Tag Archives: interesting

How To Get Podcast Listeners To Return Next Week – Episode 132

Play

How To Get Podcast Listeners To Return Next Week – Episode 132

Copyright: convisum / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: convisum / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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.

Your story is similar to 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 story.

When your listener can’t wait for the story to arrive, you have created some great content with a powerful tease. Your listeners will get more enjoyment from your show when they get the tease payoff more often. The pleasure of the “oh wow” factor will be increased. The joy of anticipation will keep your audience coming back for more.

There are three steps to creating an effective tease.

#1 – Intrigue Me

When you promote content that is coming up later in the show, you must give your audience an intriguing 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. The tease lacks stickiness. It doesn’t hook the listener.

#2 – Give Them 80%

To create an effective tease, give your listener 80% of the story while leaving out the most important 20%. It is similar to giving the setup for a joke without providing the punch line. Lead your listener right up to the line, but make them wait to step over.

#3 – Make Your Tease Unsearchable

Make it impossible to search online.

You want your listener to keep listening for the payoff to your set up. If I can simply search on Google for the answer to your tease, there is no reason to keep listening. I can just look it up and be done with it.
The three steps to powerful teases will help you begin to engage your audience on the way to building powerful relationships. Use the three steps in your show recap to entice people to listen to the episode. Then, use them again during the introduction of the show to get listeners to enjoy the entire recording.

You’ve worked hard to create your content. A lot of effort has been exerted on your part while writing and recording your show. Make your content intriguing by using these three steps in the art of the tease.

When you use the art of the tease, your listeners will spend more time with your show. The increased frequency of the tease payoffs will help your audience enjoy your content more. When your show is more entertaining, it becomes more engaging. When you truly engage your audience with your content, you can begin building powerful relationships. That’s where trust and influence with your listener begins.
Next week, I will teach you how to critique your podcast on your own. You will learn how to find areas to improve and steps to take to make your show stronger.

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

Play

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.

Focus On Current Or New Podcast Listener? – Episode 126

Play

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

Play

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

Play

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.

Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

Play

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.

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

Play

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

Play

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

Play

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.

Should You Change Your Introduction? – Episode 107

Play

Should You Change Your Introduction? – Episode 107

Should you change your introduction?

Should you change your introduction? Is it time to freshen it up?

I get this question a lot when I’m coaching clients. Before we can adequately answer the question, we need to examine the purpose of an introduction.

The first thing we learned in speech class was the structure of a speech. A good speech is built with an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Your podcast is no different. However, it may be structured like a series of tiny speeches.

Let’s just look at the introduction of the podcast itself.

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 the Podcast Talent Coach Podcast. My name is Erik Johnson. Over the next 30 minutes, we will help you transform your information into engaging entertainment and 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 exactly how long my podcast will run. 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.

Your introduction must be intriguing. This is true for the overall podcast introduction and the introduction to your stories. “Today we are going to talk about work” is not intriguing. That will not make anyone want to stick around to hear what you have to say, especially for 30 minutes or an hour. “Do you love your work? Do you think it’s possible? Well, you’re about to find out.” That is the intro to Dan Miller’s “48 Days” podcast. That is a statement that will stir some emotion and make people listen through to the end.

It is critical that you tell the listener what your podcast is all about EVERY time. Each week, you will be gaining new listeners. You cannot assume they heard the first podcast, or even one of the first twenty-five. Each time you begin an episode, you have to assume someone is hearing your show for the first time. Your introduction will welcome them into the party and get them up to speed.

Even those people that have been listening since the beginning will find comfort hearing that consistent opening they can almost recite verbatim. They’ll feel like they are in the club. Your introduction tells your listener they are in the right spot.

Remember, it is every time.

Failing to introduce every time is the one misstep I hear most often with podcasts. Talent get too comfortable with their podcast after doing it ten or twenty times. The podcast gets lucky enough to make it into the top ten. People discover it, and the podcast begins with no introduction as if the listener stepped into the middle of a conversation. It becomes uncomfortable for the new listeners. The podcast suddenly stops growing its audience. Remember, your show will always be new to somebody.

