Tag Archives: Introduction

How To Tell Better Podcast Stories – Episode 169

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How To Tell Better Podcast Stories – Episode 169

4 Key Elements To Storytelling
Copyright: ivelinradkov / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you want to create better podcast stories? Start with the end in mind. Then, start with the end.

Start with the end? It sounds crazy, I know. Let me explain.

Stories do great things for your podcast and business.

When you tell stories, your audience gets to know details about you and your life. That’s how friendships are born. Your listeners discover you have things in common. They realize you have been through similar struggles. Maybe you’re from the same area or visited a common destination.

After multiple stories, listeners begin to feel like they know you. That is when the magic happens.

Stories help you build trust. And as it is with all business, people do business with those they know, like and trust. People don’t do business with companies. They do business with people. Trust is the essence of relationships and business.

 

CHARACTER

Better podcast stories define your character.

I’m not simply talking about your integrity. By character, I mean all of the attributes that create you, as in character in a play.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MY STORIES WERE HORRIBLE

In the past, my stories were horrible. I struggled to hold the attention of people while I was telling a story. I couldn’t figure out why they would fade half way through the tale.

One day, in a coaching session with my radio coach, it hit me. The person listening had no idea where I was going.

The stories I was telling sounded like ramblings with no real purpose or destination.

My coach basically told me to open with the punchline. I thought he was crazy. If people knew the punchline, why listen to the story. That made no sense.

He explained that opening with the point of the story was similar to telling your passenger where you are going on your journey. Nobody wants to sit next to you in a car wondering where they are going to end up and when they are going to get there. They want to enjoy the journey.

I began opening my tales with the point of the story. Right up front, I revealed the whole purpose of the story to create better podcast stories. My opening began serving as a bit of a headline.

“I can’t figure out why people can’t signal their turn before they are actually in the turn lane.”

“My dog got sick and had my up 4 times last night.”

“If you want more traffic, you need to be more traffic for others first.”

Opening with an intriguing introduction will also provide a framework for the story. You will know exactly where you are going and what details are necessary to get there. This helps shorten your story while including only the important parts.

In addition to the intriguing introduction, there are three other elements to better podcast stories. After you open with the intriguing introduction, provide wonderful, vivid details while telling the story. Close with a powerful conclusion. Ask yourself, “What’s next?”

 

THEATER OF THE MIND

Create theater of the mind by using vivid details.

The use of active language will stir the imagination of your listener and help you connect to your audience. Put the listener in the moment. Make the listener see the action you are describing.

“I’m walking in the bustling restaurant and shaking off the cold without even watching where I’m walking.” That is active language. In your mind, you can see me walking in.

Sure, your restaurant may be different from my restaurant. That difference is what makes theater of the mind great. You see it the way you think it fits best for you. Your scene doesn’t need to match my scene in order for the story to make sense. It is your theater.

Active language connects each listener to the story in his or her own way. It will create strong audience engagement. Active language during storytelling is a powerful tool you can use while you’re building your podcast.

Create a great podcast brand. To create better podcast stories, create theater of the mind.

 

THE FIRST EXIT

Take the first exit.

When you are discussing a topic, take the first opportunity to get out of the bit or interview question. 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. You 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.

To create better podcast stories, conclude your story by simply reframing your intriguing introduction.

 

ASK “WHAT’S NEXT?”

Include a call to action.

If you want to make money with your podcast, you must include a call to action. It seems logical. However, many podcasters believe, “If I build it, they will come.” It simply doesn’t happen that way.

Odd as it may sound, your podcast probably isn’t your product. Unless you are charging for your podcast, your show is only the marketing vehicle for some other product. Most podcasts are free. The show itself isn’t generating revenue. You need to create another product you can sell.

In his book “Free: The Future of a Radical Price”, Chris Anderson lists many ways to create revenue using the power of free. Many of these can be used to generate revenue from your podcast.

[EPISODE 167 – HOW TO MAKE MONEY WITH A PODCAST THAT IS FREE]

Some think access to the audience can be sold to advertisers as if it were traditional broadcasting. Unfortunately, audiences are not typically large enough for this model. Listeners also do not expect the traditional twelve minutes of commercials within their favorite podcast hour. Advertising is a very difficult path to revenue.

To generate revenue with your podcast, you need to create something else to sell.

You could make money by making your podcast a small portion of a larger show, which is available to paid members only. The free podcast becomes marketing for the member content.

You could turn your knowledge of some “how to” subject into a book, e-book, study course or other product. Your podcast could be the “why” behind your philosophy. The show would then promote the “how” that your listener will learn when they purchase the product.

There are many other ideas described in Anderson’s book. You could give away the product while charging for the service, such as consulting or coaching. Give away the content while making money referring people to retailers.

Rather than traditional advertising, you could give away the content while charging advertisers to be featured in it, similar to The Home Shopping Network. You could even take a cut of sales. You could podcast generic advice while selling specific, customized advice.

There are fifty ideas in the book. To make money with your podcast, I suggest you give the book (or at least that section) a read.

 

If you build it, they may come. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will become instantly wealthy. You need to create something to sell. You need to tell your listener to buy. Then, you need to show them the way. If you desire to make money with your podcast, make sure your podcast includes the call to action.

 

Build trust with your audience by telling better podcast stories. Start at the end. Create great theater of the mind. Use a powerful conclusion. Then, give them something to do when it is over. Implement a strong call-to-action.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Deconstruction Of A Podcast Episode – Episode 127

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The Deconstruction Of A Podcast Episode – Episode 127

DECONSTRUCTING A PODCAST

Copyright: eraxion / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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

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

THANKS

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

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

POWERFUL INTRO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHOW REVIEW

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

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

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

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

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

Merlin is a Democrat.

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

IS THE INTRO NECESSARY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Focus On Current Or New Podcast Listener? – Episode 126

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Focus On Current Or New Podcast Listener? – Episode 126

podcast listeners_

Photo Copyright : Eduardo Huelin/123rf.com

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

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

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

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

Here are Josh’s comments on the subject:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Construct a Powerful Podcast Introduction – Episode 124

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How To Construct a Powerful Podcast Introduction – Episode 124

PowerfulPodcastIntroductions

(DOWNLOAD: Topic Development Worksheet)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 STEPS

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

What is in it for them?

Why is the topic relevant to your audience?

How will you make the audience care?

What is the source of the topic?

How will the source lend credibility to the topic?

What do you find intriguing about the topic?

What emotion do you hope to stir?

In what context will the story be set?

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

What details will you use?

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

Write the intriguing introduction to your topic.

