couple different ways. First, he not only has a guest to interview on his show, he also has a guest interviewer join him to ask the questions. This gives the show an extra dimension. The questions on every interview have a little different perspective.

Second, Jared asks unique questions. He opens every show asking about the guests favorite concert. He then sprinkles in “would you rather” and “fill in the blank” questions. Jared does his homework on every guest to create questions that are well-informed.

These two steps help to create a unique interview experience and overall solid, memorable podcast.

 

Be Memorable

If you want to keep your listener coming back show after show, you need to make them remember to come back. You need to remain top-of-mind for your listener. That is the purpose of audience engagement. Make your listener remember you for something specific about your show.

As you build your show, make it about one thing. Find one particular thing that will be remembered. If you try to be all things to all people, you will water down the show. Everything will be nice. However, isn’t usually truly memorable. You will get lost in the millions of messages your listener receives on a daily basis.

Find one point that you can make amazing. Take it over the top. Make it the “goodbye” scene in “Titanic”. Make it the “I am your father” scene in “Empire Strikes Back” between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Your particular point could be the point where you assure your caller that everything will be ok. It could be the fantastic story of your brush with celebrity. It is your show. Find the magic.

Stir emotion. Make it amazing. Bring your listener back. Be memorable.

 

Do They Remember?

When you consider the entertainment options podcast listeners have, the importance of creating a powerful brand really becomes apparent.

I searched iTunes for podcasts about hockey. There are hundreds of hockey podcasts available. Thousands and thousands of episodes exist that deal with hockey. You can find various topics, including drills, NHL teams, coaching, fantasy hockey and many more.

How do you stand out? How do you get noticed?

Your listener needs to remember your podcast, so they can return and listen again. That is the way to build a following. It really doesn’t matter how many people listen today. What builds a strong podcast is the number of listeners that come back the next time, and the next time, and the time after that. You build your audience slowly with more listeners this week than you had last week. Get your listener to remember to return.

Using your brand to create strong relationships with your listeners is critical to the health of your podcast. If you are bland, you will get lost in the sea of average. There are over 100,000 podcasts available for consumption. Most of them are average or worse. If you refine your content, turn your information into entertainment, and transform your podcast into powerful relationships, you will easily stand out from the crowd. It is a must not only for your success, but your mere survival. Begin your brand today.

 

The Memorable Podcast Brand Uses Cows

The unexpected is amusing, delightful and memorable. Being direct assumes your listener cares about your marketing message. They don’t. Your listener cares about his or her needs, wants and desires. Attract their attention by doing the unexpected.

To engage your podcast listener and create a relationship, you need to be memorable. In order to be memorable, you must be unique. Be distinct, unusual, and unexpected. If you sound like every other show, you will not stand out and get noticed.

Chick-fil-a could have easily become another fast food restaurant lost in the sea of mediocrity. Founder Truett Cathy wouldn’t let that happen. The company pays great attention to the details and does the unexpected at every turn.

The Chick-fil-a mission statement is, “Be America’s Best Quick-Service Restaurant.” Sure, every fast food joint wants to be the best. Few are willing to put in the work.

One Saturday, we were on a road trip. We were passing through Des Moines, IA at 8:45p as we pulled into the mall to grab a quick bite. We found out the mall closed at 9p. As you can imagine, most restaurants in the food court were cleaning up. We were one of two parties there to eat.

We stepped up to the Chick-fil-a counter and apologized for cutting it so close and causing them extra work. The gentleman behind the counter assured us it was no trouble at all. We received our (fresh) food quickly and grabbed a table in the middle of the food court.

About five minutes later, the Chick-fil-a employee came to our food court table to make sure everything was alright. This was a mall food court. Few fast food restaurants ever check on you in their own establishment. You especially do not receive this sort of attention 10 minutes before closing.

That level of service is the norm at Chick-fil-a. They always take the extra step to surprise and stand out. It is carried through to the careers they offer, the scholarships they provide to their employees and the process of accepting partners and franchisees.

The company uses cows in their commercials to promote chicken sandwiches. The Chick-fil-a website even has a special section devoted to the cows. When a cow parachutes into a football game promoting chicken sandwiches, it us unexpected. Chick-fil-a is memorable.

If you can create unique, memorable experiences for your listener by incorporating the unexpected, you begin to create powerful, meaningful relationships.

Are you using your own cows in your podcast?

 

The Memorable Podcast Brand Swings For The Fence

Rather than being consistently good with your podcast, be occasionally great.