You will have new listeners every time you post a new podcast. You cannot assume your audience has heard your podcast before. You need to set up the show at the beginning to let the new audience members know what they can expect while letting the returning fans feel comfortable without being bored.

THREE QUESTIONS

There are three questions you should answer to help you form your introduction.

1. What do you hope to make the listener feel with this story? Your introduction should stir some emotion. You need to establish the atmosphere right out of the gate.
2. How will you engage the listener with your introduction? Hook them immediately. Make them care right at the beginning. What is in it for them?
3. What will your position for your show? This will help you define the structure of the show and tell your listener what is to come. Are you teaching? Is it an interview or debate? Are you answering questions from listeners?

So, should you change it up? If your introduction is doing the job of informing your listeners and encouraging them to listen to the episode, then there is little reason to change.

REMEMBER THESE INTRODUCTIONS?

Your regular listeners find comfort in your show open. Many people dislike change.

Remember some of these tv themes? Cheers ran for 11 seasons. Friends ran for 10 seasons. M.A.S.H. lasted for 10 seasons with the same introduction.

The Simpsons debuted in 1989 and has been running for 27 seasons. Over the 27 seasons, the series had two revisions. The first revision was at the beginning of the second season when the graphics were improved. The other revision happened for season 20 when the show moved to HD.

Both revisions were necessary to add new characters and a few other updates. The unique quirks in the intro where Bart is writing on the chalkboard and other jokes keep the intro fresh. However, it has basically been the same intro for 26 years.

If your introduction is enticing people to listen to your episode, it is succeeding. There is no real reason to change it. Don’t change for the sake of changing. You just might make your regular listeners feel uncomfortable. People know what they like and like what they know.

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

Play

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

Play

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

Play

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

Play

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 Do I ___ On My Podcast? – Episode 100

Play

How Do I ____ In My Podcast? – Episode 100

How To

THANK YOU!

Welcome to Episode 100. With your help, I have been creating this podcast for 100 episodes.

On this episode, I want to do something special.

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.

Today, I have 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.

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 on this episode and inspire me to do this each week.

Dave Jackson – School of Podcasting
“How do you get used to talking to the wall when doing a solo show?”

(I also do a podcast with Dave called “The Podcast Review Show”. Wanna get reviewed? Click HERE.)

Steve Stewart – Money Plan SOS
“The impostor syndrome seems to be creeping in. How does somebody get into the right mindset where they actually feel like they can bring some value even though they may not be the best in the industry?”

Megumi Takeda – Working on her first episode
“Do you have any advice to help smooth out the moments when interviews come to a dead end line of questions and need to transition into another topic?”

David Freeman – Authors Pay It Forward
“What is the most comfortable level of preparation for a podcast interview?”

Next week, we will hear from a few other listeners with more great questions.

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

Play

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

Play

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.

3 Steps To The Art Of The Tease – Episode 097

Play

3 Steps To The Art Of The Tease – Episode 097

Tease

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.

Your story is similar to 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 story.

When your listener can’t wait for the story to arrive, you have created some great content with an powerful tease. Your listeners will get more enjoyment from your show when they get the tease payoff more often. The pleasure of the “oh wow” factor will be increased. The joy of anticipation will keep your audience coming back for more.

There are three steps to creating an effective tease.

#1 – Intrigue Me

When you promote content that is coming up later in the show, you must give your audience an intriguing 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. The tease lacks stickiness. It doesn’t hook the listener.

A creative tease produces anticipation. Instead, use something like, “You’re never gonna believe who I was introduced to this past weekend. My world is about to take a wild turn.” With that statement, your imagination begins to work.

Who could it be? Was it a celebrity? An investor? A mentor or hero? Imagination is the magic of a creative tease. Stir the imagination of your audience to truly engage them with your content.

When possible, intrigue by incorporating the listeners world. “This weekend, I discovered a way to save $100 a month on my grocery bill by changing one thing in the way we shop. I’ll tell you how you can do it too.” It answers “what’s in it for me” for your listener.

#2 – Give Them 80%

To create an effective tease, give your listener 80% of the story while leaving out the most important 20%. It is similar to giving the setup for a joke without providing the punch line. Lead your listener right up to the line, but make them wait to step over.

