Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121
Content creators struggle with topic ideas. It is natural. There are days when few ideas are coming to mind.
The other day, I was listening to the great motivational speaker Les Brown. He says speaking is natural. You don’t hear of people facing speaker’s block. Why do people run into writer’s block?
You simply need to find topics that pique your interest.
These topics could stir any sort of emotion within you. They could make you laugh, cry, or simply say hmmm.
The good news is that you can find topics everywhere. We tend to limit ourselves to our niche or genre. Expand. Topics are everywhere.
During my 25-year radio career, I’ve attend many, many seminars on creating great radio. One session eventually led to a coaching relationship with Bill McMahon.
Bill had been coaching radio talent for quite some time. He had coached Jeff & Jer in San Diego along with many others. He had a great process for creating great radio.
In our sessions, Bill would always encourage us to determine what we hoped to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand. Then, start there.
Before we could get there, we needed to find the topic.
The idea for topic generation came from another radio mentor of mine. Dan O’Day is probably more famous in radio circles for creating great advertising. However, he did a radio session one time on finding great topics from everyday articles. Any article could spur a topic.
Find any magazine or blog or paper. Scan through it until a headline catches your eye. As you read the article, highlight any sentence or word that captures your attention. When you are finished reading the article, find the one sentence or word that grabs you most.
With this sentence or word, spend three minutes brainstorming and freeform writing about that sentence. Set a timer. Write everything that comes to mind. Put it all on the paper. Write instead of typing. It will let the ideas come more freely.
At the end of the three minutes, look through the words on the sheet. Find the one idea that really jumps out that can be turned into a great podcast topic.
Use articles out of everyday periodicals.
The third tip came from internet marketer Ryan Diess. He suggest creating a planner that includes publish date, post type, your category, your offer and the headline. Ryan offers a list of over 40 post types. You can find that link HERE.
Finally, I’ve created a worksheet that will help you ask questions to develop your topic. Once you find the sentence that piques your interest, use the worksheet to flush it out.
Here is an example of how I would use this method in my podcast.
USA Hockey – “The Meek Shall Inherit the Ice” p20 June/July 2013
“When the nation’s top quarter of college hockey teams hook up at a neutral site, only one gets to go home with a shiny gold trophy” – What makes a winning podcast. – Dissect the winners of the podcast awards – What industry events are available to learn?
“Going back to the 1950’s, when college hockey was a relatively new thing…” – Where podcasting began. – How podcasting grew from broadcasting and the theater. – What makes great theater? – What can we learn from those that came before?
“But, every now and then, a smaller school … would crash the party.” – What can we learn from some of the fastest growing podcasts? – Review some new, undiscovered podcasts. – Review a show on the show.
Ten Questions from the Topic Development Worksheet
1. Why is the topic relevant to your audience?
2. How will you make the audience care?
3. What is the source of the topic?
4. How will the source lend credibility to the topic?
5. What do you find intriguing about the topic?
6. What emotion do you hope to stir?
7. In what context will the story be set?
8. Where will you take the topic? Where will the story go?
9. What details will you use?
10. What is the one thing you hope your listener will remember about you/your show?
Finally, write the intriguing introduction to your topic.
Don’t settle for the first idea. Work and mold your topic.
It is easy to do an interview exactly like you do every other interview. Just like you’ve heard everyone do every other interview. Unfortunately, it will sound like every other interview.
It is easy to approach a topic just like everyone else.
Do something different. Stand out. Make your show different. Find new questions. Find ways to ask questions differently. Gain attention by being unique.
If you are discussing an article, do something different. If most hosts would simply read the article and comment, zig when they are zagging. Grab the phone and call the subject of the article. Interview the author. Act it out. Create a parody of it that is so over-the-top that it becomes memorable. Find that unique way to rise above the rest.
If you continue to settle for the first idea when presenting an idea, you’ll keep delivering typical content. We want to make you memorable. We want you to stand out and get noticed. When your content is vanilla and just like everyone else, you become wallpaper that nobody notices. You also become easy to replace.
Push yourself. Brainstorm until you find something that is great. Then, run with it and make it engaging and memorable. Don’t settle for the first idea.
Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.
You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.
Use the Podcast Talent Coach Topic Development Worksheet to discover new podcast topics all around you.
Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.