Your listener will remember one big thing from your show. They will not remember every detail, every comment or every e-mail answer. They will remember that one thing you did. Each show, try to make one big splash that will be memorable.

Swing for the fence.

Many know the great Babe Ruth as one of the greatest home run hitters in baseball. Many also know that Ruth struck out roughly twice as often as the league average. He struck out 1,330 times.

Babe set out to do something exciting. We wanted to be memorable. Sometimes, that meant striking out.

People don’t remember all of the singles Babe hit. Even though he is 2nd all-time with his on-base percentage of .474, nobody talks about all the times Ruth got on base. He had 1,517 singles and 506 doubles to his 714 home runs. That is nearly twice as many singles as homers. Doubles and home runs were just about equal.

Why do people remember all of the home runs? Because they were exciting. Babe was occasionally great. He was great often enough to be memorable.

You don’t have to set records. Simply make your podcast occasionally great. Nobody remembers your strikeouts. Don’t worry about them. When you finally hit the home run, people will remember.

Every now and then, swing for the fence

 

Risky Stands Out For The Memorable Podcast Brand

As we develop meaningful relationships with your podcast, we in turn build credibility that will support our call-to-action within your show. To develop strong relationships, you need to create engaging entertainment that will get you remembered by your listener. To be remembered, you must stand out.

You stand out when you are loved. You are remembered when you are hated. You fade into the background when you are plain, vanilla and trying to not upset anyone. If you don’t stir strong emotions, you are easily forgotten.

When we create, we expose our perspective. We open ourselves to criticism. It is natural to want your thoughts, views, art and creation to be accepted by everyone. To avoid being disappointed, we often play it safe.

Those fantastic, memorable personalities are usually both loved and hated. Rush Limbaugh is loved by the conservatives and hated by the liberals. Dave Ramsey is loved by the conservative investor and hated by credit card companies and whole life insurance salespeople. Dr. Laura Schlessinger would consistently be critical of her callers. Yet she would receive more callers than she could handle on any given show.

Safety lacks creativity. It is risky to be truly creative. However, that is really the only way to get noticed. Safe blends in. Risky stands out.

Create that memorable podcast brand to keep your listener coming back show after show. Remain top-of-mind for your listener. Make them remember to come back next week.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Confidence To Begin A Podcast – PTC Episode 027

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Confidence To Begin A Podcast

I’m Erik K. Johnson, founder of Podcast Talent Coach. I help people refine their content to transform their information into engaging entertainment so that they can convert their podcast audience into powerful, profitable relationships.

Have you ever struggled with your confidence to launch or record an episode of your podcast? Have you worried that you were just pretending to know what you’re doing? That someone might find out that you didn’t really belong amongst the podcast professionals?

I’ve been there. I was at that point when I started in broadcasting. While in college getting my degree in architecture, I became a party DJ to make some extra cash. Music had always been a big part of my life. I had been a musician since I was 11. However, I had wanted to be an architect since 6th grade. Getting my architecture degree was never in question.

Around my junior year of architecture school, I started becoming disenchanted with the field. It was then that I picked up a part time summer job at a radio station where my brother worked. Just to make some extra cash. As my passion for architecture waned, my passion for radio grew. Next thing you know, I’m taking classes in the College of Journalism and becoming the music director of the college radio station.

My music director position at the college station turned into another part time commercial radio job. That position eventually became full time.

Architecture was still part of my life. I was nearly done with my degree and didn’t want to throw it all away at that point. So, I finished my degree in architecture and continued to work in radio. Oddly enough, my only architecture job came while I was still in high school.

When I began in radio, the impostor syndrome heavily kicked in. I had an architecture background. What right did I have to be on the radio? Who was I to think I was in a position to be amongst these radio guys who had been doing it for many, many years and had paid their dues. I felt like I was playing dress up and pretending to be one of them. It took me years to get over that and build the confidence to perform on a daily basis.

After doing it for 25 years, I got to the point where I was programming multiple radio stations at the same time. Some of those station were recognized with national awards from the National Association of Broadcasters. The stations ranked #1 quite often. My own show was regularly #1. I built the confidence within myself to deliver content that was compelling and connected with my audience.

When I launched my podcast, I quickly went back to the beginning. The impostor syndrome kicked in again. Who was I to think I could build a successful podcast amongst these greats that had been doing it for years? Dave Jackson at the School of Podcasting has been podcasting since 2005. I’m just starting. How can I possibly think I belong in the same arena as Dave?

Then, I started thinking about my story. I had been here before. That helped me shake the impostor syndrome and put out my content.