 

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

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Critical Piece To A Great Podcast – Episode 123

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The Critical Piece To A Great Podcast – Episode 123

Podcast Review Show

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

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

START WITH WHY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAKE THEM CARE

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

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

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

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EMOTIONALLY POWERFUL?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next week, we will walk through the steps in creating a powerful introduction. I’ll give you a step-by-step process.
Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How Do I Market My Podcast ? – Episode 114

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How Do I Market My Podcast ? – Episode 114

Answering listener questions

Thank you for allowing me to help you with your podcast. I get a great deal of joy helping podcasters achieve their goals.

A few weeks ago, I asked you for questions and ways I can help you with your show. I received some great questions from you. This week, I want to go through a few with you.

How do you market your show? How can I get to the point of launch? How do I fight the Impostor Syndrome? How do I name my podcast?

I’m struggling with promotion/marketing and spreading the word.
-Greg from the “I Want To Know” podcast

There are many ways to market and promote. Most of it takes time.

I learned a lot about marketing from Paige Nienaber from CPR Promotions. He often refers to this drip style of marketing as dog crap marketing.

Paige lives in Minnesota, where it snows a lot every year. The ground is typically covered with snow from November to March.

Paige also owns a dog. If you are a dog owner, you know all about cleaning the back yard. The dog makes deposits. You clean it up.

Just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t need to go out to do his business. It just makes it tougher to clean up.

When the snow finally melts in March, you find the results of all the hard work of your dog. It wasn’t done in a few days. It built up slowly over months of productive work by the dog.

The same is true for your marketing. Work on it daily and let the results build over time.

Here are six tips you can use.

1. Know your most frequent listeners by name and use them.
2. Use stories to stand out and be remembered.
3. Host events to create community.
4. Make it easy to share your content.
5. Don’t blow your first impression.
6. Write great show notes with helpful links that your audience can use.

You can find a worksheet of 52 podcast marketing tips at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

I am a beginner, not even live yet, in fact having problems getting from intro, outro, episode and artwork to live. So frustrating, feeling like I am THIS close.
– Corrine

This is a matter of finding the courage to launch. Fight the impostor syndrome. Learn as you go.

If you have your intro, outro, episode notes and artwork, you are ready to go live.

Create a WordPress site and sign up for a Libsyn account. This should put you in a great position to launch.

If it is belief in yourself that is holding you back, take baby steps. Record three episodes telling yourself you won’t really post these. You are just practicing. Get them recorded.

Once you have the episodes recorded, put them on Libsyn and post to your WordPress site to ensure the technology works. Test the links. Listen to the shows. Submit it to iTunes. Just tell yourself you can always change it if necessary.

After you are sure everything works, move on to the next few episodes. Changing those first three episodes is posible. However, it is more work. I think once you get them posted, you will be more excited and interested in working on the next few episodes rather than tinkering with the first three. Move forward in baby steps.

If it is the technology that is holding you back, check out Dave Jackson at the School of Podcasting. He has great tutorials that will help you create a website, set up a Libsyn account and submit your show to iTunes. He also has a great offer where he will set up your site if you order your hosting through him.

Dave always says if you can post on Facebook, you can create a website with WordPress and launch a podcast. Don’t let the intimidation stop you. There are many resources that can help.

I want to launch a show I can be proud of. I quickly get into my own head and get slapped down by the Nobody’s Going to Like This Fairy. Stupid fairy. Any tips for shutting that voice up?
– Greg

I began my broadcasting career when I was 19. It was completely by accident. I was going to college to get my architecture degree. Since I was 12-years-old, I had been tailoring my education to be an architect or engineer.

In college, I had the same fear of public speaking as most people. In our design classes, we had to do presentations in front of a panel of judges. I absolutely hated doing these presentations.

During class, four or five students would present during the hour. It would take about a week to get through the entire class. That was the worst part. The anxiety would build for presentation day only to not get your name called. I would have to live through the anxiety again in anticipation of presenting during the next class.

I never envisioned being a public speaker, radio talent or any other presenter.

My younger brother worked for a radio station at the time. I was home for the weekend doing nothing like most college students. That was when the phone rang. It was the manager of the radio station looking for my brother to fill in during a shift. My brother wasn’t home and I was offered a part-time job.

My career in radio started just running the board for long-form programs. I only talked on the radio between the 30-minute shows. I might give the time or temperature. Otherwise, I would sit around while the show played. Speaking was minimal.

As an elective for my architecture degree, I took a class called “Broadcasting For The Non-Major”. I figured being in a radio station for a part-time job should make this class a little easier. It would also help me learn more about my job.

That class eventually led me to become the music director of the college station.

That position got me a job working overnights at a commercial station. Suddenly, I instantly found myself talking to 10,000 people. I was no longer talking between long-form programs to a handful of old people. This was real radio.

Over time, I started to get comfortable talking on the radio. It took a little time. I eventually got there.

As I started picking up more hours on the air, my boss started to send me out broadcasting live in front of a crowd. I was being sent onstage to introduce concerts in front of 10,000 people. These were no longer people I couldn’t see. They were right in front of me.

It took me years to figure out how to overcome those butterflies I would get each time I stepped in front of a crowd. There were tips and tricks I learned along the way to help me. It was a combination of things I learned over the years that helped me defeat the jitters. Here are a few ways to shake the butterflies out of your system. It could save you years of trial and error.

Preparation is the key idea in the process.

Here are four steps to properly prepare for your show.

1. Overcome Jitters
– Prepare your material
– Rehearse
– Focus on one person – preferably your single target listener you have defined
– Tell yourself you are an expert at your opinion
– Making people either love you or hate you only means you are making people care.

2. Create Great Notes
– Bullet points – don’t script
– Tell stories
– Give examples – play audio
– Determine your open and close, intro and outro for show and each topic … “now it’s time for” is not an appropriate intro

3. Set the Room
– Get the temp correct – be comfortable
– Get some room temp water
– No distractions – phone, family

4. Prepare Your Equipment
– Close other programs
– Prepare your software
– Turn off your phone, close e-mail, close IM
– Test your mic and set your levels
Contact and prepare guests & co-hosts

The places I am struggling with my future podcast is mainly the what to name it. I have ideas for about 3 different podcasts (though I only want to start with one). The main problem is naming them also i.e. website name and so forth. I have an idea about formats but with never having done a podcast, they seem to escape me. I know I won’t be perfect at first and I am okay with that. But at the same time I would like to be somewhat in order. A little more guidance on this would be greatly appreciated.
– Richard

The name of your podcast sets up your brand. It should tell people exactly what they will get from your show. Don’t get cute.

If you name your show “Outside the Lines”, nobody will know if that is a show about paint-by-numbers, football or off roading. “School of Podcasting” is pretty clear. You know what you are going to get.

