Tag Archives: show prep

Creating Consistency – My Podcast Workflow – Episode 166

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Creating Consistency – My Podcast Workflow – Episode 166

Podcast Workflow
Creating consistency with content using a podcast workflow

How do you find time to record your podcast? Consistency is an important part of building an audience. This week, I thought I would share my podcast workflow to help you create more consistency with your show.

Before we begin, I want to share with you two things.

First, I launched a Facebook group last week for podcast interviews. If you conduct interviews on your podcast, join our group here:

[PODCAST TALENT COACH INTERVIEWING FACEBOOK GROUP]

We are helping each other find great guests and become better interviewers.

Next, I received a great e-mail from one of my coaching clients. This shows the power of taking action.

Erik,

I’m listening to the episode on how to get guests while driving home last night. As u go thru each tip, I say “yeah yeah yeah” until u said those magic words “make the ask short and offer something of value to the guest” and it was like a lightening bolt.

I pulled off on the side of the road and messaged a top-of-the-food-chain guest I’ve been chasing w no results for a while ,,,,,, and said, “Hey I have an opportunity to highlight your vision (something I know he is pushing) and if u can give me a 30 second sound bite I can record it and put it out.”

It worked. I got the clip today and a commitment for an interview As I reflect on it, I’ve been trying to impress him w how good my podcast is instead of figuring out what he needed so I could offer that thing of value.

One of your most important messages is of being a servant of guests and listeners and giving the something. Thanks Erik.

Rick Sizemore

VR Workforce Studio

Regardless of the information and training I provide you, none of it will matter unless you actually put it to work.

That is why I love working with Rick and his co-host Anne. When I make recommendations to them in our coaching sessions, they put the suggestions into effect and see results. They do the work. I’m so proud of them.

If you would like information on my coaching services, get details here.

[PODCAST TALENT COACH COACHING SERVICES]

Now, let’s talk about your podcast workflow and consistency.

Many podcasters will post episodes consistently. Then life will get in the way causing them to miss a few. They will then get back on track.

When this inconsistency happens, they will often reach out to me wondering why they cannot get their downloads to grow.

Listening is a habit. Help your listeners to develop that habit.

THE BENCHMARK

Have you ever listened to a radio show where they do a bit at the same time every day? You know you are on time on the way to work if you hear the game or joke or trivia question when you are at the corner of 16th and Broadway.

In news radio, the network news typically airs right at the top of the hour. These stations sometimes do “traffic on the tens”, where they air the traffic report every ten minutes at ten past, twenty after, etc. Morning shows on music stations might play their contest every morning at 7:20, creating consistency on the show. The station might do a lunchtime feature playing nothing by 80s music.

In radio, we call these a benchmark. The definition of a benchmark is a standard or point of reference against which things can be compared or assessed. When the radio feature happens at the same time each day, that is the point of reference for the show.

The benchmark tells listeners they are in the right spot at the right time. It becomes a habit, because listeners are listening at the same time each day. The feature provides stability and consistency in the life of your listener.

Your show can do the same thing when you are consistent. Listeners may not listen every Tuesday at 6pm when you post. However, they might listen every Thursday at 7am on their way to work, because they know a new episode is there when they tune in. When you don’t publish, the promise and habit are broken.

To create consistency, I have found focus is critical. My podcast is the center of all I do. If I do not create the podcast episode, nothing else matters. Therefore, I have scheduled a specific time each week to record the podcast. I built my podcast workflow to streamline the process. If it doesn’t get scheduled, it doesn’t happen.

You should do the same thing. Schedule the time. Build your podcast workflow. Make it happen.

There is another step that helps me create consistency. I batch my recording. Each time I go into the studio, I record three episodes. This step also helps me work ahead just in case life gets in the way.

I use the podcast time during the weeks I am not recording to write the outlines for new episodes.

Let’s go over my podcast workflow for each episode. This will help you plan your episodes and schedule your time to record. Most of all, a plan will help you create consistency with your show and a habit for your listener.

A good rule of thumb is one hour of preparation for every hour of show. That involves gathering your information and outlining it for the show.

Once your show is recorded, you will probably spend another hour or two posting it and promoting it. If you want traffic, you need to spend most of your time promoting and marketing your content.

MY PODCAST WORKFLOW

  1. 60-second blog content plan
  2. Show prep planning worksheet
  3. Write the outline
  4. Topic development worksheet
  5. Develop the lead magnet
  6. Write the show notes
  7. Set up my studio
  8. Record the episode
  9. Edit the episode
  10. Add the ID3 tags
  11. Post the show to Libsyn
  12. Create the cover art for the episode using 123RF.com and Canva
  13. Post the show to my website
  14. Add the appropriate links
  15. Send out a broadcast to my list
  16. Share on Facebook and Twitter

If you wish to create more engagement and increase downloads with your podcast, begin focusing on consistency. Schedule your podcasts. Create a podcast workflow. Then, begin to market your show as much as you can.

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 I Battled To Overcome The Impostor Syndrome – Episode 163

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How I Battled To Overcome The Impostor Syndrome – Episode 163

How you can build self-confidence by overcoming the Impostor Syndrome
Copyright: Elnur / 123RF Stock Photo

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? That’s the Impostor Syndrome creeping in.

I’ve been there. I was at that point when I started in broadcasting. I continue to fight it today.

Proper preparation will help you feel more confident in your content. You can find a free show prep sheet online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. This will help you set a solid foundation.

MY BATTLE WITH IMPOSTOR SYNDROME

I learned the value of preparation by fighting my own battle against the Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome is defined as a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.

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. The drafting firm where I had been working recently closed its doors as the owner went to work for a larger, manufacturing company.

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 at that drafting firm 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.

When I would interview famous musicians, the Impostor Syndrome would really fire up. I’m just a kid out of college with an architecture degree faking my way through radio.

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 over 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 I was programming 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.

IMPOSTOR SYNDROME RETURNS

When I launched my podcast, I quickly went back to the beginning. The imposter 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. My knowledge and experience sets me apart from a lot of podcasters. Even podcasters who had been producing content for years. That helped me shake the impostor syndrome and publish my content.

MY NEXT BATTLE

Recently, I ran into that little voice again. I was in a discussion with my mastermind about the next step we each needed to take to move forward. What was the “next thing”?

As we were talking it through, I finally came to the conclusion that the voice was holding me back. What if I put all this work into creating a course or book or workshop and nobody came? The group helped me once again recognize my experience and knowledge.

An episode of “DailyVee” with Gary Vaynerchuk today did the same thing for me. Gary said, “Going 0-for-5 is better than going 0-for-0. At least you’re learning something.” That made total sense to me.

HELP FOR YOU

Ignore the voice and move forward. Regardless of the outcome, you’ll learn something and be able to do it better next time.

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. Heck, you don’t even need a mixer. Plug straight into your computer.

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 step-by-step checklist. You’ll have a podcast launched in a few 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 YOU CAN STAT A PODCAST

How do I suggest you bootstrap to begin? Make it simple. Get an inexpensive microphone, like a $60 ATR-2100. Plug directly into your computer with the USB cable. If you’re adventuresome, pick up an inexpensive mixer like a $99 Yamaha 4-channel. I just purchase an 8-channel mixer at a pawn shop for $65.

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 $100. Again, Dave Jackson has a whole list of recommendations for you at www.SchoolOfPodcasting.com. I leave the technical stuff up to him.

WHAT IS YOUR PODCAST NICHE

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 you are passionate about, and they are 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, your 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.

PLANNING YOUR PODCAST

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, the main reason you are podcasting is because it is fun. Enjoy the process.

TO DO THIS WEEK

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.

Use solid preparation for your show to gain more confidence in your content and battle the Impostor Syndrome.

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

 

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Are You Moving Your Podcast Forward In 2017 – Episode 159

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Are You Moving Your Podcast Forward In 2017 (Goals) – Episode 159

Achieving your goals in 2017.
Copyright: nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo

Where is your podcast going this year? We are one-third through the year. Are you moving forward in 2017? Have you reviewed your goals lately? Have you even set goals for this year?