The key to an effective tease is to withhold the most important 20%. Let’s use our previous example of the attic weekend. I could say, “You’re not gonna believe it, but I found a $25,000 antique painting in the attic this weekend. I’ll tell you what’s on it coming up.”

This is a perfect example of withholding the wrong 20%. Who cares who is on it. If it’s worth $25,000, it could be a painting of the sky. It wouldn’t matter to me. I’d only be asking where I could sell it.

$25,000 is the most exciting piece of information in the entire story. That is the piece that I need to withhold to create some excitement. To properly tease, I need to say, “In the attic this weekend, I found an antique painting of Napoleon. You’re never gonna believe how much it is worth.” You are more likely to stick around to see if I can retire on my winnings when I set it up in this fashion.

Make it impossible to search online.

You want your listener to keep listening for the payoff to your set up. If I can simply search on Google for the answer to your tease, there is no reason to keep listening. I can just look it up and be done with it.

#3 – Make Your Tease Unsearchable

Let’s say I have a story about Joe Celebrity getting drunk at High Profile Bar in Las Vegas over the weekend where he got arrested for assault. I could say, “Another movie star got arrested this weekend after he got in a fight with a customer at High Profile Bar in Las Vegas. I’ll tell you who it is coming up.”

Celebrity name is part of the correct 20% I’m withholding. However, I can look this story up on Google in a heartbeat. If I search “Arrest High Profile Bar Las Vegas”, the chances are good that I will find the story in the first few search results. The tease isn’t effective. It is too easy to search.

To make the tease more powerful, make it impossible to search. “Another bar fight over the weekend landed another celebrity in jail. The story is coming up.” This tease makes it much more difficult to search. If you entered “celebrity bar fight weekend” in Google, 70 million results show up. It will be much easier to wait for my payoff than to begin searching 70 million Google entries.
The three steps to powerful teases will help you begin to engage your audience on the way to building powerful relationships. Use the three steps in your show recap to entice people to listen to the episode. Then, use them again during the introduction of the show to get listeners to enjoy the entire recording.

You’ve worked hard to create your content. A lot of effort has been exerted on your part while writing and recording your show. Make your content intriguing by using these three steps in the art of the tease.

When you use the art of the tease, your listeners will spend more time with your show. The increase frequency of the tease payoffs will help your audience enjoy your content more. When your show is more entertaining, it becomes more engaging. When you truly engage your audience with your content, you can begin building powerful relationships. That’s where trust and influence with your listener begins.
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

Play

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

Play

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

Play

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

Play

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

Play

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.

4 Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

Play

Four Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

Powerful Storytelling

Why should you use storytelling in your podcast?

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

Use stories.

Storytelling can transform your podcast.

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

Don’t fit in, stand out.

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

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

There are four elements to great storytelling.

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

Give Her A Reason To Care

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

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

Reveal The Details

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

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

Powerful Resolution

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

What Else?

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

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

How Can You Be A Storyteller?

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

Resources

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

Powerful Podcast Stories – Episode 043

Stories Transform Your Podcast – Episode 047

The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – Episode 076

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

A Memorable Podcast Brand – Episode 088

Play

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.

What Is Your Why? – Episode 086

Play

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.

The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

Play

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.

Here Is A Quick Way To Make Them Care – Episode 074

Play

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.

Creating Word Of Mouth – Episode 071

Play

Creating Word Of Mouth – Episode 071

Word-Of-Mouth

How do you create a show that people remember? My theory is simple. If you want word of mouth do things worth talking about.

That particular phrase is one I learned from Seth Godin. However, I learned that theory years and years ago.

Learning From Radio

When I started in radio 25 years ago, my goal was to make every break a home run. Creating a show that creates buzz appears to be a daunting task.

A typical radio show is four hours. With an average of four talk breaks or bits an hour, a daily show would include sixteen bits a show. At three minutes a bit for a morning show, we talking about 48 minutes of material. That would roughly equal to an average podcast.

After a few years in radio, I realized that creating sixteen different pieces of content that are stellar and buzz-worthy is nearly impossible on a regular basis. It is also unnecessary. Your listener will not remember all sixteen things you do on the show this week.

