Tag Archives: entertainment

Put The Fun In Your Podcast Interviews – Episode 146

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Put The Fun In Your Podcast Interviews – Episode 146

One of 8 steps to Powerful Podcast Interviews
One of 8 steps to Powerful Podcast Interviews

Creating Powerful Podcast Interviews requires 8 key steps. One of those key steps is adding an element of fun.

Having fun is the reason we podcast. We love what we do. Podcasting requires too much time to continue if it isn’t enjoyable. Make it fun.

To maintain a sense of fun, add these ten facets to your podcast.

HAVE FUN

Make it a goal to have fun. We often get so wrapped up in getting through our list of questions that we forget to enjoy ourselves.

ENTERTAIN

We are here to entertain. People listen to podcasts to be entertained. Even if your content is informational or inspirational, your show still needs to be entertaining.

SHOW BUSINESS

This is show business. Your podcast should be both show and business. Even if making money is not your goal, you need continue to grow your show to attract guests and listeners. You need to grow to survive. You need both show and business to keep listeners coming back.

WORD-OF-MOUTH

If your guest has fun, word will spread. The leaders in your niche talk to each other. When you send out an invitation to be on your show, potential guests will check references. Earn the reputation of being a fun show. Word will get around.

SET EXPECTATIONS

Communicate to your guest what is expected of them. Where do you want the interview to go? Explain what you hope to accomplish in order to put your guest at ease. When your guest knows the expectations of the show and is given permission to loosen up a bit, they will be more likely to have fun.

STICK TO THE TIME LIMIT

Stick to the allotted time. If you told your guest the interview would last 45 minutes, be sure you wrap it up within 45 minutes. When you go over, it is disrespectful. Word will get around. If you go long, it will eventually become difficult to attract new guests.

SHOW RESPECT

If there are topics that are off limits or your guest has asked you to avoid particular subject matter, respect their request. Always treat your guest with respect. Once you break that trust, it will be very difficult to have fun during the remainder of the interview. Protect your reputation. Create an atmosphere of fun and not fear.

RELAX

Be in the moment during your interview. Relax and let the conversation happen naturally. You can edit any rough parts out at the end of the interview. When you relax, the fun will come naturally.

DON’T FORCE FUNNY

When you try too hard to be funny, it usually doesn’t work. When you force the funny, you will typically fall short. Let it all happen naturally. The funny will come.

FUNNY FOLLOWS FUN

The funny comes most easily when you are having fun. Have you ever been in a group of people who are having a ton of fun and everything seems funny? The dumb jokes and stupid things your buddy doing are all funny because you are all having fun. Funny follows fun.

Next week we are going to cover all 8 steps to creating Powerful Podcast Interviews.

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.

What Your Podcast Brand Can Learn From Prince – Episode 137

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What Your Podcast Brand Can Learn From Prince – Episode 137

We are making a quick change this week. On the last episode, I told you we were going to get into interviewing. We will do that next week.

When I heard Prince had passed away, I started getting fascinated by the way people were reacting to the loss of one of the greatest musical artists of our time. I had to jump back in the studio and cut a new episode for this week. We’ll pick up the interviewing episodes next week.

Why did the death of Prince affect so many so deeply?

Prince created a brand that epitomizes the Cult Brand that we talk so much about.

I was talking with a friend this week. He was deeply touched by Prince’s death. He said it bothered him much more than Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston or Merle Haggard, and he couldn’t figure out why.

Prince has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I am a fan of most of what he created. There are musicians. Then, there are artists.

Everything Prince touched was some form or art, pushing the boundaries.

In his movie “Under The Cherry Moon”, he included a bit that almost predicted his death. At the end of the movie, Prince’s character Christopher Tracy dies and early death. The scene is set to a song by Prince called “Sometimes It Snows In April”. It is very coincidental that Prince was taken from us early, in April, almost 30 years to the date of the release of “Under The Cherry Moon”, which came out July 4th, 1986.

The death of Prince hurts many more than a typical celebrity death due to our association with the brand Prince created.

We talk a lot about the Cult Brand. It was defined in the book “The Power Of Cult Branding” by BJ Bueno. If you look at Prince’s brand, you will see all 7 attributes of a Cult Brand. These are characteristics you do not find with Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston or Merle Haggard. We came to expect those 3 to be in trouble. They weren’t one of us. Prince seemed like a guy we could hang out with. He had a bit of cool about him.

CULT BRAND

Let’s review the 7 attributes of a Cult Brand. We will see how they relate to Prince. Then, we can see how they can be used with your Podcast brand.

SOCIAL GROUPS

Let them be different together. Those people who didn’t quite fit in due to their style found solace in the music and style of Prince. His concerts and nightclub allowed those fans to gather and be different together.

Oddly enough, Prince’s music is not found on YouTube. Prince wanted to keep his community special. You could choose to be involved. However, you needed to be involved his way. He controlled the message.

Find ways for your audience to be different together. What does your podcast offer that is unique to you? This needs to be something that is different than any other podcast and done in a way that only you can do it.

Once you create the difference, allow your audience to come together to share that difference.

COURAGE

Prince stood by his beliefs. He insisted on owning his publishing. He even went as far as changing his name to a symbol when his fight with Warner Brothers Records got crazy.

The musical styles of Prince fused rock guitar solos with funk and rhythm and blues. He threw in some dance moves of James Brown to his unique style of dress. He had the courage to be different and stand out.

Being different and standing out from the crowd takes courage. Be daring this week. Find something that will put your podcast on the map. It may be scary and outside of your comfort zone. That is ok. Give it a try. People will take notice.

PROMOTE A LIFESTYLE – FUN

In the 1980s, Prince created a style of dress that was unique to him. It was copied by many. It was self-expression and fun. Prince promoted a lifestyle. Love, fun and style. Even his guitars were fun and unique.

After his musical success, Prince created other ways to spread his brand of fun. He created a few movies. Some of these were huge successes. Some barely broke even.

Prince created his own nightclub. He fostered the careers of other artists. Fun was a primary attribute of his brand. Something we all wanted to be part of.

With your podcast, don’t be so serious all the time. Have fun. Be crazy. Let your inner child out to play every now and then. Life is too short to be so serious all the time.

LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS – HUMAN NEEDS

Humans have a need to come together. Music is a big part of that need. Prince gave it to his fans. In the 1980s when the economy was tough, Prince was singing about love and a carefree life. He delivered what his fans needed to escape their everyday life.

What does your podcast audience need? Find that need and fulfill it regularly. If you don’t know what that need is, ask your listeners. Find their Facebook pages and look for the need. It will be there.

SUPPORT COMMUNITIES – START A CULT

Prince didn’t always need to spotlight. He would make some headlines, release an album or movie, then lay low for a while. This allowed his fans to embrace and spread the message.

He also turned many fledgling Minneapolis musical acts into stars. Being part of the Revolution or New Power Generation was as easy as joining the movement.

Even the biggest hits of Prince featured vocals of other members in his band. In “1999”, Prince is the 3rd voice. In his movie “Purple Rain“, it is portrayed that the title song was actually written by Wendy and Lisa, members of the band. Prince included everyone and shared the attention and credit.

With your podcast, share the credit. Give. Make others the star. The more you shine your spotlight on others, the more it will come back to you. Simply focus on helping others. Bring your fans together. Introduce your listeners to each other. Spread the love. When you do that, your message will begin to spread on the wings of others.

OPENESS – INCLUSIVE, INVITING

Anyone could be part of the Prince movement. Dress like him. Move like him. He promoted love and being part of a movement. People could relate to that.

Be inviting with your podcast. Allow your listeners to direct a bit of your content. Give them some ownership in the content you create.
You also need to make it easy to join your tribe. Eliminate a lot of the hoops and just get them into the party.

PROMOTE PERSONAL FREEDOM

Prince used his style to promote his own personal freedom. Then, he encouraged others to do the same. He always insisted that he have complete creative control over everything he did.

We all have an enemy. When you find the common enemy, your brand can help your listener fight the common bad. Create the freedom. Do you think it is a coincidence that listeners on the Dave Ramsey Show become debt free? Their debt free scream is followed by a loud yell of “freedom”. All of the listeners are fighting the common enemy. That is personal freedom.

We can learn a lot from the brand of Prince. Add these 7 attributes of a cult brand into your podcast. You will begin to create a powerful tribe that will drive your brand to new heights.

 

Next week, we begin the series on interviewing. Have you ever conducted that interview that went nowhere? The one you felt like deleting right after it was over? We can help. Next week, we will answer a couple listener questions about getting the most out of your interview guest.

 

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.

How To Organize Your Podcast Content – Episode 135

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How To Organize Your Podcast Content – Episode 135

Copyright: kudryashka / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: kudryashka / 123RF Stock Photo

 

When you organize your content, you allow yourself to be more creative during recording. You actually allow for more spontaneity and creativity.

Many podcasters believe that planning all of their content removes the opportunity for things to happen. Does planning remove the fun from your show?

Not at all.

When you spend less time trying to think of the next piece of content, you can spend more time thinking about how to make the next piece of content amazing.

Organizing your content is the key to allowing your content to become entertainment.

THE CLOCK

The one tool most radio hosts use to organize their show is a show clock. This is basically a schedule of what is to happen on the show and when those pieces of content occur.

The show clock becomes even more important when you have a co-host. The clock puts all members of the show on the same page. Each host knows exactly what is coming up and when it is supposed to happen.

You can download the PTC Show Clock template in the worksheet section online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

There are two versions of a clock. One is a circular clock face. The other is a list.

Both versions list the title of the segment, a description of the content, when that content is due to happen on the show and how long is it supposed to last.

For example, the show open will be first. It might be the 60-second recorded theme. That would be followed by a 4-minute introduction. This would include the tease of the content coming up in the show along with guest information.

As you complete the clock, you continue to fill it out in this manner.

Now that you have the schedule for the show, you can use your brain power to make each piece of content amazing. Be creative. Add details and stories to the notes. Know exactly how you will make it engaging. Get that call-to-action in there.

Your clock will be similar in every episode. Most start with the show theme and intro. Most end with the closing. The meat in between might change. The clock allows you to be creative.

SPONTANEITY

Many people refuse to rehearse any part of their podcast, because they feel it will remove all spontaneity from the show.

Think about a speech you have given. When you have only rehearsed the speech a couple times, anxiety sets in right before you go onstage.

On the other hand, when you have rehearsed the speech many, many times, you eventually know it by heart. The anxiety level of presenting the material isn’t as high. When you begin, you feel much more confident. The worry about making mistakes or forgetting parts isn’t present. You relax. This is when the spontaneity kicks in.

Spontaneity in your speech happens most when you aren’t worried about the mechanics of the presentation. Your mind is allowed to move naturally through the material. This helps you become truly engaged with the audience and material. Wonderful, creative, spontaneous things happen when you reach this point.

The same can be said for your podcast. When you know the material, have defined a specific goal for the show, and have mapped out a plan to achieve that goal, your podcast will be filled with many “oh wow” moments.

The show clock allows you to rehearse and organize the content before you hit record. It will put you at ease and allow you to be creative.

Try it this week. Download the show clock and organize your content for your next episode.

You can download the PTC Show Clock template in the worksheet section online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.
Next week, you’ll learn how to make the best use of your co-host to create compelling content and engage your listeners.

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.

An Inside Look At My Podcast Creation Process – Episode 134

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An Inside Look At My Podcast Creation Process – Episode 134

Copyright: AnkevanWyk / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: AnkevanWyk / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you struggle to find time to create your podcast each week? I think it is a challenge we all face at some point in time.

I have a few tips that can help you streamline your process while still creating great content. This week, I want to walk you through the process I use when creating my podcast every week.

This is part of a content creation series. Last week, we discussed reviewing your show to improve your content. Determining your goal for the episode and evaluating your progress is a critical step for improvement.

Over the next couple weeks, we will talk about organizing your content and making the best use of your co-host.

This podcast started nearly 3 years ago. I knew I could use the knowledge I’ve gained over the past 25 years in radio to help podcasters improve their shows.

When I began recording the show, the process would take me hours every week. It felt like I would get one show posted and promoted only to begin creating the next episode.

Over time, I learned that I needed to spend more time promoting my show than I was spending to create the content. The content needed to be great. But it wouldn’t have any effect if nobody knew about it.

The key is spending 25% of your time creating great content and 75% of your time promoting that content.

To free up time to promote your podcast, you need to streamline the content creation process. Find the areas that can be combined, removed or refined in order to shorten the time it takes to create your podcast.

(SEE ALL OF MY RESOURCES HERE.)

60-second Content Creation Worksheet

I use the 60-second blog content planner from Ryan Deiss to lay out my show content for months at a time. The planner helps me group content and episodes with similar topics.

The plan is fluid. The topics change if listener feedback or topics of the day warrant a move. The planner simply gives me a basic framework.

The planner includes episode date, post type, category and headline. I also include call-to-action, offer and marketing info in the plan. It is flexible. You can customize it in a way that fits you best.

I took a few hours one Saturday and completed the planner.

Topic Development Worksheet

This helps me flush out the focus of the episode. Download it for free at PodcastTalentcoach.com.

Why is the topic relevant? How will you make the audience care? What emotion do you hope to stir? Where will you take the topic?

There are 11 total questions on the worksheet to help you focus and make the content as powerful as possible.

I use the topic from the planner to complete the worksheet. On a Saturday morning, I will usually complete 2 or 3 worksheets for upcoming episodes. These 3 worksheets take me about an hour to complete.

Show Outline

After I complete the worksheet, I create a show outline. These are the big points I want to hit during the episode. This will serve as the framework as I record.

After the outline is complete, I add any details that need to be included. This would include names, web addresses, examples, stories or anything else that will support my topic.

Each outline will take me about an hour to complete. So, it takes about 3 hours to complete all three outlines.

Overall, worksheets and outlines take me about four hours on a Saturday morning. Now I am ready to record.

Batch Recording

In order to avoid feeling like all of my time is eaten by the content creation process, I batch my recording whenever possible.

After creating my outlines, I am ready to record three episodes. This usually takes place on Sunday mornings for me. I head to the studio and knock out a batch of episodes.

To record my 30-minute podcast, it usually takes me about an hour. This includes recording, editing, processing and saving. Knocking out all three episodes usually takes me about three hours.

All in, writing, recording and editing three shows will take me about 7 hours of time. However, because I have batched the process, I am now set for three weeks. If you average it out, the time is just over two hours a week. The batch process frees up a lot of time to promote the show.

Post and Promote

Podcast Talent Coach podcast is posted late Wednesday night. I upload the show to Libsyn. Then, I post the Libsyn link, show notes, all website links and a graphic on my website. This will typically take me about an hour.

After the show is posted, I create my e-mail to all of the members on my list. I find ways to help them in addition to the content.

Making this e-mail free and valuable is critical. I want to be able to provide my members information they can put to work immediately. This includes tips, resources, links and free downloads.

The promotion of the episode is not the sole intent of the e-mail, though it is an important part.

To further promote the episode, I post the graphic I created for the post on Twitter and Facebook.

The promotion of the show requires another hour or so. That is two hours of posting a promoting each Wednesday night.

Now, I have given myself the rest of the week to engage on social media and comment on other shows. I can use the time to post to forums and appear on other podcasts. My coaching work with other podcasters also takes up time during the week.

Overall, my podcasting endeavors requires about ten hours a week on average. I keep the work concentrated, focused and batched where possible. This allows me more time to work on my business rather than in it. (See “The E-Myth Revisited“.)

This week, take time to assess your entire process. Where can you batch your process? How can you streamline your content creation?

Download the Podcast Talent Coach Topic Development Worksheet for free online at PodcastTalent Coach.com. Let that help you structure your episode. Find the link to Ryan Deiss’ tool HERE. Begin to tighten your process to allow you more time to promote your show.

FIND ALL OF MY RESOURCES HERE.
If you would like a Podcast Talent Coach workbook that will walk you through the entire batch of worksheets step-by-step, it is available in paperback or Kindle versions online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.
Next week, you’ll learn how to organize your podcast content to create focus with powerful, impactful content.
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.

Do It Yourself Podcast Critique – Episode 133

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Do It Yourself Podcast Critique – Episode 133

Copyright: dskdesign / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: dskdesign / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you fear sounding like a beginner? Do you have a desire to have stronger content?

On this episode, I want to help you learn to review and critique your own podcast in order to make your content stronger.

Reviewing your content on a regular basis is critical to your improvement. Learning how to critique yourself will help you sound more prepared, more organized and more like a true, professional broadcaster.

When I was beginning my broadcasting career, I feared people would see me as someone simply trying to play the part of a professional. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, let alone how to get better.

I wanted to have more credibility. How could I get there? Over 20 years, I learned to review and critique my own show through coaches, consultants, articles, conferences and mentors.

My broadcasting career began while I was in college studying for my architecture degree. What started as something fun to make college money suddenly turned into a career.

Here I was, a college kid studying architecture, trying to pretend I was a professional broadcaster.

I had no idea what I was doing. It was all trial and error.

Now, 25 years later, I am trying to help podcasters avoid the growing pains I suffered learning by diving head first into the deep end and quickly figuring out how to swim.

Over the years, the mistakes I made were plenty. In radio, on-air talent learn to be better through a process called the aircheck session. These are some of the most painful meetings you could have if the coach doesn’t have a teacher’s heart.

My aircheck sessions were typically run by my Program Director of the radio station. I would bring a recording of my show. We would listen to the show together. Then, my Program Director would tell me everything I’m doing wrong.

Over the next week, I would try to improve. We would go through the entire process the following week.

Once I was able to find a Program Director who had my interests at heart, we began working on my strengths. We would find the area that were strong and try to do more of that.

This became a much more enjoyable process. Over the years, I learned to recognize those strengths myself. My show continuously got stronger. I was then able to critique myself on a regular basis.

By sharing my scars and battle wounds, along with the processes, tips and skills I have learned over the years, I can help you fast track the road to great podcasting.

Over the past 20 years, I have been coaching radio talent with their shows. I have helped many radio shows reach the top of the ratings. My show has also been at the top for years.

This success is built on a quality review and critique of each show. When you learn to recognize the powerful parts of your episode, the will naturally become part of your content over time.

I have developed a Show Review Worksheet to help you review your show. You can download the worksheet for free.

This tool is one of nine worksheets included in the Podcast Talent Coach Workbook. The book includes complete explanations and instructions for each worksheet. You can get the workbook in a paperback or Kindle version.

Here are the questions included on the Podcast Talent Coach Show Review Worksheet. These questions will help you review and refine your show.

QUESTIONS

What did you hope to accomplish on this show? Did you succeed?

Part of your show prep should have included a goal and focus for the episode. We walked through that in the episode about show prep. Did you accomplish that goal?

To create more engagement with your listeners, your show needs to take the next step. Where do you take your content from here? How do you continue the conversation? Did you succeed?

How did you make the audience care?

Engagement is created when you stir emotion. Why is much more powerful than how. How did you make them care during this episode?

Where were the “oh wow” moments?

You do not need to make your entire show amazing. You simply need a few memorable spots. Create a couple moments to make your listener say “oh wow”. This is how you get your listeners to share your content. Find the “oh wow” moments in your episode.

Where were the surprises?

Surprise and delight. That will keep listeners returning week after week. Surprise will bring a smile to your listener’s face. This is where your information becomes entertainment. Where were your surprises?

What were the powerful words you used?

Words are powerful when you make the right choice. Selecting smart words help draw pictures in the mind of your listener. Thick and lush evoke two different emotions. Sad and devastated spark two different visions. Find the words in your episode that jump out of the speakers.

What did you like about the show?

When you are interested, you are interesting. What parts impressed you?

What was memorable about the show?

Find the one thing that people will remember. Your listener will not remember the entire show. What is your one thing?

What worked?

Did you try something new in this episode? Did it work? Push yourself to create new content in every episode. Then evaluate that content to see if it was a success.

What could have been better?

This is the other end of the previous questions. Where can you improve?

How did you position the story from the listener’s point of view?

We often talk about “what’s in it for me”. Did you position your content from your listener’s point of view?

How did you include the listener, making them part of the story?

Great marketing is more like a mirror. Reflect the life of your listener. Make them forget they are listening to a podcast by putting them in the story. Where did you include your listener?

At what points did you introduce and reset the show/topic?

Resetting the show topic is important to maintain the flow of the show. If the theme of the show is improvement, and you have a few different topics that support that theme, reset before each topic. Help support the overall concept by reintroducing the theme that ties it all together. Where was that apparent in the show?

How did it appear you were prepared for every element?

Keep your notes close as you record your content. We discussed this in the episode about show prep. Did you sound prepared with every piece of information you presented?

What did you reveal about yourself to help foster the relationship with the audience?

We talk about doing business with those we know, like and trust. Where did you reveal things to allow your listeners to begin to know you?

What stories did you tell?

Stories are the best way to allow listeners to get to know you. When you tell stories, you reveal your thoughts, beliefs and values. Find the stories in your episode. Learn to recognize when stories can be included.

What details did you use that were spectacular and visual?

Details help stories come to life. Specifics make the story more believable. This is similar to powerful language. Where did you use vivid details?

Where did you use active language? (walking instead of walked, eating, not ate)

Listeners can see active language. You can see “walking”. It is difficult to see “walked”. If you want your content to come to life in the theater of the mind, use active language. Find some in your episode.

What crutches do you use that need to be removed?

Crutches are words you use too often to fill time. These are typically phrases you use when you cannot think of anything else to say. Where do you hear crutches in your episode?

What is your plan to make tomorrow better?

Find three things in the 19 questions that you can work on this week.
Do you find yourself struggling to find time to create your podcast every week? Next week, I am going to walk you through step-by-step on how I create my content.

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.

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.

Stronger Content With Better Podcast Prep (Free: Show Prep Cheat Sheet) – Episode 128

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Stronger Content With Better Podcast Prep (Free: Show Prep Cheat Sheet) – Episode 128

Planning Your Podcast Content

Copyright: denchik / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you wish your content was stronger. When you add stories and proper preparation to your podcast, your show will create more engagement.

Your episode could have more momentum and your presentation more spontaneity if you used these podcast prep steps before you begin to record.

WHY DO WE PREPARE?

All great performers prepare. Athletes. Speakers. Actors. Attorneys. Preparation is the key to success.

Great radio performers typically spend one hour of preparation for every hour of show time.

Before you begin to record your podcast, you should spend just as much time preparing for the show.

Your podcast prep is very similar to mapping out a trip. You not only need to know where you are going, you need to know how to get there.

As you develop your podcast episode, you first decide which topics you want to cover. Most podcasters figure that is enough prep. The topic is only half the battle.

You must then plan what you hope to do with each topic. What emotions do you hope to elicit with the content?

What approach will you take to get there?

Before you open the mic, plan out your show. Jot down some notes. Find the facts you need to support your story.

Write down the few important points you need to mention as you’re answering questions or making your case.

Then, make sure you stick to your plan.

Dan Miller does a wonderful job of this in his podcast “48 Days to The Work You Love”. He knows exactly which questions he wants to answer in his show.

By planning and preparing, you give your show more momentum and energy. Your content will continue to move forward. When you fail to prepare, your podcast will hit lulls as you search for your next thought, transition or direction.

KILLING SPONTANEITY

Many people refuse to rehearse any part of their podcast, because they feel it will remove all spontaneity from the show.

Think about a speech you have given. When you have only rehearsed a couple times, anxiety sets in.

You get butterflies when you anticipate blowing it. Thinking about making a mistake makes you nervous. You start to worry you may forget. This all happens, because you are not prepared.

On the other hand, when you have rehearsed the speech many, many times, you eventually know it by heart. Comfort with the material makes you feel much more confident. The worry isn’t as present. The preparation has helped you relax.

Now that you are relaxed, spontaneity has the opportunity to kick in.

Spontaneity in your speech happens most when you aren’t worried about the mechanics of the presentation. Your mind is allowed to move naturally through the material.

Your spontaneity helps you become truly engaged with the audience and material. Wonderful, creative, spontaneous things happen when you reach this point.

The same can be said for your podcast. When you know the material, have defined a specific goal for the show, and have mapped out a plan to achieve that goal, your podcast will be filled with many “oh wow” moments.

When you worry about content during the show, you have no brain power left for spontaneous things to happen.

Plan and prepare. Are you too busy thinking about the next question and blocking out the spontaneity? Your preparation will help you create unique content.

I have developed a Podcast Talent Coach Cheat Sheet that will help you prepare for each episode. This worksheet contains 5 steps to help you plan your show and shape your content.

CHEAT SHEET

1. What are the interesting topics you hope to address on this particular episode?

2. What do you hope to accomplish? This includes both the topic and the show overall.

What is the goal of the show. What do you hope to make your audience feel?

3. How will you treat each specific topic you hope to address? What will you do with the content?

This could include answering the question, demonstrating the answer, playing some audio, interviewing a guest, showing charts to support your answer, or various other tactics.

Begin to develop your fantastic stories at this step.

4. Create an outline for the flow of the show topics.

This is important for the show introduction as you set up the show. Your outline will also keep you organized as you move through the content.

5. What supporting information will you need for the show?

Organize and highlight the information for easy access during the show. This is how the spontaneity will develop during your episode.

Now, you are ready to record. Put in the time to properly prepare. Your content will be much stronger. Your episode will have more momentum. Your presentation will have more spontaneity

RESOURCES

Find the FREE Podcast Talent Coach Show Prep Cheat Sheet HERE.

To order the full PODCAST TALENT COACH WORKBOOK that will help you implement this worksheet with full explanations, visit www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

If you would like me to personally coach you through the process, CLICK HERE.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Deconstruction Of A Podcast Episode – Episode 127

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The Deconstruction Of A Podcast Episode – Episode 127

DECONSTRUCTING A PODCAST

Copyright: eraxion / 123RF Stock Photo

 

In a previous episode of Podcast Talent Coach, I shared 7 ways to drive listeners away from your show. One of the main points suggested you treat every listener as if they are new to the show. We need to continually feed the funnel.

Joshua Liston from The Deadly Arnold podcast was checking out my back catalog when he stumbled across this particular episode. He took exception to one of this particular suggestion.

THANKS

I must say that I do appreciate Joshua for a few reasons. One, he took the time to comment on the episode. Two, he was listening to my back catalog. Finally, he provided some great thought starters for a few solid episodes. I truly appreciate Joshua allowing me to use his comments to help others learn. That is what this community is all about.

In that episode, I suggested one way you drive listeners away is being the podcaster who assumes listeners have heard the show before.

POWERFUL INTRO

If you’re not explaining your podcast purpose each and every show, it will be difficult for new listeners to understand the show. Your audience will feel like they are joining a conversation in the middle. They will be lost.

In this episode, we review an episode that Josh mentions to see how they do these things.

I have selected one of the podcasts Joshua mentions with less of a national platform. Rather than tell you the name, we just jump in to see if the intro pulls you into the episode.

As we discuss the introduction and care for new listeners, please do not interpret this as something you should do at the expense of your current fans.

Sure, the content of your show must be great to keep listeners around. That is simply the price of admission. To get people to subscribe, create great content. That should go without saying.

In order to keep people engaged, you need to make them feel like they are part of the club. This is especially true for new listeners.

If you’re not explaining your podcast purpose each and every show, it will be difficult for new listeners to understand the show. Your audience will feel like they are joining a conversation in the middle. They will be lost.

SHOW REVIEW

In the episode of Back To Work that I review, the hosts do a few things to make new listeners feel included.

They use each other’s name often. This helps us get to know the voice.

We find out Merlin is 40-something and has a daughter. By sharing his life, his listeners get to know him.

Merlin refers to the same five books quite often. Though he is obviously well-read, these books seem to have been very influential on him.

Merlin knows a bit about Hollywood and the process of making movies. We learn this by his discussion of the four quadrant theory.

Merlin is a Democrat.

Merlin is confident and has little fear of speaking in front of large crowds. Dan admires that quality.

IS THE INTRO NECESSARY

On the other hand, there is no introduction to the show. I listened as a casual listener and had no idea what this show was about. There was nothing to suck me into the episode.

Merlin’s 355,000 Twitter followers along with his writings in magazines like Wired, Popular Science and MacWorld probably go a long way in driving listeners to the podcast.

Since the average podcast has roughly 170 downloads per episode, those podcasters cannot assume listeners will stick around if there is no clear benefit.

So many podcasters want to play the part before they are the part. It is similar to living like a billionaire before you are a billionaire. You cannot buy the Porsche, mansion and private plane until you make the money. You cannot act like a podcaster with 100,000 downloads until you earn the attention.

Make everyone feel welcome, supply your listeners with great content, and make your material unique. Then, watch your subscribers grow.

Find Joshua C. Liston at The Deadly Arnold Podcast and at BraverByTheDay.com.

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.

Focus On Current Or New Podcast Listener? – Episode 126

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Focus On Current Or New Podcast Listener? – Episode 126

podcast listeners_

Photo Copyright : Eduardo Huelin/123rf.com

 

In a previous episode of Podcast Talent Coach, I shared 7 ways to drive listeners away from your show. We work so hard to gain listeners. Why would we ever drive them away.

But … should you focus on the current or new podcast listener?

Joshua Liston from The Deadly Arnold podcast was checking out my back catalog when he stumbled across this particular episode. He took exception to one of the 7 ways I mentioned.

In the episode, I suggested one way you drive listeners away is being the podcaster who assumes listeners have heard the show before.

If you’re not explaining your podcast purpose each and every show, it will be difficult for new listeners to understand the show. Your audience will feel like they are joining a conversation in the middle. They will be lost.