We often set goals at the beginning of the year. Studies show that most goals and resolutions go by the wayside by mid-February. How are you doing with your goals?

We need to take time to review our goals often. You do not need to wait for the beginning of the year to set those goals.

WHAT IS A GOAL?

A goal is a dream with a deadline. What are your dreams for this year? If you don’t have a map and destination, you’ll only wander. You’ll never get anywhere. Let’s be specific and set some deadlines.

I am a member of Digital Marketer with Ryan Deiss. Though I am not an affiliate, he has some great products and plans. One of them I use regularly is his “60-Second Blog Plan”. This plan helps me lay out a clear path and plan for my content for the year.

Find it here:

What is the one big thing you want to accomplish over the next year? Let’s develop little steps to get there. Break the big goal into bite-sized pieces.

GOALS MUST BE SPECIFIC

If you create a weekly show, you have 52 shows over the next 12 months. It may sound like a lot. However, you need to be intentional to reach your goals.

What is your call to action within your podcast? How can we make that call-to-action more effective? Where are you sending your listener each episode to get more info? Be specific and write it down.

Are you monetizing your podcast? There are many possibilities, such as books, speaking engagements, seminars, affiliates, products and more. If you have yet to monetize your podcast, schedule your time to create something powerful. Be sure to include deadlines.

Do you interview guests on your show? Create a list of guests you’d like to get on the show. Be brave and reach out to those people. Let’s get them on the show. Give yourself a goal with a deadline.

GOALS NEED PLANS

Are you effectively planning each show before you begin? Sometimes it is difficult to get motivated to record your show on a regular basis. Plan ahead.

Download the Podcast Talent Coach Show Planning Worksheet:

When you lack motivation, revert to plan you’ve already created.

Are you reviewing your show on a regular basis? To get better, you need to look at game tape. All great sports teams review tape of previous games. You should do the same.

Get the Podcast Talent Coach Show Review Worksheet:

GOALS NEED ACCOUNTABILITY

Finding someone that can help you honestly review your show will help as well.

The next year can be huge for you if you plan. Set deadlines to turn your dreams into goals. Be sure to find balance in all areas of your life.

Take some chances. Go for the big interview or launch a product. Dream big. You might just reach your dreams.

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.

Proper Podcast Preparation – Episode 155

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PROPER PODCAST PREPARATION – EPISODE 155

Copyright: grinvalds / 123RF Stock Photo

This week on the podcast, we discuss 5 steps to ensure your proper podcast preparation.

But first, did you get my free e-book with 15 tips to improve your podcast this week? This resource containg 15 tips that are quick and easy to implement that can improve your show immediately.

If you would like your free copy, text “15Tips” to 44222. That’s one fie T-I-P-S to 44222. I’ll shoot you all the details.

You can also download it here: [15 TIPS E-BOOK]

This week, let’s talk about proper podcast preparation for your episode to ensure you are reaching your goals.

SHOW PLANNING

You must know where you’re going before you can actually get there. That statement is true with a road trip and it is also true with your podcast. When you set out to record a show, you must have goals in mind. Once you’ve determined what you hope to accomplish, you can then decide how you will make it happen.

So many podcasters seem to record their show less than fully prepared. I hear hosts often search for details that should be right at their fingertips. There is no reason to lack the proper information while you are doing your show. If you’ve fully prepared for your podcast, the information should be right in front of you.

Is rehearsal really the enemy of spontaneity?

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

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

Thinking about making a mistake makes you nervous. Your lack of preparation is the cause. You worry that you may forget something. You are not prepared.

On the other hand, when you have rehearsed the speech many, many times, you eventually know it by heart. You begin to feel much more confident. The worry isn’t present. You begin to relax.

When you relax, the spontaneity kicks in.

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

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

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

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

Where are you spending your time? Are you too busy thinking about the next question and blocking out the spontaneity? Is rehearsal really the enemy of spontaneity?

FIVE POINTS

There are five key steps to proper podcast preparation. Taking these five steps each time you record will give your show focus, make your show more entertaining, and create stronger relationships with your listeners. These steps will also make you sound more professional.

If you have ever fought the impostor syndrome, being more prepared will help you win that battle.

The impostor syndrome, or impostor phenomenom, is the psychological phenomemon in which people are unable to interalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence that proves they are deserving and successful, those that suffer from impostor syndrome do not feel they deserve the success. These people believe their success came about not because of skill or expertise, but more because of luck or manipulation.

Students sometimes face this phenomenom in college when they tell themselves they really don’t belong in such an esteemed university and others may soon discover the fraud.

It is common for us all to experience the impostor syndrome to some extent. The phenomenom is roughly the opposite of your ego. Your ego is telling you that you are the best around and people should admire everything you’ve done. Your internal impostor is then telling you that you have no authority to be doing this. You are a fake and a fraud with no credibility. The only reason you are in this position according to your internal impostor is because nobody has yet discovered the truth.

Both your ego and impostor exist within you. Learning how to manage both is a challenge. Being well prepared for your show and having the confidence to stick to the plan will help you win that battle.

Here are the five steps for adequate podcast preparation.

1. YOUR GOAL

Overall, what do you hope to accomplish with this particular show? Define the call to action you hope to make your listeners take. Here, you are defining the ultimate purpose of this specific show.

The purpose of this particular episode may be more focused than the overall goal for the podcast as a whole. If the general goal for your podcast is to teach people to coach lacrosse, the goal of the show today might be to discuss the power of Double-Goal Coaching. The goal today is a subset of the goal for the podcast overall.

Your call to action of your show could be many things. It could be teaching your audience in order to build relationships, sales of your product, visiting your website, supporting your cause, joining your club or simply listening again. Know what you hope to accomplish before you begin the journey.

Knowing the goal for your show will help you develop a filter for your subject matter and topics. When each topic passes through this goal filter, you will be able to determine if the topic should be part of the show and how to best handle the content. Your show filter helps keep the show focused. You cannot build your filter until you first know the goal of your show.

Let’s take the “School of Podcasting” podcast with Dave Jackson for example. Dave is focused on helping people lauch podcasts. He wants to help as many people as possible get up and running with their own show. Therefore, everything Dave does on his show is centered around that goal. His content goes through that show filter.

Dave also reviews podcasts. Reviewing shows isn’t part of launching shows. Dave has a completely separate podcast called the “Podcast Review Show”. Where “School of Podcasting” is focused on launching, “Podcast Review Show” is focused on improving. Both shows have their own unique filter for the content.

The goal you develop for your show will build a focus for your podcast. When your show has focus, people know what to expect. Consistency is developed with your content. You also build confidence to fight your inner impostor when you consistently reach that goal each and every show.

2. STRUCTURE DEFINES TOPICS

Once you have developed the goal for your podcast and a goal for this particular episode, you need to determine which topics you hope to discuss today.

Topics come in many different forms. A podcast will sometimes focus on one topic for the entire show. Sometimes a podcast will have an overall theme while handling a few different topics under the umbrella of that theme. There are podcasts that answer various listener questions during the show. Others interview guests. And yet, some podcasts combine many styles into one show. How you approach your show is completely up to you. That is one thing that makes podcasting so great. You are in control.

Your show should have a structure that you follow for each episode. Your structure is a rough guideline that can easily be followed by your listeners. You might start the show with your show open and a quick overview of the episode. You could then include some news about your business and the industry in general. A short guest inteview could be next followed by listener e-mail questions. Finally, you could end with a recap and contact information. Each week, you simply plug in new content to each segment.

On the other hand, your show may only be an interview each week. It could be very focused and streamlined. You get to decide.

Once you have built the structure for your show, you can easily determine which topics will fill each particular episode. You can look at the structure in the example above and know exactly what you need. To record today’s show, I would need my show open, my outline, a list of news headlines, my recorded interview, and a list of e-mail questions and supporting answers.

Many people forget to bring the answers to the questions. Have your answers outlined to ensure you have any supporting material you need to appropriately answer the questions. When you try to answer the questions off the cuff, you will inevitably forget some important facts. It is best to make some notes before you begin recording. That takes us to the next step.

3. STRATEGY FOR EACH TOPIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. OUTLINE

Once you’ve created the show topics and the strategy for each topic, you need to create an outline for the show that includes each topic.