Take five minutes and brainstorm. Start writing every name you can think of that relates to your niche. There are no bad ideas here. Every idea will lead to another. Don’t critique. Just write as much as you can.

After the five minutes is up, review the list. Highlight the names you like.

These names should be clear about your content. Find names that capture the imagination. Look for names that sound interesting.

Once you have narrowed the list to five to ten names, ask others for their opinion. Explain the criteria of a great name. Have them give you their top three choices.

Read over the five or ten lists of three. Look for the names that get the most mentions.

Now, take action. Pick a name and run with it.

What is the worst that can happen? You get a year into it and need to adjust it. That’s ok. On a podcast the other day, I heard someone say, “If you wait until all of the stoplights turn green before you begin your journey, you’ll never start.”

Just begin. Don’t wait for things to be perfect. That will never happen. Just start.
Thanks for all of the questions. If you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

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How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you do make it engaging?

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

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

9 QUESTIONS

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

RELEVANT?

How is your topic relevant to your niche?

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

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

WHO CARES?

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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

INTRIGUE

What do you find intriguing about the topic?

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

EMOTION

What emotion do you hope to stir?

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

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

CONTEXT

In what context will your story be set?

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

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

JOURNEY

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

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

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

DETAILS

What details will you include in your episode?

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

YOUR ONE THING

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Should You Change Your Introduction? – Episode 107

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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.

How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Did you accomplish your goal for the show?

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

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

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

2. What did you like about the show?

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

3. What was memorable about the show?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Where did you surprise your audience?

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

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

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

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

6. What did you reveal about yourself?

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

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

7. Where were the powerful words?

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

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

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

8. What could have been better?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know how I can help.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

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How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

Podcast Clocks

The purpose of a show clock is to provide a consistent framework for your content. By using a framework, you do not need to reinvent the wheel for every show. You simply plug in your great content into the clock.

Using a clock and being prepared does not mean you need to be less creative. In fact, it allows you to focus on creativity rather than the length of your episode. You get to design within the framework.

You can see examples of a show clock by watching the evening news. A typical newscast may follow of framework of top story, weather headline, general news, full weather, sports, and a kicker story.

Late night shows will use something like a monologue, funny skit, benchmark (like letter bag), big guest, second guest, and musical guest.

QUESTIONS TO START

As you begin to develop your show clock, there are a few questions you need to determine for the layout of the show.

What is it that you want to include in each episode of your show?

What is the goal of your podcast?

Once you are ready to add the content for this particular episode, you will need to answer two more questions.

What will the call-to-action be at the end of the show?

What is the main idea your listener will take away and remember?

EXAMPLE CLOCK

(Get sample clocks HERE.)

Let’s look at an example of a show clock. For this example, we will use a 60-minute show.

For our sample show, we want to include a show open, intro/tease, latest update on our business happenings, an interview, tip of the week, call-to-action and the show close. 7 items total.

The content will not be the same every week. However, the structure will remain constant. The episodes will include different interviews, different news, and different tips. However, our listener will know what to expect from each episode.

Now that we have the elements, how do we lay these items into a structure for our show?

First, we determine the length of each to fit our hour. Length of each bit should also be consistent.

Open – 1 minute
Intro/tease – 5 minutes
Latest update on our business happenings – 15 minutes
An interview – 25 minutes with intro and thank you
Tip of the week – 10 minutes
Call-to-action – 3 minutes
Show close – 1 minute

Next, we turn the elements into running time to keep us on track.

:00-:01 – Open
:01-:06 – Intro/tease
:06-:21 – Latest update on our business happenings
:21-:46 – An interview
:46-:56 – Tip of the week
:56-:59 – Call-to-action
:59-:60 – Show close

When you are recording your show, you can use this layout to keep you on time.

CLOCK PITFALLS & EXCEPTIONS

You also need to keep an eye on edits and timing. Edits will lengthen the recording that will become shorter once you edit the episode. Therefore, record more than you need. You can always remove audio. Finding additional audio to add to extent your episode to 60 minutes is difficult.

If you hope to include a 20-minute interview in the episode, you should record a 30-minute interview. You can then edit it down to the best content for a solid 20-minute piece in the show.

There are always exceptions to the rule. You do not need to be exact with times. This show clock is to keep you on track. If your 5 minute segment turns into 7, you will still be ok. You will simply need to shorter your 20 minute bit to 18. It will ebb and flow.

Be consistent. If your listener expects a 60 minute show, they will accept 55 minutes. However, 45 will feel short. 1:15 will feel like you are overstaying your welcome. Use the clock to get close.

You can also have the occasional special show that breaks format. Just ensure the show is special. If you are going to break your brand promise, you better make sure it is worth it.

You can get sample clocks and blank clocks on the Worksheet Page online at PodcastTalentCoach.com. Find them HERE.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Seven Things Your Guest Won’t Tell You (And How It Can Save Your Interview) – Episode 075

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Seven Things Your Guest Won’t Tell You (And How It Can Save Your Interview) – Episode 075

EJ & Lady Gaga
Posing with Lady Gaga after our interview

If you conduct interviews on your podcast, a solid reputation as an interviewer is critical to the health of your show. Your guests will share information about you and your show. Today, I would like to share with you seven things your guest will not tell you. In the long run, these tips could save your interview and podcast.

Our world of Podcasting is not that big. There is a good chance the big players in your niche know each other. Your reputation will typically precede your interview request. Work to make it great.

As podcasting continues to grow, booking services will become more and more prominent. These are people that work as the liaison between podcasts and guests. Agents like this are wide spread in radio. They are just beginning to get used in podcasting.

(Find guest resources HERE.)

Your reputation to these individuals will be critical if you hope to continue to attract great guests.

When you send a request for an interview dropping some names of past guests, your prospect will do a little research to see if your request is worth their time. Your past actions will speak louder than your words.

Over 25 years in radio, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Mariah Carey, Jason Aldean, Sarah McLachlan, Big & Rich, Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood, and so many others. With each interview, I have learned something new. I get a little better each time.

A few interviewing lessons have been learned the hard way. There have been times I have made a fool of myself. I am hoping I can save you the trouble.

Here are seven things your guests won’t tell you.

Introduce Me Like You Know Me

When you bring your guest on your show, your introduction sets up the entire interview. Your knowledge of your guest gives your guest credibility and tells your listener why they should care.

By opening the interview with “tell our listeners about yourself”, you are basically saying, “I did not care enough to learn a lot about you, so why don’t you handle this part.”

Open the interview with a quick elevator speech that tells your listener why they should care about this particular guest.