Have you ever felt left out of a conversation due to inside jokes. Two other people are chuckling about something, and you have no idea why. “Oh, it’s an inside joke” they say. Why aren’t you important enough to be in on the joke? Why is it inside only to them? Those situations are a bit offensive. You’re not included.

When you are not explaining your podcast, you are not allowing your listener to understand the nuances of your show. They won’t feel like part of the club. Your listener will not feel important or that you care about them. It is quite possible they will leave.

The opening of your podcast should explain the purpose of your podcast and let your listeners know exactly what to expect as if this is the first time they have ever heard the show. We discussed this in the past two episodes when we reviewed the importance of a strong introduction.

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

First, it tells the brand new listener who is hearing the show for the very first time exactly what to expect from the show. You know exactly what is coming your way, even if you have never seen the show before.

Second, those that have heard the show before are confident that they are in the right place. Those regular listeners will find comfort in the opening of the show they hear each time they tune in. Fans will also feel like they are “in the know”. This is similar to singing the theme song of your favorite sitcom. As soon as you hear the first few notes of the theme song, you know you’re on the right channel. Your show intro should elicit the same response.

As you create your show open, treat it as if every listener is saying, “Hey, I’m new here. What’s going on?” You’ll make everyone comfortable as the show begins.

Here are Josh’s comments on the subject:

I must stress that I do disagree with your ideas around “making new listeners feel welcome in every episode”.

Personally I think Podcasters focus too much on their new audience and far too little on those already listening (which is where the majority of engagements and downloads come from for most podcasters). Those same things that you suggest make new/new listeners feel left out (in-jokes, personal references, etc) are the very things that make a longtime listener feel even more part of something special, and exclusive.

If you reference great podcasts that have stood the test of time “Back to Work” “Joe Rogan Exp” “Roderick on the Line” “Nerdist” “Hardcore History” “FOFOP & TOFOP” “Monday Morning Podcast” “Welcome to Night Vale” “We Are Alive” “The Dollop” “99% Invisible” “This American Life.” they make little to no intentional effort to morph their shows personality/language/individuality to entice new listeners to stay – they work incredibly hard in embracing their longtime listeners and fans though!

I can see how your ideas applies to a more transient audience like those of commercial radio stations where listeners are after the content within the content (music, news, score-lines, financial data etc) but for personality driven podcasting I think this falls purely into speculative theory.

-Joshua C. Liston
The Deadly Arnold
BraveryByTheDay.com
In this episode, I offer my assessment of Joshua’s position.

Sure, the content of your show must be great to keep listeners around. That is simply the price of admission. To get people to subscribe, create great content. That should go without saying.

In order to keep people engaged, you need to make them feel like they are part of the club. This is especially true for new listeners.

If you’re not explaining your podcast purpose each and every show, it will be difficult for new listeners to understand the show. Your audience will feel like they are joining a conversation in the middle. They will be lost.

Should you focus on the current or new podcast listener? The answer is both.

Make everyone feel welcome, supply your listeners with great content, and make your material unique. Then, watch your subscribers grow.

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.

Are You Losing Listeners? (Pitfalls Disrupting Podcast Traffic) – Episode 125

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Episode 125 – Are You Losing Listeners? (Pitfalls Disrupting Podcast Traffic)

LISTENERS EXIT

In a previous episode of Podcast Talent Coach, I shared 7 ways to drive listeners away from your show. We work so hard to gain listeners and podcast traffic. Why would we ever drive them away.

Joshua Liston from The Deadly Arnold podcast was checking out my back catalog when he stumbled across this particular episode. He took exception to one of the 7 ways I mentioned.

In the episode, I suggested one way you drive listeners away is being the podcaster who assumes listeners have heard the show before.

You work so hard to attract listeners to your podcast. Growing the audience is a constant challenge for most podcasters. You do all you can to bring more people to the party.

In this episode, we discuss the 7 ways you could be driving listeners away.

In the episode next week, I will dissect one of the episodes suggested by Joshua and demonstrate how successful podcasters eliminate these traps.

There are seven common mistakes podcasters make that drive listeners away. Here is a brief overview of each. See if you recognize these within your show.

THE PODCASTER WHO TALKS AT YOU

Great podcasters are not announcers. Great podcasters are conversationalists. If you can have a conversation with someone you cannot see nor hear, you have the ability to create a great podcast.

Instead of talking at me, talk to me and with me. Let’s have a conversation. You won’t be able to hear my responses. However, how many times have you found yourself talking back to the radio or podcast host? When the listener is responding out loud, you know the host has the ability to be conversational even when the other party isn’t present.

Be personal and talk to your listener, not at her.

THE PODCASTER THAT WASTES YOUR TIME

The wider the focus of your podcast, the better chance your topic will not interest me. It sounds counterintuitive. If you want more listeners, you need to narrowly focus your topic.

When you are too broad, your listener doesn’t know what to expect from your show.

Instead, pick a niche. Make it a tight focus. Pick the segment of your topic that you most enjoy and really focus there.

Focus is powerful. When you are focused, your audience knows exactly what to expect. Your focus builds loyalty, because you aren’t attracting listeners who have no interest in your niche. Since the niche is only focused on the slice of information that that interests your listener, your audience will almost always feel like you are delivering great content. You’ll never be wasting their time.

THE PODCASTER THAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU CARE

When you only deliver the what, the listener has no real reason to care. You are only providing information. Facts are lifeless. You must provide the why before you can provide the what. The “why” makes your listener care.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “what’s in it for me?”

Your audience will be asking this very question every time they tune into your podcast.

When your audience knows what is in it for them, they begin to care. Making your listener care is the only way to get them to listen and more importantly come back again.

Provide the “why” early in the podcast. Make them care.

THE PODCASTER THAT DOES NOT GET YOU INVOLVED

A podcast that is only focused on the host quickly becomes a very lonely podcast. “Enough about me, let’s talk about me.” Listeners surely won’t stick around for that very long. If listeners are not involved, they feel like the host doesn’t care about them.

Make your listener the star. It is your show. You know where it is going. When listeners are involved in your show, it is always your job to lead your guest and make them the star.

Get your listener involved wherever you can. Provide opportunities for listeners to interact with you. Even if you receive very little feedback, the opportunity to do so will send the message to your listeners that you care. The opportunity for involvement goes a long way.

THE PODCASTER THAT DOESN’T HELP OTHERS

Focus on helping others.

Zig Ziglar had many great quotes. One of my favorites is, “You can have anything you want in life just as long as you help enough other people get what they want in life.” How true that is.

As you turn your information into engaging entertainment with your podcast, keep in mind that helping people is part of the foundation of a strong relationship. If you take, take, take, your relationship won’t last long. If you are there to give and help, you will develop friends for life.

Get what you want out of life. Focus on helping others.

THE PODCASTER THAT TRIES TOO HARD TO BE FUNNY

Many podcasters painstakingly try to be funny. Jokes are never funny when the joke teller tries too hard. The forced punchline is uncomfortable. The timing is off. He will lead with something like, “This is funny” or “Here’s a good one” or “You’ll love this”. If I’m going to love it, do you really need to tell me? Won’t I know I love it once you tell me?

The good news is you don’t have to be funny. Stop trying so hard. The funny will come. You are focused on the wrong thing.

Funny follows fun.

THE PODCASTER WHO ASSUMES LISTENERS HAVE HEARD THE SHOW BEFORE

If you’re not explaining your podcast purpose each and every show, it will be difficult for new listeners to understand the show. Your audience will feel like they are joining a conversation in the middle. They will be lost.

Have you ever felt left out of a conversation due to inside jokes. Two other people are chuckling about something, and you have no idea why. “Oh, it’s an inside joke” they say. Why aren’t you important enough to be in on the joke? Why is it inside only to them? Those situations are a bit offensive. You’re not included.

When you are not explaining your podcast, you are not allowing your listener to understand the nuances of your show. They won’t feel like part of the club. Your listener will not feel important or that you care about them. It is quite possible they will leave.

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

First, it tells the brand new listener who is hearing the show for the very first time exactly what to expect from the show.

Second, those that have heard the show before are confident that they are in the right place.

As you create your show open, treat it as if every listener is saying, “Hey, I’m new here. What’s going on?” You’ll make everyone comfortable as the show begins.

Next week, we will review a podcast suggested by Joshua to learn how these ideas are put to use in the real world to attract listeners and drive podcast traffic.
As I mentioned in this episode …

Here is the link to the Podcast Talent Coach Worksheets.

Here is the link to the Podcast Talent Coach Workbook.

Here is the link to Podcast Talent Coach Coaching.
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.

How To Construct a Powerful Podcast Introduction – Episode 124

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How To Construct a Powerful Podcast Introduction – Episode 124

PowerfulPodcastIntroductions

(DOWNLOAD: Topic Development Worksheet)

On a recent episode of the Podcast Review Show that I do with Dave Jackson, we got into a discussion with a podcaster who struggles with the introduction of his show. This happens with so many hosts. How do you properly begin an episode? What are the important elements of a solid podcast introduction? What is the purpose?

We were talking with Doug Salamone of Mind Drippings podcast. On this particular episode, Doug was interviewing Taylor Pearson, author of “The End Of Jobs”. Doug said he was having trouble forming the introduction of his interviews.

Before you begin your show, determine what are you hoping people will take from the interview. What is the point?

Many podcast introductions are a waste of time. They host wanders into the episode rather than creating anticipation and setting up the content that is to come.

“Tell us a little about yourself, who you are and what you do.” It is such an overused first questions.

Do your homework. Know the important facts about your guest that support the topic. Provide those pieces of information right at the beginning. Then, hit the ground running with great questions.

Make your podcast introduction compelling. It should make your audience want to stick around for the payoff. I hear so many shows begin with their standard show open immediately followed by a bunch of housekeeping. Don’t waste the time of your audience. Your introduction should make a promise (tell the audience what to expect). You should then follow through on that promise (give them the content they expect).

Last week, we discussed the purpose of a strong podcast introduction. This week, I want to walk you through the steps of creating your powerful purpose and intriguing introduction.

These steps come straight from the Topic Development Worksheet online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

13 STEPS

What do you hope to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand?

What is in it for them?

Why is the topic relevant to your audience?

How will you make the audience care?

What is the source of the topic?

How will the source lend credibility to the topic?

What do you find intriguing about the topic?

What emotion do you hope to stir?

In what context will the story be set?

Where will you take the topic? Where will the story go?

What details will you use?

What is the one thing you hope your listener will remember about you/your show?

Write the intriguing introduction to your topic.

 

Before you begin your show, determine what are you hoping people will take from the interview. What is the point?

Do your homework. Know the important facts about your guest that support the topic. Provide those pieces of information right at the beginning in your podcast introduction. Then, hit the ground running with great questions.

 

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.

The Critical Piece To A Great Podcast – Episode 123

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The Critical Piece To A Great Podcast – Episode 123

Podcast Review Show

On a recent episode of the Podcast Review Show that I do with Dave Jackson, we got into a discussion with a podcaster who struggles with the introduction of his show. This happens with so many hosts. How do you properly begin an episode? Why are the important elements of a solid introduction? What is the purpose?

We were talking with Doug Salamone of Mind Drippings podcast. On this particular episode, Doug was interviewing Taylor Pearson, author of “The End Of Jobs”. Doug said he was having trouble forming the introduction of his interviews.

START WITH WHY

Here is Doug’s first question: “Taylor, why don’t you introduce yourself a little bit more, and start off at the beginning with what brought you to decide to write this book and I’ll just let you roll with it and we’ll get the questions going.”

Doug needs to make us care about the author as he introduces him BEFORE he brings Taylor on the show. Then, Doug needs to make us care about the subject.

Before you begin your show, determine what are you hoping people will take from the interview. What is the point.

When you use, “Tell us about yourself”, it sounds like you didn’t do your homework.

The show is about big ideas. What is the big idea in this episode? The world of jobs is coming to an end. Start there.

Later in the interview, Doug asks, “What are people to do … if the opportunities are limited … and every single year we have thousands upon thousands of people graduating from universities across the country … what are people to do to protect themselves from becoming obsolete in this current economy that we’re seeing everyday increasing where jobs are being eliminated or being exported to countries across the world?”

This is the essence of the conversation. Let’s start here.

Many introductions are a waste of time. They host wanders into the episode rather than creating anticipation and setting up the content.

“Tell us a little about yourself, who you are and what you do.” It is such an overused first questions.

Do your homework. Know the important facts about your guest that support the topic. Provide those pieces of information right at the beginning. Then, hit the ground running with great questions.

Make the introduction of your show compelling. It should make your audience want to stick around for the payoff. I hear so many shows begin with their standard show open immediately followed by a bunch of housekeeping. Don’t waste the time of your audience. Your introduction should make a promise (tell the audience what to expect). You should then follow through on that promise (give them the content they expect).

When a show begins with, “I’ll show you how to make a million dollars in 4 easy-to-understand steps”, followed by, “But first, let me plug 14 things and chat a bit about why I didn’t post an episode last week”, you are losing your audience. Your fan tuned in to hear your secrets, not your problems.

If you have housekeeping notes to pass along, sprinkle them within the show throughout the content. Lead with your strongest material. Housekeeping is not it.

Your introduction should set up your podcast. It should be an intriguing introduction that tells the listener exactly what the podcast is all about. What will I get when I listen? It doesn’t matter whether your podcast is 10 minutes or 60 minutes long. You need to tell the listener what is to come.

“Welcome to Podcast Talent Coach Podcast. My name is Erik K. Johnson. This is where we help you transforming your information into engaging entertainment so we can turn your podcast into powerful, profitable relationships.”

With that quick introduction, I told you exactly what to expect. You know the name of my podcast. You know the name of the host. You know the goal we are setting out to accomplish. I’ve also put you in the mix by referencing your dreams and how my podcast will help you. In those brief seconds, I’ve given you who, what, when and why.

That content should be followed immediately by a creative tease of this particular show. It might be something like, “We will help Steve figure out how to gently end a bad interview. Shelly asks about incorporating a call-to-action without making the show sound like an infomercial. And finally, we will hear a clip for the ‘The Golden Garden’ podcast and help Chris increase the energy and forward momentum in the show. Let’s get to it. First up …” This goes right into the show content. We start delivering on the promise made in the introduction. The show is moving forward.

If I said, “Before we get to it, let me explain the new look of my website”, I would only be relevant to a small portion of my audience. Who cares about my new layout? That would assume first that most of my audience has visited my website prior to this show, and second that they can’t find their own way around the new layout. That’s a pretty big assumption. If is important enough to include, put it at the end, or somehow incorporate the information into an answer.

Don’t waste the time of your audience. Make your introduction intriguing and get to the content immediately.

MAKE THEM CARE

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “what’s in it for me?”

Your audience will be asking this very question every time they tune into your podcast. Your introduction better tell your listener exactly how your topic will affect them. You need to hook them right at the beginning with an intriguing introduction. If you don’t hook them early, they will be gone in search of something more captivating.

When your audience knows what is in it for them, they begin to care. Making your listener care is the only way to get them to listen and more importantly come back again.

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.

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.

EMOTIONALLY POWERFUL?

A successful podcast is built on a strong relationship with the listener. It could be called a tribe as defined by Seth Godin in his book of the same name. The strong relationships with your listeners begin to develop your brand. You can then monetize your brand and associated relationships with an effective call-to-action. But it starts with the brand.

Powerful brands are more than just recognizable names. Powerful brands are full of emotion. A brand is a collection of perceptions, creating emotional connections, while consistently delivering on a promise. The more powerful the emotional connection, the more powerful the brand.

Take a moment to think of some very powerful brands and the associated emotions of the rabid fans of those brands. Nike. Volkswagen. Star Trek. Starbucks. Apple. Harley Davidson. Fans will go out of their way to interact with their favorite brand. These brands are unique, because they create powerful emotions within their fans that are not found in ordinary brands.

Ordinary brands lack emotion. Keds. Buick. Battlestar Galactica. Dunkin’ Donuts. Hewlett Packard. Honda. The powerful emotions are not present for most people in these brands.

An amazing book entitled “The Power of Cult Branding” by Matthew W. Ragas and B. J. Bueno describes the seven golden rules to cult branding. Emotion is the key to all seven. Social Groups, Courage, Fun, Human Needs, Contribution, Openness, and Freedom. All emotional. None are functional. It’s not the best, biggest, brightest, loudest, or #1 product. Cult brands are focused on emotion, not hype.

If you want to turn your podcast into a powerful brand that you can monetize with a strong call-to-action, stir emotion every time.

Next week, we will walk through the steps in creating a powerful introduction. I’ll give you a step-by-step process.
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.

WHY PODCAST AVATAR GENDER MATTERS – PTC EPISODE 122

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WHY PODCAST AVATAR GENDER MATTERS – PTC EPISODE 122

Are you talking to men or women?

There is a big difference between marketing to men and marketing to women. The book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” by John Gray, Ph. D. discussed in great detail the communication and relationship differences between men and women. These differences are critical in marketing. They are also important elements to your podcast strategy.

When I have discussed this in the past, I have been labeled a chauvinist. I’ve been called narrow minded. People have said I am simply promoting the stereotypes.

Let me first say these are generalities. Stereotypes are called stereotypes for a reason.

Please understand that I am speaking in generalities. I understand these statements won’t hold true for every person. These points are are simply how most men and women react in common situations as demonstrated through various research studies and many published books.

The definition of stereotype is “a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group”. There are times when the stereotypical case will not hold true for a specific situation. There is always an exception to the rule. Most of the time, these generalities will be the case.

Today, we are going to cover five major differences between men and women that you need to consider when marketing to the different genders. Keep these differences in mind when you are shaping your podcast content.

These differences also reinforce the importance of defining your target listener. You can find my Listener Development Worksheet to help you define your avatar or target listener online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

THINKING

In a broad sense, men tend to think very linearly. Women usually think very spatially. To be effective communicating with each gender, you must understand these differences. You must also select one to target. The same message will have difficulty reaching both genders effectively.

When handling tasks, men tend to be single-minded and focused on one goal, while women usually multitask well.

The tendency to focus on one task or many creates another interesting difference between men and women. Because they tend to multitask and focus on multiple items simultaneously, women do not seem to tire of activities as quickly as men. When men focus on one thing only, they will become bored with that particular item before a woman. Men will want to move on to the next thing. Therefore, men tend to like new and different.

Men tend to appreciate change more than women. Women will tolerate repetition much more than men, because they are not as focused on one item at a time. It may also take more messages in different ways to effectively reach and influence a woman.

Men and women also differ in the way they remember things and events. Again, men are linear. Women are spatial.

PROBLEM SOLVING

Men and women also take different approaches in the way they solve problems. Because men think linearly, men focus on the solution. Men try to determine what steps are needed to reach a successful outcome.

COMMUNICATING

Men typically view communication and problems solving as a way to show their strength and power. Men typically see things as a competition. It is a linear approach. They seek validation by solving problems.

Women use communication and problem solving for much different purposes. Women use both as a way to strengthen the relationship. Women seek understanding when tackling a problem.

RELATIONSHIPS

Men and women also handle relationship problems differently. Just like problems in any other area of life, men typically seek the solution (linear) while women tend to use problems to strengthen the relationship (spatial). Understand these differences as you build your relationship with your audience.

MEMORIES

When men remember events, they tend to remember in a linear fashion. They will remember events in sequence as one thing happened, then the next and finally the last. It is a sequential time line.

Women typically remember events in a very spatial way. The memories will be more centered around relationships, people involved and the experience.
These differences between men and women will play an important role as you define your target audience. Will your communication be spatial or linear? This is something you’ll need to decide before you can move forward to create the structure and content of your show.

Gender is only one characteristic of your target audience. There are many others to consider. Just as if you were describing one individual person, gender would only be one characteristic of that person.

Remember, these are generalities. True is most situations. There is always an exception to the rule. You can send all the hate mail you would like. Or, you can get to work assessing your approach to ensure you are reaching your audience in the best way possible.

Find my Listener Development Worksheet online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

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.

Case Study: How To Set Your Price – Episode 119

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Case Study: How To Set Your Price – Episode 119

 

Set Your Price

If you are like me, and many others in the online space, you struggle with pricing. You don’t want it to be too low and leave money on the table. On the other hand, you don’t want it to be too high and not make any sales.

So, where do you set the price?

Pricing is tricky. There is a lot of art to setting your price. Most is trial and error.

There really is no “correct” price. Price is determined by supply and demand. The price of anything is that point where a seller is willing and able to sell AND a buyer is willing and able to buy. It is a continuum.

If a seller is not making much money on a sale, she will focus on another area of business that is creating more profit. If she is a public speaker on self defense and earns $2,500 per speaking opportunity on the weekends, she is creating decent income.

If she then creates an online course teaching other women self-defense and creates sales of $3,000 per week with an hour of work online marketing the course, she may opt to do less speaking and more work online.

Her speaking gigs require her to find clients, travel to the location, give the presentation for an hour or two (depending on dinner and other presentations), possibly spend the night, travel home and miss time with her family. That is a lot to give up in order to make $2,500 when an hour a night on her schedule could earn $500 more.

People may be willing and able to buy her speaking at$2,500. However, she may not be willing to sell it for that. She may do a few speeches. It may just be less frequent. If her price increases to $5,000, the decision may be different.

HOW DO YOU DECIDE?

When I began coaching podcasters, I came to that very problem. I was in that place so many entrepreneurs find themselves. A price needed to be set for my services.

What would podcasters be willing and able to pay that I would be willing to accept?

In this episode, I take you step-by-step through the process I took to set the pricing for my podcast coaching.

So, how do you set your price.

OVERVIEW

First, ask your customers what they will buy. This could be a survey of your list. You could simply study the market and determine what they are already buying. Find a few people that could use your help and ask five or ten of them.

Next, determine what problem you are solving for your audience. People buy benefits and solutions. People don’t buy mops. They buy clean floors. Solve a problem they know they have.

Then, price on value. Know what value you have to offer. Your experience, knowledge and ability all play into your value. This will determine why it should be you rather than anyone else.

You can now set a price by looking at the market and seeing what they charge. Buy a few similar products to see what is included if necessary. You want your price to be competitive, but not necessarily the cheapest.

Your price does not need to be less than everyone else. It should probably be more expensive than others in order to stand out. Make it a great value for the price to justify being at the top end.

If you tell your audience what to do, you can charge a low price. If you teach them how to do, you are able to set a mid-level price. When you do it for the, you can be at the high end.

To be at the top of the range, go all out and solve all of their problems. Be a full-service machine. Prove the value and then add a bit more.

Most importantly, have a sales process. Know how you will attract people to your process. Define how you will demonstrate your value and benefits. Give your audience a ton of value, then the opportunity to buy.

I am not guaranteeing you will make money. I am not promising you that you will get rich, or even make a dime for that matter. I do not know you or your abilities.

I am saying this process worked for me. You may find a few helpful tips here that could help you in some way.

If you show your visitors the value of your product or service while giving them more than they expected, there is a good chance they will buy.

As in my example, there are times when the price doesn’t make sense. This is when you need to review your process.

Is the issue the price tag as it was with my program at the beginning?

Does the roadblock appear due to the structure of the product or service as it did with my 12-week program rather than weekly calls?

Are your clients looking for a product or service tailored to their needs, like my calls ever other week?

Rather than launching your product to thousands of people at one time, launch to a few. See if they are interested at that price and value. Gather some feedback. Make adjustments. Launch again to a few more people.

As you adjust your sales process, you will find a spot where clients are willing and able to buy your product at a price you are willing and able to sell. If you are not selling enough, add more value or lower the price. If you are selling too much, raise the price.

Tinker until it feels right. There is no correct price. There is only a price with which you are comfortable and that pleases your audience.

See the info page for my coaching services HERE:

PODCAST TALENT COACH COACHING

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.

How Radio And Podcasting Are The Same – Episode 118

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How Radio And Podcasting Are The Same – Episode 118

The podcast “elite” will sometimes say, “This isn’t radio, this is podcasting. It’s different here.”

Well, I have news for you. Podcasting and radio are more alike than some will admit. You could benefit a bit by recognizing the similarities and borrowing the best practices.

There are many ways that radio and podcasting are the same.

The Same …

1. Same Tools

Both create with audio equipment.

This one is pretty obvious. Both are creating shows using a mic and other audio equipment.

The different ways the equipment is used makes it art. One sculptor may work with wood when another works with rock. Both are still sculptors and artists.

2. Same Approach

Both sit in a room alone trying to entertain people they cannot see.

It sounds crazy when you say it out loud. Both podcasters and broadcasters sit alone in a room talking with people they can neither see nor hear. Both try to predict the reaction of the listener while creating the entertainment.

3. Same Conversation

Both have real conversations with the listener.

Being authentic is critical to success of both podcasters and listeners. Both try to build knowledge and trust with the audience in order to develop a relationship.

4. Same Visions

Both create images in the mind of the listener.

When you tell great stories, your listener gets to know you. This is part of the “know, like and trust” philosophy of doing business.

Stories with vivid details allow the listener to develop images in the theater of the mind. These stories allow her to enjoy the story in her own way.

5. Same Experience

Both are individual activities.

When two people watch the same video, little is left to the imagination. When the same two people hear audio, each will develop individual images in their mind.

No two images will be identical. Listening is an individual activity.

6. Same Connection

Both try to make a one-on-one connection and create a following.

The podcaster and broadcaster are both trying to create a tribe for their content. If you are not trying to grow your audience, you will eventually be talking to yourself.

7. Same Episodes

Both produce episodic content that keeps listeners returning.

This is especially true in talk radio. Content is regularly produced by both podcasters and broadcasters. Those episodes of content build upon each other to create an ongoing show.

8. Same Goal

Both hope to capitalize on the attention using a strong call-to-action.

Content is created by both in order to attract an audience. Once the audience is built, both try to activate that audience with a call-to-action.

The goal may be monetization, support or simply returning for the next episode. Either way, both hope to move a group of people.

9. Both Can Interact

Both are able to interact in real time.

This wasn’t true a few years ago. However, now that technology has come such a long way, both podcasters and broadcasters can interact with the audience in real time.

Podcasters chat with their listeners in real time using phone systems, Google hangout, chat rooms, and other methods. No longer is this feature limited to broadcasters.

… And Sometimes Different

There are a few features of podcasting that differs from broadcasting.

1. Podcasters Time Shift

Podcasting can be time shifted. This can be a benefit over broadcasting.

Podcast listeners can enjoy the show anytime they would like. They do not need to be next to the radio at a given time in order to hear their favorite show.

This is a feature and not necessarily something that makes podcasting inherently different from broadcasting. When we are talking about the art and goal of the audio, this is just a different way of delivering.

2. Podcasters Benefit From The Beginning

Podcast listeners start at the beginning. Mark Ramsey did a great session on this at New Media Expo 2015.

Some broadcast listeners join the show at the beginning and some join in the middle of the show. Podcast listeners all start at the beginning of the episode.

Rarely will a podcast listener download a show, scroll through to the 17:00 mark and begin listening there unless there is a specific direction to do so.

3. Podcasters Can Niche Down

Podcasting can afford to be more niche. By nature of the medium, broadcasting must be mass appeal. This is definitely a benefit for podcasting.

4. Podcasting Is Inclusive

Almost anyone can create a podcast. Podcasting requires a minimal investment. This makes it easy for most to get involved. There is no limit to the number of podcasts that can be created.

Getting on the radio requires getting through the gate keeper. Your other option is to buy your own station. Both are quite difficult.

Again, advantage podcasting.

The nine similarities between the two formats are largely foundational. The essence of the art is the same. The goal, methodology and tactics are identical between the podcasting and radio.

Podcasting enjoys a few benefits over broadcasting. The few differences are hardly enough to proclaim podcasting much different than radio.

I’d love to know what you think. E-mail me anytime 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.

7 Thanksgiving Concepts To Drive Your Business And Podcast – Episode 116

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7 Thanksgiving Concepts To Drive Your Business And Podcast – Episode 116

Thanks!

As this episode is posted, it is Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a day of the year when we pause to give thanks to those treasures in our lives. Whether you are celebrating in America or just working another day somewhere else in the world, I would like to thank you for all you have done for me by simply being part of this community. Thank you.

This week, I would like to share with you 7 Thanksgiving concepts to drive your business and podcast any day of the year.

1. New Relationships

Take a few minutes today to plant the seeds of new relationships. Reach out to five people you do not know, and thank them for what you have learned from them. This could be authors, podcasters, business people, pastors or any other people who have given you a bit of their knowledge.

Only thank them. There is no hidden agenda. We are simply reaching out to give thanks.

If the quick note leads to a relationship down the road, that would be great. If it generates no response, that is ok as well. Our only goal is to give. Send good vibes into the universe. It will make you feel good. You never know what might come back.

2. Old Relationships

Next, take a few minutes to strengthen the relationships you have already built. Reach out to five people you know, and thank them for enriching your life.

This is a great opportunity to rekindle a few relationships that have gone dormant. Send a note to just say thanks. It will make the day of the recipient.

We all enjoy hearing that we have influenced someone in some way. It gives us validation. When you take time to thank someone for all they have done for you, the good will created by the note will go a long way.

The new conversation may also lead to new opportunities. Do not expect it. But, you never know what might happen.

3. What Gets Scheduled Gets Done

Use a day off to plan the next 12 months. This year, Thanksgiving is 36 days from the end of the year. It is a great time to look forward.