People remember one big thing. Create the one killer bit that will create some buzz.

You can’t manufacture marketing and make people talk. The buzz is created when you do something amazing. To discover what is amazing, you need to continue to try different things.

You will be surprised by what moves people. People will mention hearing things on your show that you never dreamed would make a connection. The more you receive that feedback, the more you will be able to recognize it when it happens.

Be occasionally great rather than consistently good.

You don’t win by removing mistakes. You win by giving your audience a reason to listen. Occasionally great bits will give your listener those reasons.

If you conduct interviews on your show, you do not need to make every question Earth shattering. You need one or two great questions that people will remember. Your listener will say, “Did you hear what she asked her guest?” The answer will be one great question, not the entire interview.

Make your listener remember one thing. Consistently good is admission to the game. Occasionally great wins.

Examples of Occasionally Great

Let’s looks at some examples of both.

In baseball, who are some of the players that come to mind?

How about Willie Keeler and Jimmy Rollins? They hold the record for most Major League Baseball consecutive games with a hit.

Willie Keeler is #2 with 45 hits in 1896. Jimmy Rollins is #8 with 38 in 2005.

This means they consistently get on base. Valuable to the team. But hardly memorable.

How about Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Alex Rodriguez? These are the Top 5 of the list of players with the most Major League Baseball home runs.

Other than Babe Ruth at .342, the other four had batting averages between .298 and .305. In comparison, Keeler hit .341 in his career.

These home run guys got a hit less than one out of three tries. Less than stellar, yet memorable. Occasionally great.

Maybe American football is your sport.

Would you consider Chad Pennington one of the most memorable quarterbacks to every play the game? He holds a 66% career passing percentage in the National Football League over 10 seasons playing for 2 different teams. That puts him at #2 on the list.

Pennington completed 2 of every 3 passing attempts. Pretty consistent. Not quite memorable.

Could you put Bart Starr and Joe Namath on a list of great quarterbacks?

Bart Starr was the QB of Superbowl 1 & 2. Joe Namath was also a Superbowl quarterback. Their stories are legends.

Starr is #71 on the passing percentage list at 57% over 15 seasons. Namath is #163 on the same list at 50% over 8 seasons. Less consistent, but memorable.

Let’s talk acting.

Christopher Lee has made 276 movie and acting appearances. He has been in Dracula and The Lord Of The Rings.

Robert Loggia was in Scarface and made 223 other film and acting appearances.

You saw Ernie Hudson in The Crow. If not there, he was in 190 other movies and productions. You wold probably recognize him if you saw him.

All three are solid, consistent actors. They are hardly household names.

Every heard of Tom Hanks. He has only made 37 films and other appearances. Less than 20% of the number Hudson has appeared in. Less than 14% of Lee.

On the other hand, to date, Tom Hanks’ films have averaged $96.3M per movie. A few have been occasionally great and won Oscars. Not nearly the number of appearances. His home runs make up for it.

Will Smith has made 29 theatrical appearances. His movies average $127M. Fewer films. More blockbusters.

Will Smith is also known as a hip hop star. However, he has only released 4 solo albums. Two of his albums went gold. One is 2x platinum. One is 9x platinum.

Will Smith actually released more albums as half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. That act released 5 albums. Three of those reached gold, one platinum and one 3x platinum.

These guys are all huge, because they are occasionally great.

Find Your One Thing

Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be the best at one thing.

What are you known for? What is the one thing you can do on the episode this week that your listener will remember?

Find your one thing. Create word of mouth. Be occasionally great.
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

Play

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.

How To Build Trust – PTC Episode 058

Play

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.

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

Play

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.

Your Podcast Brand Revisited – PTC 044

Play

Your Podcast Brand Revisited – PTC044

Headphones

This week, we revisit my most popular episode. This episode has been downloaded almost twice as many times as any other episode I have released.

Maybe you missed it. Maybe you caught it and this will be a great refresher. Either way, I have received great feedback on the content and I am sure you will enjoy it.

On this episode, we discuss how to turn you, your content and your podcast into a brand. How do you create that powerful podcast brand to stand out amongst the sea of podcasts that are available online?

Find the original show notes HERE.