An outlines serves two primary purposes. First, you can use this outline in your show open. It will give the audience an idea of the content in the show today. Second, the outline will keep you focused during your show. The outline will help you determine where you are going and serve as a reminder of how you plan to approach each topic.

Your outline should be detailed, but not scripted. Include the important facts and notes on your outline. You will want this information at your fingertips during your show. When you begin telling a story and you don’t have the specifics right in front of you, the story gets off course and you lose momentum.

Build the outline with enough content to help you get through the information, but not so much that your show becomes scripted. You simply need to write down enough information to remind you where you are going. It is the map you are following. Road maps don’t show every detail of every building along the route. They simply draw a line to represent a road. You get the idea and end up at your destination. The same is true with your outline.

Do not write a script. Tell stories instead of reading them. If you sound like you are reading your information, you will sound stale and boring. Engage with your audience by telling stories. Make the stories come to life by using great words and inflection in your voice. You won’t get that energy, excitement and engagement when you read a script.

5. THE DETAILS

The final step before recording your show is gathering your details and supporting information. This includes the facts, figures, details and other elements will you need for each topic. Gather all of the information you need before the show begins.

Look over your outline to ensure you have each piece of supporting content. Make sure you have the facts to your stories. Gather the audio elements you plan to include. Round up any e-mails you plan to address. You do not want to waste the time of your audience while you search through your inbox trying to find that one great question you hoped to include during the show today. Be prepared.

If names are important to the story, jot them down. If dates or a timeline is a critical part of the tale, make note of it. I hear shows go astray quite often when the host cannot remember the web address for their story. The often say something like, “Hold on, I’ll find it here.” You then hear them tapping on their computer while searching Google to get the address. If they knew they were going to approach this topic with this particular story, the web address should have been part of the outline. Be prepared.

I recently heard a podcast trying to remember the web address for one of their topics. The host couldn’t come up with it. He paused recording the show, found the address and then started recording again. This is perfectly acceptable. Sometimes you don’t realize you need a piece of information until you are well into the story.

The issue I have with the way he handled the situation is how he addressed it during the show.

He said something like, “There is a website that will help you with this. It is … uh. Oh, what it is. It is something like WebAddress.com or something. Oh, I can’t remember right now. It’s a great web site. Ok, I just paused the recording and found it. It is GoodWebAddress and it gives you everything you need.” The “Ok, I just paused the recording and found it” line came out of nowhere. Listening to the show, I couldn’t tell he stopped recording and started again. The context was completely out of whack. The listener heard no pause. The subject matter simply started again in another place.

Now, he didn’t say those words exactly. I am paraphrasing. I am also keeping his name and podcast out of it, because I don’t want to embarrass him or disparage his show. This is simply to make a point. His show is great. More importantly, I don’t have his permission to name him or his show.

With a few creative edits in post production, you would never have known he didn’t have the information in front of him. It is show business. This is about your credibility. You are trying to build trust with your audience. If you look unprepared, you look amatuer. Sure, reveal your flaws during your show. But, don’t look like you are unsure of your content.

In post production, he could have edited the content to say, “There is a website that will help you with all of this. (edit) The website is GoodWebAddress. It gives you everything you need.” No need to look unprepared. Take two minutes to make it sound professional.

Get all information in front of you that you will need to record your show. Force yourself to stick to your outline of your content. When you start following tangents that are not on the outline, you get into territory for which you haven’t prepared and have no supporting information. You then fight to get back on track.

Build your reputation, trust and credibility by being a prepared, professional podcaster everytime. Even if you are only doing it as a hobby, you need people to trust you in order to bring them back episode after episode. Your supporing information right in front of you before the show begins will help you sound knowledgeable and prepared.

PODCAST PREPARATION RECAP
1. Your goal
2. Your structure defines your topics
3. Create a strategy for each topic
4. Outline
5. Information

Next week: How to increase podcast listener engagement.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

15 Quick & Easy Tips To Improve Your Podcast – Episode 153

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15 Quick & Easy Tips To Improve Your Podcast – Episode 153

Copyright : zerbor (Follow)

When I coach podcasters, we work on various aspects of their podcast. I most often help podcasters with their content. There are times we work on the process. Other times it is the audio quality, business or technique.

Recently, a podcaster contacted me to help with the overall creation of his show. It was taking him eight to twelve hours to produce a 30-minute podcast episode. He wanted to cut that in half if at all possible.

The show had two hosts. They would interview a few guests on each episode. Recording the intro and outro of the show, conducting the various interviews, editing the pieces together and eliminating the flaws ate up a lot of time every week.

Within four weeks of our first session, we had his podcast sounding more natural and conversational. We also had his editing time down to 90 minutes. Overall, the production of the show was within three hours.

There are times you are too close to the trees to see the forrest. Sometimes you just need somebody to point out that which is overlooked. That person could be a coach, a peer, or even you if you know what you are looking for.

In the case of this podcast, he simply needed help getting over his perfectionism to achieve a podcast quality acceptable to most while saving himself eight or nine hours every week.

Are there things you are overlooking in your podcast that could help you improve with a simple adjustment?

This week, I’d like to share with you 5 of the 15 tips on the podcast. You can get all 15 here:

Click here to subscribe

You you can easily and quickly put these tips into effect this week as you record your podcast and immediately improve your show.

1. SIMPLIFY YOUR PROCESS

If you are like me, there are pieces of audio you use in every episode. For me, it would be my open and close for my show.

Make these pieces easy to insert into your podcast.

I begin creating an episode by recording the primary content. I process that audio using Adobe Audition. Then, I insert the open and close as the final step and save it as one file.

Since I use the open and close in every episode, I have those pieces saved in one production file. This file only contains that audio.

When it comes time to insert the pieces, I go to the file and insert it all. That is the only thing there. No searching. No wasting time. It just simplifies the processes.

Are there audio pieces you use in every episode? If so, save these pieces as individual files that you can easily access and insert.

4. CLEAN EDITS

Here is a quick tip to make cleaner edits.

In post production, we often need to remove parts of our audio. We might stop then start a sentence a second time. Other times we might simply want to remove an entire section.

The goal of a post production edit is to make the change unnoticeable to the listener. You want to avoid that audible bump or change in tone.

Let’s pretend you are editing a complete sentence out of your audio. The wave file would look like <last word> <breath 1> <bad sentence> <breath 2> <first word>. We want to remove the <bad sentence>.

Most people make the first edit between <last word> and <breath 1>. They then make the second edit between <bad sentence> and <breath 2>.

This leaves a final product of <last word> into <breath 2>. The audible clunk comes from the unnatural transition between a word and a breath that didn’t naturally follow it. The breath between words sounds different than a breath taken when you first begin speaking. The sound of a particular vowel or consonant usually remains constant.

To make your edit clean, place your first edit instead between <breath 1> and <bad sentence>, keeping the original breath. Make the second edit between <breath 2> and <first word>, eliminating the new breath.

This leaves the final product of <breath 1> and <first word>. The natural transition between <last word> and <breath 1> will cover the edit.

Another options is to make the edit in the middle of the sentence before a hard consonant.

Let’s say the sentence is, “The couch came crashing down.” As you are recording it, you mess up on “crashing”. You begin recording a second time at the beginning of the sentence.

When you clean it up, make the edit at the beginning of “couch”. There will be a small break right before the hard “c” in couch. Cut as close to each “c” in the two sentences.

Paste it together and you will hardly notice. Most of all, your listeners will not notice. Edits between sentences can be more noticable than edits in the middle of a sentence.

Give these a try. I think you’ll be surprised how clean your edits sound.

7. LAND GUESTS WITH THE RIGHT BAIT

Land great interview guests for your show by positioning your podcast with the benefits to the guest.

Many podcasters send the invite e-mail to potential guests explaining how the audience of the show will LOVE the info the guest will share. That fact is only a third of the puzzle … and NOT the most important to your new friend.

Just like most everyone in life, your guest want to know what is in it for them. Lead with the headline. How will your show benefit your guest?