It doesn’t necessarily need to be the beginning of the year to set your goals. Your 12-month plan can begin at any point in time. Don’t let the calendar dictate your actions. Use today to look forward and plan.

As the old saying goes, what gets scheduled gets done. A goal without a deadline is only a dream. Set your goals for the next 12 months, and then add deadlines. Schedule the time.

Set goals at various lengths. Define big, 12-month goals. Decide what you will accomplish each month. Determine what steps need to happen each week to reach those goals. Let each goal build toward the next bigger milestone.

4. Great Offers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring great deals. This is especially true in the online world. It seems everyone has a great deal.

Just as with goals, the calendar shouldn’t dictate your strategy. It doesn’t need to be the day after Thanksgiving in order to make a great offer to your tribe.

Create something of tremendous value, add a little more, and offer it to your community. Thank your followers for being part of the group. As a “thank you”, present your great offer.

You do not need to wait for a particular day of the year to be generous to your tribe. Make your great offer today.

5. Fill Your Heart

Take pause and ponder all of the things in your life for which you are thankful. Fill your heart. Be grateful.

When we consider all of the wonderful things in our lives, it will naturally make us feel better. In business, we tend to think of all the things that need to be fixed. The items on our “to do” list. We look for the ways we can improve. We focus on our weaknesses.

Take time to focus on the treasures present in your life. It is wonderful that we have access to the internet. That we can determine our own future with the effort we put forth. We have amazing gifts in our lives. Count your gifts.

Let’s fill our hearts by giving thanks for all we have. It will relieve some of the stress we bring upon ourselves. Life will be a little happier.

6. Walk Away Wednesday

We need to take time away from the “to do” list and devote it to a bit of housekeeping. This is a concept I learned from radio great Mike McVay.

In radio, we tend to get too close to the product to be able to truly evaluate the quality. We live with the product every day. Knowing too much about the station handcuffs a program director.

The same is true with your podcast. We get so focused on the next episode that we forget to review the content we have already published. The website needs to be cleaned up. The autoresponder needs to be freshened. We never take time.

Mike created “Walk Away Wednesday” for radio program directors. It was a day to get away from the radio station and just listen. We would listen to everything to ensure it had a purpose. The goal was to review the radio station from top to bottom.

Take a day to review everything about your podcast and business. Look over the website. Check all of the links. Proofread the copy. Sign up for your newsletter. Make your “about” page forward-facing. Ensure everything works as it should.

Check your iTunes description to ensure it is still valid. Look over your Facebook “about” section. Listen to your podcast like a listener. Check the podcast on various devices. Review for quality in every aspect of your podcast and business.

7. Give

Pretty simple. Help someone. As Zig Ziglar always said, “You can have anything you want as long as you help enough other people get what they want.”

It is true. Giving does something to us. Giving makes us more attractive as a person. Serve people.

We do not give expecting something in return. We are giving, because it is the right thing to do. Giving helps society. We have been given gifts to share with the world.

Send out the good vibes. You never know what you will get in return.

Take time this week to put a few of these concepts to use with your podcast and business. You never know what good things might come your way in the next year.

Thank you for being part of this community. I truly value the time you give me every week. My hope is that you find value and some useful nugget in the content I provide in each episode.

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.

The Magic of the Taylor Swift Brand – Episode 113

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The Magic of the Taylor Swift Brand – Episode 113

Taylor Swift

Are you looking to make your brand stand out from the rest?

It is possible. However, it takes a lot of work.

Famous college basketball coach Bobby Knight once said, “Everyone wants to be a champion, but few want to do the work it takes to be a champion.”

Taylor Swift is one of those people willing to do the work. I think you can learn a lot from the Taylor Swift brand when creating your own.

She has done amazing work over the past 10 years. Regardless of your musical preferences, it is hard not to admire the empire she has created.

Taylor Swift was recently in town for a pair of concerts. This was the fourth time I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her. She never fails to amaze me with her networking abilities.

There are four things you can learn by studying the brand Taylor has created.

1. KNOW WHEN TO LAUNCH

Now 25 years old, Taylor moved to Nashville when she was 14. She was determined to get a record deal when most 8th graders are just figuring out middle school. She knocked on doors until someone opened.

Even though she got a record deal at 14, she didn’t experience immediate success. Taylor wrote, recorded and learned the business for two years before her first album was even released.

Taylor Swift took her time to learn what she needed to know. When her record label felt the time was right, they launched her.

Lesson: Learning is important, but at some point you have to launch.

2. BE DARING & DIFFERENT

Taylor Swift broke the mold. Kids simply didn’t have hits on country radio. She dared to do the unthinkable. By not giving up, she eventually found a record label willing to give it a try.

The accomplishments Taylor has achieved are impressive. She is the youngest songwriter to ever sign with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, one of the largest in the world. She is the youngest person to have ever write and perform a #1 song by themselves. Her 2nd album “Fearless” made her the youngest Album of the Year Grammy winner.

Taylor Swift has only released 5 albums. Even so, she is the only artist to have 3 albums sell more than one million copies in the opening release week. That mark is even more impressive in today’s music world on digital downloads when people are buying single songs over albums.

With her latest album “1989”, Taylor left the world of country music to release a pop album. People thought she was crazy. She took the daring leap and sold over a million copies in the first week of release. It was also named one of the best albums of the year by magazines Rolling Stone, Time and others.

By daring to be different, people take notice.

Lesson: Do what others are scared to attempt.

3. PUT IN THE WORK

Taylor Swift has many, many other awards. One of her attributes that make her so successful is the fact that she is willing to do things few others are willing to do. She goes above and beyond.

When was the last time you sent a hand-written thank you note?

I’ve had the great fortune of meeting many big names in the music business. Justin Timberlake, George Strait, Ozzy Osborne, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Metallica. It is one of the perks of the business.

The Program Director of a radio station decides which songs make it on the radio station. Artists usually want to take time to meet the person who holds the keys. They understand a handshake can go a long way.

Most stop there.

A typical meet & greet at a concert is in a converted locker room and resembles a cattle call. People wait in line making their way around the room until they reach the artist.

“Thanks for being here. Let’s get a photo. Enjoy the show.”

Taylor is different.

Instead of a locker room, Taylor sets up a “tea party” or a “loft” party backstage, complete with soda machines, photo booths, high top tables, boas, other party accessories and a professional photographer. VIP guests hang out, eat munchies and get ready for the show.

Instead of the handshake and photo op, Taylor makes her way around the room coming to each VIP for a photo and minute to chat.
It is obviously different from every other experiences.

It is what happens a week later that really sets Taylor apart.

About a week after the concert, I received a hand-written note from Taylor thanking me for taking the time to bring my family to the show and for the support. Nobody does that, especially the biggest stars in music.

Inside of my note was another hand-written note. This one was for my daughter. That note thanked my daughter for coming to the show. Taylor encouraged my daughter to stick with her piano lessons. She went on to tell my daughter to tell her friend Ellory (who was also with us) “hi”.

The details Taylor included were amazing. I’m not sure if she has a photographic memory, if she video tapes the event to review later, if someone close by takes notes, or if there is some other magic involved. It really doesn’t matter.

What does matter is the fact that Taylor takes the time to ensure it all happens. That attention to details makes her stand out from every other artist. She is willing to do the extra work.

Lesson: Do the things that others are not willing to do that will make you stand out.

4. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HELP

After a typical meet & greet, the artist typically sends you on your way.

Instead of sending you to your seat, Taylor sent us on a backstage tour led by her mom, Andrea.

Mama Swift led out around the backstage area telling us all about the stage and production. We saw the hydraulics under the stage. We saw the cases and trucks that transport the gear. We saw the costumes Taylor wore. She took us to the tour busses Taylor uses for the band and dancers.

At the end of the tour, Taylor’s mom took us directly to our seats. It was the kind of customer service you don’t typically receive from average businesses.

As Taylor’s mom is leading us around backstage, Taylor is freed up to handle the other pre-show duties on her list. She needs to meet those in her fan club. She needs to warm up her voice. I’m sure there are a few other things in her routine before the show begins. The amazing team Taylor has assembled helps her be the best she can be.
Lesson: Find great people that can help you.

YOUR BRAND

As you create your brand, be willing to do the work it takes to be a champion.

Know when to launch. Be daring and different. Put in the work. Surround yourself with others who will help you reach your goals.

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.

A Simple Way To Improve Your Show That Works For Every Professional Broadcaster – Episode 112

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A Simple Way To Improve Your Show That Works For Every Professional Broadcaster – Episode 112

8 Questions To Better Podcasts

Do you want to be the best? Do you want to move forward quickly?

Broadcasters learn early in their career that there is one primary way to get better. One well-worn path to improvement. A method used by nearly every broadcaster that has come before.

It is a tactic still used today. It is not only used by professional broadcasters, but used by world class athletes, writers, dancers, musicians, and others throughout most highly visible and well-paid professions in the world.

They all use a coach.

You see coaches everywhere. Life coaches. Career coaches. Sport coaches. Birthing coaches. Speaker coaches. Executive coaches. It seems coaching is a big part of the world today. Why is that.

Coaching is prevalent in our society, because coaching works. Coaching gets results.

Coaching works, because your coach helps you reach your goals when you can’t push yourself. Coaching helps you face difficult truths, learn how to make powerful change and maximize your potential.

The best speakers, the best executives and the best athletes all have coaches. Coaching helps the best become the best and stay at the top. Coaching is a powerful, secret weapon of those at the top of their game.

You can work tirelessly to learn on your own. Or, you can enlist the help of a coach and reach your goals much quicker.

I offer a free podcast review to serious podcasters who wish to get better. Why free? Because nearly every podcaster who talks with me for 30 minutes about their show instantly sees the benefit. They leave the session with a list of things to transform their podcast and business in a week. Because it works, most want more. They sign up for a quick program.

You can find the link at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

How can a coach help you take your podcast to the top? There are five areas where a coach can help you. A coach will help you assess your current situation and see the big picture. Your coach will help you develop your goals and plan. You will be held accountable by your coach. You will have your own personal cheerleader. Finally, your coach will provide regular feedback to help you with improvement.

THE BIG PICTURE

A coach will help you assess your current situation and see the big picture. Sometimes it helps to have another set of eyes helping you see the forrest through the trees. A great coach will help you clear away all the clutter to gain clear focus for your show.

A personal coach will help you honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. These assessments are specific to your show. Your coach is not simply offering cookie cutter prescriptions. Once you understand your strengths and weaknesses, you can capitalize on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.

You get a different perspective on your show when you have someone else give you honest feedback. When you look at your content in a different way, you will discover new ideas and different approaches for your content. A different perspective helps you keep the end goal in mind.

A big picture view of your podcast will also help you balance your life. Your coach can make sure you don’t devote all of your time to one area of your life. Ensuring you are spending quality time on all areas of your life and business could be one of the most important benefits of a coach.

GOAL DEVELOPMENT

Your coach will help you develop your goals and a plan to achieve those goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your podcast? How does your show fit into your overall business plan? Does your podcast include a clear call to action. Your coach can help you develop each of those areas.

A dream becomes a goal when deadlines are attached. Your coach can help you set those deadlines. Your coach can then help you develop a plan reach those goals.

Setting goals help you maximize your potential. You can be your best when you set and achieve goals on a regular basis. Your coach can help keep you accountable to those goals.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Some people need a little extra push to remain focused on the task at hand. Your coach can help hold you accountable to your goals. The best part of that accountability is the goals are your goals. It is your agenda. Your coach is simply helping you achieve the goals you have set.

With regular communication, your coach can push you to do your best. Your coach can help you keep your goals top of mind. When you don’t feel like spending that extra hour making your podcast the best it can be, your coach can give you that little, extra motivation. You can use your coach to push you as much as you would like.

Consistency is key to a successful podcast. Your coach can keep you on track. When your coach holds you accountable, you produce great content on a regular basis. Consistency produces a reliable, trusted brand. Let your coach help you achieve that quality with accountability.

CHEERLEADER

Fear and self doubt prevent many people from achieving their goals. We all have a little critic inside our head telling us we aren’t quite good enough or we do not have the authority to succeed. The impostor syndrome destroys far too many great business ideas.

When you have a coach, you will have your own personal cheerleader. Your coach will help you build self-confidence. You will have the courage to explore topics and ideas on your show that you previously avoided. Your coach will help you voice your opinion and be confident in your beliefs. You will overcome your fears and truly believe in yourself.

You will develop self-confidence when your coach helps you improve your competence.

FEEDBACK

Finally, your coach will provide regular feedback to help you with improvement. Feedback will help you improve your competence. Nobody knows everything. Collaboration helps everyone learn. New ideas, new approaches and new contacts all come from great collaboration. A great coach can help you achieve that improvement.

A great coach will share knowledge and expertise with you that will help you discover new ideas and concepts. It is difficult to improve when you don’t know what you don’t know. A coach can use years of experience to help you discover new processes and information.

You can transform your mistakes into opportunities and learn to do things better with the help of a coach. A great coach has worked with many others allowing you to benefit from the trials and errors of many others. Your coach knows what has worked for others. There is a fountain of knowledge with your coach that you can access for the benefit of your show.

Your coach will also provide specific feedback regarding your podcast. This feedback will include actionable items. You can isolate the areas of your podcast that need improvement. Your coach will help you create an improvement plan for those areas.

You cannot simply remove the negative parts of your show. You must discover the effective parts of your podcast and figure out how to create more of those opportunities. This is where a great coach can help you succeed. A great coach will help you discover the parts of your show that are strong, help you develop a plan to create those moments more often, and then find the courage to present those moments during your podcast.

Coaching works. That is why it is everywhere in our society. Find a great podcast coach to help you reach your goals. Though I would love to help you, your coach doesn’t necessarily need to be me. You simply need to find someone with some experience that can provide a different perspective on your show.

I help podcasters refine their content and transform their information into engaging entertainment. I can help you as well.

Many podcasters let self-doubt derail their efforts. They feel like they are kids playing dress-up among other professional podcasters that have been doing it for years. Those podcasters haven’t learned how to properly structure a show, prepare the content or review the podcast. The impostor syndrome creeps in and they lose faith in their abilities.

It happened to me when I began in broadcasting 25 years ago. There were so many great broadcasters that came before me. Who was I to be on the radio? What did I know about broadcasting? Over two-and-a-half decades, I’ve learned the secrets of the great broadcasters to overcome that fear to create powerful relationships with my listeners.

I’ve helped many broadcaster and podcasters over the years. Many have reached the top of their game. My own personal radio show has been #1 over 80% of the time. I know what works, and it isn’t the big radio voice and cheesy lines you heard on the radio 20 years ago. This is a new era. It is a relationship era. It is time to use your podcast to create meaningful, powerful, profitable relationships with your listeners.

I can help you create those relationships using these five coaching areas. I can help you assess your current situation and see the big picture. Together, we will develop your goals and plan. You will be held accountable to your own agenda. You will have your own personal cheerleader. Finally, you will receive regular feedback to help you with improvement. Are you ready for a coach?

If you feel you could benefit from my help, e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. We can collaborate on a plan to crate a powerful podcast.

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.

Is This Causing You To Lose Podcast Listeners? – Episode 111

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Is This Causing You To Lose Podcast Listeners – Episode 111

There are two elements of your podcast that will help you create podcast engagement with your listeners and keep them coming back for more.

Focus and consistency.

Impress your listeners by making one big splash. Then, do it so consistently that your listener comes to expect it.

FOCUS

Focus on the one thing you do best. When you try to be all things to all people, you fade into the wallpaper. Those with focused intensity stand out.

Be great at something. People will take notice.

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. He 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.

When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing.

Focus your topic on what you know best. Be opinionated. Be passionate. Pick a side. Be unique.

CONSISTENT

Once you have focus, add consistency.

When you try to discuss an industry in general, your audience won’t know what to expect when they visit your show.

Stick to your focus. Simply find new ways to communicate it.

Let’s take Dave Ramsey for example. During the opening of “The Dave Ramsey Show”, Dave says, “Where debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.”

Dave’s show is a personal finance show. Moreover, it is a show about getting out of debt. Dave helps people find ways to pay off their debt and become financially stable.

“The Dave Ramsey Show” doesn’t discuss particular stocks or mutual funds. Dave doesn’t discuss how to go about investing other than simply suggesting you sock away 15 percent of your income for retirement and then some for college.

On his show, Dave recommends 7 basic steps to financial security. He has been doing a show on these 7 steps for over 20 years. Every show, everyday, every call. It’s all about these 7 steps in some way or another.

When you tune into “The Dave Ramsey Show”, you know what you will get. Dave is focused. He is consistent with his focus on a daily basis.

Now, if Dave talked about the benefits of real estate investing on one show and the pitfalls of no-load mutual funds on another, you would never know what to expect. You wouldn’t know what the show would be about on any particular day.

There are times where Dave will focus a particular hour on entrepreneurs. Even these shows are centered around the 7 steps. He helps businesses launch and operate debt free.

The focus of “The Dave Ramsey Show” is consistent, but not predictable.

When you listen, you cannot predict the questions. However, the answers are consistent.

Give your podcast focus. Consistently deliver on that focus. Your audience will find comfort in the known. These two elements will help you build podcast engagement and a solid foundation on which to build your audience.

 

Here is a link to the FREE show review I mentioned. Yes, it is free. No, there are no strings attached. However, there are a few criteria you need to meet. See if you qualify:

COMPLIMENTARY COACHING
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 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.

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.

Here Is A Method That Helps Successful Radio Professionals Find Great Topics – Episode 109

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Here Is A Method That Helps Successful Radio Professionals Find Great Topics – Episode 109

As I coach talent, people often as me, “Where do I find good topics?” It is often a struggle of new talent and veterans alike.

Creating an entertaining podcast show after show, week after week, is a challenge. You need to find a topic that holds your interest. Your topic must also be attractive to your audience. Finally, you need to present it in a way that is engaging. Every topic, every time. Even the most seasoned talent run into a sort of writer’s block from time to time.

When you hit a wall and have no topic readily at hand, where do you turn? How do you get past the block to create engaging entertainment? Where does the next captivating topic originate?

There are five primary methods I teach my clients to get past the topic block. These five questions will help you find quality topics for your show. If you take a few minutes before each episode to brainstorm these questions, you will have plenty of material for your show.

The key to each of these questions is awareness. Be aware when events, comments and ideas throughout your day capture your attention. If you are interested in something, you can usually deliver it in a way that will be interesting to your audience.

Keep these questions in your mind as you go through your day. I would also suggest you keep a little notebook in your pocket to jot down ideas. You never know when the next interesting topic might pop up.

1. What daily happenings capture my attention?

Things are happening all around you everyday. You may find yourself wondering why things happen like they do. Something might spark a laugh. You might learn something new. All of these things can lead to great topics. Be aware.

Jot down people you meet, things you see and ideas you learn that captures your attention. It is possible to turn it all into great topics.

2. What has happened in my past that created vivid memories?

You have tremendous experience in your field. That is why you create your podcast in the first place. Put it to work.

What are the things in your past that generate clear memories? Remember, many listeners that are learning from you are staring at the very beginning. They are in the same place you were when you began years ago. Help them learn.

Even if your listeners already know the information, your podcast will serve as a refresher course. Be confident in your material. Deliver it with passion, and your listeners will love you.

3. What articles have capture your attention?

Read many articles from a variety of industries. Your topic ideas won’t always come from information within your field. Simply look for statements within the article that pique your interest.

Read with a highlighter. Whenever you come across a word, phrase or sentence that captures your attention, highlight it. When you’re done with the article, scan the highlighted parts for the most interesting one or two. Use that word, phrase or sentence to begin brainstorming. You never know where it may lead.

Let’s say you read an article about the correlation between the location of churches and liquor stores. As you highlight the article, you highlight a phrase where a local councilman wants to pass an ordinance that keeps liquor stores at least 500 yards from any church. Your podcast is about hockey. How do we make the link to a great topic?

When you begin brainstorming, your thoughts will lead in many directions. Within your freeform writing as you are considering new laws, you write, “People are always looking to change the rules of the game. Are more rules really good for the growth of the sport?”

Suddenly, you’ve gone from church and liquor to the rules of hockey. You now have a great topic. Topics can come from anywhere.

4. What conversations have you had today that were truly engaging?

If a conversation engaged both you and your counterpart, there is a good chance it will also engage your audience.

Conversations tend to wander in many directions. You might start discussing the news of the day. That may lead the discussion into a movie you want to see. Suddenly, you’re discussing classic leading men. Any part of the discussion might lead to a good topic. You simply need to be aware of the parts of the discussion that are most interesting.

5. What questions are people in your industry asking?

You can find questions on a daily basis even if you aren’t regularly talking to people. The internet is your friend. Search the discussion boards to find the questions.

Help those in your industry solve their problems. You don’t need to answer the question verbatim. Let the question lead you to great topics.

If you find a question interesting, but not completely engaging, rephrase it. Mold the question a bit until it becomes an entertaining topic. It doesn’t matter that the question is not exact. It only matters that it is compelling.

When your listeners e-mail questions to you, you should answer the question as it is stated and give credit to the individual that asked. If you feel the need to change the question to make it more engaging, briefly answer the original question, then move on to the rephrased version. Say something such as, “Yes, it is possible to do that. However, the more important question is ‘should you do that’”.

NEXT: Brainstorm your notes

Great topics can originate in many places. The topic might not jump out at first. However, you can brainstorm the topic until it becomes engaging.

If you get curious about something, there is a good chance your audience might be just as curious. Jot down things that strike your interest as they happen in daily life. Then, brainstorm a bit to really flush out the idea.

As you write, let your thoughts flow. Don’t critique. Simply write. Let the ideas flow to the paper.

You may start with your experience at a restaurant and by the end of your brainstorm wonder why we learn calculus. That’s ok. You simply want to find the most interesting topic related to your podcast. It doesn’t necessarily need to have any relationship to your original observation. Your topic only needs to be interesting.

Be aware of all that happens around you. That next great topic could come from anywhere. You’ll miss it unless you are looking.

Keep a notepad in your pocket. Write down everything that captures your imagination. Take ten minutes before your podcast to brainstorm your topic. You will get past the podcast topic block and create engaging entertainment with your content.

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.

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.

Purple Cow Your Podcast Brand – Episode 103

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Purple Cow Your Podcast Brand – Episode 103

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

In his book “The Purple Cow”, Seth Godin says, “Cows, after you’ve seen one or two or ten, are boring. A purple cow, though … ow that would be something.” Phenomenal, counterintuitive, exciting and unbelievable.

If you want to get noticed, you need to stand out. You cannot afford to be a different shade of gray.

BJ Bueno in his book “The Power Of Cult Branding” describes the same. Oprah, Star Trek, Harley Davidson, Apple, Vans shoes. They are cult brands because they are incredibly different. They are not simply a percentage better or brighter or less filling. They are different.

Just a side note, if you would like to support the show, please use my affiliate links to both of these books.

Physical versions:

You can get a free audio book with a free trial to Audible using my affiliate link.  CLICK HERE.

If you are considering either book, I’d love to have you use my link.

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.

DISTINCT

Be unique. If everyone else is interviewing the popular clique in your niche, make your show different. Stand out. Interview different people. Interview the same people in different ways. Create a different interview style. Instead of interviewing, turn it into an expose or magazine style feature.

Jimmy Fallon is great at “not” interviewing people. He will do a lip sync challenge. Sometimes he will do a skit. He might turn it into a game show. It isn’t the typical interview.

UNUSUAL

Is everyone doing it the same way? Do it differently. You could add listener calls to the show. Don’t wait for them to call you. Reach out to people who e-mail you and ask if you can call and record them.

When I did episode 100 and 101, I didn’t hope people would call a voicemail number. I reached out and set up a call just like I would with an interview. Be proactive.

Apple is unusual. Wikipedia is unusual. Volkswagen is unusual. Stand out. Don’t be a different shade of gray.

There is a car dealer in Omaha that does things differently. Instead of being a little better or different, they have flipped the car buying experience on its head.

The dealership has a customer parking lot clearly marked. You are not attacked by 15 car salesmen the minute you drive on the lot. They hold the door for you. They help you find the person you need.

The dealer also understands that you have a lot of info from the web, so they don’t take an entire day to get the deal done. They have eliminated the games.

They just want to sell more cars. They don’t necessarily need to get every penny out of a deal. They more time they save, the more time they have to sell another car.

By doing things differently, this dealership has become the #1 Nissan dealer in the region. On top of that, they’ve only been open a few years.

UNEXPECTED

Another dealer took it over the top with my service.

My battery wouldn’t hold a charge. I figured it was my alternator. So, I took it to the dealership.

If you have ever had a battery replaced, you know how painful it can be to reset your radio, clock and other electronic features in your car.

When I picked up my car, they had reset my radio, clock and everything else. The first thing the mechanic did when he got into my car was write down my radio stations. Not only was it reprogrammed, it was back on the original station.

This dealership does the unexpected. They are also the #1 Ford F-150 pickup dealer in the country.

Dave Jackson does the unexpected when he interrupts his interviews with interesting asides. He drives the point home by interrupting himself. Who would think of doing that? It goes against every interviewing standard. Well, it adds unexpected surprised to his interviews.

Drop in some audio to surprise your listener. Take the show in a direction that your listener wouldn’t expect. If they think you are going right, go left.

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

Are you using cows?

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.

How To Define Your Avatar Or Target Listener – Episode 102

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How To Define Your Avatar Or Target Listener – Episode 102

AVATAR

As we develop our business around our podcast, we strive to build trust. In order to build trust, we must develop relationships with our listeners. Friendships are created when you truly know everything about a person. This is the reason it is crucial that you define your single target listener.

Many podcasters refer to their target listener as their avatar. This person is the single individual around which you create all of your content.

To develop your business, you need to define your niche. Your focus on your niche helps grow your community. The ideal customers within that niche gives the focus the power.

TRUST

We have heard it said many times before. People do business with those they know, like and trust. This trust is what our friendship with our ideal listener is developing.

To build trust with our podcast, we need to have a conversation with one person. In order to do that, we need to define that ideal listener. Our target listener.

I have created a Listener Development Worksheet. This template will walk you through the development of your target listener step-by-step.

Use this worksheet to create your ideal listener. The more you know about your listener, the better you will be able to communicate. Keep this person in mind while recording each show.

YOUR AVATAR

In this episode, we walk through the worksheet. By the end of the show, you should have your ideal listener well defined along with a visual image in your mind.

Download the Listener Development Worksheet along with six others at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

A few characteristics of your ideal listener we will define today include age, gender, income, interests and fears. These are only a few of the 17 characteristics we will examine.

Be sure you have downloaded the worksheet. It will be a tremendous help with this episode.

Your ideal listener will evolve over time. The more you learn about your target listener, the more you will fine tune your definition.

RESEARCH

You can learn more about your audience by using a survey like Survey Monkey. Be careful that you ask questions that your audience will be comfortable answering. Specific income might be too personal. A range might be better.

Let me know how it turns out. I would love to help you any way I can.

You can find these worksheets in the free Worksheet series online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

What If I Get Too Much Engagement? -Episode 101

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What If I Get Too Much Engagement? (Listener Questions Part 2) – Episode 101

FITTING IT ALL IN

THANK YOU!

We have made it through 100 episodes. With your help, I have been creating this podcast for nearly two years. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

On this episode, I want to finish the special show we began last week. This is part two of the questions I have received from listeners.

NEW PATHS

I have never had another person on the show. Up to this point, I have simply been sharing my 25 years of broadcasting knowledge with you.

For the 100 episode milestone, I invited a few listeners to join me on the show to share their questions about podcast content and creation.

The response and questions were so great, I had to split the show into two episodes in order to keep it to about 30 minutes each. This week is part two. If you missed the first half, subscribe to the show and give it a listen.

A few questions allow us to dive into some new material. A few help us explore a few topics a little deeper. There are even a few twists along the way.

FRIENDS & INSPIRATION

Here are the people who join me on this episode and inspire me to do this each week.

Kim SlusherDIStracted Life Podcast
“How do I stand out without being someone I am not?”

Alex ExumThe Exum Experience
“What’s the one mistake podcasters are making?”

Rem LavictoireThe Sci-Fi Movie Podcast
“How do I include listener feedback if I get too much?”
I truly appreciate all of the support you have given me over the past 100 episodes. This podcast would not exist if it wasn’t for you. Thanks for being part of this great community.

Next week, we will talk about defining your avatar and using that target listener as a filter for your content. Find that worksheet here.

-WORKSHEETS-
Do you have a question? 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.

Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

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Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

Strategy

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.

Questions

Here are a few questions to help you begin.

What are you passionate about?
What are your unique qualities?
What topic tends to occupy most of your conversations?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Use these topics to define a focus for the show.

Complete this sentence: I help ___ do ____ so they can ____.

Many online marketers use this sentence to define their purpose and focus. You can do the same.

You can find these questions on the Show Focus Development Worksheet in the free Worksheet series online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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 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.

Why Is Dumas So Successful? – Episode 096

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Why Is Dumas So Successful – Episode 096

Thanks for the e-mail

Thank you!

Thanks for all the e-mail over the past few weeks. Seems my four-episode series on interviewing really got you thinking. Such great questions have been filling my inbox.

We will talk about a few of the interviewing questions on the episode this week. We will also discuss how to remove crutches from your podcast.

Here are a few of the questions …

RELATIONSHIPS

Erik, as I am listening to WTF’s Thursday episode when he was recapping the behind the scenes of the President’s visit, I thought it coincided with your episode this past week cause he was talking about how long the process took.