 

A few housekeeping notes 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. I’ve convinced Dave 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.

 

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 10 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.

Powerful Podcast Stories – PTC Episode 043

Play

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.

Turn Your Podcast Into A Conversation – PTC Episode 030

Play

TURN YOUR PODCAST INTO A CONVERSATION

PTC EPISODE 030

Let’s have a conversation. People want to feel part of the discussion and not like they are sitting in a lecture. How do you create that atmosphere on your podcast?

1. Talk to me, not at me

2. Treat your audience as an audience of one

3. Let your listener live vicariously through you

4. Use your regular voice

5. Do everything in your own style

 

Talk To Me, Not At Me

When you are podcasting, talk “to” your listener.  Don’t talk “at” her.  You are not announcing.  You are having a personal conversation and building a relationship.

Podcasting is an intimate conversation with one person.  The conversation is typically one person speaking into a microphone addressing another single individual.  There may sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people listening.  However, they are all listening by themselves.  Even in an automobile with others listening via communal speakers, the members of the audience are listening by themselves in their own head.  Each listener is developing their own unique, mental images.

Have a conversation directly with that individual.  Put your listener in the moment.  Avoid addressing the group.  Instead of using “hello everyone”, use “hi, how are you?”  Make her feel like you are talking directly to her.  It will make your podcast relationship much stronger.

 

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.

Nobody like to be lectured to. Data and facts get dull & boring. Engage by being conversational. Tell stories. This is a converstaion, not a lecture

 

Vicarious

Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyerism. 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.

Voyerism 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 faliure. 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 voyers 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. 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.

 

Use Your Regular Voice

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcome 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 audience. You want to sound real and authentic.

When you sound like a supermarket announcer, you sound fake. Your listeners will find it hard to trust you, because they know that isn’t really you. The audio they are hearing sounds like a character you are portraying.

Don’t let your voice bounce like a ball. You can be excited and enthusiastic. You can also be real and natural at the same time. Just be yourself.

When the inflection of your voice bounces up and down, you will find it difficult to truly engage your listener. Be real. Avoid the scoop.

 

Create Everything In 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.

 

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.

The Power Of You – PTC Episode 023

Play

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.

How To Find Podcast Topics – PTC Episode 019

Play

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.

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.

Make Your Podcast One Of A Kind – PTC Episode 006

Play

Make Your Podcast One Of A Kind

In this episode, we discuss steps that will help you make your podcast one of a kind.

Being unique makes you stand out in a crowd.  These are ways to get noticed.  There are four steps.

1. Focus your topic.

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. Most of all, be consistent. (read more)

2. What makes you 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. (read more)

3. Connect, inspire & motivate

When you connect, inspire and motivate your audience, you stir emotions within your listener. Those emotions are powerful. Emotions make people come back for more, because they create a bonding relationship. (read more)

4. Sell the results of your product

People don’t buy your product. They buy what your product can do for them. (read more)

 

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.

Focus Your Podcast Topic …

Focus Your Podcast Topic

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. Most of all, be consistent.

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

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. It 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.

Dave’s show 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.

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 start and operate debt free.

His show has a focus. “The Dave Ramsey Show” is consistent, but not predictable.

Give your podcast focus. Your audience will appreciate the consistency.

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

Play

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

Can I Be You? …

ID-100109373

Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyeurism. Eavesdropping.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grab Attention Like Dr. Seuss …

Grab Attention Like Dr. Suess

Dr Seuss Pictures

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great storytellers use delightful details created by fabulous words.

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

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

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

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

Content Isn’t King …

Content Isn’t King …

You’ve heard it often. Content is King.

That isn’t necessarily true. Content by itself won’t gain you an audience. Content isn’t King. Great content is King.

Don’t wander through your content without any pizzazz.

If your content isn’t great, nothing else matters. The production of your podcast could easily be the best available. You could have all the bells and whistles available in your studio. The marketing of your podcast could be incredibly creative and unique. However, if the content is great, no one will care.

Don’t simply go through the motions creating your content. Find a unique angle. Your take on the subject should be interesting. Make your content stand out using stories, creativity, and personal revelation.