“Ms. Guest, congratulations on your new book Crochet By The Yard. Launching a new book is always exciting. I imagine you are now busy spreading the word. I would love to help you market your book. Crocheting Conversations is the podcast I host. We have been talking about crocheting for 3 years now. Let’s find a time to have you as a guest on the show to promote your book to my 1,500 weekly listeners.”

Once you have established the benefit to your potential guest, you can then share how the interview will benefit you and your audience.

If you want to land a great guest, make your show as appealing as possible to your potential guest by leading with the prize for them. Lead with the headline.

10. WORK IT RIGHT

If you are using baffling in your studio space and still getting some echo, make sure you are working your mic properly. Working your mic properly is critical for solid audio quality of your podcast.

Your mouth should be about an inch away from your windscreen. By working close to your mic, you will not need the volume up quite so high as you record. Therefore, the microphone will not pick up as much background noise.

As you work your mic closely, be careful that your breathing, swallowing, lip smacking and other mouth noises are not loud and distracting. You may need to pull away a bit as you breath if it is too loud.

Over time, you will get comfortable and good at working the mic up close. It may simply take a bit of practice.

14. OTHER WAYS TO PREPARE FOR LIFE

In addition to working ahead, you have two other choices to have content to post even when you do not have time to create it.

We all have responsibilities in life. We have also made a commitment to publish our content on a regular basis. How do we balance the two?

You could record an evergreen episode. This is an episode that never goes out of date. It is always valuable. Evergreen content is content that is not timely, yet valuable at any given point in time.

Keep this one just in case life pops up. Post it when you just cannot find time to create the new episode.

Discussing recent events would not be considered evergreen, because 6 months from now it will sound dated.

On the other hand, an episode about budgeting could be evergreen. This episode would contain content that could be used today, 6 months from now or 2 years from now. It is always fresh. It is evergreen.

You could also create a “best of” episode to use as a fresh episode. This “best of” show could highlight your episode that was downloaded most or received the most feedback. You could highlight a few different episodes that have a similar theme.

When it comes time to deal with your other responsibilities, you will still have content to post if you use one of these three tips.

These 15 tips can easily be implemented this week to make your podcast stronger. You will be more efficient in your process. Your editing will be easier. Guests will sound better and be more willing to be a guest. Overall, your podcast will have a better sound.

Get the short e-book containing all 15 quick and easy tips to improve your podcast here.

Click here to subscribe

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 Create Engaging Podcast Topics – Episode 149

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How To Create Engaging Podcast Topics – Episode 149

Copyright : golubovy
Copyright : golubovy

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

Writers often encounter writer’s block. It happens with podcasters as well. Where do I start?

My radio coach Bill McMahon would always encourage me to listen to my thoughts. Subject matter intriguing to me would typically be compelling to my audience.

When coaching radio talent, I used the same philosophy. Listen to your thoughts.

American Idol was the hot, pop culture show at the time I was coaching one particular morning show. The host really had no interest in American Idol. However, he felt he needed to discuss the program on his show in order to sound connected.

The show was huge, but he hated it. How do you connect to a topic that needs to be discussed, but you do not enjoy?

As we worked through the predicament, we found ways to address the subject while staying true to the beliefs of the host. If he didn’t enjoy the show, the host shouldn’t fake it. Listeners will see right through that.

Instead, the host found ways to ask questions and engage with the audience to better understand the appeal of the listeners.

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

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

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

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

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

What daily happenings capture my attention?

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

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

What has happened in my past that created vivid memories?

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

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

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

What articles have capture your attention?

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

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

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

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

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

What conversations have you had today that were truly engaging?

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

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

What questions are people in your industry asking?

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

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

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

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

Brainstorm your notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Land Podcast Interviews Like The Pros – Episode 143

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How To Land Podcast Interviews Like The Pros – Episode 143

LAND PODCAST INTERVIEWS LIKE THE PROS
Copyright: macor / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing how to create powerful podcast interviews. We are off to a great start.

YOUR PODCAST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

On the past two episodes, I asked for your questions regarding podcast interviews. Thank you for the tremendous response. This week, we will begin to go through those questions to get you some answers.

My goal is to eventually help you with a podcast interview course that will walk you through the entire process of creating powerful interviews. Your questions are helping me shape that course. Thank you for the amazing interaction.

If you have questions about podcast interviews, you can e-mail me anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

COACHING

Before we dive into the questions this week, I want to let you know that I currently have two openings for my one-on-one coaching. One is Tuesday evenings. The other is Saturday mornings U.S. time zones.

If you have a desire to produce engaging content with a stronger presentation, consider improving your podcast with coaching. Get the full details here: PODCAST COACHING
Let’s dive into the questions …

HOW MUCH PREP IS TOO MUCH?

From David Freeman …

I think my biggest concern, which you mentioned, is Imposter Syndrome and then closing the deal on scheduling an interview.

I took so much time in planning and pod-crastination that potential guests (50) may have forgotten that they agreed to a chat. (Too much time to learn the technology: You and I chatted on your show about my beginning process MORE THAN A YEAR AGO)!

MY QUESTION: How much Show Prep is TOO MUCH PREP?

Being totally nervous about asking for interviews, I wanted to answer EVERY POSSIBLE question and objection, upfront. I prepared a SUPER-detailed show prep sheet to send to potential guests.

After my first guest confirmed his interest in an interview chat for podcast and verifying his interest, in several chats on FaceBook, I sent him my “Super Cool Show Prep” form in a Google doc. I was able to see that he actually opened my doc on three separate occasions, but … no response, no reaction, no comment and no interview scheduled.

Based on his previous commitment, I had recorded and released an intro episode and mentioned his future visit as the upcoming launch episode. I guess the lesson is “don’t promo an interview that you haven’t already recorded”.

Thanks for all you do. I sincerely appreciate your podcast and advice.

Dave

ANSWER:

Is it overkill? Yes. Your questionnaire is 11 pages long with multiple links.

Your guest has agreed to the interview. They have agreed to give you 30 minutes of their time. Now, you are asking them for another 30 minutes on a separate occasion to complete the document.

The questionnaire is asking too much of their time. That is evident by the fact that your guest opened it three times and did nothing with it.

Trim it down, and do your investigative homework to find out about your guest. For instance, you can probably find all of their social media info on their website. There is no need to include that on your worksheet.

Only provide the essential info in your pre-interview document. Address the rest on a case-by-case basis.

You are smart to avoid promoting anything that isn’t already done. There is always the possibility that the interview will fall through. Get it in the can, and then promote it.

It would be acceptable to says, “I’m trying to get Ms. X on the show.” Your listeners know there is a possibility that it will fall apart. They can go on that journey with you.

When you promote that Ms. X will be on the show in two weeks, you leave yourself open to disaster.

One thing I do love about your questionnaire is the “30 minute in-and-out guarantee” for your guests. It might be tough to get enough audio in 30 minutes for a great interview. However, your guarantee tells your guest exactly what is being asked of them.

Don’t let the prep hold you back. Jump in. If you want to learn the tech and get comfortable, do a few interviews with people that you know as a test run. Tell yourself that they won’t be published. You’re just practicing.

Get two or three under your belt, and you’ll be off and running.

HOW DO YOU MAKE IT A CONVERSATION?

From Joe Taylor …

Hey Erik,

How about providing tips on creating an intimate, conversational interview; one that feels like you’re listening in on two friends talking?

God Bless,
Joe Taylor
OnFaithsEdge.com

ANSWER:

Conversation is key to a powerful podcast interview.

The key to creating a great conversation is listening. Stop being so concerned that you ask every question on your prep sheet. Truly listen to the answers your guest is providing.

When you listen to the answers, you begin to ask great follow-up questions just as you would if you were chatting with a friend. Your interview becomes more of a conversation and less of a question and answer session.

Relax and let the interview happen.

Don’t be afraid of the pregnant pause. The pregnant pause is that uncomfortable silence when both people stop talking.

When you allow the silence to linger, your guest will naturally begin talking again. They might give you details you wouldn’t otherwise get.

This silence allows you to come up with a great follow-up question. It also allows you to slow down and be conversational.

If all else fails, you can edit out the silence in post-production.

HOW DO I LAND PODCAST INTERVIEWS?