(Marc) Maron’s producer said exactly what you said about keeping up great relations and communications even if the interview didn’t seem likely to happen.

I love your podcast. Keep up the great work.

-Kim Slusher
www.DIStractedLifePodcast.com (A podcast about Walt Disney World travel.)

 

PODCAST MOVEMENT

Erik, quick note to say I’ve been enjoying your podcast on interviewing people. Will you be at Podcast Movement?

-David Hooper
www.redpodcast.com (A podcast about Real Entreprenuer Development.)

 

WHY IS DUMAS SO SUCCESSFUL?

Erik, I just found your podcast, and heard two shows about how to interview. I agree with your concept, but I wonder how does a show like Entrepreneur On Fire –John Dumas–do so well? I listened to his show for a while, but I don’t find it interesting anymore. And yet he is doing so well and clearly successful. What do you think?

-Thanks. (Name Withheld)

 

REMOVE THE CRUTCH

Hi, Erik! Big fan of the show, sir! Best help out there for podcasters that want to be better broadcasters! I find myself saying “like” way too much. How can I stop?

-Mike Seay
www.dorktownpodcast.com (A podcast with comedy, interviews, discussions and more.)

 

This week, we get into all of that and more.

Thanks for the great e-mail. Your questions truly help me shape the content of the show. Keep them coming.

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.

Six Tips To Land Better Podcast Interviews – Episode 095

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Six Tips To Land Better Podcast Interviews – Episode 095

Image

How do you land the big interview guests? This is part four of my series on interviewing.

In Episode 092, we talked about interview priority #1. We talked about making your guest look good. When you make your guest look good, everyone wins.

In Episode 093, you learned two steps to powerful interviews. To create unique interviews, be sure you ask creative, interesting questions. Then, be sure to actively listen to the answers.

Then, in Episode 094, we discussed the three skills of great interviewers. To create engaging content that stands out in the sea of sameness, great interviewers learn to lose the script, know their guest and not just the bio, and keep the interview focused on the guest.

Before we get into finding guests for your show, let’s talk a bit more about great questions. When you develop the ability to find engaging, unique questions, you are well on your way to creating a podcast that will stand out.

Turn Over The Interview Rocks

How do you find great questions for your guest during your interview? Look in unlikely places. If you want to truly engage your audience, you need to ask engaging questions of your guest.

The guest’s website or news release is a decent place to get familiar with your guest. However, if you only use these common sources for the basis of your questions, you will be asking the same questions every other interviewer is asking. Your interview won’t be different and will not stand out from the crowd.

One source I like to use is the people traveling with the guest. Ask your guest’s traveling companion if anything amusing has happened lately. It will sound wonderfully spontaneous when you ask about it during the interview.

Country artist Miranda Lambert once joined me on my show before her performance as opening act for Kenny Chesney. Before she arrived, I asked her record label representative what she had been doing lately. He told me she had injured her leg night hunting a few days earlier.

After Miranda and I exchanged typical interview pleasantries, I said, “It looks like you have a little limp in your step. What happened?” She really wasn’t limping and was a bit surprised that I had noticed.

Miranda now got the chance to tell me a great story about falling down a small ravine while night hunting with her husband Blake Shelton. It was a wonderful question that included a story about her well-publicized relationship with Blake without asking typical interview questions. I didn’t ask, “So, what have you and Blake been up to lately?” I’m sure she gets questions like that often.

Be unique. Be original. Make your interview engaging for your audience and guest. Turn over the interview rocks.

Fish For Interviews With Bigger Bait

How do you land that big guest for your podcast? Here are a few 6 useful tips.

1 – FIND THE INTRODUCTION

Find people that know your prospect. See if they will introduce you.

Just the other day, a radio colleague came to me seeking an interview with Taylor Swift. I have interviewed her a couple times. He knew I was able to make an introduction for him.

2 – THE GATEKEEPER’S FRIEND

There are times when big names have people that run their schedule. This could be a personal assistant. It might be a booking agent. You need to make friends with these people.

In the music business, I always go through the record label. I need to create a strong relationship with that person in order to be at the top of the list when interview opportunities come about.

3 – WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

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.

Are they promoting a new book? Do they have a new product available?

What is in it for your guest? Make it easy.

4 – SHOW THEM WHAT YOU’VE GOT

Provide your prospects some examples of your great work. If you have endorsements, share those as well.

Create a short sizzle reel containing some of your best work. Provide some social proof that they won’t be alone in accepting your invitation.

5 – SIZE ISN’T THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS

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.

You could offer to give your guest exposure on your website. You may have visitors to your site that do not listen to the show. Promote your guest on the site with a link to their content. This will be an additional benefit.

Mention your guest and interview in your blog. Again, your guest will be reaching additional audience. You are helping them spread their message beyond your podcast.

Your audience for any one of these avenues may be small. However, when you combine the benefit of each distribution method, your proposal for the interview will be more appealing to your guest. Use every audience you have to your advantage.

Offer to promote the interview and your guest’s information to your mailing list. You may have many people that receive your newsletter who may never listen to your podcast. By including a link to your guests website in your mailing, your guest will reach additional people. Take credit for that.

6- DON’T TRIP OVER THE NAMES YOU DROP

Play to your guest’s ego by dropping a few names. If you have had other notable guests on your show in the past, let your guest know. Tell your prospective guest they will be among good company. They will feel more comfortable saying yes to your request.
Use these six tips to help land some of those elusive, big guests for your podcast. Before you know it, you will be chatting it up with some of the best.
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.

3 Skills of Great Interviewers – Episode 094

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3 Skills of Great Interviewers – Episode 094

3 Skills of Great Interviewers

(This is part 3 of a 4-part series on interviewing.)

So many podcasts sound similar. The same guests. The same questions. The same answers. The sea of sameness.

As a podcasters who conducts interviews, how do you stand out? How do you make your interviews different and unique when compared to the others in your genre?

Podcasters that create powerful, unique, engaging interviews possess common traits. After coaching radio talent for over 2 decades and conducting my own interviews for 25 years, I have learned the skills that are necessary to conduct great interviews.

There is good news. You can easily learn these skills and begin to rise above the rest of the vanilla interviewers.

Let’s go over all three skills.

Lose The Script

When you are interviewing a guest on your podcast, be real. Be present in the moment. Truly listen to the answers your guest is giving. Your next question may come from that answer, and the question many be nowhere in your notes.

As you prepare for your interview, don’t script your questions. When you have a script, you will be too focused on the script and less attentive to the answers of your guest. Lose the script.

Instead of scripted questions. follow bullet points. Be prepared for your interview by being familiar with the material. Have an idea of the questions you want to ask. Review your bullet points to the point that you are ready to ask various questions about a single topic that might come up during the interview.

Be sure to make your questions succinct. A long-winded question is hard to follow for both your guest and your audience. Ask one short question. Let it lead into another short question. It may take three questions to get to the same answer as it would with your one long question. However, three short questions will be easier to follow and digest by your audience.

If you are concerned with following a script, you won’t allow yourself to explore unexpected twists and turns presented by the answers of your guest.

Television hosts such as Jay Leno and David Letterman used a list of questions on their blue cards that were previewed and screened by a show producer. The host may have started with one of those questions. They would then let the interview flow on its own. If the discussion hit a lull, Leno and Letterman would revert back to one of the bullet points on the card to restart the conversation.

You will never saw either of these hosts ask the card questions in order, in full or in a vacuum. The interview became organic and developed according to the answers of the guest. Your interview should do the same.

Know Your Guest, Not Their Bio

If you are only familiar with the bio of your guest, you will ask the same questions every other interviewer has asked. Your guest will be bored. They will provide the same lame answers they have given on every other show. There will be very little content here to engage anyone.

Instead, do a bit of research on your guest. When searching for your guest on the web, don’t stop at the first page. When skimming articles about your guest, don’t just look at the first few paragraphs. Find the unique material deep within the article.

When you have discovered something of interest about your guest, don’t tell them about it. Let your guest tell you the story. Throw them the easy pitch that they can hit out of the park. You don’t want your interview to sound like the Saturday Night Live bit where Chris Farley interviewed Sir Paul McCartney, leaving McCartney the only option of answering “yes” to Farley’s question.

Let your guest shine. Just because you know the details of the story, you don’t have to reveal that you do. Ask the question in a way that sets up the story so your guest can tell it. You will both look great.

The bio of your guest will give you common information. If your listeners know anything about your guest, they will probably be familiar with the content of the bio. Instead, do your homework. Know the guest, not their bio.

Keep Yourself Out Of The Interview

When you have invited a guest to appear on your podcast, your listener is interested in hearing your guest. Your guest is the star.

If your listener wanted to hear what you think about the subject, there would be no reason to have the guest on your show. You could simply disseminate the information by yourself. There is no problem if you want to provide the information yourself. Just simply save your guest the time, effort and dignity by leaving them at home.

Many hosts want to show the guest how much they know about the subject. This will sometimes come in the form of long, detailed questions. The host will fill time with personal stories that display their knowledge.

Unless you have invited your guest to debate you on a topic, as an interviewer, your job is to make your guest look good. Don’t invite the guest if you simply want to show how smart you are. Ask your guest questions that will allow them to tell great stories.

David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and the other great talk hosts use their monologue to address any topics they want to discuss. When they bring their guests on the show, they ask questions that will elicit great stories. Then, they sit back and listen.

Do your homework. Ask wonderful, open-ended questions that set up great stories. Then, sit back and listen. Keep yourself out of the interview.
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.

2 Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093

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Two Steps To Powerful Interviews – Episode 093

Little Big Town

Last week, we discussed the #1 priority of your interviews. That episode was part one of a series on interviewing.

This week, I would like to share with you the two steps to take in order to create powerful interviews.

Over the 25 years I have been on the radio and coaching radio talent, I have had the opportunity to interview many, many people. More importantly, I have had the chance to discuss the art of interviewing with celebrities, managers, coaches, consultants, radio talent and many others in the industry.

Time and time again, I hear the same thing. There are two elements that create successful interviews. Now, you can use these two steps to create great interviews on your podcast.

Don’t Ask That Question

If you have a decent guest on your podcast, they have probably been interviewed many, many times about the same subject. Popular guests often get bored with the same questions being posed to them over and over again. To make your interview truly engaging for all involved, find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener.

Often, you will hear a host ask their guest stale, typical questions. You know the questions. “So, how did you come up with the name of your latest project?” You may hear them ask, “What have you been up to lately?” Guests truly dread these questions. They serve no real purpose, yet everyone asks them.

I have had musicians confide in me off the air how much they hate doing radio interviews, because they are all the same. When I once asked a question taken from the band’s website, my guest said, “Oh, I see you’ve read my bio.” He called me out right there on the air. Most hosts take the easy way out and just skim the bio or news release and take their questions straight from there.

Using typical methods lead to stale questions. “When does your album come out?” “Where did you get the name for the band?” “How did you guys meet?” Pop group Ben Folds Five began making up answers for the question “Where did you get the name for the band?”. In fact, they almost had a different answer every time the question was asked. They had to make the interview interesting for themselves.

Every guest is looking to benefit in some way from the interview. Usually, they have come on a show to promote their latest book or new product. You can help them do that without asking painful questions.

Let’s say you are interviewing a musician who has a new album coming out on July 1st. You ask, “When does the new album come out?” Your guest will instantly think, “Didn’t this guy do any homework before he set up this interview?” Your guest will also be saying in his head, “Oh, not this line of questioning again.”

Instead, make your questions interesting. Ask, “When you album comes out on July 1st, what will you be doing to celebrate?” You could also ask, “The album is released on July 1st. Who have you slipped some advanced copies to?” How about asking, “When the album hits stores on July 1st, where will you go buy your first copy?” Believe me, every artist buys a copy of their first album in the store. They just want to see it on the shelf.

By asking creative questions, you’ve helped the guest promote their goods without sounding stale. You have also avoided the mistake of stealing their answer. Be unique.

Country artist Little Big Town was recently a guest on my show. By reading information about the band on the internet, I knew all four members have kids. I also knew all of the kids travel with them when they tour. I could have asked, “What are the names of your kids.” How about, “Is it fun traveling with the kids?” I’m sure they get asked all of the time.

By getting a little creative, I asked the members of Little Big Town, “When the kids travel with you guys, what is the craziest kid thing you have on the bus?” They had just purchased a new kiddie pool for the summer that would fit on top of their gear. They also have a pink pottie for toilet training. It gave them a great opportunity to talk about their kids without asking the same, lame questions.

Keep your interview engaging. Be creative. Find unique ways to ask questions that serve the guest as well as the listener. By all means, don’t ask that question.

Did You Really Hear That?

When you are conducting an interviewing on your podcast, really listen to the answers your guest is giving. Don’t be in such a hurry to move on to the next question. Engage with your guests in order to make your show engaging for your listener.

I’m sure you probably think you are listening. In reality, you are probably thinking about the next great question you can ask. Even if you aren’t asking it, you are preparing the question in your head.

Stop. Be in the moment. Really listen to the answer of your guest. Let the answer spark your next question. If you truly listen to the answer, you will then ask the next logical question your listener is asking in their head.

When you are more concerned about the next question rather than the answer coming your way, you will miss the magic. Your guest could be giving you great question leads that you won’t find in their bio, on their website or in their news release.

If you don’t make it through your entire list of questions, nobody will know but you. The goal of the interview is to engage your audience. It doesn’t matter if that takes three questions or twelve from your list.

In every interview, intently listen to the answers. Did you really hear that?
To create powerful interviews, ask unique questions and then actually listen to the answers. Your podcast interviews will improve and be better than most other interviewers in your niche. Using these two steps will help you create engaging content and a respected podcast.

 

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.

Podcast Interview Priority #1 – Episode 092

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Podcast Interview Priority #1 – Episode 092

I recently received an e-mail from Bill Frank. He discovered me at NMX2015.

Bill was wondering how my coaching may help him with his interview show. I thought you may be having the same question.

This week, with the hope of helping you improve your interviews, I would like to begin sharing some of what I have learned while interviewing guests on the radio for 25 years.

You can find Bill Frank at brainstorminonline.com. His show in iTunes is called “Brainstorming with Billy The Brain“.

Make ‘Em Look Good

When you have a guest on your podcast, it is your job as the interviewer to make the interviewee look good. You are the professional. You know everything there is to know about your podcast. Your guest is new to your show. They may even be new to interviewing. Help them.

When you help your guest get comfortable and look good, you help them successfully promote whatever it is they came on your show to promote. They will be grateful for that. Your guest will see the benefit of being a guest on your show. You will develop a reputation. That success will help you book even better guests in the future. Word will spread.

There are a three steps you can take to help your guest look good.

No Yes/No

First, ask open-ended questions. This will allow your guest to convey the information they have come to share. If you ask yes/no questions, your guest will be stuck trying to figure out how to get his point across. It will also be easy for him to simply say “yes” and leave it at that. You will then be the one trying to find the next point to make. Open-ended questions allow your guest to elaborate on their subject.

What’s In It For Me?

Second, know why your guest is on your show and help them make their point. Do a short pre-interview before you start the show. Ask them about the important points they would like to hit. Then during the show, ask them questions that help them make those points. If your guest tells you their spouse really had a huge impact on their success, ask them about their biggest influences in their success. Make it easy for them.

Set Them Up

Lastly, get out of the way. You don’t need to show your guest or your audience how much you know about their topic. It is their topic. So many hosts ask long, elaborate questions proving just how smart they are and how much they know about the subject. If the host knows it all, there is really no reason to have a guest. (see “One Of You Isn’t Necessary“.) Ask great questions because you know so much. That ability will make you look much better than actually knowing.

Using our previous example of spousal influence, you do not want to say, “Your wife played a huge role in your success with her support. That must have been a real help to you.” You just stole his thunder. You’ve only left him the option to say, “Yes” and make some menial points.

Instead ask, “Who was the one person other than yourself most responsible for your success?” You’ve created some anticipation for your audience. You’ve also just thrown him a softball that he can knock out of the park with a fantastic answer about his wife. He looks great for having such a stellar answer. You also look great for asking such a brilliant question. Everybody wins.

Help your guest succeed. Allow them to answer great questions. Most of all, make ’em look good.

If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach podcast, please spend two minutes to do so. I would truly appreciate your generosity.

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.

What Is Holding You Back? – PTC Episode 089

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What Is Holding You Back? – PTC Episode 089

Holding You Back

At New Media Expo 2015, I met many podcasters that were weeks and months away from launching.

“I’m 30 days away from launching.”

“I’m about 90 days from going live with my podcast.”

“I’m still conducting interviews preparing for my launch this summer.”

What is holding you back?

I know what you feel. I was in your shoes when launching my podcast. Planning. Learning. Researching. Trying to get it just right.

Don’t let perfection keep you from launching.

We often let procrastination creep into our lives disguised as “planning” and “researching”. We tell ourselves we will launch right after we complete a few more steps on our “to do” list.

Here is the problem: The “to do” list keeps growing preventing us from launching.

When I was launching, I started with a blog. The blog grew slowly. I finally came to the realization that podcasters would rather listen to podcasts than read.

My podcast planning began.

I started watching videos on podcasting. Podcasts about podcasting filled my iPhone. Newsletter subscriptions hit my e-mail inbox. The NMX virtual ticket was my next purchase. I even bought books about podcasting. I consumed everything I could find.

I kept telling myself I was preparing. Truth is, I was just procrastinating.

Months into my learning and planning stage, Dave Jackson from School of Podcasting reached out. Dave found my blog and wondered why I didn’t have a podcast.

Dave, don’t you understand? I’m planning. I’m researching. I’m learning. Look at all the work I’m doing.

Dave wasn’t buying it. He had seen this movie before and knew how it ended.

During that 90 minute phone call, Dave pushed me. He challenged me. Dave had confidence that I could launch in a week or two. I simply needed to move.

That was the trick.

Start with the first step.

You’ve heard it before. Every journey begins with the first step.

Your first step may not be in the right direction. However, you make corrections as you go. Eventually, you reach your destination.

People often ask me how I can stand and speak in front of 15,000 people. I started with the first step.

Speaking in front of 20 people in speech class was tough enough.

To earn extra money in college, I began working as a wedding DJ. That job forced me to make announcements to groups of people every weekend.

One weekend it hit me.

People simply are not as interested in my speaking success and failure as I am.

If I mess us while speaking, there is a good chance I will be the only one to remember. People don’t care that much.

The same is true with your podcast. If you mess it up, few will notice let alone care.

Dave Jackson always uses a quote from Ryan Parker from FoodCraftsmen.com. “Nobody will punch you in the face.”

Are you letting self doubt keep you from launching? Is the Impostor Syndrome holding you back?

“Why would anyone care what I have to say?”

“What if I fail?”

“What if I make a fool of myself?”

All of the self doubt is natural.

We tend to make more of our mistakes than anyone else.

Don’t let the fears hold you back. Find someone to push you and hold you accountable.

We could surely work together where I can help that happen. You could also just find a friend that will push you to launch. Either way, push yourself to make it happen.

Now is the time to launch. Not 90 days from now. Not 30 days from now. Not after you have 8 episodes in the can.

Launch now.

Record an episode and get it out. Set some deadlines and take some baby steps.

Let’s make it happen. Pick a date and launch.
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.

Top 12 Takeaways From NMX – Episode 087

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Top 12 Takeaways From NMX – Episode 087

Photo bombed by Mark Harmon. Rob Greenlee, Rob Walch, Erik K. Johnson, Seth Resler and Dave Jackson.
Photo bombed by Mark Harmon. Rob Greenlee, Rob Walch, Erik K. Johnson, Seth Resler and Dave Jackson.

Before we jump in this week, can I ask a quick favor? If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach Podcast, can you please take two minutes to do so and leave a review? It will help us get exposed to new podcasters and grow our community. Thanks a million. CLICK HERE.

New Media Expo 2015 wrapped up in Las Vegas last week. What an amazing event.

As Director of the Podcasting Track at NMX, Dave Jackson from the School of Podcasting put together an amazing line up of talent.

Though the sessions were packed full of great information, the relationships created at these events make it more than just a learning opportunity. I had the chance to connect with great people I have known for a bit. Here are just a few:

Dave JacksonSchool of Podcasting
Rem LavictoireSci-Fi Movie Podcast
Daniel J. LewisThe Audacity To Podcast
Bill Conrad – New Media Gold

I also had the chance to meet a few new people and connect with those I have only known over e-mail. Here are a few of those great people:

Rob WalchLibsyn
Rob GreenleeSpreaker
Nick SeuberlingInside The Jungle
Corey FineranIvy Envy
Pat FlynnSmart Passive Income
Seth ReslerSethResler.com

There were many others that I met and created valuable conversations. New Media Expo is such an incredible event for our podcasting community.

After I attend a conference like this, usually on the flight home, I like to review my notes to find the big points I can put to use as soon as I arrive home. This week, I would like to share with you my top 12 takeaways from NMX.

This list isn’t nearly exhaustive of the things I learned. Some are not even new, but great reminders. We dig into each one in this episode.

1. Schedule it, so it gets done.

2. If advertising is driving people away from traditional media, why are so many podcasters so anxious to add commercials to their show?

3. From Mignon Fogarty: E-mail newsletter is the #1 way to reach your audience. Make sure it has a personal tone.

4. From Chris Ducker: There seems to be a lack of originality in the online business space. Stop being lazy and come up with your own (stuff).

5. From Rob Walch: iOS usage crushes android devices 6:1 in download ratio. (In this episode, we also discuss a few tips for iTunes search he provided.)

6. From Lou Mongello: Don’t forget the importance of face-to-face contact and communication.

7. From Mark Ramsey: Beginnings matter. Radio listeners always come in somewhere in the middle. Podcast listeners always come in at the beginning.

8. From Pat Flynn: I’d rather live a life full of oh wells, than a life full of what ifs.

9. From Dave Jackson: When you wonder why anyone would ever listen to you, remember that you are special (neat). Then, embrace your uniqueness, and understand the bar isn’t set very high.

10. From Daniel J. Lewis: The description in iTunes does not help SEO, but does help the PERSON. Make your episode titles appealing, as if they are your portfolio.

11. From David Hooper: People aren’t paying you to podcast. They are paying you to help solve their problems.

12. From Cliff Ravenscraft: When growing your audience/community, connect to your existing audience and make the experience great for them. Get word of mouth to spread.

Thanks for spending another week with me. I truly appreciate your time.

I also want to thank Joshua and Mercy for the amazing feedback regarding the last episode about your “why”. Many of you sent feedback, which I greatly appreciate. I had wonderful exchanges with Joshua and Mercy that helped me create a great plan. Thanks for all you do for me.

If you have never subscribed to the Podcast Talent Coach podcast, please spend two minutes to do so. I would truly appreciate your generosity.

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.

What Is Your Why? – Episode 086

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What Is Your Why? – Episode 086

Thank You

What is your “why”? Why do you do what you do?

WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS

I’ve been doing a lot of work on my business over the past few weeks. In “The E-Myth Revisited”, author Michael Gerber talks about moving your business forward by spending more time working on your business rather than in it.

That is exactly what I’ve been doing lately. Am I going down the right path?

I thought you and I could review my progress with the hope that it will help you with your process.

We all face the little voice inside our head telling us we are not good enough. Whether we have been doing this for six months or six years, we all need a little confidence boost every now and then. It is only natural.

I will be speaking at New Media Expo in a week. (Last week to save $100 HERE.) My review of my business was inspired by NMX. I want to be sure things are in place to make the most of the opportunity.

As I have stepped back to look at the big picture, I have been reviewing a few great books like “The E-Myth Revisited”.

START WITH WHY

Another book that has helped my review is “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. The book is focused on the theory that people do not buy what you do. They buy why you do it. Turn your customers into fans by making them believe in your mission and purpose.

Have I sufficiently defined my why? I thought I had. Even after refining it a few times, I am not quite sure.

Podcast Talent Coach is just over 18 months old as a podcast. From the limited feedback I have received from you, I am not quite sure my “why” is clear enough to truly inspire you to create great work.

Podcast Talent Coach was launched to help podcasters gain more confidence in their content. When you open the mic, I want you to truly believe that your voice matters. I want to arm you with the confidence you need to beat back the butterflies and excuses in order to create powerful content episode after episode.

With the information I provide every week, you should be able to take your information and turn it into entertainment that is engaging for your audience and unique to you.

MY STORY

I have been in radio for 25 years. I have been coaching radio talent for 20 of those years. As I listened to podcasts, I realized so many podcasts could improve with a few tips I have learned and used over those two-and-a-half decades.

The coaching experience I have gained could easily be used to help podcasters create amazing content that could replace other entertainment sources if I could only reach those podcasters.

Eighteen months in, I have only connected with a handful of podcasters interested in making that amazing entertainment a reality.

As I step back and examine the progress, I come up with four possible explanations.

1. ALREADY GETTING IT

One reason could be you get all you need from this podcast and the free worksheets I offer. You don’t feel one-on-one coaching is necessary.

If this was the reason, I would see more downloads of both.

2. SPREAD THE WORD

Another explanation could be I haven’t done a good job spreading the word about the show.

When I launched, the show got a solid start. I hit a few hundred downloads quickly. Things slowed down quite a bit after that. A few hundred downloads is about average and nothing to sneeze at. I am grateful for each person that joins me every week. Thank you for being here.

As I continue to produce content for you each week, I am not seeing further growth. That concerns me.

3. PROBLEM SOLVING

A third reason I may not be seeing continued growth could be the market. Maybe I have not done a good job creating a solution to a problem my audience knows they have.

This is a likely reason. Most podcasters who have the confidence and ego to open the mic and create content every week believe they are good enough the way they are. They may not realize that there are steps they could take to create more powerful content.

It is also possible the problem I am trying to solve does not exist. As I help radio broadcasters improve their shows, many of them fear the critique then love the feedback and growth after the fact.

4. THE “WHY”

The final reason may be my “why”. It is very possible that I have not sold my “why” well enough.

I have defined what I do quite a bit. But have I really defined why I do it for you? Maybe not.

My love for great radio and creative podcasts drive me to do this show every week. I love being able to create great audio that people look forward to every week.

More importantly, I love sharing my knowledge of that process with others. You can create amazing visual images in the theater of the mind to inspire your listener with your podcasts. Inspire them in such a way that they cannot wait for the next episode.

That incredible anticipation of future episodes is what makes this medium so wonderful. Holding the attention of a listener to the point where they cannot get enough of you is an amazing feeling.

 

FIND THE GOOD

Dave Jackson and I do a show together called “The Podcast Review Show”. Each episode, we invite a podcaster on the show to have his or her podcast reviewed by the two of us. It takes a great deal of confidence to have two coaches review your show right in front of you.

Every guest is a little nervous coming on the show. They are not quite sure what we will say. They fear we are going to tear their podcast apart and affirm their belief that they are not good enough.

During the show, Dave and I look for areas of the episode that are really good. Our goal is to help podcasters do more of the good. In turn, that will replace the stuff that isn’t as strong. In the end, the podcast gets better.

Every guest fears coming on the show, but truly appreciates the actionable feedback at the end of the process.

JUMP THE HURDLE

Here lies my problem with Podcast Talent Coach. It is not easy to get you over the fear of being critiqued in order to get you the joy of the improvement. That fear at the front door is a pretty big barrier. It is very similar to the fear of getting in the roller coaster line in order to enjoy the exhilaration when you finally get off of the ride.

The anticipation and fear could be preventing Podcast Talent Coach from growing.

Then again, I am not sure what is holding me back. Maybe it is a bit of all four. My gut tells me it is probably the lack of communicating my “why”.

WHAT IS YOUR WHY?

Have you communicated your “why” well enough? Have you inspired your fan with the reason you create your content every week?

I haven’t come up with the answer to my problem quite yet. I’ll continue working on my business until I find the solution.

I would love your input. As a frequent listener to Podcast Talent Coach, what do you hear? What brings you back every week? What has prevented you from getting more involved with coaching?

E-mail me anytime you would like at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let me know what you think. How can I better help you?

Thanks for being here. I truly value your attention every week. You mean the world to me. I will help you any way I can.

7 Ways To Improve Your Podcast This Week – Episode 085

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7 Ways To Improve Your Podcast This Week – Episode 085

Improve Your Podcast Tools

There are many ways to improve your podcast. This week, I have 7 ways for you that should be pretty easy to implement.

To help you in various ways, I have selected 7 different areas for improvement. You will feel the need to make different improvements at different times. The different areas should help.

Start with the one suggestion that interests you most. Then, work your way though the remaining tips.

Improve Your Audio

The easiest way to improve your audio is to begin using a pop filter. This is a simple screen that goes over or in front of your microphone.

A pop filter prevents puffs of air from attacking your mic as you speak. You can find inexpensive pop filters online. You can also make your own out of nylons and a wire clothes hanger.

To cut down echo, record in a smaller room. In the past, I’ve used a large closet. Not only does the small room cut down the bounce of the sound waves, the clothes hanging around you will cut down on any echo.

If you do not have a closet, find the smallest room you can. A smaller room equals less echo.

Once you have a small room, hang baffling to absorb the sound waves. You do not need to spend a ton of money for expensive baffling. I have used packing foam, sleeping bags and folded, corrugated cardboard covered with blankets. Find any soft material to absorb the sound.

Improve Your Content

To improve your material, you need to review your show. Professional athletes watch game film to improve. Learn to do the same.

Listen like a listener. Pick a show from a few weeks ago and listen on the way to work or while you are exercising. Make note of the pieces that jump out at you and those that need work.