That’s what I want to help you do. I want to be that cheerleader for you if you don’t have the history that I have to overcome that little voice inside your head doubting your ability. You can do it. You belong. You have just as much authority on your opinion as anyone. Let’s get it out to the world.

It is fairly simple to set up a mic, mixer and laptop, load up some software and record some audio. Setting up a website with WordPress, creating a Libsyn account and posting a show isn’t very complicated. Even if you are not very technically savvy, there are great people like Dave Jackson and the School of Podcasting that can help you with every step along the way. He even has a great class at www.HowToPodcast.com. You’ll have a podcast launched in 6 weeks.

Creating the platform is only the first step. Creating great content is up to you. Your content isn’t something you can outsource. You need to find the confidence to put your thoughts and feelings out into the world.

How do I bootstrap to begin? Make it simple. Get an inexpensive microphone, like a $60 ATR-2100 or a $99 Blue Yetti. Pick up an inexpensive mixer like a $99 Yamaha 4-channel. Get a free WordPress site. Create a Libsyn account for $15 a month. You’ll need a computer and some free Audacity software. If you already have a laptop, you’re up and running for under $200. Again, Dave Jackson has a whole list of recommendations for you at www.SchoolOfPodcasting.com. I leave the technical stuff up to him.

My goal is to transform your content and beef up your confidence.

So, how do you define your niche? Will anybody really care? It is easy for the impostor syndrome to sneak in here. Your internal impostor will tell you nobody cares about that topic. Your niche is too small and nobody will come. You’ll be talking to yourself.

Fight it. Your niche size doesn’t matter as much as the passion of the niche community. If you have a group of people that are passionate about and loyal to a particular subject, run with it.

The more narrowly you target your niche the better. If you are interested in fishing, pick a small niche. If you love fly fishing, but create your show around fishing in general, you will find it tough to build loyalty. If your show is only on fly fishing, you will primarily attract those interested in fly fishing. The niche is smaller than fishing in general. However, every show will be of interest to your audience.

If your show is “The Fishing Show” and all about fishing, you’ll be hit and miss. One week you talk about fly fishing. The next week you discuss deep sea fishing. Now, you fly fisher friends only get what they seek on occasion. You aren’t catering specifically to them. People will only check our your show now and then. You will find it difficult to build a passionate tribe.

The audience for “The Fishing Show” looks like a bigger audience than “The Fly Fishing Show”. But, it is deceiving. The passion lies in the niche.

Be confident in your topic. You will start slowly. But, it will grow. Stay the course.

How do you get ready? How do you overcome the pre-launch jitters? Planning your podcast will help relieve a bit of the anxiety. If you know where you’re going, you can stay focused on the goal and fight through the self doubt. Plan your show before you begin.

Let’s discuss the 5 Speech class basics and how they pertain to your show.

 

1. Lead with a provocative point – capture their attention right at the beginning.

 

2. Dazzle with details – make the story come to life.

 

3. Take the first exit – Get out when you have the first opportunity.

 

4. Don’t repeat yourself and overstay your welcome – In talk radio, it’s called the call circle.

 

5. Include a call to action – this is the whole reason you’re doing a podcast and creating a tribe.

Have confidence in your content. Fight the impostor syndrome. Do all you can to push forward and get your content out.

When you plan your show, it makes it easier to stay focused on the goal. Know what you hope to communicate on this episode. Lay out how you plan to communicate that information. Then, define your intro, details and exit. Define your call-to-action and determine where you plan to incorporate it into the show.

Now, all you need to do is record the show and post it for the world to hear. The more work you do ahead of recording, the easier it is to believe in yourself while the show is rolling. Remember, because it is fun is the main reason you are podcasting. Enjoy the process.

 

This week, plan your show.

Determine the topics for the show.

Lay out your intro, details and conclusion for each topic.

Define your call-to-action.

 

You can find a free show prep sheet online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let me know how I can help. E-mail me at anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Tell the truth, make it matter and have fun.

Powerful Profitable Podcast Stories

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Powerful Profitable Podcast Stories

Our goal is to create meaningful relationships with our listeners. Powerful, profitable relationships. We use engaging content to solidify those friendships.

What did you reveal about yourself on your show this week?

From self-revelation comes friendship. Can you think of a true friend that you know very little about? Friendship become stronger the more you share with each other. People learn things about you through the stories you tell.

How can you use the stories you tell to solidify your brand and strengthen your relationships?

We’ve discussed storytelling in Podcast Talent Coach Episode 002.