From Stephen Aiken …

I need help with getting interviews, when I send invites I don’t get any response.

-Stephen

ANSWER:

Do not try to get interviews by cold calling.

My client John Livesay at the Successful Pitch Podcast helps entrepreneurs connect with and pitch their ideas to investors.

John helps entrepreneurs find the warm intro. The key is finding people who know the people you would like to meet.

Do the same with your interviews. Find the people who know the people you would like to interview. Ask for the connection. You can even write the e-mail for them. Or simply ask your friend for a reference, so you can mention them in your e-mail.

“Hey, Mike. Stephen Aiken passed along your contact info. He was recently on my show and thought you might make a good guest to discuss your new book. Would you have a few minutes to chat?”

Get the door open. Don’t ask to get married in the first e-mail. Open the line of communication. Warm up your lead.

At the end of every interview, after the conversation has ended, ask your guest if they have two or three people that might benefit by being a guest on your show. When they provide the names, ask if they would make an introduction for you or if you could use them as a reference when you reach out.
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.

26-Point Podcast Interview Checklist – Episode 142

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26-Point Podcast Interview Checklist – Episode 142

Copyright: fotogestoeber / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: fotogestoeber / 123RF Stock Photo

Before we can create a powerful interview, we need to properly prepare. Great interviews do not simply happen. Engaging discussions rise from amazing preparation.

To help you prepare for your next podcast interview, I have created a 26-Point podcast intervew checklist for you. In this episode, I explain the importance of each step on the checklist.

  • Know your guest and what makes them tick
  • Communicate expectations to your guest
  • Send a prep sheet to the guest
    • Web address – both your site and their site
    • Time and time zone
    • Who initiates the call
    • How will it be conducted
    • Length
    • Focus & goal
    • Emergency back-up number
    • Outline of the interview
    • Target audience
    • Is profanity allowed?
    • When should they pitch their product?
  • Send reminders – 3 days, 1 day, 90 minutes
  • Know more than your guest’s bio – find interesting questions
  • Immediately notify your guest if the schedule changes
  • Be on time
  • Work weeks ahead, not the week the book is released
  • Create relationships before they are needed
  • Stick to the allotted time
  • Know pronunciations
  • Have web addresses and other info on hand
  • If you have prep info left over, you have done your job
  • Use the best parts of the interview
  • Record more than you need

How can I further help you with your podcast interviews? E-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. I will help you any way I can.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Interview Terms You Should Know – Episode 140

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Podcast Interview Terms You Should Know – Episode 140

Copyright: baibaz / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: baibaz / 123RF Stock Photo

 

This week, we discuss 20 podcast interview terms that will help you speak the language when arranging, coordinating and conducting interviews with your guests.

Host – Interviewer

Guest – Interviewee

Prep – Show preparation

Prep Sheet – Preparation info for both host and guest

Advance The Interview – Coordinating the info in advance of the session

Outline – The guide for the host

Target Audience – The specific person who will listen and benefit from the show

Work The Mic – The technique of using a microphone, including distance from the mic and angle of attack

Pitch And Plug – Promote goods and services during an interview

Reminder – Reach out to the guest periodically regarding the interview

Bio – A brief history of either the guest or host

Pronunciation Guide – Instructions to properly say a name or phrase

Booking Agent – A person who works for either the host or guest to coordinate interviews

Call To Action – Asking the audience to do something

Forward Momentum – Keeping the conversation moving forward. Stories are a great way to accomplish this.

Funnel And Lead Magnet – The act of bringing prospective clients and customers into your buying process (funnel) using a free gift, such as a download

Non-Verbal Cues – Hand gestures (that the audience cannot detect) to indicate you would like to speak during an interview

Elevator Pitch – The quick speech that gets the prospect interested in hearing more

Reset – A point during the podcast when the host reintroduces the guest and topic in order to remind the listener of important parts of the interview

Recap – A summation of the interview sent to the guest after the session has taken place in order to thank the interviewee and help him/her promote the show
Do you need help with your podcast? E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s see what we can do.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Organize Your Podcast Content – Episode 135

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How To Organize Your Podcast Content – Episode 135

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

 

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

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

Not at all.

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

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

THE CLOCK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPONTANEITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

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

Planning Your Podcast Content

Copyright: denchik / 123RF Stock Photo

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

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

WHY DO WE PREPARE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What approach will you take to get there?

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

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

Then, make sure you stick to your plan.

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

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

KILLING SPONTANEITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHEAT SHEET

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

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

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

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

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

Begin to develop your fantastic stories at this step.

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

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

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

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

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

RESOURCES

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

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Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

Magazines

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

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

You simply need to find topics that pique your interest.

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

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

YOUR INTEREST

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

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

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

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

TOPIC GENERATION

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

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

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

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

Use articles out of everyday periodicals.

PLAN IT

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

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

EXAMPLES

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

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

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

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

TOOLS

Ten Questions from the Topic Development Worksheet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

6 Ways Stories Make Your Podcast Powerful – Episode 106

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6 Ways Stories Make Your Podcast Powerful

Powerful PodcastStories

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

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

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

A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY

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

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

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

HEY, I KNOW YOU

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

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

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

HUMANITY

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

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

I REMEMBER THAT


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

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

LIVE VICARIOUSLY

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

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

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

TAKE A CAR RIDE

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

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

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

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

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

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

AUDACITY WORKSHOP

Click Here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Did you accomplish your goal for the show?

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

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

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

2. What did you like about the show?

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

3. What was memorable about the show?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Where did you surprise your audience?

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

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

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

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

6. What did you reveal about yourself?

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

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

7. Where were the powerful words?

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

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

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

8. What could have been better?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know how I can help.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

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

Imagination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WAR OF THE WORLDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The production was TOO GOOD. How crazy is that?

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

Audio has that power to supercharge the imagination.

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

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

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

1. INTRO/OUTRO

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

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

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

Check out THIS SITE for an example.

2. INTERVIEWS

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

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

3. LISTENERS

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

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

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

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

4. AUDIO EXAMPLES

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

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

5. CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

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

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

6. SOUND EFFECTS

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

What If I Get Too Much Engagement? -Episode 101

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

FITTING IT ALL IN

THANK YOU!

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

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

NEW PATHS

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

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

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

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

FRIENDS & INSPIRATION

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

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

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

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

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

-WORKSHEETS-
Do you have a question? I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How Do I ___ On My Podcast? – Episode 100

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How Do I ____ In My Podcast? – Episode 100

How To

THANK YOU!

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

On this episode, I want to do something special.

NEW PATHS

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

Today, I have invited a few listeners to join me on the show to share their questions about podcast content and creation.

The response and questions were so great, I had to split the show into two episodes in order to keep it to about 30 minutes each.

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

FRIENDS & INSPIRATION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

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Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions

Here are a few questions to help you begin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

3 Steps To The Art Of The Tease – Episode 097

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3 Steps To The Art Of The Tease – Episode 097

Tease

When you want your listeners to stick around and listen to what you have to say, you need to give them a compelling reason. Your listener needs to anticipate what is to come later in the show. You need to excite them. You need to tease them.

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

Your story is similar to a vacation you are planning to take. The fantastic anticipation for the trip is almost as pleasurable as the trip itself. You can’t wait for the trip to arrive. You want your listener to feel the same way about your story.

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

There are three steps to creating an effective tease.

#1 – Intrigue Me

When you promote content that is coming up later in the show, you must give your audience an intriguing reason to stick around. It isn’t enough to simply say, “A great story about this weekend is coming up.” Few will stick around for the payoff. The tease lacks stickiness. It doesn’t hook the listener.

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

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

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

#2 – Give Them 80%

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

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

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

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

Make it impossible to search online.

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

#3 – Make Your Tease Unsearchable

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

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

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

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

When you use the art of the tease, your listeners will spend more time with your show. The increase frequency of the tease payoffs will help your audience enjoy your content more. When your show is more entertaining, it becomes more engaging. When you truly engage your audience with your content, you can begin building powerful relationships. That’s where trust and influence with your listener begins.
I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

My Podcast Resource Toolkit – Episode 091

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My Podcast Resource Toolkit – Episode 091

Improve Your Podcast Tools

(These tools can be found on the resource page at PodcastTalentCoach.com. Most links on that page are affiliate links. I receive a variable commission for all purchases made using those links.)