Do more of the good stuff. Replace the rough parts with more good stuff.

You will only truly hear the good and bad when you listen like a listener.

Improve Your Show Notes

Make your show notes valuable for your fans. Incorporate links listeners can use.

Create beneficial links. Sure, link to your own content. Then, link to tools that you use. Link to great articles. Link to helpful resources. Create value.

When your listeners benefit from your show notes, they are likely to come back more often.

Improve Your Interaction

If you want your listeners to interact with the show, make it easy for them.

Focus your call-to-action on one thing. When you add more than one, you force your listener to make a decision. Decision making is too much work.

Decide what you want your listener to do after listening to this specific episode. Then, add that call-to-action at the end of the show.

Your call-to-action can be different for each episode. Even so, only include one per episode.

Improve The Value To Your Listener

What do you want your listener to gain by listening this week? Have a goal for every episode.

How will the listener benefit? When you know this before you begin recording, you can better ensure your listener gains something by listening.

The only way to know that you have achieved your goals is to prepare properly. You need to define your goals and listener benefits before you begin recording. This should be part of your show prep.

This particular episode of Podcast Talent Coach empowers you with seven ways to improve your podcast. That is how you will benefit. I defined that goal before I began recording. It was part of my prep.

Improve Your Consistency

Consistency builds trust. When your listener expects your show to be posted every Friday, you need to post every Friday.

Listeners are creatures of habit.

When your show does not show up, it is just like you have missed an appointment with a client. You are destroying the trust you have built with your fan.

To improve consistency, develop a show schedule and stick to it. Know when you will record. Know when you will post. Now, stick to it.

Improve Your Engagement

Engagement is different than interaction. A listener that cannot turn your show off is engaged. A fan that is providing feedback is interacting.

If you want to engage your listener, talk to that person as an individual. When you address your audience as a group, your listener does not feel special. Talk to one person.

When you talk to your listener as an individual, she feels special. She feels like you are having a conversation with her.

When you address your listeners like a crowd, your fan can get up and leave without feeling guilty. It would be just like walking out during a concert. Nobody is going to notice. No engagement.

Here is the checklist:

1. Improve your audio by using a pop filter, a smaller room and baffling.
2. Improve your content by reviewing your show like a listener.
3. Improve your show notes by incorporating links your fans can use.
4. Improve your interaction by using one, focused call-to-action.
5. Improve the value to your listener by defining the benefit before you begin.
6. Improve your consistency by developing a schedule and sticking to it.
7. Improve your engagement by talking to one individual.

Pick one of these improvements, and get to work this week. Your podcast improves little by little. The more steps you can take moving forward, the more improvement you will make.

Have a great week. Let me know how I can help.

I’d 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.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

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How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

Podcast Clocks

The purpose of a show clock is to provide a consistent framework for your content. By using a framework, you do not need to reinvent the wheel for every show. You simply plug in your great content into the clock.

Using a clock and being prepared does not mean you need to be less creative. In fact, it allows you to focus on creativity rather than the length of your episode. You get to design within the framework.

You can see examples of a show clock by watching the evening news. A typical newscast may follow of framework of top story, weather headline, general news, full weather, sports, and a kicker story.

Late night shows will use something like a monologue, funny skit, benchmark (like letter bag), big guest, second guest, and musical guest.

QUESTIONS TO START

As you begin to develop your show clock, there are a few questions you need to determine for the layout of the show.

What is it that you want to include in each episode of your show?

What is the goal of your podcast?

Once you are ready to add the content for this particular episode, you will need to answer two more questions.

What will the call-to-action be at the end of the show?

What is the main idea your listener will take away and remember?

EXAMPLE CLOCK

(Get sample clocks HERE.)

Let’s look at an example of a show clock. For this example, we will use a 60-minute show.

For our sample show, we want to include a show open, intro/tease, latest update on our business happenings, an interview, tip of the week, call-to-action and the show close. 7 items total.

The content will not be the same every week. However, the structure will remain constant. The episodes will include different interviews, different news, and different tips. However, our listener will know what to expect from each episode.

Now that we have the elements, how do we lay these items into a structure for our show?

First, we determine the length of each to fit our hour. Length of each bit should also be consistent.

Open – 1 minute
Intro/tease – 5 minutes
Latest update on our business happenings – 15 minutes
An interview – 25 minutes with intro and thank you
Tip of the week – 10 minutes
Call-to-action – 3 minutes
Show close – 1 minute

Next, we turn the elements into running time to keep us on track.

:00-:01 – Open
:01-:06 – Intro/tease
:06-:21 – Latest update on our business happenings
:21-:46 – An interview
:46-:56 – Tip of the week
:56-:59 – Call-to-action
:59-:60 – Show close

When you are recording your show, you can use this layout to keep you on time.

CLOCK PITFALLS & EXCEPTIONS

You also need to keep an eye on edits and timing. Edits will lengthen the recording that will become shorter once you edit the episode. Therefore, record more than you need. You can always remove audio. Finding additional audio to add to extent your episode to 60 minutes is difficult.

If you hope to include a 20-minute interview in the episode, you should record a 30-minute interview. You can then edit it down to the best content for a solid 20-minute piece in the show.

There are always exceptions to the rule. You do not need to be exact with times. This show clock is to keep you on track. If your 5 minute segment turns into 7, you will still be ok. You will simply need to shorter your 20 minute bit to 18. It will ebb and flow.

Be consistent. If your listener expects a 60 minute show, they will accept 55 minutes. However, 45 will feel short. 1:15 will feel like you are overstaying your welcome. Use the clock to get close.

You can also have the occasional special show that breaks format. Just ensure the show is special. If you are going to break your brand promise, you better make sure it is worth it.

You can get sample clocks and blank clocks on the Worksheet Page online at PodcastTalentCoach.com. Find them HERE.
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.

The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

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The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

Dreams

Why do people listen to your podcast? Why would anyone spend the time to listen to your show?

Have you ever paused to give that question some consideration?

Why do people spend time with audio at any given point in time?

THE REASONS

There are two primary reasons people listen to audio. Companionship and dreams.

It is human nature to desire companionship. People do not want to be alone. Whether they are driving, jogging, biking, mowing or doing something else by themselves, they want to do it with someone else.

Audio serves the role of companion.

DREAMS

The other reason people spend time with podcasts is to dream. People want to live vicariously through your dreams, stories, challenges and successes. They want to enjoy your success without needing to suffer the pain of your failures.

Tell stories to help fulfill the desire of your listener to dream.

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.

MY STORY

Architecture was my original career path. It wasn’t until three years into my architecture degree that I realized radio was the profession I was designed to pursue. I was able to work in a profession I absolutely love. Now, after 25 years in radio, I have taken the talent coaching facet of radio and turned it into a path helping podcasters create amazing content.

That path has now led me to be a speaker at some of the best podcasting conferences in the country. I was a speaker at Podcast Movement 2014. This year, I will give a presentation at New Media Expo in Las Vegas in April. My life is full of amazing events, because I dared to dream and follow my passion.

DREAMS

Your listeners want to dream. Help them.

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 that it takes 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 become the voyeurs they desire. When you interview people on your show, you allow your listener to eavesdrop on your conversation.

When you simply lecture as the content of your show, you fail to help your listener experience any of those three desires.

KNOW, LIKE & TRUST

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 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.

How To Turn Overwhelm Into Focused Power – Episode 079

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How To Turn Overwhelm Into Focused Power – Episode 079

(photo by Albo)
(photo by Albo)

This week, I received an e-mail from Cynthia Davis from CynthiaDavis.net and her podcast “Home Front”. She is finding herself overwhelmed by everything she hopes to accomplish with her podcast. In this episode, I offer a few suggestions to defeat that overwhelming feeling and find focus in her work.

Here is the e-mail …

I am still struggling on the bottom rung of the ladder and have no idea how to implement everything you suggest without having staff to help with this effort.

It’s my own fault because I could spend more time on this than I do, but I am at my maximum capacity with all the other responsibilities I have to juggle.

I have been doing the podcast for over two years, but it’s not growing. In fact, the e-mail list I have used to make people aware of a new podcast coming out has been shrinking. I wish my show would grow organically and that my super-fans would promote it, but that’s simply not happening.

The only conclusion I can come to is that the world doesn’t like my message. I am overwhelmed. I am about to record my 100th episode and I believe the content is as good as I can make it, but if no one wants our message, what can we do?

-Cynthia

 

Overwhelm is natural. I think we all face it at some point in time. We all want to accomplish so much, yet we have limited time in the week. Let’s find those tasks that will really move the needle and make a difference for us.

Here are Cynthia’s primary questions with six steps to turn the overwhelm into focused power.

SO MUCH TO DO

“no idea how to implement everything you suggest”
-Don’t feel like you need to do it all. Focus on one or two things that will move the needle.

FINDING TIME

“I could spend more time on this than I do”
-Spend your time wisely. Instead of two hours on one day, make it 30 minutes each night before you go to bed.

NOT GROWING

“I have been doing the podcast for over two years, but it’s not growing”
-Find two or three ways to grow your podcast that utilize tasks you already do or enjoy. If you’re on social media, make that part of your growth plan.

SHRINKING LIST

“the e-mail list I have used to make people aware of a new podcast coming out has been shrinking”
-Be consistent in your e-mail. Send it on a regular basis. Make content that is anticipated. Add content that helps people solve their problems. Be giving.

NO ORGANIC GROWTH

“I wish my show would grow organically and that my super-fans would promote it”
-Give fans a reason to share it. Make your content sharable. Lists, tips, recipes, photos, jokes, and recommendations are all sharable.

NOBODY LIKES ME

“The only conclusion I can come to is that the world doesn’t like my message”
-Find the people that want your message. Do outreach. Find the communities where your kin congregate. Get involved.
Follow these six steps and you are sure to find more focus in your work. These tips will help you decrease the overwhelming feeling in your life. You can find the area that move the needle and truly work smarter rather than harder.
I’m speaking at New Media Expo 2015 in Las Vegas. You can save $100 on your registration. Use the coupon code Ejohnson20. Find all of the details by clicking HERE.
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.

Seven Things Your Guest Won’t Tell You (And How It Can Save Your Interview) – Episode 075

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Seven Things Your Guest Won’t Tell You (And How It Can Save Your Interview) – Episode 075

EJ & Lady Gaga
Posing with Lady Gaga after our interview

If you conduct interviews on your podcast, a solid reputation as an interviewer is critical to the health of your show. Your guests will share information about you and your show. Today, I would like to share with you seven things your guest will not tell you. In the long run, these tips could save your interview and podcast.

Our world of Podcasting is not that big. There is a good chance the big players in your niche know each other. Your reputation will typically precede your interview request. Work to make it great.

As podcasting continues to grow, booking services will become more and more prominent. These are people that work as the liaison between podcasts and guests. Agents like this are wide spread in radio. They are just beginning to get used in podcasting.

(Find guest resources HERE.)

Your reputation to these individuals will be critical if you hope to continue to attract great guests.

When you send a request for an interview dropping some names of past guests, your prospect will do a little research to see if your request is worth their time. Your past actions will speak louder than your words.

Over 25 years in radio, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Mariah Carey, Jason Aldean, Sarah McLachlan, Big & Rich, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, and so many others. With each interview, I have learned something new. I get a little better each time.

A few interviewing lessons have been learned the hard way. There have been times I have made a fool of myself. I am hoping I can save you the trouble.

Here are seven things your guests won’t tell you.

Introduce Me Like You Know Me

When you bring your guest on your show, your introduction sets up the entire interview. Your knowledge of your guest gives your guest credibility and tells your listener why they should care.

By opening the interview with “tell our listeners about yourself”, you are basically saying, “I did not care enough to learn a lot about you, so why don’t you handle this part.”

Open the interview with a quick elevator speech that tells your listener why they should care about this particular guest.

A Quick introduction does three things. First, it tells your guest that you care about them. Next, it doesn’t waste the time of your audience or guest. Finally, it sets the tone and direction of the interview. Hit the primary points you want to discuss in the interview to guide the interview.

Don’t Simply Refer To My Bio

Make your guest feel special. Do more research than their About page on their website.

Your listeners can read the website of your guest. Take time to go deeper and find other great information about this person that has taken time to appear on your show. Create unique questions.

This will keep your audience and guest engaged in the interview. It also shows you are truly interested in your guest, what they have done and what they have to say.

Benefit Me As Much As I Benefit You

Your guest has come on your show, because there is something in it for them. They could be pushing a new product or book. Maybe they are feel they can gain new audience.

The interview does not need to be one big commercial for your guest. However, it should benefit your guest in some way. If your guest gets great value from appearing on your show, word will get around.

The benefit you deliver doesn’t need to end with the interview. Benefits could include your newsletter, your website, social media and many other possibilities.

Don’t Ask The Same Questions

If you are asking the same questions your guest has answered on every other interview, your interview will most likely be less than engaging. Uninspired questions receive uninspired answered. Build the reputation of asking unique questions that excite both your guest and audience.

Actually Listen To My Answers

Listening is an art. By listening to your guest’s answers, you can ask fantastic follow-up questions. It becomes an engaging conversation for your guest.

When you simply ask the list of questions you have written down, your guest doesn’t feel valued. You are not listening to anything they say. This would be similar to asking someone a question and then going in the other room while they answer, only to return to ask another question. Incredibly frustrating.

Your list of questions is only a tool to guide the interview when necessary. Let the conversation ebb and flow. Find great nuggets in the answers of your guest.

Value your guest by intently listening to their answers. You can always edit.

If you Say 30 Minutes, Stick To 30 Minutes

Keep your promises. Nothing is more frustrating than overstaying your welcome.

Your guest is busy. They have planned out their day. When you delay them and negatively affect their schedule, your reputation will suffer.

If you need a 30-minute interview, as for 45 minutes to conduct the interview. Leave yourself a little time for small talk at the beginning and a wrap up at the end. If you can end your 45-minute block in 40 minutes, you will get the reputation of being respectful and courteous.

Don’t Make Me Jump Through Hoops

Your guest is doing you a favor by appearing on your show. When you demonstrate the benefits they will receive, the playing field becomes level. This is the ideal situation.

If you make your guest do a ton of work before they can be on your show, you are using up any goodwill your benefits may have created.

Things that make it difficult for your guest to be on your show are inflexible scheduling, lots of questionnaire paperwork to complete before the show, difficult technology necessary to conduct the interview, the need to provide a lot of background information before the show, and requiring your guest to visit a website to complete forms, upload data or do anything else that takes up their time.
The more you conduct interviews, the more your reputation will spread. Become known as the interviewer that is respectful, engaging and caring. When you ensure you have avoided these seven pitfalls, you will on solid footing to attract better guests in the future.
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.

Here Is A Quick Way To Make Them Care – Episode 074

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Here Is A Quick Way To Make Them Care – Episode 074

freeimage-5478254

Making your listener care is the only way to get them to listen and more importantly come back again.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “what’s in it for me?”

Your audience will be asking this very question every time they tune into your podcast. Your introduction better tell your listener exactly how your topic will affect them. You need to hook them right at the beginning with an intriguing introduction. If you don’t hook them early, they will be gone in search of something more captivating.

When your audience knows what is in it for them, they begin to care.

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

Start your podcast with the benefit right up front. Hook them early.

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 the horrible restaurant service you received, lead with it. “When we were out to eat this weekend, I couldn’t get the waiter to pay attention to our table if I had been waving $20 bills in the air.” The audience will now have time to enjoy the vivid details of your restaurant story rather than trying to figure out your point.

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 I had some time on my hands. I figured it would be a good weekend to clean out the attic. I dug through the garage to find the ladder and get at it.” Are we telling a story about a mishap in the attic? Is this story just recapping the weekend? Maybe it is about discovering something in the attic. 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.

Be A Storyteller For Success.

As you create your podcast, become a great storyteller. Great storytellers create fans.

Interest in your story never remains constant. Your information can only become entertainment when interest is rising. If interest is falling, the show is becoming boring and is no longer entertainment. A great story continues to develop the plot and raise the interest.

Have you ever sat through a long, monotonous story that never seems to end? You stare and wonder if the speaker actually has a point to this monologue. You pray for your cell phone to ring and save you. That scenario is exactly what you want to avoid. Practice becoming a great storyteller.

Stories help define your character and personality. You should always be yourself. It is difficult to play a character consistently and tell great stories. Your true feelings and identity will always be revealed in the stories you tell. If you are successful hiding your true self, you simply are not telling great stories. Vivid details and interesting points that stir emotions in your listeners can only come from your true feelings. Reveal your true character. Storytellers create raving fans.

Make them forget.

When your audience is listening to your podcast, make them forget they are listening to a recording. Take them to another place. Make your storytelling so strong that the imagination of your listener puts her in another time and place. That’s what great storytelling is all about. That’s what great relationships are all about.

People seek entertainment to escape from reality. They want entertainment like movies, concerts, television, radio and podcasts to make them forget about all of their problems. Entertainment that succeeds will take the audience member to some other place and time.

When you record your podcast, you need to create that wonderful theater of the mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading fiction or talking about gardening, put your audience in the moment. Make your listener forget they are listening to a recording.

Become a great storyteller, take your listener to another place and time to make them forget about their problems, and hook them early by leading with an intriguing introduction.

Get the story development worksheet as part of the pack of worksheets available for free online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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.

How To Take The Headache Out Of Show Planning – Episode 073

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How To Take The Headache Out Of Show Planning – Episode 073

Show Planning

Where is your podcast going in 2015?

If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know if you get there.

So many shows discuss goals around this time of year. It is only natural with a new year comes reflection. This is a perfect time to assess your previous year and decide what you want the next twelve months to look like.

A goal is a simply a dream with a deadline. What are you dreams for the next year? If you don’t have a map & destination, you’ll only wander. You’ll never get anywhere. Let’s be specific and set some deadlines.

You and I discuss goals quite often. We talk about having an objective for each episode. What is it that you want your listener to take away from each episode. Once you answer that questions, you will know where to take your content in that episode.

We also need to answer that question on a larger scale. What is the purpose of your show? How are you helping people? How do you serve your listeners?

Once you create the mission for your show, you will have a filter for all of your content. When it comes time to plan an episode, you can ask yourself, “How will I serve my listener this week?”

My show is designed to give you more confidence in your content. I want to help you defeat that little voice in your head that is saying, “I hope I don’t make a fool of myself this week.”

Each week when I sit down to create my show notes, I ask myself how I might share with you a bit that I have learned over the past 25 years in radio that will give you confidence in your content and be more engaging with your listener.

MISSION

Let’s start with the mission of your show. Write down the sole focus of your show. How do you help people?

2015 GOAL

What is the one big thing you want to accomplish over the next year? We want to develop little steps to get there. Let’s break the big goal into bite-sized pieces.

If you create a weekly show, you only have 52 shows over the next 12 months. It may sound like a lot. However, you need to be intentional to reach your goals.

Break your goal into milestones. Keep in mind that your progress might not be a straight line. It may ramp up like a curve. Write down those milestones.

EPISODE GOAL

As we develop each episode, what do we hope to accomplish in each show that will help us move toward our 2015 goal? More importantly, how will that episode goal help us get closer to our milestone on the way to the yearly goal?

Each episode should have a strong call-to-action that helps us get closer to our milestone. What is your call-to-action within your podcast? How can we make that call-to-action more effective? Where are you sending your listener each episode to get more info? Be specific and write it down.

Are you effectively planning each show before you begin? Sometimes it is difficult to get motivated to record your show on a regular basis. Plan ahead. Download the planning worksheet at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. When you lack motivation, revert to the plan you’ve already created.

Do you interview guests on your show? Create a list of guests you’d like to get on the show. Be brave and reach out to those people. Let’s get them on the show. Give yourself a goal with a deadline. Let one guest lead to another. Always ask for leads.

GET BETTER

To improve, you need to review the game tape. Are you reviewing your show on a regular basis?

All great sports teams review tape of previous games. You should do the same. Again, get the worksheet at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Finding someone that can help you honestly review your show will help as well.

BUSINESS

You should step back from your podcast to look at your overall business. If you are monetizing your podcast, we need to schedule time to help reach that goal as well. Baby steps and milestones.

There are many business possibilities stemming from your podcast. These could include books, speaking engagements, seminars, affiliates, products and more. If you have yet to monetize your podcast, schedule your time to create something powerful. Be sure to include deadlines.

The next year can be huge for you if you plan. Set deadlines to turn your dreams into goals. Be sure to find balance in all areas of your life.

Take some chances. Go for the big interview or launch a product. Dream big. You might just reach your dreams.

 

I want to thank you for a fantastic 2014. It has been quite a success for me.

I have met many amazing podcasters. You have given me your time each week as we grow together. I can’t thank you enough for that.

Podcast Movement invited me to share my knowledge at their event in Dallas. This coming year, I will present at New Media Expo as well.

Many have downloaded my worksheets and purchased the Podcast Talent Coach workbook. It has been a blast. I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for being part of this journey.

Have an amazing 2015.
What would you like me to cover in the upcoming year? How can I better help you? 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.

Podcast Interview and Co-Host Tips – Episode 066

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Podcast Interview and Co-host Tips – Episode 066

Podcast Interview Tips

Do you have a podcast that involves multiple people? This week, I’ll answer two listener questions to help with podcasts that involve interviews or co-hosts. You can always e-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

We discussed interviews a bit in Episode 059 – Solution to Boring Guests. I offered ideas to salvage an interview that lacks any entertaining value. That content was focused on the guest. Our questions this week focus on you the interviewer. We will discuss podcast interview and co-host tips.

Interview Nerves

I would love to know if you have any tips on how to curb anxiety when you’re getting ready to interview a big personality. While my big personalities can’t touch yours, I’ve noticed that it takes me a while to loosen up and relax sometimes. Sometimes if I chat with them a little before the interview starts, that helps. But I never want to waste their time, and sometimes you just get the feeling they want to get to it so that they can go about their day. Am I still talking? Thanks, Erik! -Patrick Keller – BigSeance.com

This is a great question from Patrick. In fact, it is one question I get quite often.

First, understand that interview butterflies are natural. Find some comfort in knowing that most every interviewer feels some nervousness the minutes before the talk begins. It is very similar to public speakers.

You’re not the only one.

There are four things you can do to get over the jitters. These should help you a bit to calm the nerves before the interview.

Prepare

Make sure you have your interview plan ready. Be knowledgable about your guest. Have at your fingertips any details that you will need. Create a map and know where you are going. Ensure you know what you hope to achieve with this particular interview.

Preinterview – Explain the process

Before the interview, have a quick chat with your guest. Let them know exactly how the interview will run and what they can expect. This will not only put you at ease, it will make your guest more comfortable and open.

Understand you are helping them

Your guest is on your show, because there is some value to them. Guests typically do not appear on podcasts out of the goodness of their heart. They are interested in expanding their brand by being on your show.

You have something to offer your guest.

Podcast guests are marketing their goods or services to your audience. You are putting them in front of a group of people that can expand their reach. This is a huge opportunity and benefit to them. You aren’t simply taking from them. Find comfort in knowing that you are helping each other.

Really listen and be involved in a conversation

Many podcasters get wrapped up in thinking of the next question and fail to listen to the current answer. Have a dialog instead of a lecture. Truly listen to the answers your guest is offering. Those answers tend to lead to amazing follow-up questions.

By getting heavily involved in the conversation, you will take your mind off of your nervous butterflies.

Bumping Co-Hosts

Our next questions involves co-hosts.

Hi. On any of your podcasts do you have guidelines on how to stop hosts talking over each other? 
Cheers – Brian

This is another question I hear often. It takes a lot of practice to avoid stepping on your guest or co-host. I have five tips to help you clean up the discussion.

Develop hand cues

When one host wraps up their thought and is ready for the other to jump in, a simple hand cue can help make a smooth transition.

Be aware of each other

If you are truly listening to your co-host speak, you will be less concerned with jumping in to offer your point of view. Allow your co-host enjoy the limelight until they are ready for you to speak up.

Know who will serve as the director

On a podcast with multiple hosts, it is critical that one host drives the bus. With a director, all members of the show know who will call the shots to keep the show moving in the right direction.

The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast is a great example of this. Even though all three co-hosts have equal roles on the show, it is obvious that Rem is directing the show. Give it a listen. You can see how smooth their podcast typically runs.

Know who is leading

If you use a intriguing introduction as I describe and teach with my storytelling worksheet (available at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com), your co-host will know exactly where the story is headed. This leads to fewer interruptions by co-hosts. Respect the story.

Respect the mic time of each other

Everyone will receive their fare share of mic time. Try to be less concerned with offering your viewpoint and allow your co-host to enjoy the spotlight. Your time will come. If your co-host is on a roll, let them roll. When the podcast is entertaining, you both win. It doesn’t matter which host offers the punchline.

I hope those tips help clean up the flow of the show. There are many other ways to calm your nerves. When it comes to talking over each other, it comes down to finding a process comfortable for you and your partner.
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 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.

Get Noticed In A Sea Of Sameness – Episode 062

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Get Noticed In The Sea Of Sameness – Episode 062

Get Noticed

Being unique is the only way you can make your podcast get noticed in the sea of sameness. There are so many podcasts in your niche. Being memorable is critical.

There is one file in your listener’s mind that you occupy. You can’t occupy multiple files. You must pick one. Define that file and do all you can to support that image. That is the essence of your brand.

Where does McDonald’s fit in your brain file? McDonald’s is probably the “Fast Hamburgers” file? Does it also fill the “Milkshake File”? Probably not. Sure, they serve milkshakes. However, that file is probably occupied by your favorite ice cream shop.

cheetos lip balm

Where would Cheetos fit in your brain file? It would go in the “Lip Balm” file, right? Of course not. However, Frito-Lay launched Cheetos Lip Balm in 2005. It failed miserably, because Cheetos occupies the “Cheesy Puffed Snack” file in your brain.

Your podcast brand can only occupy one file. Pick the one image your brand can own? Define your brand.

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. Our creativity 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.

To create engaging content with your podcast, you need to be unique. Your first idea will rarely be a truly unique idea. That first idea will usually be something you have done or seen done in the past.

Keep working the idea. Let it lead to other, more creative ideas. The more often you let your mind explore other options, the more often you will develop truly unique ideas. Don’t settle.

Always attempt to create something unique with your content. Do not settle for your first idea. Push yourself. Brainstorm. Let one idea lead to the next until you have a long list of ideas. Then, select the best idea from the bunch. You will usually find the best and most unique idea further down the list.

If you settle for your first idea, you content will become stale. You will continue to use ideas that have been used in the past. There will be nothing to engage your audience.

The unexpected creates amusement, delight and a memorable event. Being direct assumes your listener cares about your marketing message. They don’t. You need to be unique to be memorable. Be distinct, unusual, and unexpected.

Being unique is the only way you can make your podcast get noticed in the sea of sameness.

School of Podcasting

Congratulations to Dave Jackson over at the School of Podcasting. Dave was recently named the new Director of Podcasting for New Media Expo. NMX will be held April 13-16, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It will also be held in conjunction with the NAB Show. NMX is always a great event and should be even better with Dave at the helm. I’m very excited about the show.

Podcast Review Show

Dave and I do a show together called the “Podcast Review Show”. You can learn how you can be a highlighted podcaster on the show by clicking HERE. We have added a new option to the show where podcasters do not necessarily need to appear on the show to have their podcast reviewed. Get all the details HERE.

Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions 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 me teach you how to turn your information into engaging entertainment.

7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

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7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

Podcast Mistakes

Listeners have many, many options for their entertainment. When you create your show, you are not simply competing with all of the other podcasts in the space. You are competing with all of the other entertainment options available to your listeners.

TV, CDs, radio, satellite radio, on demand video, Youtube, audiobooks. The options are endless.

It is only a start to create great content that attracts your listener and is better than every other options available to your listener at that time. You also need to ensure that the things you do within the episode do not drive your podcast listeners away. Many podcasters give their audience reason to leave without even realizing it.

This week, we will discuss 7 most common podcast mistakes that drive listeners away. There are many others. See how many of these 7 common podcast mistakes you recognize from your show. Then, let’s figure out how to fix them to make your show even stronger.

You Focus On Yourself

You can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want. Make your show less about you and more about helping your listener. You can tell your story and then frame the result around the listener’s perspective.

You Are Not Engaging And Use No Stories

Stories are powerful. We discussed this power in the past few episodes. Pull you listener into your content by making it personal. Then, turn the mirror on them. How can your stories help your listener?

You Are Talking At Me, Instead Of To Me

Treat your listener as an audience of one. Audio is a personal medium. People listen by themselves while creating personal visions in their own head. Have a one-on-one conversation with your listener. Talk to your listener and not at them.

You Are Unfocused & Unprepared

Know your goal. You cannot get to your destination unless you know where you want to go. Develop your goal. Then, be prepared. Gather your material and information before you begin recording.

You Open The Door

Let your content flow from one topic to the other like a conversation. Avoid “now it’s time for …” When you are having a conversation at a party, you don’t say, “… and that is what my kids are doing. Now, it’s time to talk about my golf game.” You just flow into the next topic organically. Also, be sure to take the first exit so you do not overstay your welcome.

You Are Not Interested

Be interesting by being interested. Get rid of the stale questions and content. Make your self unique by being curious.

You Lack Show Biz

This is show business. Use theater of the mind. Make your audio powerful by transporting your listener to another place and time. Add some flavor with creative sound effects, powerful production elements and some audio magic.