A Quick introduction does three things. First, it tells your guest that you care about them. Next, it doesn’t waste the time of your audience or guest. Finally, it sets the tone and direction of the interview. Hit the primary points you want to discuss in the interview to guide the interview.

Don’t Simply Refer To My Bio

Make your guest feel special. Do more research than their About page on their website.

Your listeners can read the website of your guest. Take time to go deeper and find other great information about this person that has taken time to appear on your show. Create unique questions.

This will keep your audience and guest engaged in the interview. It also shows you are truly interested in your guest, what they have done and what they have to say.

Benefit Me As Much As I Benefit You

Your guest has come on your show, because there is something in it for them. They could be pushing a new product or book. Maybe they are feel they can gain new audience.

The interview does not need to be one big commercial for your guest. However, it should benefit your guest in some way. If your guest gets great value from appearing on your show, word will get around.

The benefit you deliver doesn’t need to end with the interview. Benefits could include your newsletter, your website, social media and many other possibilities.

Don’t Ask The Same Questions

If you are asking the same questions your guest has answered on every other interview, your interview will most likely be less than engaging. Uninspired questions receive uninspired answered. Build the reputation of asking unique questions that excite both your guest and audience.

Actually Listen To My Answers

Listening is an art. By listening to your guest’s answers, you can ask fantastic follow-up questions. It becomes an engaging conversation for your guest.

When you simply ask the list of questions you have written down, your guest doesn’t feel valued. You are not listening to anything they say. This would be similar to asking someone a question and then going in the other room while they answer, only to return to ask another question. Incredibly frustrating.

Your list of questions is only a tool to guide the interview when necessary. Let the conversation ebb and flow. Find great nuggets in the answers of your guest.

Value your guest by intently listening to their answers. You can always edit.

If you Say 30 Minutes, Stick To 30 Minutes

Keep your promises. Nothing is more frustrating than overstaying your welcome.

Your guest is busy. They have planned out their day. When you delay them and negatively affect their schedule, your reputation will suffer.

If you need a 30-minute interview, as for 45 minutes to conduct the interview. Leave yourself a little time for small talk at the beginning and a wrap up at the end. If you can end your 45-minute block in 40 minutes, you will get the reputation of being respectful and courteous.

Don’t Make Me Jump Through Hoops

Your guest is doing you a favor by appearing on your show. When you demonstrate the benefits they will receive, the playing field becomes level. This is the ideal situation.

If you make your guest do a ton of work before they can be on your show, you are using up any goodwill your benefits may have created.

Things that make it difficult for your guest to be on your show are inflexible scheduling, lots of questionnaire paperwork to complete before the show, difficult technology necessary to conduct the interview, the need to provide a lot of background information before the show, and requiring your guest to visit a website to complete forms, upload data or do anything else that takes up their time.
The more you conduct interviews, the more your reputation will spread. Become known as the interviewer that is respectful, engaging and caring. When you ensure you have avoided these seven pitfalls, you will on solid footing to attract better guests in the future.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

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

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Making your listener care is the only way to get them to listen and more importantly come back again.

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

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

When your audience knows what is in it for them, they begin to care.

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

Start your podcast with the benefit right up front. Hook them early.

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

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

If your goal is to make your listener laugh at the horrible restaurant service you received, lead with it. “When we were out to eat this weekend, I couldn’t get the waiter to pay attention to our table if I had been waving $20 bills in the air.” The audience will now have time to enjoy the vivid details of your restaurant story rather than trying to figure out your point.

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

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

Here is an example of a story you might hear. “This weekend I had some time on my hands. I figured it would be a good weekend to clean out the attic. I dug through the garage to find the ladder and get at it.” Are we telling a story about a mishap in the attic? Is this story just recapping the weekend? Maybe it is about discovering something in the attic. You don’t know. I haven’t told you. There is no lead to this story.

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

Be A Storyteller For Success.

As you create your podcast, become a great storyteller. Great storytellers create fans.

Interest in your story never remains constant. Your information can only become entertainment when interest is rising. If interest is falling, the show is becoming boring and is no longer entertainment. A great story continues to develop the plot and raise the interest.

Have you ever sat through a long, monotonous story that never seems to end? You stare and wonder if the speaker actually has a point to this monologue. You pray for your cell phone to ring and save you. That scenario is exactly what you want to avoid. Practice becoming a great storyteller.

Stories help define your character and personality. You should always be yourself. It is difficult to play a character consistently and tell great stories. Your true feelings and identity will always be revealed in the stories you tell. If you are successful hiding your true self, you simply are not telling great stories. Vivid details and interesting points that stir emotions in your listeners can only come from your true feelings. Reveal your true character. Storytellers create raving fans.

Make them forget.

When your audience is listening to your podcast, make them forget they are listening to a recording. Take them to another place. Make your storytelling so strong that the imagination of your listener puts her in another time and place. That’s what great storytelling is all about. That’s what great relationships are all about.

People seek entertainment to escape from reality. They want entertainment like movies, concerts, television, radio and podcasts to make them forget about all of their problems. Entertainment that succeeds will take the audience member to some other place and time.

When you record your podcast, you need to create that wonderful theater of the mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading fiction or talking about gardening, put your audience in the moment. Make your listener forget they are listening to a recording.

Become a great storyteller, take your listener to another place and time to make them forget about their problems, and hook them early by leading with an intriguing introduction.

Get the story development worksheet as part of the pack of worksheets available for free online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Build Trust – PTC Episode 058

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How To Build Trust – Episode 058

How To Build Trust

Last week we discussed the four essential elements of storytelling.

As I gave that presentation at Podcast Movement, some had questions about turning personal connections into stories that actually had something to do with their podcast subject. In fact. Josh Elledge of “90 Days To Abundance” suggested I do an episode on it. Find him at “SaveingsAngel.com”.

Today, we dive into the “how” of storytelling.

Journaling

The use of journaling will help you dig deep into your thoughts to reveal your personal connections to the subject matter. Journaling can be done for a specific length of time or output. You can do it for 3 or 5 minutes, or an entire page of thoughts.

Whether you choose time or output, it should be set and consistent. Set a timer and write until the timer goes off. You want to write to the point where if becomes free-flowing without any conscious thought.

Understand that no one will ever see this journaling. You can even throw it out after you create the episode. There is no need to keep it once we find the personal connection.

Your Personal Connections

After you journal, read over your writing. Highlight the thoughts and personal connections that really jump out and grab your attention. Those are possible starting points.

Engaging Introduction

Once we have highlighted our personal connections, we need to pick one to use for our show. We then turn that personal connection into our engaging introduction to our powerful story.

An Example

I want to show you how we can find great stories for an episode using Journaling. In this example, I want to create an episode that teaches the power of storytelling. The goal of the episode is to have my listeners understand the importance of stories if they hope to have their audience know, like and trust them.