We are coming up on episode 100. This podcast has been up and running for a little over 18 months. I thought this would be a good time to review the tools I use to in my business. This includes the tools I use to create my podcast, website and newsletter. We will also review the resources I use to learn, grow and develop.

I have been using most of these resources for at least 18 months. Some have been used longer. A couple tools are more recent. For the most part, I have been a long time user and have been quite happy with each of them. That is why I feel confident recommending them to you. You can find affiliate links to most of these online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

COACHING RESOURCE

This list doesn’t include much technical information, such as mixers, processors and software. I leave that to Dave Jackson at the School of Podcasting. He is tech expert that helps me. If you are looking for help setting up the studio, Dave is your guy. He leads off my resources.

TECHNICAL TOOLS

A few technical tools from my studio include my mic, my mac and a few web tools.

My studio mic is an ElectroVoice RE20. This runs about $450. It is a high quality mic. This mic is probably much more than a beginning podcaster needs. However, if you are serious about podcasting, this is a great mic.

My backup mic is a Blue Yeti. It gets the job done, but is a condenser mic. This costs around $100. You might be better off with a Audio-Technica ATR-2100. It s a great USB mic for about $60.

For editing, I use Adobe Audition in the studio. I will occasionally use Garage Band for quick projects or when I’m traveling.

I use a Mac Book Pro 13” for the flexibility. I cost me $1,200.

My mp3s are tagged with ID3 Editor from PA Software. The price tag was $15.

I host my audio with Libsyn. It runs $20/month.

My URLs were purchased through GoDaddy. The price really depends on the URL. You can usually find a deal. After the initial deal, I pay about $45/year.

I have a website on Homestead and one on Host Gator with WordPress. Homestead is a stand alone site builder. Host Gator just hosts my WordPress site. Homestead is $20/month. HostGator is $135/year, just over $11/month. WordPress is free.

On my website, I use Paypal for my transactions. Most of my providers accept it. Plus, they have a card option for my customers.

I use Aweber for my newsletter. It is $196/year. Just over $16/month. I looked at Mail Chimp. Both are very similar services if you have a list under 5,000.

Canva.com is a decent resource for creating graphics. They have a decent photo library as well. Most photos are about $1/photo.

I self-published my workbook through Create Space, an Amazon company. You simply upload a .pdf. It is fairly simple to use. Not very expensive. They also sell the workbook through Amazon and converted it to Kindle.

I am in the process of creating a membership portal through WishList Member. $297. They have solid training videos. I am not yet complete with this one.

LEARNING TOOLS

Dan Miller and 48Days.com is where it all started. He has great tools to help you find your passion and the work you love.

Internet Business Mastery is a great podcast and course that has helped me refine my business focus. Jeremy & Jason have been there and done it.

Michael Hyatt has a great membership site with Platform University. It is based on his book Platform, which is a must read as you develop your podcast. There is great learning inside the community. He only opens membership a couple times a year for enrollment. I got in early on this one and haven’t looked back since.

Audible.com has turned my car into a mobile classroom. I am usually listening to a couple books a month on top of the podcasts. You can get a free book when you use my affiliate link on the resources page.

Most of all, I cannot say enough about Dave Jackson and the School of Podcasting. If you want to learn the technical nuts and bolts, check out his course, membership and training tools.

You can find affiliate links to most of these online at PodcastTalentCoach.com. I would appreciate the support if you choose to use any of these links and great products.

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.

7 Ways To Improve Your Podcast This Week – Episode 085

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7 Ways To Improve Your Podcast This Week – Episode 085

Improve Your Podcast Tools

There are many ways to improve your podcast. This week, I have 7 ways for you that should be pretty easy to implement.

To help you in various ways, I have selected 7 different areas for improvement. You will feel the need to make different improvements at different times. The different areas should help.

Start with the one suggestion that interests you most. Then, work your way though the remaining tips.

Improve Your Audio

The easiest way to improve your audio is to begin using a pop filter. This is a simple screen that goes over or in front of your microphone.

A pop filter prevents puffs of air from attacking your mic as you speak. You can find inexpensive pop filters online. You can also make your own out of nylons and a wire clothes hanger.

To cut down echo, record in a smaller room. In the past, I’ve used a large closet. Not only does the small room cut down the bounce of the sound waves, the clothes hanging around you will cut down on any echo.

If you do not have a closet, find the smallest room you can. A smaller room equals less echo.

Once you have a small room, hang baffling to absorb the sound waves. You do not need to spend a ton of money for expensive baffling. I have used packing foam, sleeping bags and folded, corrugated cardboard covered with blankets. Find any soft material to absorb the sound.

Improve Your Content

To improve your material, you need to review your show. Professional athletes watch game film to improve. Learn to do the same.

Listen like a listener. Pick a show from a few weeks ago and listen on the way to work or while you are exercising. Make note of the pieces that jump out at you and those that need work.

Do more of the good stuff. Replace the rough parts with more good stuff.

You will only truly hear the good and bad when you listen like a listener.

Improve Your Show Notes

Make your show notes valuable for your fans. Incorporate links listeners can use.

Create beneficial links. Sure, link to your own content. Then, link to tools that you use. Link to great articles. Link to helpful resources. Create value.

When your listeners benefit from your show notes, they are likely to come back more often.

Improve Your Interaction

If you want your listeners to interact with the show, make it easy for them.

Focus your call-to-action on one thing. When you add more than one, you force your listener to make a decision. Decision making is too much work.

Decide what you want your listener to do after listening to this specific episode. Then, add that call-to-action at the end of the show.

Your call-to-action can be different for each episode. Even so, only include one per episode.

Improve The Value To Your Listener

What do you want your listener to gain by listening this week? Have a goal for every episode.

How will the listener benefit? When you know this before you begin recording, you can better ensure your listener gains something by listening.

The only way to know that you have achieved your goals is to prepare properly. You need to define your goals and listener benefits before you begin recording. This should be part of your show prep.

This particular episode of Podcast Talent Coach empowers you with seven ways to improve your podcast. That is how you will benefit. I defined that goal before I began recording. It was part of my prep.

Improve Your Consistency

Consistency builds trust. When your listener expects your show to be posted every Friday, you need to post every Friday.

Listeners are creatures of habit.

When your show does not show up, it is just like you have missed an appointment with a client. You are destroying the trust you have built with your fan.

To improve consistency, develop a show schedule and stick to it. Know when you will record. Know when you will post. Now, stick to it.

Improve Your Engagement

Engagement is different than interaction. A listener that cannot turn your show off is engaged. A fan that is providing feedback is interacting.

If you want to engage your listener, talk to that person as an individual. When you address your audience as a group, your listener does not feel special. Talk to one person.

When you talk to your listener as an individual, she feels special. She feels like you are having a conversation with her.

When you address your listeners like a crowd, your fan can get up and leave without feeling guilty. It would be just like walking out during a concert. Nobody is going to notice. No engagement.

Here is the checklist:

1. Improve your audio by using a pop filter, a smaller room and baffling.
2. Improve your content by reviewing your show like a listener.
3. Improve your show notes by incorporating links your fans can use.
4. Improve your interaction by using one, focused call-to-action.
5. Improve the value to your listener by defining the benefit before you begin.
6. Improve your consistency by developing a schedule and sticking to it.
7. Improve your engagement by talking to one individual.

Pick one of these improvements, and get to work this week. Your podcast improves little by little. The more steps you can take moving forward, the more improvement you will make.

Have a great week. Let me know how I can help.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

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How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

Podcast Clocks

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

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

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

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

QUESTIONS TO START

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

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

What is the goal of your podcast?

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

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

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

EXAMPLE CLOCK

(Get sample clocks HERE.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLOCK PITFALLS & EXCEPTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

How To Take The Headache Out Of Show Planning – Episode 073

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How To Take The Headache Out Of Show Planning – Episode 073

Show Planning

Where is your podcast going in 2015?

If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know if you get there.