-The Power of Great Storytelling

-The parts of a great story

-How to structure a story

Today, I want to teach you about three other areas of storytelling that can help transform your podcast into powerful, engaging entertainment.

What Did You Reveal Today?

When you tell stories on your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Vivid details are critical elements of great storytelling.

Details are more believable than generalities.

Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.

Details put your listener in the moment helping them envision your story in their mind.

Garrison Keillor, in one of his “Stories From Lake Wobegon”, describes a woman who endures crushing loneliness and town gossip. (read more)

Memorable Words

American children’s author Dr. Seuss (Theodor “Ted” Suess Geisel) was more interested in telling a good story than he was in telling a true story. He often exaggerated. He always used wonderful, colorful words.

The good story approach is even described In his biography at www.Seussville.com. Dr. Seuss and his wife were unable to have children.

“To silence friends who bragged about their own children, Ted liked to boast of the achievements of their imaginary daughter, Chrysanthemum-Pearl. … He included her on Christmas cards, along with Norval, Wally, Wickersham, Miggles, Boo-Boo, Thnud, and other purely fictional children. For a photograph used on one year’s Christmas card, Geisel even invited in half a dozen neighborhood kids to pose as his and Helen’s children. The card reads, ‘All of us over at Our House / Wish all of you over at / Your House / A very Merry Christmas,’ and is signed ‘Helen and Ted Geisel and the kiddies.’”

Part of the magic that was Seuss was created by the words he used. (read more)

Tease With Anticipation

Anticipation is a key feature to storytelling. Your story should build just like a good plot builds in a movie. You need to make your audience anticipate the content that is on the way.

Your podcast should be like a vacation you are planning to take. The fantastic anticipation for the trip is almost as pleasurable as the trip itself. You can’t wait for the trip to arrive.

You want your listener to feel the same way about your content. When they can’t wait for the story to arrive, you have created some great content.

Teasing is the art of creating anticipation for your audience to entice them to stick around for the payoff to your setup. It is a critical element of your show. Teasing helps create momentum for your podcast. (read more)

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Put the Show in Show Business – PTC Episode 016

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Put The Show In Show Business

In the episode this week, we discuss how to add an element of show business to your podcast.  Let’s raise the bar a bit.

Do you have the magic?

Production elements create the magic of the podcast. If it is missing, your show will sound flat. Solid, well-placed production elements add that element of show biz.

You can add production elements at various points within your show.

The most common production element is the show open. A well-produced show open will make your podcast sound big time. Cliff Ravenscraft has a very strong show open for “Podcast Answer Man“. (read more)

Would the evening news air stories that are not edited?

Why do podcast hosts air a show that hasn’t been edited? No other producer in show business would publish their content without first editing it. This is entertainment. Your show should have an introduction, body and conclusion. The content should lead somewhere. To make your podcast compelling, you must edit your show.

If you do not edit your content, you will sound like an amateur. If you edit it well, the podcast will sound polished and professional. (read more)

 

Delightful details dazzle.

Great storytellers use delightful details.

Great stories reveal things about the person telling the story. It allows the listener the opportunity to discover new things about the storyteller. Stories are how strong relationships are built. (read more)

 

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

This is true for your podcast in general as well as each individual topic. Your intriguing introduction should hook your audience, let them know exactly what to expect, and allow them to enjoy the story.

What do you hope your audience will take away from this particular discussion? Your introduction should spell it out. It should set up what is to come. (read more)

 

Fish for interviews with bigger bait.

To score a guest interview for your podcast, you need to begin by explaining how the interview will benefit your prospective guest. The fact that your audience will love it has no bearing. It really doesn’t matter to your guest if your show or your audience will benefit from the guest’s appearance. When your guest makes the decision whether to appear on your show, they will only consider how the appearance will benefit them personally.

Many podcast hosts use their audience size to lure guests. If you have a reasonable audience size, surely use it to your advantage. However, don’t stop there. You may be overlooking many other ways you could benefit your guest. (read more)

 

Natural is better.

When recording your podcast, use the voice of the individual asking the question whenever possible. Natural sound is always better than a story recreated by the host.

The additional voices will give your podcast an element of show biz. It will add depth to the sound of the show. Your podcast will also sound much more engaging.

There are various ways to include others in your show. (read more)

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

 

Strategy For Each Topic …

Strategy For Each Topic

Developing your strategy involves determining how you will uniquely address each topic. Whether you are presenting information, answering questions or interviewing guests, there are many ways to address each topic. You do not need to do it the same way every other podcast does it. Be unique. Find the way that will stand out.