Here is my journal entry. These are never shared with anyone. I am sharing it with you as an example. There are some connections here that reveal my vulnerability that I typically wouldn’t share with anyone. I’m laying it all out with hopes it will help you find the courage to open up to yourself.

JOURNAL ENTRY

How do I create great stories by journaling. Max’s great story about his father. Find deep connections. When we tell these great stories, we reveal things about ourselves. I learned a lot about this from Bill McMahon. I’m sometimes afraid to reveal what I truly believe, because I worry what people think about me. Once Bill instilled in me the courage to recognize what I truly believe and present it on the air, I began creating great friendships with listeners I don’t even know. As the public address announcer of the Omaha Lancers hockey team, I often run into people who act like they know me, because they kind of do. It used to really creep out my wife. People would come up to me and start having a conversation about something I talked about on the air. After they would walk away, she would ask why I didn’t introduce her. I would tell her that I have no idea who that was. She couldn’t understand how I could have these conversations about personal stuff with somebody when I had no idea who it was. That is very common when you talk about personal connections on your show. How do you reveal things? People will get to know you. You never know what will connect. Listeners grab onto the most everyday stuff. It is something that happened with your kid. Or the hockey rink in your backyard. Or the pothole you hit on the way to work today. If you are doing a show about gun control, how do you link potholes to gun control? Journal until you find the link. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Journal. There is a connection there. My story here links Josh to storytelling. It was a great conference. I love when people ask great questions. My lectures really get into conversations. That’s what it is all about. That’s why I do this. I feel like we are developing a relationship. They actually trust me enough and care enough to ask questions. We are beginning to develop something here. The feedback and questions really make me feel like my presentation was validated. Even after the presentation, many came up to ask additional questions. Probably 10 or 12. Which was great, since it was the final presentation of the day. What a great way to finish the weekend.

Four different personal connections in that journal entry.

Now, let’s look at each personal connection and turn that into an engaging introduction. My topic for this episode is the power of great storytelling in podcasts. I want to encourage podcasters to use stories to get their audience to know, like and trust them. What stories can I use to make my point?

Before we create our introduction, we need to determine what we hope to make our audience feel.

Max’s great story about his father.

Like many of us, Max couldn’t find the courage to share his stories about his father. He didn’t feel anyone would care. Max eventually left my station to work at one of the big stations in Chicago.

With this connection, I hope to make the audience gain confidence and know that even the radio personalities in the biggest markets in the U.S. have some self doubt. It is natural. Let’s begin the story there.

“Fearing what people will think about you when you share personal stories is natural. Even radio personalities in some of the biggest cities in the U.S. have that self doubt. I once had a morning guy working for me who would tell me these great stories about his father …”

I’m sometimes afraid to reveal what I truly believe, because I worry what people think about me.

This is very similar to the the previous story. I can use the same style. Even I get a little nervous about what people will think. Using this connection, I again hope to give my listener confidence.

“Fearing what people will think about you when you share personal stories is natural. Even I encounter that self doubt. At Podcast Movement, I was a little nervous how my presentation would go over with the group of my peers.”

She couldn’t understand how I could have these conversations about personal stuff with somebody when I had no idea who it was.

With this personal connection, I want you to understand that you will be surprised what connects with your listeners. Some of the smallest asides will endear you to your listener. There will be times when your listener will mention things you do not even remember talking about. We can begin our story there.

“There are times when listeners will stop me to mention some of the must mundane things mentioned on my show. My wife and I were walking through the arena where I announce hockey games. We were stopped by a listener I didn’t know personally.”

The feedback and questions really make me feel like my presentation was validated.

With this personal connection, I want listeners to see the payoff that comes with powerful storytelling. If you use storytelling correctly, the end result can be very fulfilling and inspiring. I want this story to empower and encourage you to share your stories. Let’s start the story there.

“Have you ever been unsure about sharing your thoughts and opinions? I was a little nervous about giving my Podcast Movement storytelling presentation to a group of solid podcaster. By the time I finished sharing my stories and real life examples like Lee Brice and Walt Disney, I received some great questions that really validated my process. I was even more excited about helping people with my knowledge and information.”

There are four examples of how I journal to create great stories for my show. There are really four steps. Journal for 5 minutes. Find the personal connections within your writing. Determine what you want to make your audience feel and the point you want to make. Finally, turn that into your engaging introduction.

Telling great stories within your podcast will help your listener know, like and trust you. The details and personal connections you include will tell your listener about your beliefs, morals, dreams, dependability, experience, reputation, honesty and reliability.

As your listener begins to know you through these stories, she will determine whether or not she likes you. It is better to have some love you and some hate you rather than have a bunch of people on the fence. If they rate you a 3 on a 1-to-5 scale, they are basically saying they don’t care.

Create some passion. As long as you have more “loves” than “hates”, you’re on the way to a win.

Not everyone loves Harley Davidson motorcycles. There are people who love Harley and wear their colors proudly. Then, there are others who wouldn’t be caught dead riding a Harley. It doesn’t fit their personality. Nobody goes shopping for a new vehicle and says, “Oh, maybe I’ll buy a Harley or maybe I’ll buy a Volvo. I’m ok with either one.” Create a passionate tribe.

You can then build trust after your listener has had a chance to know you and decide if they like you. By trusting your audience with your personal feelings, they will begin to trust you by the law of reciprocity. When you give to someone, they will feel compelled to give back to you in return.

The process sounds easy. However, it takes practice. If you would like my help, let me know. I would love to teach you the process.

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

If you would like to have your show reviewed on The Podcast Review Show with Dave Jackson and me, click here. We are looking for great guests who would like to improve their shows.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Secret To Know, Like And Trust – PTC Episode 057

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Secrets to Know, Like and Trust – PTC Episode 057
Four Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling

Trust Me

WHY STORYTELLING

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

Storytelling can transform your podcast. Your personal experiences and stories make you unique. No one has experienced the things you have experienced in the same way you have. If you want to stand out from every other podcast, share your personal stories during your show.

People do business with other people they know, like and trust. Your stories create that knowledge. That is where true friendships begin.

Stories help define your character and personality. If you want your listener to get to know you, share those personal connections. Connect, motivate and inspire your audience with your stories.

Don’t fit in, stand out.

Your personal experiences are the only way to make the content your own. Great songwriters do it. Great filmmakers do it. Share your stories and stand out.

ENGAGEMENT

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.

To create engagement, tell great stories. Keep the interest of your listener rising.

Date your listeners. You need to earn the privilege of talking to people who want to be talked to and selling things to people who want to be sold to. To earn that privilege, you need to build friendship.