Content won’t attract an audience unless it is great content. When your content is great, you become king. Make it 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. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Can You Hear The Smile? …

 

Can you hear the smile?

(photo by eyedear)

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.

When Adam Carolla is having fun with a guest on his podcast, you can hear it in his voice. When he is getting angry at the dues he pays the Screen Actors Guild, you can hear the frustration in his voice. When Adam is getting excited about his next opportunity to drive really fast, it is clear in his voice.

The voice is a very special communication tool. The nuances in your speech tell so much about the information being delivered. Your inflection is a critical part of your communication.

If you hope to get your listener excited about your content, you need to first be excited yourself. If you want to turn your information into entertainment, you need to sound like your content is entertaining you. A smile goes a long way.

When you don’t smile, you sound bored. Your content sounds boring. Your information will never become entertainment if you sound like you are simply going through the motions.

Remind yourself.  Smile. Your listener will hear it.

— 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.

Your emotion will come through the speakers. When you sound excited about your content, your listeners will feel excited about it. That’s when you begin to develop influence.  Next time you are recording your show, ask, “Can you hear the smile?”

Avoid The Shiny Objects …

 

Avoid the shiny objects.

(photo by scantynebula)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Know The Guest, Not Their Bio …

 

Know the guest, not their bio.

(photo by Mil)

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 for your podcast. 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 questions.

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.

— 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.

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.

Think Like A Fan …

Think like a fan.

(photo by jjmaree)

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.

I recently heard a host on a podcast say, “I don’t do this to grow the audience. I just do this for fun.” It should always be fun AND grow the audience. Rarely is your audience size staying the same. It is either growing or shrinking.

You will always have listeners that go away never to return. If you aren’t doing something to grow new listeners to replace those that are leaving, you will soon have no listeners. You might as well be sitting in a room talking to yourself. There will be no need to record your material, because there will be nobody listening.

Help your new fan get familiar with the show quickly. Make it easy to understand and get involved. Include your listener. If you need to bring up something a new listener wouldn’t understand, explain it. There is never a reason to include an inside joke. A joke that needs to be explained is rarely funny.

— 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 excited about what you do. Think like a fan.

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.

Swing For The Fences …

Swing for the fence.

(photo by rpernell)

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.

— 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.

Every now and then, swing for the fence.

Did You Really Hear That? …

Did you really hear that?

(photo by mirselena)

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.

— 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.

In every interview, intently listen to the answers. Did you really hear that?

Don’t Ask THAT Question …

Don’t Ask That Question.

(photo by icyimage)

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?” “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 of preparation leads 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 your show to promote their latest book or new product. You can help your guest promote 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 your 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 to 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 avoided the mistake of stealing their answer. Best yet, everyone is engaged in the discussion.  Be unique.

Country act 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 the group when they tour. I could have asked, “What are the names of your kids.” How about, “Is it fun travelling with your children?” I’m sure they get asked questions like this all of the time.

By getting a little creative, I instead 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 they always receive.

— 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.

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.

Are You Using Cows? …

Are you using cows?

(photo by lisavan)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you using cows?

Their Voice Will Always Be More Meaningful …

Their voice will always be more meaningful.

(photo by Yanc)

One major purpose of your podcast is to foster relationships with your listeners. Many use e-mail, texts, tweets and posts to interact with the audience. The podcast host will read these on the show.

Unfortunately, these methods of communication put distance between you and your listener. It is much more compelling to hear the words of another individual in their own voice than it is to hear someone else tell the same story (or ask the same question). Written word loses the passion when it is read from an e-mail. The inflection, meaning and emotion is always different when read by another individual.

A scripted e-mail lacks spontaneity. When read, an e-mail will always make less of a connection than your listener actually asking the question in their own voice. Less of a connection equals less of a relationship.

Be creative in finding ways to use the voice of your audience. You might use voicemail or ask listeners to submit audio questions through your website or by e-mail. Similar to the way Clark Howard occasionally answers financial questions on “The Clark Howard Show“, you could record questions using a “man on the street” style with a quality, handheld recorder.

There are various ways to capture the voice. Be creative. Stockpile some great questions that you can use over the course of a few shows to cut down on the work it takes to collect the questions. Begin truly engaging your audience and creating meaningful relationships by using their voice. Their voice will always be more meaningful.