 

Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions 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 me teach you how to turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Solutions To Boring Podcast Guests – Episode 059

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Episode 059 – Solution To Boring Guests

Boring Conversation

Thank you so much for all of the great feedback recently. I am happy to hear this content is having a positive effect on your show. You are truly beginning to transform your information. Congratulations.

This week, I would like to share two notes with you hoping you can use the information and answers as well.

JOURNALING

Hi Erik,

Just a quick note of thanks for your latest episode of ‘Podcast Talent Coach’ where you talked about story telling and using a journal as a tool. Somewhat skeptical that it was something I needed, I sat down yesterday and gave it a shot, using the 5 minute time limit you mentioned and writing my thoughts out using a pen and paper. I did this to capture something personal that I could use in my next episode of ‘Evolution Talk’. I am extremely happy to say that it worked. I was able to produce a couple of powerful thoughts for the show that I am certain I would not have captured otherwise. Suffice to say, it’s now going to become part of my show preparation for every episode going forward.

Just wanted you to know that you are making a difference.

Kind regards,
Rick Coste
Writer,Producer,Podcaster
http://evolutiontalk.com
http://philosophywalk.com

 

Thanks so much, Rick.

If you missed the past two episodes, you may want to check them out as a series. In Episode 057, we discuss the four elements of storytelling. In Episode 058, we explore how to explore your personal connections within your stories and use those connections to build trust with your listeners.

It is a common feeling of skepticism. When I first learned the method of journaling to discover my own personal connections, I found it a bit hokey and beatnik. After journaling for a bit of time, it became natural. There is true power in discovering your personal connections.

If you would like help creating your journal entries, mining them for personal connections and turning those connections into powerful, engaging content, shoot me an e-mail at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

BORING GUESTS

Hello Erik,

I have a question for you about interviews. I’m sure you have had the opportunity to interview many popular music artists over the years in your radio career. Have you ever had to deal with someone who was not very cooperative? Comes across as a bit annoyed or just doesn’t put any effort at all into the conversation?

Is there anything you can do to get them to actually give a substantial answer without coming across as being rude? Especially when it is an artist that you may be a fan of?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks!

J.D. Sutter | Porchlight Family Media
New Media Consultant & Content Producer
http://porchlightfamilymedia.com/

 

Thanks for the note, J.D.

This is a common problem with podcast guests. There are times when we have such high hopes for and expectations of our idols. When we finally meet them, they simply are not as amazing and flawless as we had built them to be.

When you get a podcast guest on your show who is less than excited, there are a few possible reasons for their sourness. They could be having a bad day. Maybe they just got off a bad interview. It is possible they don’t enjoy being interviewed.

One thing to remember is that it is your show. You are in control of everything. It is your responsibility to make sure the content on your show is the best it can be. Make your podcast guest the star. Set them up to look good and everyone wins.

Here are six suggestions to improve an interview with a troublesome podcast guest.

1. Make sure your interview style is top notch so they see you as a professional. This includes before, during and after your interview.

2. Be sure you are asking unique questions. Know the hot buttons of your guest. Talk about things that stir their passion.

3. Take your guest off guard. Pull something out of left field.

4. Ask your guest “list” questions. For instance, “What are the three most important things to remember when booking a gig?”

If your guest simply won’t cooperate …

5. Don’t use the interview on your podcast as a traditional interview.  Create a narrative and insert drops from the interview, similar to the news shows like “60 Minutes” or “Dateline”.

6. Cut your losses. Sometimes people have a bad day and just need to move on. Cut the interview short, thank your guest for their time, and find a better interview.
Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions 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.

How To Build Trust – PTC Episode 058

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How To Build Trust – Episode 058

How To Build Trust

Last week we discussed the four essential elements of storytelling.

As I gave that presentation at Podcast Movement, some had questions about turning personal connections into stories that actually had something to do with their podcast subject. In fact. Josh Elledge of “90 Days To Abundance” suggested I do an episode on it. Find him at “SaveingsAngel.com”.

Today, we dive into the “how” of storytelling.

Journaling

The use of journaling will help you dig deep into your thoughts to reveal your personal connections to the subject matter. Journaling can be done for a specific length of time or output. You can do it for 3 or 5 minutes, or an entire page of thoughts.

Whether you choose time or output, it should be set and consistent. Set a timer and write until the timer goes off. You want to write to the point where if becomes free-flowing without any conscious thought.

Understand that no one will ever see this journaling. You can even throw it out after you create the episode. There is no need to keep it once we find the personal connection.

Your Personal Connections

After you journal, read over your writing. Highlight the thoughts and personal connections that really jump out and grab your attention. Those are possible starting points.

Engaging Introduction

Once we have highlighted our personal connections, we need to pick one to use for our show. We then turn that personal connection into our engaging introduction to our powerful story.

An Example

I want to show you how we can find great stories for an episode using Journaling. In this example, I want to create an episode that teaches the power of storytelling. The goal of the episode is to have my listeners understand the importance of stories if they hope to have their audience know, like and trust them.

Here is my journal entry. These are never shared with anyone. I am sharing it with you as an example. There are some connections here that reveal my vulnerability that I typically wouldn’t share with anyone. I’m laying it all out with hopes it will help you find the courage to open up to yourself.

JOURNAL ENTRY

How do I create great stories by journaling. Max’s great story about his father. Find deep connections. When we tell these great stories, we reveal things about ourselves. I learned a lot about this from Bill McMahon. I’m sometimes afraid to reveal what I truly believe, because I worry what people think about me. Once Bill instilled in me the courage to recognize what I truly believe and present it on the air, I began creating great friendships with listeners I don’t even know. As the public address announcer of the Omaha Lancers hockey team, I often run into people who act like they know me, because they kind of do. It used to really creep out my wife. People would come up to me and start having a conversation about something I talked about on the air. After they would walk away, she would ask why I didn’t introduce her. I would tell her that I have no idea who that was. She couldn’t understand how I could have these conversations about personal stuff with somebody when I had no idea who it was. That is very common when you talk about personal connections on your show. How do you reveal things? People will get to know you. You never know what will connect. Listeners grab onto the most everyday stuff. It is something that happened with your kid. Or the hockey rink in your backyard. Or the pothole you hit on the way to work today. If you are doing a show about gun control, how do you link potholes to gun control? Journal until you find the link. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Journal. There is a connection there. My story here links Josh to storytelling. It was a great conference. I love when people ask great questions. My lectures really get into conversations. That’s what it is all about. That’s why I do this. I feel like we are developing a relationship. They actually trust me enough and care enough to ask questions. We are beginning to develop something here. The feedback and questions really make me feel like my presentation was validated. Even after the presentation, many came up to ask additional questions. Probably 10 or 12. Which was great, since it was the final presentation of the day. What a great way to finish the weekend.

Four different personal connections in that journal entry.

Now, let’s look at each personal connection and turn that into an engaging introduction. My topic for this episode is the power of great storytelling in podcasts. I want to encourage podcasters to use stories to get their audience to know, like and trust them. What stories can I use to make my point?

Before we create our introduction, we need to determine what we hope to make our audience feel.

Max’s great story about his father.

Like many of us, Max couldn’t find the courage to share his stories about his father. He didn’t feel anyone would care. Max eventually left my station to work at one of the big stations in Chicago.

With this connection, I hope to make the audience gain confidence and know that even the radio personalities in the biggest markets in the U.S. have some self doubt. It is natural. Let’s begin the story there.

“Fearing what people will think about you when you share personal stories is natural. Even radio personalities in some of the biggest cities in the U.S. have that self doubt. I once had a morning guy working for me who would tell me these great stories about his father …”

I’m sometimes afraid to reveal what I truly believe, because I worry what people think about me.

This is very similar to the the previous story. I can use the same style. Even I get a little nervous about what people will think. Using this connection, I again hope to give my listener confidence.

“Fearing what people will think about you when you share personal stories is natural. Even I encounter that self doubt. At Podcast Movement, I was a little nervous how my presentation would go over with the group of my peers.”

She couldn’t understand how I could have these conversations about personal stuff with somebody when I had no idea who it was.

With this personal connection, I want you to understand that you will be surprised what connects with your listeners. Some of the smallest asides will endear you to your listener. There will be times when your listener will mention things you do not even remember talking about. We can begin our story there.

“There are times when listeners will stop me to mention some of the must mundane things mentioned on my show. My wife and I were walking through the arena where I announce hockey games. We were stopped by a listener I didn’t know personally.”

The feedback and questions really make me feel like my presentation was validated.

With this personal connection, I want listeners to see the payoff that comes with powerful storytelling. If you use storytelling correctly, the end result can be very fulfilling and inspiring. I want this story to empower and encourage you to share your stories. Let’s start the story there.

“Have you ever been unsure about sharing your thoughts and opinions? I was a little nervous about giving my Podcast Movement storytelling presentation to a group of solid podcaster. By the time I finished sharing my stories and real life examples like Lee Brice and Walt Disney, I received some great questions that really validated my process. I was even more excited about helping people with my knowledge and information.”

There are four examples of how I journal to create great stories for my show. There are really four steps. Journal for 5 minutes. Find the personal connections within your writing. Determine what you want to make your audience feel and the point you want to make. Finally, turn that into your engaging introduction.

Telling great stories within your podcast will help your listener know, like and trust you. The details and personal connections you include will tell your listener about your beliefs, morals, dreams, dependability, experience, reputation, honesty and reliability.

As your listener begins to know you through these stories, she will determine whether or not she likes you. It is better to have some love you and some hate you rather than have a bunch of people on the fence. If they rate you a 3 on a 1-to-5 scale, they are basically saying they don’t care.

Create some passion. As long as you have more “loves” than “hates”, you’re on the way to a win.

Not everyone loves Harley Davidson motorcycles. There are people who love Harley and wear their colors proudly. Then, there are others who wouldn’t be caught dead riding a Harley. It doesn’t fit their personality. Nobody goes shopping for a new vehicle and says, “Oh, maybe I’ll buy a Harley or maybe I’ll buy a Volvo. I’m ok with either one.” Create a passionate tribe.

You can then build trust after your listener has had a chance to know you and decide if they like you. By trusting your audience with your personal feelings, they will begin to trust you by the law of reciprocity. When you give to someone, they will feel compelled to give back to you in return.

The process sounds easy. However, it takes practice. If you would like my help, let me know. I would love to teach you the process.

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

If you would like to have your show reviewed on The Podcast Review Show with Dave Jackson and me, click here. We are looking for great guests who would like to improve their shows.

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.

3 Step To Create Your Avatar – PTC 055

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3 Steps To Create Your Avatar – PTC Episode 055

Hi Erik, thanks for your awesome podcast. I have one question for you You define your avatar with a bunch of well-crafted questions, but where do you get the data to answer them? Is it hard data you have got from your following (if any)? Is it just a fruit of your imagination? Is it a mix of both? How much of the avatar is based on hard data, and how much is a projection of yourself defining it? Thanks and keep up the awesome work!
-Alessandro

Create a unique avatar

Great question, Alessandro! It is actually a little bit of both. It will evolve over time.

Our goal is to create a vision of that one, unique, ideal listener.

There are really three steps to creating your ideal listener.  Each step relates to the life cycle of your podcast.

Step 1

If you are just starting out, you need to create your ideal customer out of your imagination.

  • Who would you like your ideal customer to be? Start there.
  • Who do you want?
  • Who will listen and get involved
  • Who will be best served by your content
  • Who will buy your stuff

Step 2

Once you begin to get some feedback from your audience, refine your target with that information.

  • Who is posting in your comments
  • Who is sending your e-mail
  • Who is asking for more information

Step 3

Finally, when you have an audience of decent size, survey them.

  • It does not need to be a formal survey
  • One of strongest is an e-mail often used that simply says “where an I help you”
  • To get specific demographic info, you will need a formal survey
  • Ask questions that will help you know and serve them better
  • Do not ask questions that will not give you info you can use and will only waste the time of your listener

Overall, you want your avatar to represent that individual that in most engaged with your show and likely to take action when you make that request.

Audience Of One

Knowing your target audience will allow you to treat your audience as an audience of one.

As you are creating your podcast, treat your audience like you are talking to each person individually. This is critical when creating a trusting relationship with your audience.

I hear many shows address their audience as a group with comments like “hello everyone” or “hey guys”. Each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual. Audio is a very personal medium. Many times, they are listening with headphones. It is just you and her. Talk to her just like that.

Addressing a crowd on the radio began when radio began. As radio was just being created, station owners needed content to broadcast. Radio programming began with rebroadcasting live, theater events. The person on the stage would address the crowd as “ladies and gentleman”.

As radio progressed, live audiences were eliminated. However, people on the radio continued to address the audience as a group. It was fitting. The family still gathered around the radio before television was introduced to the family room. An on-air personality could address the audience as a group and be justified in doing so.

Radio then became a personal medium. The television replaced the radio as family entertainment. In-car and headphones became the preferred method of radio listening. Each listener was now creating images and visions in his or her own head that were unique to their imagination. Their thoughts were different from those of any other listener. The conversation was now between the person on the air and the individual listening.

Unfortunately, radio personalities continued to address the listener as a group. “It has always been done this way.” The disconnect began.

Podcasts are even more individualistic than radio. Most people select a podcast because of their own tastes. Groupthink does not play a factor as it would to select a movie or television show for the family. It is one person listening on their own to a show that interests them.

If you are talking to your listener as if they are in a group, using plural terms like everyone and you guys and you all, your listener will wonder who you are addressing. They will think, “You guys? I’m listening by myself. Who are you talking to?” In the end, they will not follow your call-to-action, because they will think someone else in your “group” will handle it. Talk to an audience of one and build that relationship with each listener individually.

 

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.

You Are An Expert – PTC Episode 053

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You Are An Expert – PTC Episode 053

Podcast ExpertPodcast ExpertPodcast ExpertPodcast Expert

As I was grabbing a quick bite to eat at the local fast food restaurant earlier this week, I was reminded we are all an expert at something to someone.

After ordering my food, I pulled up to the drive thru window of the fast food restaurant to pay. My total came to $4.38. I handed the kid in the window $5.38. The amount completely puzzled him.

He looked at the currency for quite some time. I was beginning to think he didn’t realize I needed change. After what seemed like two minutes, he looked around for his manager.

When he realized his manager was helping another customer, he looked back at the money trying to devise a plan B.

The kid finally stuck his head into the window and asked, “Are you good at math?”

I said, “The total was $4.38, right?” He replied with, “Yeah.” I said, “You owe me a dollar.”

“Oh, that’s what I thought,” he replied with relief as he ducked to the register to retrieve my dollar.

At that point, I realized we are all an expert to somebody. Even people who do not normally deal in American currency could probably guess that $5.38 minus $4.38 equals $1. To this kid, I could have been Newton or Archimedes or Pythagoras.

You may not feel you are an expert in your field, because you don’t have the experience or success equal to others. On the other hand, realize you have more experience than the beginner.

If you think about where you were two years ago, you are much more experienced than a person in that position now. Help those folks make the two-year journey to get to the point where you are now.

Six Ways To Demonstrate Your Expertise

Help people learn what you know.

Help people find the tools you have discovered through your journey.

Help people find the right people in the industry where they can learn more.

Find people who are in a position that you have conquered.
Share your stories of triumph and woe to encourage those following behind you.

Help those that do not have quite as much knowledge and experience that you have.

If you have been in your field for any length of time, there will always be somebody with less experience than you. Find those people, and help them succeed.

You may not be number one in the field. That doesn’t matter. You can always be seen as an expert in the eyes of someone at some point. You simply need to find them. Then, help them in your expert sort of way. Who knows, maybe you are good at math.

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.

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.

Why I Ignore Podcast Critics (And Maybe You Should Too) – PTC Episode 051

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Why I Ignore Podcast Critics (And Maybe You Should Too)

PTC Episode 051

There are a few reasons why I ignore critics, and maybe you should, too.

I was listening to Pat Flynn’s “Smart Passive Income” podcast today. Pat received some feedback that was crtical of his style and motivation. The critic felt Pat was putting on a unauthentic persona in order to sell affiliate programs.

Pat spent a bit of time at the beginning of the episode explaining his approach and defending his character. He didn’t get defensive. His comments were positive toward his critic. Some great points were offered which made me like Pat even more.

I love Pat’s show.  He sounds like a great guy.  I just think he is wasting his time trying to persuade a critic to change his mind.

There are five reasons I tend to ignore critics like this.

Mic Time

By spending time on negative comments, you’re just giving the trolls exposure. The time on your show is valuable. Use it for great content. Do not let the trolls hijack your podcast. You’ve worked hard to attract the attention of your audience. Trolls do not deserve the attention.

Constructive Criticism

Yes, I find constructive criticism valuable. However, critics are rarely motivated to help you. They typically have the desire to tear you down to their level. If they cannot have success, they do not want you to succeed either. Giving them attention just feeds their appetite to be critics.

Representation

One person is not representative of your entire audience. It is so easy for us to get derailed by a negative comment. We can receive 40 compliments. Then, one negative e-mail will completely destroy our confidence. Remember, one e-mail only equals one e-mail. It is one person.

Self Doubt

We all fight the impostor syndrome. Am I good enough? Will anyone take me seriously? Who am I to be an expert on this topic? It is common to battle that everyday.

Critics just feed that syndrome. You already have enough self doubt. There is no need to allow critics to feed that fire. Beat them down. Ignore them.

Your Target

Critics will never be your target audience. If you are selling an idea or product, critics will never be the group that buys what you are selling. No matter how hard you try to convince the critic that you are correct, they will always be skeptical. You are wasting your time on the critic. Focus on the people that love what you do.

Jeff Walker addresses this topic in his new book “Launch”. He says, “All of us have people we want to connect with better than others … The last thing you want is a lot of prospects and clients who aren’t a good fit for you … You want to be sure you attract YOUR people into your business.”

Maybe You Should

On the other hand, maybe you should give your critics some attention. If you have thick skin, giving your critics some attention can strengthen the support of your fans. When you read some negative feedback, you fans will step up to support and defend you.

I am not talking about trying to attract attention to yourself or manipulating your audience. However, if you have a strong, supportive community, you may find them defending you before you even have a chance to mention the critic.

Dave Ramsey does this on his show quite often. He makes it quite entertaining, and it strengthens the support of his tribe.

You really need to have strong self esteem to make this happen. You need to be strong in battling the impostor syndrome to try this approach. If you truly believe in what you do, you can use critics to your advantage.

If you find yourself creeping into self doubt, remove the trolls from your life. Don’t let them bring you down. You are great at what you do. Superserve your fans. Let the critics seep back into the darkness and feed on somebody else.

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.

8 Questions To Better Podcasts – PTC Episode 050

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8 Questions To Better Podcasts – PTC Episode 050

8 Questions To Better Podcasts

Today, we discuss how you can follow 8 questions to better podcasts.

On the Podcast Review Show the other night, Dave Jackson mentioned he was reviewing his own episode and discovered something he could do to make his show better. I’m a big proponent of show reviews in real time in order to get better. One of my free worksheets at PodcastTalentCoach.com is dedicated to reviewing your show. Here are eight of the questions on that worksheet that can help you improve your podcast.

Pick an episode from a few weeks back. Listen to it in real time. Then…

Ask yourself these questions

  1. Did you accomplish the goals you set for this episode?
  2. How did you make the audience care?
  3. How did you include the listener, making them part of the story?
  4. Where were the “oh wow” moments?
  5. What was memorable about the show?
  6. At what points did you introduce and reset the show/topic?
  7. What stories did you tell?
  8. Where did you use active language? (walking instead of walked, eating, not ate)

There are 19 total questions on the review sheet. You can find it online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

If you would like the workbook that will walk you through all of the worksheets, find that at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

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 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.

Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

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Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

IMG_0756

Let’s help you determine where to begin podcasting.

I recently had lunch with the guys from the “200churches” podcast. Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig are pastors at a 200church in Northwest, Iowa. They want to encourage and support other pastors of “smaller” churches.

As we were having lunch, Jeff was telling me about their start in podcasting. They had all of the equipment and were ready to roll. As they were about to record their very first episode, Jeff said he didn’t know where to start. What was the first thing he was supposed to say?  How do you figure out where to begin podcasting?

Where to begin is a natural problem. You know what you want to say. You simply don’t know where to start it all. How far back to the beginning of your message should you go?

You have all the equipment. You have set up the technical details of the podcast. How does the show content begin?

Whether you are a brand new podcaster, or someone with hundreds of episodes under your belt, this episode will help you with your content. If you are just beginning, this will help you create your framework. We will walk through content preparation as you lay out the show.

If you are an “old pro”, this content will be a great refresher to help you step back and evaluate your progress. When we have done something for a long time, assumptions begin to creep into the content. We sometimes take small details for granted as if our listener has been with the show from the beginning.

 

There are six steps to defining your content and preparing your podcast.  These six steps will help you determine where to begin podcasting.

1. What do you hope to accomplish?

This includes both the topic and the show overall. Set a goal for each topic, the episode and your podcast in general.

2. What are the interesting topics you hope to address on this particular episode?

As you determine your topics, look for a theme to develop.

3. How will you treat each specific topic you hope to address?

What will you do with the content? You could answer the question, demonstrate the answer, play some audio, show charts to support your answer, or use some other treatment. Find a way to make it your own. Your approach should be unique to you.

4. Create an outline for the flow of the show topics.

This is important for the show introduction.  Bullet points should suffice.  Do not script your content.

5. What supporting information will you need for the show?

Organize and highlight for easy access during the show. This will help you sound prepared as you begin to build credibility with your audience.

6. Write your introduction. Write your conclusion. Include your call to action.

 

If you would like a worksheet to walk you through this process and others, visit the worksheet section at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.  These worksheets will further help you determine where to begin podcasting.

 

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.

Your Effective Call To Action – PTC 045

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Effective Call To Action – PTC045

(photo by Albo)
(photo by Albo)

I was listening to an interview CD that accompanies each issue of Success magazine. Publisher Darren Hardy was talking with Founder and President of Piranha Marketing, Inc. Joe Polish. During that interview, Mr. Polish proclaimed great marketing makes selling easy and unnecessary.  It makes your call to action powerful.

 

Selling is Easy

You may not be selling in the traditional sense of products or services in exchange for money. However, you are making a call-to-action within your podcast. It may be selling for money. It may also be inviting your listener to come again, asking him to visit your website, requesting that she join your mailing list, inspiring him to get involved with a cause or any other action. It all involves selling yourself.

Polish’s statement was bold. As he went on to explain himself, Polish made perfect sense. In fact, his comments were very similar to the marketing and branding information we’ve been discussing with regard to your podcast.

We have discussed the call-to-action in previous episodes of Podcast Talent Coach. We simply need to determine what we hope to accomplish with our podcast episode before we begin recording.

In summary, Polish said great marketing gets people properly positioned, so they are pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified, and predisposed to do business with you (or act on your call-to-action). Great marketing therefore makes selling easy and unnecessarily.

If you have truly engaged your listener and created that strong relationship we’ve been discussing, the selling should take care of itself. Selling becomes difficult when you are trying to get your listener interested. Selling before your listener is motivated is a challenge. Trying to sell to a listener that isn’t qualified is hard work. If your listener isn’t predisposed to taking action, you will need to sell hard.

Building relationships with your podcast involves telling great stories. Revealing things about yourself through stories makes you real. Your listeners get to know and like you. As you continue to help them over time, you build the trust they seek.

When you have taken the time to build the relationship, your listener will be pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified, and predisposed to do business with you. They will be ready to buy. Selling, in terms of convincing your listener to buy, will be unnecessary. Your marketing and engaging relationship will have them ready for your call-to-action.

Do the hard work up front to make selling easy.

 

Shouting Will Not Help You

You can’t shout your way into a person’s trust circle. They only way to gain trust is to add value. Give them something they can use. Building trust is the foundation of revenue generation for your podcast.

As you build trusting relationships with your podcast, continue to ask yourself, “How am I helping my listener?” Continue to give, and the trust will develop over time.

When you begin every discussion with your product, needs or wants, people will tune you out. You will begin to sound (and be treated) like advertisements for used cars. Shouting doesn’t work. Your listener won’t care and will rarely return.

Serve first, many times over. Then and only then can you effectively sell.

Shows like the “Dave Ramsey Show”, “48 Days To The Work You Love” and “Smart Passive Income” are all designed to help their listeners first. Sure, they all have products to sell as the end result. However, they never begin with their product. The discussions on these shows always begin with the listener’s needs in mind first.

As you prepare for your show, find great ways to help. Your help may come in the form of entertainment. You may serve as companionship for your podcast listener. Help them find other forms of companionship as well. If your podcast is only one hour per week, there are 167 more hours in the week that aren’t occupied by your show. Your listeners will surely need more companionship to fill a few of those hours. Help your audience fill those hours, too.

Are you building trust, or are you shouting?

 

Ask For The Sale

After you’ve done the hard work building the relationship, don’t forget to ask for the sale.

One afternoon last week, I stopped by the quickie mart to get something to drink. As I waited in line at the cash register, the gentlemen in front of me set his purchase on the counter.

Among his items was a 2-liter bottle of soda. The bottle of soda was $1.69. The clerk said, “Did you know these are on sale two for $2? You can grab another and save yourself some money.”

The customers responds with, “Looks like I need to grab another bottle.”

By simply asking for the sale, the clerk doubled the purchase. The customer also benefitted by saving some money.

In fact, everyone wins in this transaction. The store is paying the clerk an hourly wage whether he sells one bottle of soda or 100. The cost of the clerk’s time to the store remains constant. Wages are the biggest expense to the store when figuring cost of goods sold. Therefore, by adding another bottle of soda to the purchase, even at the lower price, the store makes more money also.

It all happened because the clerk asked for the sale.

 

This week, review your show to ensure you are building those relationships.

• Start with the listener instead of your product or service

• Determine how you are going to help your listener with this episode

• Put a strong call-to-action at the end of the episode

 

Let’s Work Together

I would love to help you with your podcast. If you would like to improve your content, call-to-action and business, I have a few openings for coaching clients.

You need to be serious about making some money with your podcast. It may not be millions. However, you need to have the desire to make a little money.

We will work together to build a customized plan for you, your show and your business.

We have to date before we can get serious, right?

I’m offering a complimentary coaching call to a few candidates who are serious about their improvement. We need to see if we are a good fit for each other.

There will be no high pressure sales pitch. We can review your show to see if we work well together. If it clicks, we can lay out a coaching plan for you. If the call is not all you had hoped, no harm. We’ll just continue on as friends.

There is only room for a few. My calendar simply will not allow me to coach everyone.

If you are interested … and serious … e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. We can get the conversation started.

 

Find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Powerful Podcast Stories – PTC Episode 043

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6 Ways Stories make your podcast powerful

PTC Episode 043

Zig Ziglar used great stories in every point he made. He was a wonderful storyteller.

Dave Jackson and I spoke with the Contractor’s Secret Weapon podcast this week on the Podcast Review Show. They hosts told a great story about earning the #1 spot on Google. The story really helped solidify their points.

You don’t need to include constant stories in your podcast. You only need a few memorable stories to make your podcast stronger.

6 ways stories make your podcast powerful.

 

Transport your listener to other places using stories

  • Visual words
  • Theater of the mind

 

Would I enjoy taking a one-hour car ride with this person every week?

  • Develop friendships
  • Like a one-on-one conversation in a car

 

Do I know the host by listening to the show?

  • Reveal things about yourself
  • People get to know and like you

 

Stories define your character

  • People begin to trust you

 

Let others live vicariously through your stories

  • They can enjoy your journeys without the risk
  • May be the reason there are so many entrepreneur podcasts

 

Stories make you human

  • Humorous, compelling or tragic
  • Laugh, marvel, sympathize
  • Put yourself on the same level as your listener

 

There are worksheets available on the Podcast Talent Coach website that will help you develop your stories. These worksheets are free. The Show Prep and Topic Development worksheets will be most helpful with your stories.

You can receive further help walking through the worksheets by getting the Podcast Talent Coach Workbook. It is available in paperback HERE and on the Kindle HERE.

To discuss my personalized, one-on-one coaching, you can reach me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

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. Prices increase by $40 on June 1. Act now!

 

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.

2-Person Podcast Tips – PTC Episode 038

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2-Person Podcast Tips

A few notes before the episode this week. I am speaking at the Podcast Movement in Dallas August 16th and 17th, 2014. It is a national podcast conference that has an amazing roster of presenters and speakers. It is less than $135 (including fees) for the standard ticket before June 1, 2014. I would love to have you join me there using my affiliate link. Get your ticket by clicking the logo in the bottom right corner online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Dave Jackson recently invited me to join him on the Podcast Review Show. You can find the show and listen at PodcastReviewShow.com. Each week we invite a podcaster on the show for a critique of the entire business from content to website to revenue opportunities.

If you would like to be featured on the show, click the “Get Reviewed” link at PodcastReviewShow.com.

 

Joining a two-person show forced me to review my tips for shows with multiple hosts. How do you maintain the level of quality and professionalism? How do you maintain the focus without running down rabbit holes and getting lost?

Most of these tips apply if you are a solo podcaster or only have guests on your show.

There are five areas to develop for a show with multiple hosts.