Great friendships are developed through self revelation. When you share your personal thoughts and feelings with an individual through stories, you begin to create a bond with that person. It is life enrichment. Making our lives better through friendship is the reason we do not live is seclusion.

Over time, sharing stories will begin to build trust with your listener. Your stories share your values and beliefs.

Practice becoming a great storyteller.

GREAT STORYTELLERS

Practice being a great storyteller. Have the courage to listen to yourself. Hear and have courage to record your personal connections to the events happening around you.

When you use your podcast to create friendships, you are asking people to spend time with your every week. People share time with others that they like. They are asking themselves, “Would I enjoy taking a one-hour car ride with this person every week?”

People listen to audio while they drive, run and workout so they are not alone. They use the audio as companionship. Let your listener get to know you.

Your stories will also let others live vicariously through you. Your listener can enjoy your story of struggle and success without enduring the hard work and pain. Let them enjoy your stories.

ELEMENTS OF GREAT STORIES

There are four essential elements of great stories.

  • Engaging introduction
  • Reveal the details
  • Powerful Resolution
  • What else?

Engaging Introduction

Give them a reason to care. What do you want the audience to feel? Your stories make you human. Will it be humorous, compelling or tragic. My talent coach Bill McMahon would always ask, “What do you hope to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand?”

Your listener can experience various emotions through your stories. You could elicit joy, sympathy, empathy, anger, tragedy, tenderness, humor, rage, patriotism or many others. Emotions make that personal connection to your story.

Pull your listener into the story. Your engaging introduction is a roadmap. It should be a solid headline that tells your listener exactly where your story will go. “Tell me if I’m gonna go to Hell for this…”

Reveal the details

Details are more believable than generalities. Your details will make your story come to life.

When you develop your details, use all 5 senses. Draw the picture in the mind’s eye of your listener. Make the story come to life. Put your listener right there in the moment. This is theater of the mind.

Your details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.

Resolution

Your resolution should be a powerful reframing of introduction. Your will know when you reach your conclusion when you have successfully achieved the emotional goal set at the beginning. What did you hope to make your audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand? When you’ve achieved that goal, get to the resolution.

What else?

Asking “What Else” will transform your show. Let your story lead to something bigger. Maybe you turn your story into a discussion on Facebook. Maybe your story leads into an interview. What else can you do with it? Create some great entertainment.

HOW YOU CAN BE A STORYTELLER

What do you want to make your listener feel?
What is the engaging set up?
How will it be revealed in the story with vivid details?
What is the resolution?
What else can you do with it?

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Stories Transform Your Podcast – PTC Episode 047

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Storytelling Transforms Your Podcast

Magazines

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

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stories help you connect, motivate and inspire.

There are four parts to the storytelling structure.

 

Engaging introduction

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

 

Vivid details

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

 

Powerful conclusion

Wrap up the story by reframing of your engaging introduction.

 

What else?

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

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

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

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

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

 

A few housekeeping notes this week.

Coupon code ends this week!

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

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

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

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

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

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

GET REVIEWED – CLICK HERE.

 

Podcast Movement

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

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

 

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

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

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

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Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

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Let’s help you determine where to begin podcasting.

I recently had lunch with the guys from the “200churches” podcast. Jeff Keady and Jonny Craig are pastors at a 200church in Northwest, Iowa. They want to encourage and support other pastors of “smaller” churches.

As we were having lunch, Jeff was telling me about their start in podcasting. They had all of the equipment and were ready to roll. As they were about to record their very first episode, Jeff said he didn’t know where to start. What was the first thing he was supposed to say?  How do you figure out where to begin podcasting?

Where to begin is a natural problem. You know what you want to say. You simply don’t know where to start it all. How far back to the beginning of your message should you go?

You have all the equipment. You have set up the technical details of the podcast. How does the show content begin?

Whether you are a brand new podcaster, or someone with hundreds of episodes under your belt, this episode will help you with your content. If you are just beginning, this will help you create your framework. We will walk through content preparation as you lay out the show.

If you are an “old pro”, this content will be a great refresher to help you step back and evaluate your progress. When we have done something for a long time, assumptions begin to creep into the content. We sometimes take small details for granted as if our listener has been with the show from the beginning.

 

There are six steps to defining your content and preparing your podcast.  These six steps will help you determine where to begin podcasting.

1. What do you hope to accomplish?

This includes both the topic and the show overall. Set a goal for each topic, the episode and your podcast in general.

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

As you determine your topics, look for a theme to develop.

3. How will you treat each specific topic you hope to address?

What will you do with the content? You could answer the question, demonstrate the answer, play some audio, show charts to support your answer, or use some other treatment. Find a way to make it your own. Your approach should be unique to you.

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

This is important for the show introduction.  Bullet points should suffice.  Do not script your content.

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

Organize and highlight for easy access during the show. This will help you sound prepared as you begin to build credibility with your audience.

6. Write your introduction. Write your conclusion. Include your call to action.

 

If you would like a worksheet to walk you through this process and others, visit the worksheet section at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.  These worksheets will further help you determine where to begin podcasting.

 

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

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

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Show Funnel Solution – PTC Episode 041

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The Show Funnel Solution – PTC Episode 041

If you listen to online business podcasts, you’ve surely heard the business funnel discussed. Online marketers move a large group of people into the big end of the funnel. As the price increases, the funnel gets smaller indicating fewer people buying.

Similar to the business funnel, we want to move our listeners through a show funnel. We want to engage our listeners, hook them by piquing their interest, and finally moving them through our content.

The size of the listener pool gets smaller as the group moves through the funnel. Many people will see our headline. A portion of those people will move further to read the description. An even smaller group will continue to move through the funnel by beginning to listen to the show. A subset of that group will actually get to the end of the episode.

How can we move our listeners through the episode more efficiently? How can we get more of our listeners to reach the end of the episode?

In this episode, we discuss five tips to help you with your engaging content and the listener progression through your funnel.

 

1. Develop A Goal For Your Show

As you develop your podcast, you need to determine what you hope to accomplish with the show. What will the show be about? What do you hope to make your audience feel? Is there some call to action you wish to make your listener take?

After you have developed the goal for your show, stick to it. All content on your show should support your goal.

If your goal is to help consumers get out of debt, don’t spend a lot of time discussing your favorite, new CD. Your listener has come to your show expecting you to deliver on your promise. If you tell her you help people get out of debt, deliver that content to her. When you start discussing anything other than that, your brand promise is tarnished. She will be headed elsewhere.

In his “My Disney Podcast”, Correy Webb discusses all things Disney. He discusses his cruise adventures, visits to the parks and other traveling tips. If Correy suddenly began discussing the poker game he had with his buddies last weekend, you would be disappointed. Poker isn’t the reason you’re listening. His Disney promise would be broken.