If you are interviewing, do you need to ask the same questions that every other podcast asks? What if you play a game with each guest called “The Hat of Forbidden Questions”. It’s a hat filled with crazy questions. You simply reach in the hat, pull out a question and ask whatever is on the card. The method is completely different than every other podcast. This approach will also generate unique answers while engaging your guest in a unique manner.

Here is a tip many people forget. This is show business. You could play “The Hat of Forbidden Questions” and never even have a hat. You could have a list of crazy questions for your guest written out and simply pretend to reach into a hat. This is show business. You are here to entertain.

Do you think the actors in “Seinfeld” or “The Sopranos” ad lib their lines? Of course not. Do you find it less entertaining when they follow the script? Of course not. There is no reason you cannot add a little show biz to your show.

Just be sure to always be true to the show. If you are going to pretend there is a hat, you MUST ALWAYS pretend there is a hat. Giving up the showbiz secret will ruin everything. On the other hand, you could really have a hat and have a ton of fun with it.

Determine how you will approach each topic. Will you play audio examples? Will you play voice messages from your listeners? Are you going to read e-mail? Maybe there is a guest contributor. Determine each approach before the show begins.

Once you have your list of topics, develop a strategy to uniquely approach each of those topics. Be original. Stand out from the crowd. Know how you will handle each topic before your show begins.

What Makes Your Podcast Different?

What makes your podcast different?

When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Make people take notice.

You are an expert at your opinion. Give it to people. Take a stand. Pick a side.

Some of the nicest people make the worst podcast hosts. They try to please everyone in the audience. Those people tend to blend into the background and go unnoticed.

I once coached a radio host who was one of the best storytellers I had ever met. When he and I would meet one-on-one for coaching, he would tell me some of the funniest stories I had ever heard. He would tell me stories of his dad that would have me crying from laughing so hard.

He once told me his dad was absolutely convinced the PT Cruiser was the best car ever made. As much as my host would try to explain that the PT Cruiser was basically the Dodge Neon chassis with a different body, his father wouldn’t believe it. The two of them would get in these heated arguments in public about this car. Of all the things in life you could argue about, this happened to be the PT Cruiser. The way the story was told was full of fabulous details. The host really had the ability to make the stories come to life.

As much as I would encourage him, the host would not tell those stories on the radio. He didn’t believe the audience as a whole would be interested. Instead, he played it safe. He only discussed vanilla content that wouldn’t upset anyone. Unfortunately, the show never took hold.

If you’re not upsetting someone, you aren’t trying hard enough.

I would much rather have half the audience hate me and the other half love me rather than the entire audience have no opinion one way or the other. If the audience doesn’t have an opinion, they don’t care. I’m doing nothing to stir their emotion if I’m not making them pick a side.

If you haven’t picked a side and really focused your topic, people won’t care. They won’t be passionate about your show.

Speak your mind. Be different. Get noticed. Make people care.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Can I Be You? …

ID-100109373

Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyeurism. Eavesdropping.

Those are three main reasons people listen to your podcast. Tell stories to help fulfill those desires.

People dream about having a different (and usually better) life. They want to experience those things others are experiencing. The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. People crave living the lives of others.

Your listeners want to live vicariously through you. They want to experience your success. They wish they had the courage to do the things you have done. Your fans want to be you in some way or another.

Voyeurism is a reason many people watch the shows they watch, listen to the stories they hear, or read the books they read. They want to experience the lives of others.

People eavesdrop on the conversations of others for the very same reasons. They can experience the life of others without the risk of failure. Eavesdropping doesn’t take the courage required to actually live the life.

By telling great stories about your experiences, you help your audience fulfill the desire to live vicariously through you. If your show contains audio of your feats and experiences, you allow your audience to fulfill their voyeuristic desires. When you interview people on your show, you allow your listener to eavesdrop on your conversation.

When your show is simply a lecture of your content, you fail to help your listener experience any of these three desires. Find new ways to deliver your material to your audience. You will make those important connections that turn into friendships. Those relationships will foster loyalty to your show. Your tribe will follow you wherever you go. That’s a powerful thing.

Tell stories of self-revelation. See where it takes you. You’ll be surprised how many people wish they could be you.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Photo by adamr – http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Grab Attention Like Dr. Seuss …

Grab Attention Like Dr. Suess

Dr Seuss Pictures

American children’s author Dr. Seuss (Theodor “Ted” Suess Geisel) was more interested in telling a good story than he was in telling a true story. He often exaggerated. He always used wonderful, colorful words.