So many shows discuss goals around this time of year. It is only natural with a new year comes reflection. This is a perfect time to assess your previous year and decide what you want the next twelve months to look like.

A goal is a simply a dream with a deadline. What are you dreams for the next year? If you don’t have a map & destination, you’ll only wander. You’ll never get anywhere. Let’s be specific and set some deadlines.

You and I discuss goals quite often. We talk about having an objective for each episode. What is it that you want your listener to take away from each episode. Once you answer that questions, you will know where to take your content in that episode.

We also need to answer that question on a larger scale. What is the purpose of your show? How are you helping people? How do you serve your listeners?

Once you create the mission for your show, you will have a filter for all of your content. When it comes time to plan an episode, you can ask yourself, “How will I serve my listener this week?”

My show is designed to give you more confidence in your content. I want to help you defeat that little voice in your head that is saying, “I hope I don’t make a fool of myself this week.”

Each week when I sit down to create my show notes, I ask myself how I might share with you a bit that I have learned over the past 25 years in radio that will give you confidence in your content and be more engaging with your listener.

MISSION

Let’s start with the mission of your show. Write down the sole focus of your show. How do you help people?

2015 GOAL

What is the one big thing you want to accomplish over the next year? We want to develop little steps to get there. Let’s break the big goal into bite-sized pieces.

If you create a weekly show, you only have 52 shows over the next 12 months. It may sound like a lot. However, you need to be intentional to reach your goals.

Break your goal into milestones. Keep in mind that your progress might not be a straight line. It may ramp up like a curve. Write down those milestones.

EPISODE GOAL

As we develop each episode, what do we hope to accomplish in each show that will help us move toward our 2015 goal? More importantly, how will that episode goal help us get closer to our milestone on the way to the yearly goal?

Each episode should have a strong call-to-action that helps us get closer to our milestone. What is your call-to-action within your podcast? How can we make that call-to-action more effective? Where are you sending your listener each episode to get more info? Be specific and write it down.

Are you effectively planning each show before you begin? Sometimes it is difficult to get motivated to record your show on a regular basis. Plan ahead. Download the planning worksheet at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. When you lack motivation, revert to the plan you’ve already created.

Do you interview guests on your show? Create a list of guests you’d like to get on the show. Be brave and reach out to those people. Let’s get them on the show. Give yourself a goal with a deadline. Let one guest lead to another. Always ask for leads.

GET BETTER

To improve, you need to review the game tape. Are you reviewing your show on a regular basis?

All great sports teams review tape of previous games. You should do the same. Again, get the worksheet at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Finding someone that can help you honestly review your show will help as well.

BUSINESS

You should step back from your podcast to look at your overall business. If you are monetizing your podcast, we need to schedule time to help reach that goal as well. Baby steps and milestones.

There are many business possibilities stemming from your podcast. These could include books, speaking engagements, seminars, affiliates, products and more. If you have yet to monetize your podcast, schedule your time to create something powerful. Be sure to include deadlines.

The next year can be huge for you if you plan. Set deadlines to turn your dreams into goals. Be sure to find balance in all areas of your life.

Take some chances. Go for the big interview or launch a product. Dream big. You might just reach your dreams.

 

I want to thank you for a fantastic 2014. It has been quite a success for me.

I have met many amazing podcasters. You have given me your time each week as we grow together. I can’t thank you enough for that.

Podcast Movement invited me to share my knowledge at their event in Dallas. This coming year, I will present at New Media Expo as well.

Many have downloaded my worksheets and purchased the Podcast Talent Coach workbook. It has been a blast. I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you for being part of this journey.

Have an amazing 2015.
What would you like me to cover in the upcoming year? How can I better help you? E-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.
You can find my podcast and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Interview and Co-Host Tips – Episode 066

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Podcast Interview and Co-host Tips – Episode 066

Podcast Interview Tips

Do you have a podcast that involves multiple people? This week, I’ll answer two listener questions to help with podcasts that involve interviews or co-hosts. You can always e-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

We discussed interviews a bit in Episode 059 – Solution to Boring Guests. I offered ideas to salvage an interview that lacks any entertaining value. That content was focused on the guest. Our questions this week focus on you the interviewer. We will discuss podcast interview and co-host tips.

Interview Nerves

I would love to know if you have any tips on how to curb anxiety when you’re getting ready to interview a big personality. While my big personalities can’t touch yours, I’ve noticed that it takes me a while to loosen up and relax sometimes. Sometimes if I chat with them a little before the interview starts, that helps. But I never want to waste their time, and sometimes you just get the feeling they want to get to it so that they can go about their day. Am I still talking? Thanks, Erik! -Patrick Keller – BigSeance.com

This is a great question from Patrick. In fact, it is one question I get quite often.

First, understand that interview butterflies are natural. Find some comfort in knowing that most every interviewer feels some nervousness the minutes before the talk begins. It is very similar to public speakers.

You’re not the only one.

There are four things you can do to get over the jitters. These should help you a bit to calm the nerves before the interview.

Prepare

Make sure you have your interview plan ready. Be knowledgable about your guest. Have at your fingertips any details that you will need. Create a map and know where you are going. Ensure you know what you hope to achieve with this particular interview.

Preinterview – Explain the process

Before the interview, have a quick chat with your guest. Let them know exactly how the interview will run and what they can expect. This will not only put you at ease, it will make your guest more comfortable and open.

Understand you are helping them

Your guest is on your show, because there is some value to them. Guests typically do not appear on podcasts out of the goodness of their heart. They are interested in expanding their brand by being on your show.

You have something to offer your guest.

Podcast guests are marketing their goods or services to your audience. You are putting them in front of a group of people that can expand their reach. This is a huge opportunity and benefit to them. You aren’t simply taking from them. Find comfort in knowing that you are helping each other.

Really listen and be involved in a conversation

Many podcasters get wrapped up in thinking of the next question and fail to listen to the current answer. Have a dialog instead of a lecture. Truly listen to the answers your guest is offering. Those answers tend to lead to amazing follow-up questions.

By getting heavily involved in the conversation, you will take your mind off of your nervous butterflies.

Bumping Co-Hosts

Our next questions involves co-hosts.

Hi. On any of your podcasts do you have guidelines on how to stop hosts talking over each other? 
Cheers – Brian

This is another question I hear often. It takes a lot of practice to avoid stepping on your guest or co-host. I have five tips to help you clean up the discussion.

Develop hand cues

When one host wraps up their thought and is ready for the other to jump in, a simple hand cue can help make a smooth transition.

Be aware of each other

If you are truly listening to your co-host speak, you will be less concerned with jumping in to offer your point of view. Allow your co-host enjoy the limelight until they are ready for you to speak up.

Know who will serve as the director

On a podcast with multiple hosts, it is critical that one host drives the bus. With a director, all members of the show know who will call the shots to keep the show moving in the right direction.

The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast is a great example of this. Even though all three co-hosts have equal roles on the show, it is obvious that Rem is directing the show. Give it a listen. You can see how smooth their podcast typically runs.

Know who is leading

If you use a intriguing introduction as I describe and teach with my storytelling worksheet (available at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com), your co-host will know exactly where the story is headed. This leads to fewer interruptions by co-hosts. Respect the story.

Respect the mic time of each other

Everyone will receive their fare share of mic time. Try to be less concerned with offering your viewpoint and allow your co-host to enjoy the spotlight. Your time will come. If your co-host is on a roll, let them roll. When the podcast is entertaining, you both win. It doesn’t matter which host offers the punchline.

I hope those tips help clean up the flow of the show. There are many other ways to calm your nerves. When it comes to talking over each other, it comes down to finding a process comfortable for you and your partner.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Erik@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

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7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

Podcast Mistakes

Listeners have many, many options for their entertainment. When you create your show, you are not simply competing with all of the other podcasts in the space. You are competing with all of the other entertainment options available to your listeners.

TV, CDs, radio, satellite radio, on demand video, Youtube, audiobooks. The options are endless.

It is only a start to create great content that attracts your listener and is better than every other options available to your listener at that time. You also need to ensure that the things you do within the episode do not drive your podcast listeners away. Many podcasters give their audience reason to leave without even realizing it.