Don’t Just Fill Time …

Don’t just fill time.

(photo by Hornpipe)

When you fill time, you waste time. Your listeners have come to your podcast, because you have made them a promise with your brand. They believe they will receive some sort of information and entertainment from your show. Your listener will only give you a few minutes to begin delivering, or they will be headed to the next podcast.

Consistently add value for your listener at every opportunity. Either make the show shorter, or prepare better. It is usually a solid rule of thumb to prepare more content than you will need. This will allow you to always deliver valuable information.

Seth Godin does a fantastic job delivering brief bits of valuable information with his blog. He even carries this through to the manifestos published by his Domino Project. Seth wastes very little time. Once he has made his point, he wraps it up.

Your listener is expecting something from your podcast. Deliver continuously on the promise of your brand. Don’t just fill time.

Take The First Exit …

Take the first exit.

When you are discussing a topic, take the first opportunity to get out of the bit. You will keep your audience engaged. You will maintain the momentum of the show. You will also avoid repeating yourself and becoming boring. Take the first exit.

There are clues in your show that let you know you’ve missed the opportunity to end the bit. When you find yourself saying things like “as I said”, “like I was saying”, or “as we’ve discussed”, you have missed your exit. Those phrases are simply additional ways to say, “let me repeat this again”. Once you have reached that point, you are stating your introduction point again. This should be your conclusion. Move on to the next discussion.

If you miss the exit, you begin retracing your steps. You begin offering information you’ve already provided. Your listener then begins thinking of other things, because they have heard this part before. I got it. Let’s move on.

Only you will know when you’ve offered enough information to make your point. Once you hit that point, keep the show moving. Get to the next topic. Keep your audience engaged. Take the first exit.

Nobody Wants To Watch Your Home Movies …

Nobody wants to watch your home movies unless they are in them.

If your entire product and marketing strategy is focused on you, it will be very difficult to retain listeners. People are interested in themselves.

Your customer is not interested in your product. She is interested in what your product can do for her. The content of your podcast must relate to your listener at all times. Make sure you position your content from the point of view of your listener.

Focus on your listener. If you are discussing a new truck, your listener doesn’t care that it can pull 10,000 pounds, is the best-selling or is the most dependable in its class. He wants to know if it can pull his boat, if he can load it up with lumber, and if he can be sure he won’t get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Tell him why your features are important to him.

You are wasting your time and listener relationship if you are only focused on you. Nobody wants to watch your home movies unless they are in them.

They Are Never Boring …


They are never boring.

Engagement in your content is either rising or falling. Attention never remains constant. The interest of your audience is either growing or diminishing because of what you’re saying and how you are saying it.

Keep your podcast listener engaged by having a clear focus with your content. Know exactly where you are going with any particular topic. Make sure your audience also knows where you are going by leading with a clear, intriguing introduction. Then, make sure you are always building anticipation as the story progresses. Once you begin treading water by following a tangent, interest will begin to fall quickly.

Pip Hunn of “The Write Thing” blog lists “11 Ways To Be A Great Storyteller”. It is worth the read.

Keep your audience engaged by remaining focused on the point of your story. All great storytellers avoid the tangents while the plot of their story builds. That is why great storytellers are never boring.

Make It Interesting By Being Interested …

Make it interesting by being interested.

It really is the easiest way to engage your audience. When you are interested in a subject, your audience can hear it. You can’t fake enthusiasm.

When you are selecting topics and guests for your podcast, find those that really strike a chord with you. Look for material that really gets you excited. When you are truly interested, your listener will take notice. Your excitement will come through the speakers. The excitement will also be contagious.

Being authentically interested in a topic will naturally make you find interesting ways to approach the subject. As you interview that guest you’ve been dying to get on the show, your questions will have an edge of anticipation to them. You will ask great questions that elicit great answers. You will surprise your listener with content they don’t expect.

To create those great “oh wow” moments when you surprise your listener, be authentically interested. When you surprise your audience on a regular basis, they are entertained and engaged by your content. An entertained and engaged audience will keep coming back for more. Make it interesting by being interested.