The good story approach is even described In his biography at www.Seussville.com. Dr. Suess and his wife were unable to have children.

“To silence friends who bragged about their own children, Ted liked to boast of the achievements of their imaginary daughter, Chrysanthemum-Pearl. … He included her on Christmas cards, along with Norval, Wally, Wickersham, Miggles, Boo-Boo, Thnud, and other purely fictional children. For a photograph used on one year’s Christmas card, Geisel even invited in half a dozen neighborhood kids to pose as his and Helen’s children. The card reads, ‘All of us over at Our House / Wish all of you over at / Your House / A very Merry Christmas,’ and is signed ‘Helen and Ted Geisel and the kiddies.’”

Part of the magic that was Seuss was created by the words he used. Oftentimes, he used words he created himself, like whisper-ma-phone, fiffer-feffer-feff, schloppity-schlopp. His words were memorable and unique. His words have sounds that catch your attention.

If you want to catch the attention of your audience, use great words like Dr. Seuss. You don’t need to create your own vocabulary. Simply use words that stir emotion. Your words do not need to be long, flamboyant words. They simply need to be emotional.

Betraying. Jubilant. Downtrodden. Passionate. Unmovable. Use words that paint pictures.

Great storytellers use delightful details created by fabulous words.

Use delightful details. “It was a muggy, hot lunchtime. We had ducked into the cool, dark shade of the woods where the sun was barely visible through the dense leaves. My eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the leave-covered path when I lost my footing near the edge of an embankment. I ended up landing on my hip and rolling head-over-feet down the fairly steep, 10-foot drop where I promptly landed on my butt in the muddy mess below. My legs were completely covered in mud as if I had been rolling in it for hours.”

With the delightful details of that story, you can almost feel yourself in the woods. You can see the muddy mess in your mind. You can smell the thick, wooded area. Details help your listener experience the story rather than just hearing it.

Capture the attention of your listener by putting your listener in the moment. Always include delightful details in your story. Use fabulous words that paint pictures.  Grab attention like Dr. Seuss.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com.  You can also get tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Six Ways To Produce Listening Magic …

Six Ways To Produce Listening Magic

Imagination. It is the wonderful result of recorded audio. When you listen to the radio, podcasts, audiobooks or other recorded audio, the imagination is in full motion. Your imagination belongs to you and you alone. You have full control. Your imagination is unlike any other.

Your imagination is used for your sole benefit. The characters and scenes created in your “Theater of the Mind” are exactly how you want them to look. The images are created in your mind in a way that gives you the greatest pleasure. It is all to benefit you.

The wonderful details in a story can stir the imagination in magical ways.

There are ways to include recorded production elements within your show that will enhance your listener’s imagination and experience. When you add recorded elements, the imagination of your listener will be further stimulated. You will help create elements within your listener’s “Theater of the Mind”.

There are six ways to include production elements in your podcast to create magic in the mind.  I detail them all in THIS NEW MEDIA EXPO POST.

Avoid The Shiny Objects …

 

Avoid the shiny objects.

(photo by scantynebula)

In the past, I’ve suggested you incorporate stories in your podcast to truly engage your listener. To make your stories powerful, lead with a strong introduction that tells your listener exactly what to expect. Your first few sentences will tell your audience exactly where you are going with your tale.

Many podcasters find it fairly easy to lead with an intriguing introduction. The trouble comes as the story develops. Storytellers often find it difficult to stay focused on the goal of the story. They often get distracted and sidetracked following tangents that really have nothing to do with the story.

Let’s say the story begins with, “I found the deal of a lifetime at the mall this weekend.” You know exactly where we are going with this story. I’m going to tell you all about a great deal I found at the mall.

If we are in the middle of the story, we get completely derailed if I ponder, “Why do parents think they can just drop their kids off at the mall like it is a daycare?” This has absolutely nothing to do with the great deal I found. We are now running down a rabbit hole and need to figure out how to get back on track.

Your listener has a difficult time following your story when you get off on tangents. Your show becomes confusing. Meandering stories also waste time and limit the number of subjects you can address in any particular episode.  Stay on topic.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Make it easy for your listener to follow and enjoy your stories. Stay focused on the goal of the story. Avoid the shiny objects.

Are You Building Credibility? …

Are you building credibility?

(photo by bakalusha)

Just the other day, I heard a podcast host answering a listener question about a website. The host said, “Click on the ‘FAQ’ tab. I’m not sure if it is above or below the video.” Now, let’s think about this answer. Before the show began, the host knew he was going to answer this specific question. He knew the steps to take in order to solve the listener’s problem. In preparing, he apparently stopped there.