 

Define Each Role

  • Select your partner carefully
  • If you are the same, one of you isn’t necessary
  • What is each expected to bring to the show

 

Responsibilities During The Show

  • Who drives
  • Who sets up topics
  • Who cues others

 

Smooth Flow

  • Develop hand signals to avoid talking over each other
  • Use chat if can’t see each other
  • Use names of each host to allow listeners to follow along
  • Use a show clock so each host knows where the story is headed
  • Begin stories with your intriguing introduction so your partner can follow

 

Other Work

  • Decide who handles other tasks like booking guests & post prod
  • Equal sound quality
  • Use similar equipment
  • Record on separate channels for processing & post prod

 

If It Ends

  • Create an agreement before you begin
  • What happens to the show if someone wants to leave?
  • Who owns the content if someone leaves?
  • Who owns the business & clients?
  • “Oh, it will never happen. We’re married/best friends/brothers.” It happens all the time. Don’t fool yourself.

 

Plan your show before you begin. If you are already creating content, it is never too late to start. Start planning today.

This week:

1. Define the roles of each member of your show and put it in writing

2. Start using the names of those on the show

3. Create an exit plan for the show if it should end

 

Next week we will discuss how to prepare for a show. We will review topics like how to get over prelaunch jitters, how to use your notes, and what should be included in your prep outline.

 

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.

Focus Of Your Podcast – PTC Episode 037

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Focus Of Your Podcast – PTC Episode 037

A few notes before the episode this week. I am speaking at the Podcast Movement in Dallas August 16th and 17th, 2014. It is a national podcast conference that has an amazing roster of presenters and speakers. It is less than $135 (including fees) for the standard ticket before June 1, 2014. I would love to have you join me there using my affiliate link. Get your ticket by clicking the logo in the bottom right corner online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Dave Jackson recently invited me to join him on the Podcast Review Show. You can find the show and listen at PodcastReviewShow.com. Each week we invite a podcaster on the show for a critique of their entire business from content to website to revenue opportunities.

If you would like to be featured on the show, click the “Get Reviewed” link at PodcastReviewShow.com.

Show Focus

I was listening to the Solopreneur Hour Podcast with Michael O’Neal this week. His show is one of my regular, weekly listens. The podcast frequently features an interview with a successful person in business. Michael does a nice job relating his content to my business.

Many podcasters get lost in the interview and fail to make the important connection to the listener.

When you define the focus of your show, you create a filter for your content. This filter helps determine which content makes the show. It also helps frame your content with respect to your listener.

(Get the “Show Focus Worksheet” HERE.)

To succeed, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd. You cannot simply be better. You must be amazingly different. Make the connection of your content to the needs of your listeners. Help your audience solve their problems and eliminate their frustrations.

Even if you are a seasoned podcaster, it may be time for a tune up. Does your show have a strong focus? Is your content truly helping your listener? Have you defined what is in it for them?

Begin with your passions. When you are creating your podcast, find subject matter that stirs a fire inside you. If you can talk about it for hours, you are probably on target. If you can come up with fifty different topics on your area of interest, you could have a winning subject.

What topics and subjects typically occupy most of your conversations? This is probably where you will find the focus of your podcast. You will be talking about the same subject matter show after show. You better love it. To be interesting, you first need to be interested.

Once you have your topic, define your unique qualities. Remember, you don’t simply want to be better. You want to be amazingly different from the others. My show is focused on content. Where most shows about podcasting center on the technical aspect, I use my 25 years of broadcasting experience to create content you cannot find elsewhere. That is my unique position.

This is where we narrow your topic. Really focus on the niche. You cannot be everything to everybody. Being broad creates a bland podcast that lacks focus. Be specific.

The size of your niche is not nearly as important as the passion of the niche. Help people that are passionate about your topic. This is where you will succeed.

Where can you help? Determine what frustrates your listeners. Figure out what your audience needs to do to double their business or happiness or success. Then, help them accomplish those things. Create solutions with your show.

Finally, use this filter for all of your content. Define the focus of your show. As you prepare for each episode, run your topics and content through this filter to ensure the focus is on your listener.

If you are interviewing people on your show, run it through your filter. What is in it for your listeners? How can they put that information to use?

Even if you are a comedy podcast for entertainment only, your listener is still getting a benefit from your show. They are coming to you for companionship. They want to forget about their problems for a bit. Your content filter should ensure you are helping them accomplish that goal.

 

Here is your “to do” list for this week.

1. Step back for an overview of your show. Define the goal for your podcast.

2. Determine where and how you are helping your listeners.

3. Ensure your niche is focused enough.

4. Put all of your content through your listener filter.

 

Next week, we will discuss tips for the two-person podcast. We will examine five areas you should define and develop if you have a show with multiple hosts.

 

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.

Creating Podcast Avatars – PTC Episode 035

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Creating Podcast Avatars

Before you can create a great podcast with meaningful, powerful relationships, you need to define your target listener. Most podcasts decide they are focused on a niche and leave it at that. I hear, “My podcast is for entrepreneurs.” A broad category of listeners isn’t defined nearly well enough to help you focus your content.

When creating content, you will approach fans of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League different than you would talk to fans of the New York Philharmonic. You will speak differently to young men in college than you would to grandmothers who enjoy knitting. When you define your target audience, you will define your strategy to reach that audience.

If you are creating a podcast around retirement, your target audience may be defined by gender and age, such as men in their early twenties or 50-year-old women. Their age is the commonality.

Your target audience could also be defined by a common passion. The podcast could cater to fans of Harley Davidson who ride at least 25,000 miles per year. Their fanaticism ties them together.

This episode walks you through your listener definition using the Podcast Talent Coach worksheet found online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

This week, complete the worksheet to really define your avatar. I think you’ll be surprised how it helps shape your content.

 

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Please let me know how I might be of assistance. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

More Podcast Engagement – PTC Episode 034

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More Podcast Engagement – PTC Episode 034

A few notes this week …

A big thanks to Dave Jackson at The School of Podcasting for having me on his 400th episode. That was quite an honor. We had a lot of fun. Check it out when you have a minute.

 

The Podcast Talent Coach workbook is now available in paperback. The workbook will walk you step-by-step through my worksheets. You will gain a better understanding of the purpose behind each question and worksheet as you develop your content. Find it at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

I received an e-mail the other day that contained a question I’m asked quite often. For quite some time, I’ve tried to solve the problem myself. I’ve read books, listened to interviews, purchased products and reviewed tons of notes and articles I’ve collected over the years. The question? How do we create more engagement with our podcasts?

 

Before we jump into engagement, let’s review your checklist from last week. On the last episode, we discussed ways to sound more confident in your content. Your checklist included four items.

– Be yourself. Tell a story on your podcast this week that will reveal something about you.

– Do everything in your own style. Start by defining that style.

– Move beyond information by defining what is in it for your listener. Stir emotion.

– Review a past episode while actually listening like a listener.

Now that you have some time between posting the episode and reviewing it, this might be a good week to listen to your show like a listener. See if you actually accomplished all four points.

I hope the episode helped you and served you to create your podcast with more confidence.

 

Through all of my research and years of experience, I’ve discovered a few key steps to create interaction. This week, let’s cover 7 steps to create more engagement with your podcast.

 

1. Be A Storyteller For Success

As you create your podcast, become a great storyteller. Great storytellers create fans.

Interest in your story never remains constant. Your information can only become entertainment when interest is rising. If interest is falling, the show is becoming boring and is no longer entertainment. A great story continues to develop the plot and raise the interest.

Have you ever sat through a long, monotonous story that never seems to end? You stare and wonder if the speaker actually has a point to this monologue. You pray for your cell phone to ring and save you. That scenario is exactly what you want to avoid. Practice becoming a great storyteller.

Stories help define your character and personality. You should always be yourself. It is difficult to play a character consistently and tell great stories. Your true feelings and identity will always be revealed in the stories you tell. If you are successful hiding your true self, you simply are not telling great stories. Vivid details and interesting points that stir emotions in your listeners can only come from your true feelings. Reveal your true character. Storytellers create raving fans.

 

2. Ask Them To Engage

How do you expect them to know you want them to be part of your show if you don’t ask?

Be sure to make your request specific. Tell your listener exactly what you want her to do.

 

3. Make It Easy To Engage

You may use social media, your website, an e-mail address, voicemail, or a number of other methods to reach you. Simplify it. Create one contact page on your website containing the info to avoid the need for a laundry list during your show. Then, always provide that one contact source. By using that one source, you also prevent your listener from getting caught in the decision paradox.

Make the questions specific, so they don’t have to think. Give your listener a question to answer or specific piece of information to provide. If he isn’t forced to be creative and “work” to create content for your show, you will have more success creating engagement.

 

4. Focus On Helping Others

Zig Ziglar had many great quotes. One of my favorites is, “You can have anything you want in life just as long as you help enough other people get what they want in life.” How true that is.

As you turn your information into engaging entertainment with your podcast, keep in mind that helping people is part of the foundation of a strong relationship. If you take, take, take, your relationship won’t last long. If you are there to give and help, you will develop friends for life.

Ziglar is a great example of helping people. His speeches always offer great tips to improve your life, sales or attitude. He also has great books, CDs and other products he sells. However, most of his time is spent on helping others. There is a lot of free Ziglar information available. He helps others and eventually sales come his way.

Get what you want out of life. Focus on helping others.

 

5. Make It About Them

If you want people to engage, there has to be something in it for them. Make them care.

 

6. Tease And Set Up The Next Episode

Prepare your audience to participate. Let them know the topic for next week. Then, ask them if they have a question about that particular topic. If you have a guest, ask if there is a question they would like you to ask. Michael Hyatt does a great job at this on his podcast “This Is Your Life“.

 

7.Thank Your Audience

Thanks for listening. I appreciate the help you give me.

It is such an easy way to strengthen your relationship with your audience. Your listeners have given you something they can never get back. That is their time.

Show your appreciation. A simple thank you will go a long way with your listener. If they know you are honestly grateful for their time, the chance they will listen again goes way up.

It must be honest and authentic. You can’t thank them in a gas-station-attendant-I’ll-never-see-you-again kind of way. You must deliver it from the heart. It should be the kind of thank you that you would give a stranger who stopped to help when you ran out of gas.

Your listener is your lifeblood. Without your listener you have no show. She has many, many choices when allocating her time. Let her know you appreciate her for spending her time with you.

… And thank you for stopping by. You have done a ton for me just by being here.

 

Next week we will discuss how to define your target audience better than the generic avatar you have now. We’ll get specific. If you have questions about that topic, head to www.PodcastTalentCoach.com to get your questions answered.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Please let me know how I might be of assistance. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

More Podcast Confidence – PTC Episode 033

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How To Develop More Podcast Confidence

Self-confidence is a battle we all face. Do you feel like you don’t belong amongst the best in your niche?  Do you sometimes wish there was somebody that would give you that little boost of validation?  Most recently, I received nearly the same question. How do I become comfortable as a speaker?

We have discussed this topic in the past on the Podcast Talent Coach podcast. In episode 012, I offered tips to become more comfortable with the timber and sound of your voice. This week, I would like to give you a few ideas to use to develop more confidence in your content.

I had a coaching call and received an e-mail in the past couple weeks that included this topic. Both podcasters were unsure of their speaking ability. They felt they may lack authority on their topic.

I had a coaching call with a gentleman who had recently launched a new podcast. His career to this point had involved public speaking and presenting. He was self-conscious of how he sounded on his podcast. He asked if he should get a voice coach.

The second question came in an e-mail.

“So far I have interviewed and recorded 3 people and when editing I’m realizing how much I hate my voice and because of that I feel unsure about putting anything out. Though the desire to podcast and be a liable presence is there is it possible to have a nervous sounding voice and still taken seriously? I don’t know why I sound so timid and unsure because these people I’m interviewing are so far of people I know but as soon as I press that record button my presence seems to change. Do you have any tips? I hope there is still a chance for me. I hope this is just a newbie problem and something that I can eventually overcome.”

We all face the inner critic. We are unsure how we can sound like an authority in our niche. What can we do to develop more confidence in ourselves as we create our content each and every week?

This week, we discuss four steps to become more comfortable & confident with your content.

 

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.

 

YOUR STYLE

Create everything you do in your own style. You can only stand out among all other shows when you create your own unique style. You must then make sure everything you do is consistent with that style.

Many new broadcasters try to emulate the style of their hero or mentor. They attempt to imitate the styles they hear from other broadcasters. Unfortunately, copying doesn’t create a unique style. Copying typically creates a watered-down version of some other style. When creating your content, be yourself and find your own style.

Some of the greatest broadcasters didn’t start the ascension to the top until they abandoned the attempts to broadcast in the style they thought others desired and began being true to themselves.

Oprah Winfrey quit trying to be a traditional news anchor. She also quit doing the typical tabloid, daytime talk show. When she began to create the show she always desired, she went to the top of the game.

Howard Stern began as a radio DJ sounding like every other radio DJ. He was playing the records and spouting the lines written by management while going nowhere. When Stern decided he was going to do radio his way, he began to make a name for himself. He also went to the top.

Rush Limbaugh followed a very similar path. He had a cheesy radio name. He followed the format designed by somebody else. Limbaugh made every attempt to fulfill the typical radio DJ stereotype. He also got fired again and again. When he decided to broadcast in his style and true to his beliefs, he began his rise to the top.

Adam Corolla made his climb when he took full control over his style and show. He was climbing the DJ ladder in Los Angeles. Corolla had some decent television work. He then decided to create his own show in his own style via podcast. That began his rise as one of the biggest podcasters in the world.

All of these broadcasters made the decision to stop copying others. They all created shows that were true to their style.

They each also stay true to their style in everything they do. You will never hear Rush sound like Howard. You’ll never mistake something Oprah says as something Adam might say. Being true to their style isn’t something that takes conscious effort. It comes easy to each of them, because it is true to who they are as people.

Be true to yourself. It will make it easy to create everything you do in your style.

 

MOVE BEYOND INFORMATION

The goal of our podcasts is to create strong relationships with our audiences. We can take those relationships and move our listeners with a call to action. To achieve that strong relationship, we need to move beyond information to engaging entertainment.

Dan Miller, author of “48 Days To The Work You Love” could simply explain how you might find a new job. Instead, Dan instills the belief in his listeners that there is more to work than a paycheck. He stirs emotion describing how you can turn your passion into your career. Dan uses that emotion to turn his job finding information into engaging entertainment.

Financial information is turned into entertainment on “The Dave Ramsey Show” when Dave turns debt into the enemy. He doesn’t simply walk you through the steps to become debt free. Dave helps you find that burning desire to escape the shackles of debt. He makes you envision the possibility of “living like no one else”. His help becomes engaging entertainment. That is the reason his show is extremely popular and he is very wealthy.

Our shows can be powerful when we build relationships and move our listeners with a call to action. Those relationships happen when we move beyond information to engaging entertainment.

 

REVIEW YOUR SHOW

Review your show on a regular basis. Actually listen like a listener. That is the only way to improve.

Many hosts finish recording a show and think, “That was pretty good. What’s next?” They might recreate parts of the show in their head to determine what might make the show better next time. Usually, there isn’t much time spent actually reviewing a show. There are so many other duties to handle. It’s on to the next thing, which is probably editing, posting, and promoting the show.

In order to make your podcast better, you need to spend quality time listening to the show. Play it back. Grab a pad of paper and write down the parts that jump out at you. Jot down the “oh wow” moments. Take note of the sections that didn’t work exactly as you planned.

You will only find these moments when you listen like a listener. The show will sound much different to you when you listen back than it did as you were recording it. You will hear things you didn’t notice as you were focused on creating the content. Words that you overuse will suddenly become noticeable to you.

Once you have created the lists of good and not-so-good, create two more lists. First, determine how can you create more of the “oh wow” moments on the show. How might you incorporate into the show more of the great content that worked? Second, make a list of ways you can eliminate the parts that weren’t polished enough.

Get on the road to show improvement. Review your show on a regular basis.

 

To Do This Week

1. Be yourself. Tell a story on your podcast this week that will reveal something about you.

2. Do everything in your own style. Start by defining that style.

3. Move beyond information by defining what is in it for your listener. Stir emotion.

4. Review a past episode while actually listening like a listener.

 

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.

Your Professional Podcast Sound – PTC Episode 032

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Your Professional Podcast Sound

When I first started in broadcasting, I doubted my voice, my sound and my ability. I doubted whether I belonged with the other professional broadcasters. Would they find me out and end my broadcasting career before it began?

Everyday, I would search for ways to sound more professional. Any idea that would come along to help me sound more prepared I would put to use. If I thought an idea would help me sound organized, I would give it a shot.

Overnight radio is where most broadcasters begin. I did overnights for the better part of four years trying to find my way. The desire to belong in the category burned inside of me. My passion to sound like a professional drove me show after show.

After years, I realized the fear of sounding unprofessional, unprepared, and unorganized is perfectly common amongst broadcasters. The desire to be credible and belong in the category burns inside of most that go on to become successful. The inner critic is present in all of us.

If you would like to sound like an expert and not simply knowledgable about your topic, there are steps you can take to sound more professional. There are ways to become more organized and prepared. Your show can grow by leaps with a few simple adjustments.

Here are three steps you can take to sound more professional.

 

PREPARE FOR YOUR SHOW

Before you begin to record your show, you should spend just as much time preparing for the show. It is very similar to mapping out a trip. You not only need to know where you are going, you need to know how to get there.

Many hosts will have an idea of which topics they hope to address on the show. They may have a few e-mail questions to answer or a current event to discuss. That is where most quit. They think, “Well, I have our ideas. Let’s do this.” They then begin recording.

This is a big mistake. You must plan what you hope to do with each topic. How do you hope to answer the questions? What will your opinion be on the current event. Most importantly, how will you present it to your listener.

If you plan to answer an e-mail question only because you think it is a good question, but you do not plan out your answer, you will wade through the answer. It will take you much more time to answer the question than is necessary. Your show will therefore lack momentum. Your listener will become easily bored. When you stumble your way through your answer unprepared, your listener will wonder if you actually now where you are going.

Before you open the mic, plan out your show. Jot down some notes. Write down the few important points you need to mention as you’re answering the question. Then, make sure you stick to your plan.

Dan Miller does a wonderful job of this in his podcast “48 Days to The Work You Love”. He knows exactly which questions he wants to answer in his show. He knows exactly how he wants to answer them. He also has a few solid examples for each answer. Dan tends to over-promise at the beginning of the show with the questions he hopes to answer. He should either stick to a time limit for each answer, or promise fewer with the potential of a few “bonus” answers at the end if time permits.

Give your show more momentum and energy. It will happen when you prepare for your show.

 

STAY FOCUSED

Avoid the shiny objects.

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 got 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.

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

 

REPLACE THE CLICHES

That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

If you find yourself saying “obviously” or “of course”, you are making one of two errors.

The first error is repeating yourself. If you are saying “obviously” because you feel everyone already knows the information, you are wasting your breath. There is no need to say it.

I may say, “The sun comes up in the East, of course.” Everyone listening to me knows the sun comes up in the East. There was no reason for me to point out the origin of the morning sun.

“Of course” gets thrown in, so it didn’t look like I was trying to teach you about the sunrise. I didn’t want you to think I just learned that. “Of course” plays it off.

The second error is lack of confidence. You may want to sound knowledgeable to those who know the information. Yet, you know there is a segment of the audience that does not know the details. In this case, you’re just wasting words.

I may say, “The band will be at the arena Saturday night, of course.” Some may be aware of this performance. Yet, there may be members of the audience who haven’t heard the news. It makes sense to add the information.

The idea is to sound knowledgeable and credible to those that already know, while providing the information to those unaware. You simply need to restructure you sentence and eliminate the cliché.

“When the band is at the arena Saturday night, parking will be at a premium.” This sentence provides new information to both segments. I include the “arena Saturday night” portion for the new listeners while giving those already aware of the concert new parking information. Both receive a benefit.

When you include “that’s right” or “like I said”, you are repeating yourself. Your listener heard you the first time. Most people use these cliches to fill time while they think of the next thing to say. Avoid going in circles. Your listener will quickly become uninterested. Know where you’re going and keep moving forward.

Avoid the cliches. That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

 

Take these three steps to sound like an expert and not simply knowledgable about your topic. These steps can make you sound more professional, more organized and more prepared. Start down the path to show growth this week by making these few small adjustments.

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.

More Podcast Listener Interaction – PTC Episode 029

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MORE PODCAST LISTENER INTERACTION – EPISODE 29

Many podcasters ask me how to get more listener interaction with their show. How can you get more listener feedback and comments? We need to transform your information into engaging entertainment. When your content is engaging, people take notice and take action. If you want your listeners to interact more with your show, make your content engaging.

When you tell stories on your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Vivid details are critical elements of great storytelling. You are creating theater of the mind. Draw pictures in the mind of your listener.

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 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?

1. Tell me great stories

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.

The purpose of your show 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. 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. 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.

2. Put your audience in the story

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 have probably seen a movie like “Silence of the Lambs” where you completely lose awareness of your surroundings as you’re sucked into the scene. It may have been a movie like “Casablanca” where they say goodbye at the very end. Those are two great stories that put you right there in the moment.

Stories told by great storytellers do the same thing. Garrison Keillor is probably one of the best storytellers of our time. When listening to this story, you can see the guy Keillor describes in a few short seconds. He includes great lines like, “… In the midst of drinking a Bombardier at the Moonlight Bay Supper Club and she’d gone off with him to the Romeo Motel.” The story is short, yet the details are vivid.

If you can create details so vivid that your listeners can almost feel them, you can truly put her in the story. Your listener will be fully engaged. That is where information becomes entertainment. Strengthen your relationship with your listener at every opportunity. Put the audience in the story.

Create a movie and put your listener in it

3. Make them forget they are listening to a podcast

When your audience is listening to your podcast, make them forget they are listening to a recording. Take them to another place. Make your storytelling so strong that their imaginations put your listener in another time and place. That’s what great storytelling is all about. That’s what great relationships are all about.

People seek entertainment to escape from reality. They want entertainment like movies, concerts, television, radio and podcasts to make them forget about all of their problems. Entertainment that succeeds will take the audience member to some other place and time.

When you record your podcast, you need to create that wonderful theater of the mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading fiction or talking about gardening, put your audience in the moment. Make your listener forget they are listening to a recording.

4. Intrigue & Suspense

What will happen next?

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. It is 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.

When you promote parts of the show that are coming up, you must creatively tease your audience. You must give them a reason to stick around. It isn’t enough to simply say, “A great story about this weekend is coming up.” Few will stick around for the payoff. Tease. Create anticipation. Instead, use something like, “You’re never gonna believe what I found in the attic this past weekend.”

The evening news does a wonderful job at teasing. Create anticipation. Tease me.

5. Use active language

Your details should contain active language. Words like walking, carrying, and eating are current tense. They create images in your mind. You can see a clown walking. If I am telling a story about a clown that walked, using the past tense, it is more difficult to envision in your mind. It already happened. He isn’t doing it anymore. I can see walking. I can’t see walked.

When you use active language, your story comes to life. Use rich, vivid words that will draw fantastic pictures in the minds of your audience. “The old man, small and fragile, came slowly walking into the art shop gingerly carrying the tattered, leather-bound, black-and-white photo album he had been saving from his depression-era childhood.” You can see the old man. Active language paints those photos.

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.

Podcast Brand Positioning – PTC Episode 025

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Podcast Brand Positioning – PTC 025

At NMX 2014 in Las Vegas at the beginning of January, I discovered a ton of great podcasts and met many new, fantastic people. Here are a few of the new podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately.

As I was listening to new podcasts, I heard one particular show get concerned over a critical review he received from anonymous individual. I understand podcasters are concerned with reviews. Your show is your art. It is your baby they are calling ugly.

Please remember, one listener is such a small percentage of your overall listenership. There will always be somebody critical of you and your point of view. If you have 100 listeners, that is only 1% of your audience.

If you have people commenting one way or the other, positively or negatively, at least you are making them care. Trying to ride the fence is a lonely place. Stir some emotion.

Your firm dedication to your position is critical for your brand. Stand for something. Politicians aren’t trusted, because they constantly change their mind.

Be concrete in your beliefs. If you love something, shout it from the rooftops. If you really dislike something, be open about it. Either way, stand your ground for the health of your brand.

 

On the show this week, we discuss …

7 Ways To Protect The Positioning Of Your Podcast Brand

1. Talk about what you care about – Find topics that excite you

2. Show prep – Know your position

3. Have a goal for every episode – When listening to “Smart Passive Income” with Pat Flynn, Pat said podcasters and speakers should always ask, “What transformation do you hope to have happen for your audience?”

4. Make it interesting by being interested – Even with guests

5. Don’t take the first idea, work a topic

  • Various things to do with a topic
  • Doesn’t always have to be an interview
  • Parody song, skit, long form report with natural sound (experience), demonstration

6. Never be boring – Do something unexpected

7. Have a strategy – Not only what you hope to accomplish, but how to accomplish & how it affects the brand.

Shout out to Kathy Kelly at “Special Mouse” podcast. The show is described as “Disney parks and travel planning for guests with a wide variety of health issues and special needs.” www.SpecialMouse.com.

Mario from www.210LocalMedia.com. This show is described as “Art, music, film & entertainment around San Antonio, Texas.”

 

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.

Making Your Podcast Brand Stronger – PTC Episode 024

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Making Your Podcast Brand Stronger

This past weekend, I was reading a book by Michael Gerber called “Awakening The Entrepreneur Within“.  Mr. Gerber is the author of the E-Myth series and founder of the company of the same name.

In his book, Mr. Gerber mentions fighting with the internal critic that strikes so many entrepreneurs.  This fight didn’t happen while launching E-myth.  It happened 30 years later, after he was incredibly successful, and while launching a new business.

When I discovered a great entrepreneur like Michael Gerber fights the impostor syndrome, I realized it is only human nature.  We all struggle with that internal critic.  One way to overcome that critic is to continually improve.

To make your podcast brand stronger, it takes consistent improvement.  To achieve constant improvement, you should review your show on a regular basis. Actually listen like a listener. That is the only way to improve.

Many hosts finish recording a show and think, “That was pretty good. What’s next?” They might recreate parts of the show in their head to determine what might make the show better next time. Usually, there isn’t much time spent actually reviewing a show. There are so many other duties to handle. It’s on to the next thing, which is probably editing, posting, and promoting the show.

In order to make your podcast better, you need to spend quality time listening to the show. Play it back. Grab a pad of paper and write down the parts that jump out at you. Jot down the “oh wow” moments. Take note of the sections that didn’t work exactly as you planned. (read more)

In this episode, we cover the questions outlined in the Podcast Talent Coach Show Review Worksheet. Those questions include:

– What did you hope to accomplish on this show? Did you succeed?

– How did you make the audience care?

– Where were the “oh wow” moments?

– Where were the surprises?

– What were the powerful words you used?

– What did you like about the show?

– What was memorable about the show?

– What worked?

– What could have been better?

– How did you position the story from the listener’s point of view?

– How did you include the listener, making them part of the story?

– At what points did you introduce and reset the show/topic?

– How did it appear you were prepared for every element?

– What did you reveal about yourself to help foster the relationship with the audience?

– What stories did you tell?

– What details did you use that were spectacular and visual?

– Where did you use active language? (walking instead of walked, eating, not ate)

– What crutches do you use that need to be removed?

– What is your plan to make tomorrow better?

 

Review each episode for continuous improvement.  Fight your internal critic.  Have confidence in yourself and be your best.  You will be well on your way to making your podcast brand stronger with every episode.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Power Of You – PTC Episode 023

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The Power Of You

This week is a little self-reflection. I’m not sure I’m doing my job with my message and serving you as well as I can. Is my communication cutting through in the correct way?

This past weekend, I attended the New Media Expo (NMX) 2014 in Las Vegas. I had an incredible time and learned a lot. The inspiration I receive by attending these conferences is amazing.

The only thing more incredible than the inspiration is the friendships. Mike & Izabela from Music Radio Creative held a meet up at an amazing wine cellar within the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. We all had an incredible time mingling with other amazing podcasters. Mike & Izabela held the gathering in a room of the Wine Cellar & Tasting Room at the Rio. It was like sitting in their living room with couches, chairs and end tables near a bar filled with wine and cheese. The intimate setting really spawned some great discussions.

During the meet up, I had the chance to sit down with Kenn Blanchard from “Black Man With A Gun”, Dave Jackson from “School of Podcasting” and Rem Lavictoire from “The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast”. We had a great time sharing stories about our lives and podcasting. It was a gift.

Kenn mentioned to me that he wasn’t sure how my podcast would be received. He said I was so passionate and determined about my style that he felt it might turn some people off. I loved the feedback. His words really got me thinking.

I stepped back and assessed my message. Is my message really being communicated they way I hope it is? That leads us to the podcast this week.

My message is all about you. I never want to tell you how you should do anything. I want to show you ways it may be done and let you decide. I want you to be you in a way that only you can do it. It isn’t a prescription. It should be a thought starter.

There are a few things I wholeheartedly believe about any podcast, such as podcasts should be built to attract and grow an audience. I also believe every podcaster should be their own unique self. How that happens should be completely up to you.

Today, we discuss the power of you. Many thanks to Kenn Blanchard for showing me the path. His insights are cherished. Check out his NMX2014 session with the virtual ticket if you have the chance.

Here are the 8 facets of the Power of You.