A great brand is built slowly with great consistency. Deliver on your brand’s promise. However, before you can deliver, you need to develop a goal for your show.

 

2. Prepare For Your Show

Before you begin to record your show, you should spend just as much time preparing for the show. It is very similar to mapping out a trip. You not only need to know where you are going, you need to know how to get there.

Many hosts will have an idea of which topics they hope to address on the show. They may have a few e-mail questions to answer or a current event to discuss. That is where most quit. They think, “Well, I have our ideas. Let’s do this.” They then begin recording.

This is a big mistake. You must plan what you hope to do with each topic. How do you hope to answer the questions? What will your opinion be on the current event. Most importantly, how will you present it to your listener.

If you plan to answer an e-mail question only because you think it is a good question, but you do not plan out your answer, you will wade through the answer. It will take you much more time to answer the question than is necessary. Your show will therefore lack momentum. Your listener will become easily bored. When you stumble your way through your answer unprepared, your listener will wonder if you actually now where you are going.

Before you open the mic, plan out your show. Jot down some notes. Write down the few important points you need to mention as you’re answering the question. Then, make sure you stick to your plan.

Dan Miller does a wonderful job of this in his podcast “48 Days to The Work You Love”. He knows exactly which questions he wants to answer in his show. He knows exactly how he wants to answer them. He also has a few solid examples for each answer. Dan tends to over-promise at the beginning of the show with the questions he hopes to answer. He should either stick to a time limit for each answer, or promise fewer with the potential of a few “bonus” answers at the end if time permits.

Give your show more momentum and energy. It will happen when you prepare for your show.

 

3. Tease Me

Anticipation is a key feature to storytelling. Your story should build just like a good plot builds in a movie. You need to make your audience anticipate the content that is on the way. It is like a vacation you are planning to take. The fantastic anticipation for the trip is almost as pleasurable as the trip itself. You can’t wait for the trip to arrive. You want your listener to feel the same way about your content. When they can’t wait for the story to arrive, you have created some great content.

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

When you promote parts of the show that are coming up, you must creatively tease your audience. You must give them a reason to stick around. It isn’t enough to simply say, “A great story about this weekend is coming up.” Few will stick around for the payoff. Tease. Create anticipation. Instead, use something like, “You’re never gonna believe what I found in the attic this past weekend.”

The evening news does a wonderful job at teasing. Create anticipation. Tease me.

 

4. Create A Power Intro

The opening of your podcast should explain the purpose of your podcast and let your listeners know exactly what to expect as if this is the first time they have ever heard the show.

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

First, it tells the brand new listener who is hearing the show for the very first time exactly what to expect from the show. It is like the intro to a late night talk show. “From New York. It’s the Late Show with David Letterman. Tonight, Tom Cruise. Larry The Cable Guy. And Katy Perry. Letters from the mail bag. Tonight’s Top Ten list. And Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra. And now, former New York City Medical Examiner … David Letterman.” 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.

 

5. Make Your Listener The Star

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.

There are many ways to incorporate your listeners into your show. Live interviews, live calls, recorded voicemail messages, and e-mail are a few of the possibilities. Incorporating listeners into the show gives your entire audience a vested interest in the show.

With guests, you must remember you always know more about your show than they know. You know the goals of your show. You know the plot and strategy. You are always on the show. They are new. Lead your guest.

Phrases like “great question”, “I’m glad you mentioned that” and “I didn’t realize that” make your guest feel they are adding to the show … as long as you are authentic in your comments.

Financial guru and radio host Dave Ramsey is great at guiding his listeners. When a caller begins to ramble on, he will always step in with, “How can I best help you today?” That is a great way to say, “Get to the point.” You need to remember that your callers are not professional. They are not sure how to adequately edit their question while still providing all of the necessary elements.

Just as you do not need to answer every e-mail you receive on your show, you do not need to read the entire e-mail. When you are using voicemail and e-mail questions, edit them before you use them. Keep the essence of the question while eliminating the unnecessary details. Nobody will fault you for editing a 4 minute voicemail message to a great 30 seconds. They will probably thank you. The edited call is still the call as long as you aren’t changing their words. Your show is entertainment. Edit it as such.

When interviewing a well-known guest, make it easy for them. Open with great questions for which you already know the answer. Talk hosts like Jay Leno and David Letterman have producers that do a pre-interview with their guests. They will ask the guest, “If Jay asks you about ____, what will you say?” The producer then puts the great questions on the blue cards for the host. Jay may not know the answer, but the guest knows the question is coming.

If you know your guest has done some amazing things, ask them about it. Then, let them answer. I hear so many hosts interview guests as if they are trying to show the guest how much they actually know. In turn, they answer the question as they are asking it. This leaves the guest very little to say.

You and your show become great when you make your guests and listeners the star.

 

Using these five tips will help you refine your content and give it focus. This will help you move your listener through your show funnel. Develop a clear goal, prepare for the episode, tease your listener, write a power intro and make your listener a star. You will be well on your way to transforming your show.

 

A few housekeeping notes for you.

Dave Jackson 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 $49.50. You get half off. Still an hour. Still feedback from both of us. Still plugging your show. Half the price.

The code is coach50.

Now, we cannot possibly review everyone. Once we fill the available slots, this deal will go away. We have already had a great response. Just a few openings remain. If you are serious about your improvement and would like to be on the show, get registered today.

We have not made anyone cry yet. At half price, it surely cannot hurt that much. Just use coach50 when you register.

 

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.

 

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.

Defeat The Podcast Jitters – PTC Episode 039

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Defeat the Podcast Jitters – PTC Episode 039

This week we discuss how to properly prepare for your podcast, and how to overcome the podcast jitters.

I began my broadcasting career when I was 19. It was completely by accident. I was going to college to get my architecture degree. Since I was 12 I had been tailoring my education to be an architect or engineer.

In college, I had the same fear of public speaking as most people. In our design classes, we had to do presentations in front of a panel of judges. I absolutely hated doing these presentations.

During class, four or five students would present during the hour. It would take about a week to get through the entire class. That was the worst part. The anxiety would build for presentation day only to not get your name called. I would have to live through the anxiety again in anticipation of presenting during the next class.

I never envisioned being a public speaker, radio talent or any other presenter.

My younger brother worked for a radio station at the time. I was home for the weekend doing nothing like most college students. That was when the phone rang. It was the manager of the radio station looking for my brother to fill in during a shift. My brother wasn’t home and I was offered a part-time job.