Instead of taking notes and knowing the exact details regarding the answer, he just freestyled and sounded uninformed. In doing so, he sounded like he wasn’t quite sure of the answer. It would have taken him 2 minutes to pull up the website before he began to record and jot down a few notes regarding the answer.

Listen to a podcast like “48 Days To The Work You Love” by Dan Miller. In the show open, Dan lays out the exact e-mail questions he will answer. He has all of the information at his fingertips for each detail he intends to give. He doesn’t stumble. He doesn’t guess. Dan knows exactly what he is going to deliver to his audience. He is prepared and sticks to his plan.

That is what I mean when I say “be prepared”. Get the details down. Stumbling makes you sound unsure of your answer. Nailing the details will give you credibility and make you sound like the expert you are.

— I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are you building credibility?

Are You Using Cows? …

Are you using cows?

(photo by lisavan)

The unexpected is amusing, delightful and memorable. Being direct assumes your listener cares about your marketing message. They don’t. Your listener cares about his or her needs, wants and desires. Attract their attention by doing the unexpected.

To engage your podcast listener and create a relationship, you need to be memorable. In order to be memorable, you must be unique. Be distinct, unusual, and unexpected. If you sound like every other show, you will not stand out and get noticed.

Chick-fil-a could have easily become another fast food restaurant lost in the sea of mediocrity. Founder Truett Cathy wouldn’t let that happen. The company pays great attention to the details and does the unexpected at every turn.

The Chick-fil-a mission statement is “Be America’s Best Quick-Service Restaurant.” Sure, every fast food joint wants to be the best. Few are willing to put in the work.

One Saturday, we were on a road trip. We were passing through Des Moines, IA at 8:45p as we pulled into the mall to grab a quick bite. We discovered the mall would be closing at 9p. As you can imagine, most restaurants in the food court were cleaning up. We were one of two parties there to eat.

We stepped up to the Chick-fil-a counter and apologized for cutting it so close and causing them extra work. The gentleman behind the counter assured us it was no trouble at all. We received our (fresh) food quickly and grabbed a table in the middle of the food court.

About five minutes later, the same Chick-fil-a employee (a teenager) came to our food court table to make sure everything was alright. This was a mall food court. Few fast food restaurants ever check on you in their own establishment, let alone a mall. You especially do not receive this sort of attention 10 minutes before closing.

That wonderful and surprising level of service is the norm at Chick-fil-a. They always take the extra step to surprise and stand out. The unexpected effort is carried through to the careers they offer, the scholarships they provide to their employees and the process of accepting partners and franchisees.

The company uses cows in their commercials to promote chicken sandwiches. The Chick-fil-a website even has a special section devoted to the cows. When a cow parachutes into a football game promoting chicken sandwiches on a commercial, it us unexpected. Chick-fil-a is memorable.

If you can create unique, memorable experiences for your listener by incorporating the unexpected, you begin to create powerful, meaningful relationships.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are you using cows?

What Did You Reveal Today? …

What did you reveal today?

(photo by photoblaz)

When you tell stories on your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Vivid details are critical elements of great storytelling.

Details are more believable than generalities.

Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.

Details put your listener in the moment helping them envision your story in their mind.

Garrison Keillor, in one of his “Stories From Lake Wobegon”, describes a woman who endures crushing loneliness and town gossip. Keillor says, “She got into bed with a dying man – so she could sing ‘Abide With Me’ in his good ear”. You can see the details in your mind. Envision the man’s hearing aid. Can you hear the song? There are so many details in that one sentence, many of which aren’t even described.

Lake Wobegon is a fictitious place, yet is believable due to the details. The story details reveal what Keillor finds amusing. The story is also vivid enough that you can see it in your mind.

That’s the wonderful thing about audio. Everyone sees their own personal, mental images in their own way. Those differences add to the enjoyment and entertainment of the story. Each listener can enjoy the unspoken details in their own way. They are not at the mercy of the interpretation of a movie director.

Tell great stories. Use vivid details. What did you reveal today?

Unique, Vivid, Mental Images …

Unique, Vivid, Mental Images.

(photo by Chris Harvey)

When someone tells a story, on the radio or in a podcast, it is theater of the mind. When you hear the old-time radio show describe the dim light in the servant’s quarters, the scenery is playing out in your mind in a unique way unlike the way anyone else could envision it. No other person is imagining the clothing of the characters the exact same way you are imagining them. That mental theater is unique to you. You are listening and imagining by yourself.