 

1. Be yourself

Only you can be you

Don’t simply copy somebody else

2. Stick to your beliefs

Be true to yourself

Can’t consistently be something you’re not

Hard to fake it without tripping up

3. Tell the truth

Honesty fosters relationships

4. Use your personal style

To make your show unique, add your personal style

Do it in a way that only you can do it

5. Stories define your character

Listeners will learn about you with stories

Stories breed friendships

6. Have fun

People don’t simply want info, they want entertainment

Much more fun to learn when the content is entertaining

7. Be consistent

People know what they like and like what they know

They want to know what to expect when they listen – Deliver the goods every time

8. Be memorable

Own your category – When they think of your category, they think of you

Don’t want them to casually listen then go away

Hard to monetize your activities if you are not top-of-mind

Most marketing is focused on top-of-mind awareness and a strong call-to-action

Call-to-action is powerful when you are the first one that comes to mind

 

This week …

Review two of your shows to see if you are being yourself

Find one personal story to include in your next podcast

Do one thing in a way only you can do it and make it memorable

 

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.

Creating Powerful, Podcast Relationships – PTC Episode 022

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Creating Powerful, Podcast Relationships

It has been said may times before. People do business with people they know, like and trust.

To make your podcast successful, you must create meaningful, powerful relationships with your listeners.

In this episode, we review five of the many ways to improve and foster your listener relationships.

 

Their Voice Will Always Be More Meaningful

One major purpose of your podcast is to foster relationships with your listeners. Many podcasters use e-mail, texts, tweets and posts to interact with their audience. The podcast host typically reads these on the air.

Unfortunately, using these methods of communication puts distance between you and your listener. (read more)

 

Assume Your Listener Is New

The opening of your podcast should explain the purpose of your podcast and let your listeners know exactly what to expect as if this is the first time they have ever heard the show.

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

First, it tells the brand new listener who is hearing the show for the very first time exactly what to expect from the show. Second, those that have heard the show before are confident that they are in the right place.

Your audience size is always changing. It is either growing or shrinking. The direction of the movement is your choice. Always work to grow your audience.

Your show will always lose listeners for various reasons. Sometimes they no longer have a use for your content. Sometimes other shows take the place of your show. Maybe they got a new phone and simply didn’t subscribe again. The size of your audience is always changing.

Since listeners are always moving through the “out” door, you need to continuously work to bring listeners through the “in” door. Always work to find new listeners.

As new listeners constantly join your show, treat each episode like it is your first, because it could be the first episode for your listeners.

 

Your Listeners Deserve a “Thank You”

Thanks for listening. I appreciate the help you give me.

It is such an easy way to strengthen your relationship with your listener. Time is something your listener will never get back. She has just chosen to give it to you.

Show your appreciation. If your listeners know you are honestly grateful for their time, you begin to strengthen your relationship. The relationship is a two-way street.

You must be honest and authentic. You can’t thank them in a gas-station-attendant-I’ll-never-see-you-again kind of way. You must deliver it from the heart. It should be the kind of thank you that you would give a stranger who stopped to help when you ran out of gas.

Your listener is your lifeblood. Your audience is the reason you exist. Without your listener you have no show. She has many, many choices when allocating her time. Let her know you appreciate her for spending her time with you.

Thank you for giving me your time. You have done a ton for me just by being here. I truly appreciate you.

 

You vs. Me

Great marketing is like a mirror. It is a reflection of the customer, not of the company. Great products that use great marketing are focused on the needs, wants and desires of their customers. To make turn your podcast into a great brand, focus on your listener and not on yourself.

Scheels had a great commercial for their snowboarding gear. The commercial was completely focused on the lifestyle of the snowboarder. (read more)

 

Be On Their Level

When you’re creating a relationship with someone, you never want to act as if you are better or above the other person. Even if your position allows you opportunities that your counterpart may not receive, you must be humble about those experiences. People like other people who are similar to themselves.

Take the approach of “I’ve been there and know what you’re going through.” You will empathize with your listener. When you come off like “I know everything”, you appear condescending. Nobody likes a know-it-all.

Show respect for your listener and her problems.

Because I am on the radio, I often get the incredible opportunity to meet many musicians. If I were to brag about these fantastic experiences, I would appear arrogant. It would sound as if I believe I was better than you. You probably wouldn’t find it easy to like me much.

Maintain your humility. Keep yourself on the same level as your audience. If you have an opportunity to interview someone famous, be as honored and excited as your listener would be.

You are building a relationship with your listener. Be likable. Be on the same level as your audience.

————

I’d like to thanks Andrew Hellmich and John Hames for their questions included in the show this week.

Find Andrew Photo Biz Xposed.  CLICK HERE

Find John at Sound Commentary.  CLICK HERE

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 FREE worksheets and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Find Podcast Topics – PTC Episode 019

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How To Find Podcast Topics

One challenge to podcasting is coming up with topics for every episode.  However, topics are everywhere. You can find them in everyday life.  You simply have to look and be creative.

In this show, we use two unrelated magazine articles to generate show topic examples for Podcast Talent Coach.  You then learn how to use this method to create topics for your show.  Finally, we discuss the importance of digging past the first idea to find the best idea.

To generate topic ideas, I highlight interesting words, phrases and sentences from the first two paragraphs.  I then brainstorm on those words to create topics for my show.

The first article is from INC magazine.  “The More Competitors, The Better” comes from p20 of the Nov 2013 issue.  You can read the article by clicking here.

Here are a few topic examples.

Hybrid cars – What are some of the leading edge innovations in podcasting?

“A bigger field would help jump-start the market” – What are we doing as podcasters to grow the industry & medium?

“If competition is good for a billion-dollar automaker, why not for your start-up?” – The top 8 things you can learn from your competition.  – How to fish where the fish are when marketing.

“… Shown the benefits that competition brings to similar businesses within an industry” – Who are the podcast leaders and what can we learn from them?  – How can other shows help boost our show?

We’ve just generated 6 possible topics from the first two paragraphs of an article.

You may think it is easy, because it is a business magazine. Let’s look at an unrelated field.

The next article comes from USA Hockey Magazine.  “The Meek Shall Inherit the Ice” is on p20 of the June/July 2013 issue.  You can read the article by clicking here.

“When the nation’s top quarted 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.  – Examine the winners of the podcast awards.  – What industry events are available to allow us to learn?

“Going back to the 1950’s, when college hockey was a relatively new thing…”  – Explore 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, evey 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.

Here we’ve generated 10 questions from two paragraphs.  In total, we have come up with 16 topics from 4 paragraphs of two articles.  That would easily last us for a couple months if we were creating our podcast once per week.

This is where you need to push yourself.  Don’t settle for your first idea.  Brainstorm.

Don’t Settle For The First Idea

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.

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

On her television show, Ellen DeGeneres asks fun, off-the-wall questions of her guests. She will get them talking about crazy topics you don’t hear on other shows. DeGeneres may even compete with the guest in football throwing or put them in a dunk tank. Whatever it is, her content is always different from her competition. (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.

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.

 

Cliches That Drive Your Listeners Crazy – PTC Episode 014

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Cliches That Drive Your Listeners Crazy

As we transform your information into engaging entertainment, it is important that you connect with your listeners.  Create meaningful, powerful relationships with your audience by being real, personal and natural.

Be Yourself

To be engaging, you need to be human.  You need to be yourself.

As you record your podcast, use your natural voice and your own words. Individuals who are new to broadcasting tend to want to sound like their broadcasting idols. They try to imitate those they have heard on the radio with their voice and clichés. Unfortunately, new broadcasters tend to sound as if they are using scripted drivel done in some character voice that is forced and unnatural. (read more)

That’s Right, Of Course, Like I Said, Obviously

If you find yourself saying “obviously” or “of course”, you are making one of two errors.

The first error is repeating yourself. If you are saying “obviously” because you feel everyone already knows the information, you are wasting your breath. There is no need to say it.

I may say, “The sun comes up in the East, of course.” Everyone listening to me knows the sun comes up in the East. There was no reason for me to point out the origin of the morning sun.

“Of course” gets thrown in, so it didn’t appear as if I were trying to teach you about the sunrise. I didn’t want you to think I just learned that. “Of course” plays it off and brushes it aside. (read more)

And Now It’s Time For …

This phrase seems harmless. It looks like a logical transition from one segment to another during your podcast. Unfortunately, this phrase gives your listener permission to leave the show. It is detrimental to your audience engagement.

When you use “and now it’s time for…” or some similar phrase, it tells the listener that one segment is over and we are moving on to something else. It also signals a natural break in the show and the perfect time to exit. The transition is a lot like a commercial break in a television show. It is time to grab the remote to see what else is available. (read more)

 

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

Here is a link to the Podcast Talent Coach Worksheets.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Beyond Defining Your Listener – PTC013

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Beyond Defining Your Listener

You’ve heard many times that you need to define your target listener.  What do they look like?  Who is your avatar?  Who is your ideal customer?

When most people define their target listener, they list age and gender.  If you stop their, you haven’t truly defined your listener.  Age and gender alone are pretty generic.

Defining your listener means moving beyond age and gender.  Discover what they need.  What are the hopes, dreams and fears of your target listener?  Where do they live?  What do they drive?  What is their family makeup?

In the episode this week, we discuss the many facets that make up listener definition.

Age & Gender

We begin with age and gender.  Though it is generic, we need to start with the basics.  You can find a 30-minute, deep-dive video on the differences between marketing to men and women here at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Men and women are different.  I speak in generalities and stereotypes.  I realize these statements will not hold true in every case.  However, they are most common.

Why They Listen

Next, determine what you listener seeks.  Why do they listen to your show.  I’ll give you the first reason.  Companionship.  People do not want to be alone.  You are their friend and companion.  People have an inner need to be around other people.  You fill that role. (read more)

Make your listener feel comfortable, as if she is spending time with a friend.  When people listen to Adam Carolla, they feel like they know him.  He reveals so much about himself, you feel like you could have a beer and a conversation with him.  He fills that role.

Determine the other factors that bring your listener to your show.

Be Like You

Voyeurism is another reason people listen to the spoken word.  They want to live vicariously through the stories of others with the risk.  By telling stories, you allow your listener to experience the great things you’ve seen in life.  Your listener doesn’t need to put in the time, effort or work to get where you are in life.  They can live through your stories.

Here is a link to the worksheets that will help you go beyond age and gender when defining your target listener.

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.

Review Your Podcast For Success

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Review Your Podcast For Success

If you hope to improve your show episode after episode, you need to properly review your show each and every time.  To improve, you must look for the correct things.  You also need to listen as a fan and not simply as a podcast producer.  Below is a list of questions to help you effectively review your podcast.  Let me know how I can help.

1. Review Your Show

Review your show on a regular basis. Actually listen like a listener. That is the only way to improve.

Many hosts finish recording a show and think, “That was pretty good. What’s next?” They might recreate parts of the show in their head to determine what might make the show better next time. Usually, there isn’t much time spent actually reviewing a show. There are so many other duties to handle. It’s on to the next thing, which is probably editing, posting, and promoting the show.

In order to make your podcast better, you need to spend quality time listening to the show. Play it back. Grab a pad of paper and write down the parts that jump out at you. Jot down the “oh wow” moments. Take note of the sections that didn’t work exactly as you planned. (read more)

2. Is That The Right Measurement

Many podcasters and bloggers measure their success by the number of downloads of, or visits to, their material. Unless you are blogging or podcasting simply as a hobby, this is a mistake. Downloads and visits really don’t move the needle for you. They don’t generate revenue or move your product.

You need to figure out what you want your audience to do and how you measure it? What is your call-to-action? Maybe you want them to visit your website. Maybe you want them to buy your product. Maybe you want them to donate to your cause. Determine the call-to-action. (read more)

3. Think Like A Fan

There will always be new people joining your podcast. Never take your audience for granted. Never act like you have been there and done that. Your listener is still enamored by your celebrity status and ability to do what you do. Be humble. Be real. Be just as amazed as your listener is by the things you get to see and do.

Help your new listener get up to speed with your podcast. Inside jokes only make your new listener feel like they are not part of the group. You want your podcast to feel inclusive. If a new listener feels like they are being left out of the inside jokes, they will leave quickly. Your listener will feel unwelcome. Nothing will keep them around if they feel left out. (read more)

4. Questions For Review

At Podcast Talent Coach, we take great care to help our clients develop the “art” of podcasting.

Do you fear sounding like a beginner? Do you desire to have stronger content? Do you wish you could sound more prepared, more organized and more like a true, professional broadcaster?

Do you fear people will see you as someone simply trying to play the part of a professional?

Our FREE worksheets will help you develop your target listener, create a focus for your show, develop topics and stories, prepare for each show you record and properly critique your podcast to make it stronger.

Find the worksheets by clicking here.

 

This podcast is created to help you with the ART of podcasting. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment. I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Speaking On Mic Or Speaking In Public?

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Speaking On Mic or Speaking In Public?

I received a question the other day from a brand new podcaster.  He was curious to find way to help him be more comfortable speaking into the microphone while recording his podcast.  He asked if he should be taking public speaking classes.

My suggestion was to save his money.  Podcasting and public speaking are different in many ways.  One-on-one communication should be your focus for your podcast.  Addressing the common denominator of a crowd is key to public speaking.

To help you get in a better frame of mind while recording your podcast, in today’s podcast we touch on five key points regarding your speech.

1. The Audience Of One

As you are creating your podcast, treat your audience like you are talking to each person individually. This is critical when creating a trusting relationship with your audience.

I hear many shows address their audience as a group with comments like “hello everyone” or “hey guys”. Each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual. Audio is a very personal medium. Many times, they are listening with headphones. It is just you and her. Talk to her just like that.  (read more)

2. Pretend you’re on the phone

You do not need public speaking classes.  You are not speaking in public.  You are having a one-on-one conversations.  Broadcasting began in the theater.  We are no longer living in that world. This is a New World medium.  It is all about personal communication.  Talk to one person as if you are talking on the telephone.  Post a photo up if you need one.

3. Avoid the scoop

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcom to the big show.”

It sounds like your voice is going up and down as if it is on a yo-yo.

Real people don’t talk like that. You are trying to build trusting relationships with your podcast audience. You want to sound real and authentic.  (read more)

4. Hear the smile

It may sound strange. It may sound hard to believe. But, it is true. Your audience can hear it when you smile.

If you want your listener to have fun and enjoy your podcast, you need to smile as you deliver your lines. The smile will come through in your voice.

Just like you can hear when someone has fear in their voice, you can hear joy in a voice.  (read more)

5. Pregnant pause

Our world today is so busy and noisy. There are thousands of messages hitting us everyday from every direction. In a noisy world, silence attracts attention. Silence is golden.

When you are interviewing a guest during your podcast, don’t be afraid of the pregnant pause. When that long pause begins to feel uncomfortable, let it last a little longer. Don’t create just a pause. Make it a pregnant pause. Not only will the silence attract attention, the break will give your guest time to think of a great answer to your question.

Too many hosts ramble on with their questions fearing the pause that naturally comes between question and answer. Some hosts make their questions go on and on to the point where the question is almost answered before the guest even has a chance to speak. When conducting an interview, avoid the urge to continue talking. Shut up and listen.  (read more)

 

This podcast is created to help you with the ART of podcasting. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment. I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

7 Things That Drive Your Listeners Away – PTC Episode 008

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The Top 7 Things That Drive Your Listeners Away

You work so hard to attract listeners to your podcast. Growing the audience is a constant challenge for most podcasters. You do all you can to bring more people to the party.

There are other things you may be doing to reverse all of your work and drive listeners away. If you are not aware of these pitfalls, they could undermine your marketing efforts. Your audience could be shrinking in spite of your hard work recruiting listeners.

There is good news. Once you learn to recognize these repellants, you can begin to eliminate them from your show. You can make adjustments when you know where to look.

There are seven common mistakes podcasters make that drive listeners away. Here is a description of each stumbling block. See if you recognize these within your show. Suggested remedies are provides as well.

1. The podcaster who talks at you (read the blog post)

2. The podcaster that wastes your time (read the blog post)

3. The podcaster that does not make you care (read the blog post)

4. The podcaster that does not get you involved (read the blog post)

5. The podcaster that doesn’t help others (read the blog post)

Zig Ziglar

6. The podcaster that tries too hard to be funny (read the blog post)

Adam Carolla

7. The podcaster who assumes listeners have heard the show before (read the blog post)

David Letterman

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.

Structure Will Help Define Your Topics …

Structure Will Help Define Your Topics

Deciding the correct topics for your show is instrumental when creating consistency for your podcast. Once you have developed the goal for your podcast and a goal for this particular episode, you need to determine which topics you hope to discuss. Select your topics carefully. Creating a show structure will help you find the right topics.

Topics come in many different forms. A podcast will sometimes focus on one topic for the entire show. Other podcasts have an overall theme while addressing a few different topics under the umbrella of that theme. There are podcasts that answer various listener questions during the show. Others interview a single guest. And yet, some podcasts combine many styles into one show. How you approach your podcast is completely up to you. That is one thing that makes podcasting so great. You are in control.

Your show should have a structure that you follow for each episode. Your structure is a rough guideline that can be easily followed by your listeners. Structure creates consistency.

An example podcast structure might begin with your show open and a quick overview of the episode. You could then include some news about your business and the industry in general. A short guest interview could be next followed by listener e-mail questions. Finally, you could end with a recap and contact information. Each week, you simply plug in new content to each segment.

On the other hand, your show may only be a single interview each week. It could be very focused and streamlined. You get to decide.

Once you have built the structure for your show, you can easily determine which topics will fill each particular episode. You can look at the structure in the example above and know exactly what you need. To record today’s show, you would need the show open, the outline, a list of news headlines, the recorded interview, and a list of e-mail questions and supporting answers.

Many people forget to bring the answers to the questions. Have your answers outlined to ensure you have any supporting material you need to appropriately answer the questions. When you try to answer the questions off the cuff, you will inevitably forget some important facts. It is best to make some notes before you begin recording.

A structure for your show will bring consistency to your show. Your audience will know what to expect each time they listen to the show. You can then populate the structure with your topics. Structure will help define your topics.

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.

7 Keys To Interesting Podcast Content – PTC Episode 005

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7 Keys to Making Your Podcast Content Interesting and Not Simply Topical

This podcast is created to help you with the ART of podcasting. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment. I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

In this episode we cover …

1. Attracting people with benefits and not simply contents

2. Be well prepared, not scripted

3. Attract people by being creative

4. Fear is the enemy of creativity

5. Listen to your guest, and be interesting by being interested

6. Tell stories instead of reading them

7. Keep it simple

Show Prep & Review – 004

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This podcast is created to help you with the ART of podcasting. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment. I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

In this episode, we cover 5 things …

1. How to properly prepare for your show

2. Is rehearsal really the enemy of spontaneity?

3. Lose the script

4. Review to improve

5. Coaching

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

The Creativity of Podcast Sound …

MixDJ

The Creativity of Podcast Sound

 

Your podcast can rise above the other average podcasts when you use sound in a creative manner. When you add audio effects to your podcast that add to the listening experience, you add an element of show business to your show. Your effects add another level of entertainment to your content.

 

When a well-placed effect surprises your audience when they least expect it, you will bring a smile to the face of your listener. It also adds depth and context to your story. Great sound brings your story to life.

 

At the end of his podcast “The School of Podcasting”, Dave Jackson uses a school bell sound effect to conclude the show. It is brilliant. The school bell relates to the title of the show. The sound of the school bell creates the mental picture of a real “school of podcasting”. The audio also brings about a bit of emotional nostalgia.  It is fantastic.

 

So few people take the time to add creative sound to their show. Most will have music for an intro to the show. Some may even incorporate that music to the close of the podcast as well. Very few will go beyond that point.

 

To be creative and surprising, you don’t need to add many effects. Two or three sound effects that are well-placed will work. If you overuse effects, you will no longer surprise your audience. One or two pieces of audio that appear at the perfect time will be a delight.

 

Take the extra step to find a few creative sound effects for your podcast. Place those pieces in your show where they will be unexpected yet entertaining. Your podcast will instantly rise above the average shows of your competition.

 

 

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 courtesy of office.microsoft.com

 

 

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.

Please, Stop Talking: How to Better Interview Your Podcast Guests

Please, Stop Talking:

How to Better Interview Your Podcast Guests

Have you ever had a personal crutch or cliché that you used more often than you thought? It may have been something you didn’t realize until somebody brought it to your attention. Have you ever said, “Wow! I had no idea I did that all the time”? I’m here to tell you to stop it.

A good coach will tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. You need to hear this. When you are interviewing anyone on your show, stop talking. Ask the question, then get out of the way. Let your guest shine.

There are three points to remember when interviewing guests. If you keep these in mind, your guests will feel great about being on your show, and you will look like a brilliant host. Just stay out of your own way.

I go into detail on each of the three points in my latest post, “Please, Stop Talking: How To Better Interview Your Podcast Guests“.  You can find it on the New Media Expo Blog.

If you conduct interviews for any reason, there are a few good points in this post to help you improve.

 

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.

Don’t Tell Me Your Podcast Is Funny …

Don’t Tell Me Your Podcast Is Funny.

Fewer things are less funny than somebody telling you they are funny.

When somebody starts a story with, “Ok, this is funny”, the story rarely lives up to its billing.

My latest post on the New Media Expo blog deals with this very issue.  Check it out HERE.

Just be funny, or don’t.  Either way, don’t tell me you’re funny.  That diminishes the humor.

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.

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.

The Secret Reason People Listen To Your Show …

 

 

There is a secret, primary reason people listen to podcasts and radio shows.

The primary reason people listen to your show at all is companionship.

There are six secrets to providing a high level of companionship to your listener. If you add a little of each ingredient to your show, you will be well on your way to developing meaningful relationships with your audience.

The six secrets to companionship is the subject of my new blog entry on the New Media Expo Blog.

Check it out HERE.

 

3 Steps To The Art Of The Tease …

 

Three Steps To The Art Of The Tease

(Photo by Tiom)

When you want your listeners to stick around and listen to what you have to say, you need to give them a compelling reason. Your listener needs to anticipate what is to come later in the show. You need to excite them. You need to tease them.

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.

There are three steps to creating an effective tease.  You can read my entire post about it here on the New Media Expo Blog.

 

— 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.

That’s Right, Of Course, Like I Said, Obviously …

 

That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

(photo by klikk)

If you find yourself saying “obviously” or “of course”, you are making one of two errors.

The first error is repeating yourself. If you are saying “obviously” because you feel everyone already knows the information, you are wasting your breath. There is no need to say it.

I may say, “The sun comes up in the East, of course.” Everyone listening to me knows the sun comes up in the East. There was no reason for me to point out the origin of the morning sun.

“Of course” gets thrown in, so it didn’t appear as if I were trying to teach you about the sunrise. I didn’t want you to think I just learned that. “Of course” plays it off and brushes it aside.

The second error is lack of confidence. You may want to sound knowledgeable to those who know the information. Yet, you know there is a segment of the audience unaware of the details. In this case, you’re just wasting words.

I may say, “The band will be at the arena Saturday night, of course.” Some may be aware of this performance. Yet, there may be members of the audience who haven’t heard the news. It makes sense to add the information.  “Of course” is meaningless.

The idea is to sound knowledgeable and credible to those that already know, while providing the information to those unaware. You simply need to restructure you sentence and eliminate the cliché.

“When the band is at the arena Saturday night, parking will be at a premium.” This sentence provides new information to both segments. I include the “arena Saturday night” portion for the new listeners while giving those already aware of the concert new parking information. Both receive a benefit.

When you include “that’s right” or “like I said”, you are repeating yourself. Your listener heard you the first time. Most people use these clichés to fill time while they think of the next thing to say. Avoid going in circles. Your listener will quickly become uninterested. Know where you’re going and keep moving forward.

— 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.

Avoid the clichés. That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

6 Steps To Get Your Listeners To Stick Around …

 

I was a guest contributor this week to the New Media Expo and BlogWorld Podcasting blog.  It is an article longer than I usually write here.  However, the length allowed me to dig a little deeper into show structure.

You can read the full post here on the NEW MEDIA EXPO SITE.  I hope you enjoy it.  Be sure to leave a comment or two on the entry.

— 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.

First Is Rarely Unique …

 

First is rarely unique.

(photo by alexshebanov)

To create engaging content with your podcast, you need to be unique. Your first idea will rarely be a truly unique idea. That first idea will usually be something you have done or seen in the past.

Keep working the idea. Let it inspire other, more creative ideas. The more often you let your mind explore other options, the more often you will develop truly unique ideas. Don’t settle.

Always attempt to create something unique with your content. Do not settle for your first idea. Push yourself. Brainstorm. Let one idea lead to the next until you have a long list of ideas. Then, select the best idea from the bunch. You will usually find the unique idea further down the list.

If you settle for your first idea, your content will become stale. You will continue to use ideas that have been used in the past. There will be nothing to engage your audience.

— 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.

Don’t settle for your first idea. Brainstorm until you push past good and find great. First is rarely unique.

Is Rehearsal Really The Enemy Of Spontaneity? …

 

Is Rehearsal really the enemy of Spontaneity?

(photo by mibseo)

Many people refuse to rehearse any part of their podcast, because they feel it will remove all spontaneity from the show. Is that really the case?

Think about a speech you have given. When you have only rehearsed the speech a couple of times, anxiety sets in right before you go onstage. Thinking about mistakes makes you nervous. You worry you may forget a section. You simply are not prepared.

On the other hand, when you have rehearsed the speech many, many times, you eventually know it by heart. The anxiety level of presenting the material isn’t as high. When you begin, you feel much more confident. The worry about making mistakes or forgetting parts isn’t present. You relax. This is when the spontaneity kicks in.

Spontaneity in your speech happens most when you aren’t worried about the mechanics of the presentation. Your mind is allowed to move naturally through the material. This helps you become truly engaged with the audience and material. Wonderful, creative, spontaneous things happen when you reach this point.

The same can be said for your podcast. When you know the material, have defined a specific goal for the show, and have mapped out a plan to achieve that goal, your podcast will be filled with many “oh wow” moments.

If you are worried about how you will answer a question, if you haven’t rehearsed the key questions you intend to ask your guest, if you haven’t scripted an introduction and conclusion to the show, spontaneity will not be allowed to flourish. You will be too concerned about thinking of answers, questions and conclusions. There will be no brain power left for spontaneous things to happen.

— 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.

Where are you spending your time? Are you too busy thinking about the next question and blocking out the spontaneity? Is rehearsal really the enemy of spontaneity?

Funny Follows Fun …

 

Funny follows fun.

(photo by Pescarus)

Many podcasters painstakingly try to be funny. Stop trying so hard. The funny will come. You are simply focused on the wrong thing.

Spend time trying to have fun on your podcast. If you are having fun, your audience is having fun. Your listeners will be able to hear the fun in your voice. Funny isn’t always necessary for entertainment. Having fun is usually entertainment enough.

Have fun and the funny will follow. It will be natural. If you force trying to be funny, you will rarely be funny.

Adam Carolla is always having fun on his podcast. “The Adam Carolla Show” is sometimes funny. However, it is always entertaining. He doesn’t force the entertainment. He simply does what he enjoys. Adam’s fun is contagious, because he is natural. The funny follows.  Follow his lead.

— 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.

Funny will usually come along because you are trying to have fun and not because you are trying to be funny. Funny follows fun.

Keep Yourself Out …

Keep yourself out.

(photo by zen2000)

When you have invited a guest to appear on your podcast, your listener is interested in hearing your guest. Your guest is the star.  Keep yourself out of the interview.

If your listener wanted to hear what you think about the subject, there would be no reason to have the guest on your show. You could simply disseminate the information by yourself. There is no problem if you want to provide the information yourself. Just save your guest the time, effort and dignity by leaving them at home.

Many hosts want to show the guest how much they know about the subject. This will sometimes come in the form of long, detailed questions. The host will fill time with personal stories that display their knowledge.

Unless you have invited your guest to debate you on a topic, as an interviewer, your job is to make your guest look good. Don’t invite the guest to appear on your show if you simply want to show how smart you are. Ask your guest questions that will allow them to tell great stories.

David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon and the other great talk hosts use their monologue to address any topics they want to discuss. When they bring their guests on the show, they ask questions that will elicit great stories. Then, they sit back and listen.  Learn to do the same.

— 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.

Do your homework. Ask wonderful, open-ended questions that set up great stories. Then, sit back and listen. When it comes to interviewing, keep yourself out.

Turn Over The Interview Rocks …

Turn over the interview rocks.

How do you find great questions for your guest during your interview? Look in unlikely places. If you want to truly engage your audience, you need to ask engaging questions of your guest.

The guest’s website or news release is a decent place to get familiar with your guest. However, if you only use these common sources for the basis of your questions, you will be asking the same questions every other interviewer is asking. Your interview won’t be different and will not stand out from the crowd.

One source I like to use is the people traveling with the guest. Ask your guest’s traveling companion if anything amusing has happened lately. It will sound wonderfully spontaneous when you ask about it during the interview.

Country artist Miranda Lambert once joined me on my show before her performance as opening act for Kenny Chesney. Before she arrived, I asked her record label representative what she had been doing lately. He told me she had injured her leg night hunting a few days earlier.

After Miranda and I exchanged typical interview pleasantries, I said, “It looks like you have a little limp in your step. What happened?” She really wasn’t limping and was a bit surprised that I had noticed.

Miranda now had the chance to tell me a great story about falling down a small ravine while night hunting with her husband Blake Shelton. It was a wonderful question that included a story about her well-publicized relationship with Blake without asking typical interview questions. I didn’t ask, “So, what have you and Blake been up to lately?” I’m sure she gets questions like that often.

None of this would have happened if I had just read Miranda’s bio, website and news release.  If you want great questions, dig a little bit.

— 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.

Be unique. Be original. Make your interview engaging for your audience and guest. Turn over the interview rocks.