My career in radio started just running the board for long-form programs. I only talked on the radio between the 30-minute shows. I might give the time or temperature. Otherwise, I would sit around while the show played. Speaking was minimal.

As an elective for my architecture degree, I took a class called “Broadcasting For The Non-Major”. I figured being in a radio station for a part-time job should make this class a little easier. It would also help me learn more about my job.

That class eventually led me to become the music director of the college station.

That position got me a job working overnights at a commercial station. Suddenly, I instantly found myself talking to 10,000 people. I was no longer talking between long-form programs to a handful of old people. This was real radio.

Over time, I started to get comfortable talking on the radio. It took a little time. I eventually got there.

As I started picking up more hours on the air, my boss started to send me out broadcasting live in front of a crowd. I was being sent onstage to introduce concerts in front of 10,000 people. These were no longer people I couldn’t see. They were right in front of me.

It took me years to figure out how to overcome those butterflies I would get each time I stepped in front of a crowd. There were tips and tricks I learned along the way to help me. It was a combination of things I learned over the years that helped me defeat the jitters. In this episode, I would like to show you how to shake the butterflies out of your system. It could save you years of trial and error.

Preparation is the key idea in the process.

 

Here are four steps to properly prepare for your show.

 

To Overcome Jitters

– Prepare your material

– Rehearse

– Focus on one person – preferably your single target listener you have defined

 

Create Great Notes

– Bullet points – don’t script

– Tell stories

– Give examples – play audio

– Determine your open and close, intro and outro for show and each topic … “now it’s time for” is not an appropriate intro

 

Set the Room

– Get the temp correct – be comfortable

– Get some room temp water

– No distractions – phone, family

 

Prepare Your Equipment

– Close other programs

– Prepare your software

– Turn off your phone, close e-mail, close IM

– Test your mic and set your levels

– Contact and prepare guests & co-hosts

 

What other tips do you use to overcome the jitters?

 

I’ll be speaking at the Podcast Movement 2014. It is a national podcast conference in Dallas Aug 16 & 17. The speaker roster looks amazing. It is only about $135 for the standard ticket before June 1. Get my affiliate link here.

 

Next week, we will discuss the differences between marketing to men and women. You’ll learn how this will shape your podcast content.

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Confidence To Begin A Podcast – PTC Episode 027

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Confidence To Begin A Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

This week, plan your show.

Determine the topics for the show.

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

Define your call-to-action.

 

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

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

Tell the truth, make it matter and have fun.

Put the Show in Show Business – PTC Episode 016

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Put The Show In Show Business

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

Do you have the magic?

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

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

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

Would the evening news air stories that are not edited?

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

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

 

Delightful details dazzle.

Great storytellers use delightful details.

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

 

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

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

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

 

Fish for interviews with bigger bait.

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

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

 

Natural is better.

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

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

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

 

6 Steps To Get Your Listeners To Stick Around …

 

I was a guest contributor this week to the New Media Expo and BlogWorld Podcasting blog.  It is an article longer than I usually write here.  However, the length allowed me to dig a little deeper into show structure.

You can read the full post here on the NEW MEDIA EXPO SITE.  I hope you enjoy it.  Be sure to leave a comment or two on the entry.

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

Would The Evening News Air Stories That Are Not Edited? …

 

Would the evening news air stories that are not edited?

(photo by ginaellen)

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

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

If you don’t edit your interview, your guest will sound less like an expert. Help them shine. Edit out the “ums” and “you knows”. Make them sound great. When you do, they will be proud of the interview and spread the word. (It goes without saying that you should never makes edits that make your guest say something they are not.)

Add elements to your show that create excitement. Remove the parts of the show that take away from the professionalism. This is show business. Your podcast is supposed to be engaging and entertaining. If you are simply airing raw audio, you are delivering lack-luster content that could have been polished. There are too many weeds left in the grass.

— 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 podcast is a show. Make it sound that way. Edit every show to deliver the best content possible. Would the evening news air stories that are not edited?

Do You Have The Magic? …

Do you have the magic?

(photo by Maa-Illustrations)

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

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

The most common production element is the show open. A well-produced show open will make your podcast sound big time. Cliff Ravenscraft has a very strong show open for “Podcast Answer Man“. His introduction incorporates the show network, explains exactly what the podcast is about and contains some great music and sound effects.

You don’t always need a big voice guy to produce your show open for you. Dave Ramsey does his own show open on a daily basis for four or five million people on “The Dave Ramsey Show”. His theme music provides solid consistency and familiarity for his show.

You can also incorporate production elements within your show to add depth. Adam Carolla has a great producer for his podcast. His guy adds sound effects, audio clips and production elements throughout “The Adam Carolla Show”. It sounds just like the big talk shows. Carolla’s show always delivers.

To incorporate sound effects, you don’t need a full-time producer. You don’t even need to add the effects in real-time. This is show business. Sound effects can always be added in post-production.

A solid show close will put a nice bow on the podcast. The elements of your show close should be similar to those of your open. Dan Miller simply uses the same theme music in his show closing as he uses in the opening of “48 Days To The Work You Love”.

Take the time to find some great production elements for your show. Put in a touch of show biz. Production elements create the magic of the podcast.

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

Do you have the magic?

I Think We’re Lost …

I think we’re lost.

(photo by Dreef)

While listening to the podcast described below, I just about gave up and moved onto another show. I had to force myself to stick with it. I honestly thought they may have uploaded the wrong show.

Here is the opening of the podcast. (I’ve eliminated the names and other identifying parts.)

Show host: Welcome to (show name). 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 (city)?

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 introduction 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 your 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?

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.

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.”

Hey, I’m New Here …

Hey, I’m new here. What’s goin’ on?

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.  This should happen on each and every show.

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

First, it tells the brand new listener who is hearing the show for the very first time exactly what to expect from the show. It is like the intro to a late night talk show. “From New York. It’s the Late Show with David Letterman. Tonight, Tom Cruise. Larry The Cable Guy. And Katy Perry. Letters from the mail bag. Tonight’s Top Ten list. And Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra. And now, former New York City Medical Examiner … David Letterman.” 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.

Lead With An Intriguing Introduction

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make Them Care

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

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

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

Don’t Waste My Time

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

When a show begins with, “I’ll show you how to make a million dollars in 4 easy-to-understand steps”, followed by, “But first, I want to let you know that my increase in speaking engagements has slowed my ability to respond to e-mail, blah, blah, blah”, you are losing your audience. Your fan tuned in to hear your secrets, not your problems.

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

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

“Welcome to Podcast Talent Coach Podcast. My name is Erik K. Johnson. Over the next 30 minutes, we will answer your questions about transforming your podcast from information into engaging entertainment and from a relationship into cash.”

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.

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

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

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