Podcasts make the one-on-one approach even more important. Podcasts are often enjoyed through headphones. Your audience is truly listening by themselves. The headphones block out all other sounds and distractions. You have multiple “one person” audiences at the same time. Yet, it is still always one person and their imagination.

Connect with your “one person” audience by creating a great theater. The theater will be different for each listener, because they are using their individual imagination. Create a movie, and put the listener in it. Make the story an individual experience for the listener. Engage the listener with vivid details and a fantastic storyline. Make them forget they are listening to a podcast.

Create great theater of the mind. Create unique, vivid, mental images.

No Sleep ‘Til: The Best of MCA

No Sleep ‘Til: The Best of MCA.

Today, I had a post written that is consistent with my content.  I was ready to post it for you.

As I logged on to share it, I came across this post regarding the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys.

I was saddened when I heard the news of MCA’s death earlier today.  Though I’ve been musical since my youth and long before “Licensed To Ill“, the Beastie Boys was the first concert I ever attended.  I first discovered them in the movie “Krush Groove“.  They’ve always been a big part of my musical history.

As I read this post, I realized how much MCA’s writing clicks with the philosophies I’ve been suggesting.  He is always focused, creative, witty, engaging, entertaining, surprising, and vivid with his details.  He includes words and phrases in his lyrics most wouldn’t normally consider.  I truly admire his work for that.

Even if you are not a fan of hip hop, I would still recommend the attached blog as a worthwhile read.  MCA’s style is admirable and inspirational.  He will surely be missed.

I’ll return tomorrow with another podcast post.  Until then, RIP MCA.

via No Sleep ‘Til: The Best of MCA.

Stories Define Your Character …

Stories define your character

I’m not simply talking about your integrity. By character, I mean all of the attributes that create you, as in character in a play.  Your stories help define who you are as a person.

The purpose of your podcast is to attract an audience. Whether you want to monetize that relationship, encourage a call-to-action, or simply create an audience for your ideas, creating the audience is where you begin.

The stories you choose to tell reveal how open you are to others. Your openness is a sign of trust. Trust is a big piece of a relationship. Reveal things about yourself through your stories and you’ll begin to build trust with your listener.

The details you include tell your listener what you value. If the listener feels you value things they too value, you solidify the relationship. People like to hang out with similar people. If your values are opposite of your listener, you may also attract them. It is like a love/hate relationship. They may dislike it, but they continue to listen. For example, this often happens when talking politics.

What you find entertaining will be evident by the stories you tell. Since people like other people who have similar tastes, revealing those things you find entertaining will also build the relationship.

Stories also have the power to demonstrate your vulnerability. Stories can show that you are a real person. Your listener will see you as approachable. They also may begin to see you as a friend. That is when true relationships begin to form.

Next time you watch a late night talk show, notice how the great, memorable interviews contain great stories. Robin Williams and Billy Crystal being interviewed by David Letterman are great examples.  Interviews that focus on facts and information rarely cut through. Those guests come off more as a lecturer than as a friend. The guests that tell stories appear more personal, warm and friendly. Their stories reveal things and help you feel like you know them personally. Take note next time you watch.

Foster a relationship with your listener by revealing things about yourself through stories. Stories will define your character.

Delightful Details Dazzle

Delightful details dazzle.

Great storytellers use delightful details.

Great stories reveal things about the person telling the story. It allows the listener the opportunity to discover new things about the storyteller. Stories are how strong relationships are built.

When you’ve used an intriguing introduction in your podcast, your listener can now enjoy the details of your story. The more vivid the details, the more your listener will enjoy the story. Make them see the story in their mind. Draw the mental picture for them.

“We were walking through the woods when I lost my footing, rolled down a hill and into some mud.” Generic stories like this do very little to spark the imagination.

Use delightful details. “It was a muggy, hot lunchtime. We had ducked into the cool, dark shade of the thick woods where the sun was barely visible through the thick leaves. My eyes hadn’t yet adjusted to the leave-covered path when I lost my footing near the edge of an embankment. I ended up landing on my hip and rolling head-over-feet down the fairly steep, 10-foot drop where I promptly landed on my butt in the muddy mess below. My legs were completely covered in mud as if I had been rolling in it for hours.”

With the delightful details of that story, you can almost feel yourself in the woods. You can see the muddy mess in your mind. You can smell the thick, wooded area. Details help your listener experience the story rather than just hearing it.

Put your listener in the moment. Always include delightful details in your story.