This week, we will discuss 7 most common podcast mistakes that drive listeners away. There are many others. See how many of these 7 common podcast mistakes you recognize from your show. Then, let’s figure out how to fix them to make your show even stronger.

You Focus On Yourself

You can have anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people get what they want. Make your show less about you and more about helping your listener. You can tell your story and then frame the result around the listener’s perspective.

You Are Not Engaging And Use No Stories

Stories are powerful. We discussed this power in the past few episodes. Pull you listener into your content by making it personal. Then, turn the mirror on them. How can your stories help your listener?

You Are Talking At Me, Instead Of To Me

Treat your listener as an audience of one. Audio is a personal medium. People listen by themselves while creating personal visions in their own head. Have a one-on-one conversation with your listener. Talk to your listener and not at them.

You Are Unfocused & Unprepared

Know your goal. You cannot get to your destination unless you know where you want to go. Develop your goal. Then, be prepared. Gather your material and information before you begin recording.

You Open The Door

Let your content flow from one topic to the other like a conversation. Avoid “now it’s time for …” When you are having a conversation at a party, you don’t say, “… and that is what my kids are doing. Now, it’s time to talk about my golf game.” You just flow into the next topic organically. Also, be sure to take the first exit so you do not overstay your welcome.

You Are Not Interested

Be interesting by being interested. Get rid of the stale questions and content. Make your self unique by being curious.

You Lack Show Biz

This is show business. Use theater of the mind. Make your audio powerful by transporting your listener to another place and time. Add some flavor with creative sound effects, powerful production elements and some audio magic.

 

Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let me teach you how to turn your information into engaging entertainment.

3 Step To Create Your Avatar – PTC 055

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3 Steps To Create Your Avatar – PTC Episode 055

Hi Erik, thanks for your awesome podcast. I have one question for you You define your avatar with a bunch of well-crafted questions, but where do you get the data to answer them? Is it hard data you have got from your following (if any)? Is it just a fruit of your imagination? Is it a mix of both? How much of the avatar is based on hard data, and how much is a projection of yourself defining it? Thanks and keep up the awesome work!
-Alessandro

Create a unique avatar

Great question, Alessandro! It is actually a little bit of both. It will evolve over time.

Our goal is to create a vision of that one, unique, ideal listener.

There are really three steps to creating your ideal listener.  Each step relates to the life cycle of your podcast.

Step 1

If you are just starting out, you need to create your ideal customer out of your imagination.

  • Who would you like your ideal customer to be? Start there.
  • Who do you want?
  • Who will listen and get involved
  • Who will be best served by your content
  • Who will buy your stuff

Step 2

Once you begin to get some feedback from your audience, refine your target with that information.

  • Who is posting in your comments
  • Who is sending your e-mail
  • Who is asking for more information

Step 3

Finally, when you have an audience of decent size, survey them.

  • It does not need to be a formal survey
  • One of strongest is an e-mail often used that simply says “where an I help you”
  • To get specific demographic info, you will need a formal survey
  • Ask questions that will help you know and serve them better
  • Do not ask questions that will not give you info you can use and will only waste the time of your listener

Overall, you want your avatar to represent that individual that in most engaged with your show and likely to take action when you make that request.

Audience Of One

Knowing your target audience will allow you to treat your audience as an audience of one.

As you are creating your podcast, treat your audience like you are talking to each person individually. This is critical when creating a trusting relationship with your audience.

I hear many shows address their audience as a group with comments like “hello everyone” or “hey guys”. Each person in your audience is listening to you as an individual. Audio is a very personal medium. Many times, they are listening with headphones. It is just you and her. Talk to her just like that.

Addressing a crowd on the radio began when radio began. As radio was just being created, station owners needed content to broadcast. Radio programming began with rebroadcasting live, theater events. The person on the stage would address the crowd as “ladies and gentleman”.

As radio progressed, live audiences were eliminated. However, people on the radio continued to address the audience as a group. It was fitting. The family still gathered around the radio before television was introduced to the family room. An on-air personality could address the audience as a group and be justified in doing so.

Radio then became a personal medium. The television replaced the radio as family entertainment. In-car and headphones became the preferred method of radio listening. Each listener was now creating images and visions in his or her own head that were unique to their imagination. Their thoughts were different from those of any other listener. The conversation was now between the person on the air and the individual listening.

Unfortunately, radio personalities continued to address the listener as a group. “It has always been done this way.” The disconnect began.

Podcasts are even more individualistic than radio. Most people select a podcast because of their own tastes. Groupthink does not play a factor as it would to select a movie or television show for the family. It is one person listening on their own to a show that interests them.

If you are talking to your listener as if they are in a group, using plural terms like everyone and you guys and you all, your listener will wonder who you are addressing. They will think, “You guys? I’m listening by myself. Who are you talking to?” In the end, they will not follow your call-to-action, because they will think someone else in your “group” will handle it. Talk to an audience of one and build that relationship with each listener individually.

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

8 Questions To Better Podcasts – PTC Episode 050

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8 Questions To Better Podcasts – PTC Episode 050

8 Questions To Better Podcasts

Today, we discuss how you can follow 8 questions to better podcasts.

On the Podcast Review Show the other night, Dave Jackson mentioned he was reviewing his own episode and discovered something he could do to make his show better. I’m a big proponent of show reviews in real time in order to get better. One of my free worksheets at PodcastTalentCoach.com is dedicated to reviewing your show. Here are eight of the questions on that worksheet that can help you improve your podcast.

Pick an episode from a few weeks back. Listen to it in real time. Then…

Ask yourself these questions

  1. Did you accomplish the goals you set for this episode?
  2. How did you make the audience care?
  3. How did you include the listener, making them part of the story?
  4. Where were the “oh wow” moments?
  5. What was memorable about the show?
  6. At what points did you introduce and reset the show/topic?
  7. What stories did you tell?
  8. Where did you use active language? (walking instead of walked, eating, not ate)

There are 19 total questions on the review sheet. You can find it online at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

If you would like the workbook that will walk you through all of the worksheets, find that at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

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Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

IMG_0756

Let’s help you determine where to begin podcasting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

1. What do you hope to accomplish?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Powerful Podcast Stories – PTC Episode 043

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6 Ways Stories make your podcast powerful

PTC Episode 043

Zig Ziglar used great stories in every point he made. He was a wonderful storyteller.

Dave Jackson and I spoke with the Contractor’s Secret Weapon podcast this week on the Podcast Review Show. They hosts told a great story about earning the #1 spot on Google. The story really helped solidify their points.

You don’t need to include constant stories in your podcast. You only need a few memorable stories to make your podcast stronger.

6 ways stories make your podcast powerful.

 

Transport your listener to other places using stories

  • Visual words
  • Theater of the mind

 

Would I enjoy taking a one-hour car ride with this person every week?

  • Develop friendships
  • Like a one-on-one conversation in a car

 

Do I know the host by listening to the show?

  • Reveal things about yourself
  • People get to know and like you

 

Stories define your character

  • People begin to trust you

 

Let others live vicariously through your stories

  • They can enjoy your journeys without the risk
  • May be the reason there are so many entrepreneur podcasts

 

Stories make you human

  • Humorous, compelling or tragic
  • Laugh, marvel, sympathize
  • Put yourself on the same level as your listener

 

There are worksheets available on the Podcast Talent Coach website that will help you develop your stories. These worksheets are free. The Show Prep and Topic Development worksheets will be most helpful with your stories.

You can receive further help walking through the worksheets by getting the Podcast Talent Coach Workbook. It is available in paperback HERE and on the Kindle HERE.

To discuss my personalized, one-on-one coaching, you can reach me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

If you are truly serious about building your podcast, improving your show and increasing your traffic, you should also be attending the Podcast Movement in Dallas on August 16 & 17. Find my affiliate link online at PodcastTalentCoach.com. Prices increase by $40 on June 1. Act now!

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

2-Person Podcast Tips – PTC Episode 038

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2-Person Podcast Tips

A few notes before the episode this week. I am speaking at the Podcast Movement in Dallas August 16th and 17th, 2014. It is a national podcast conference that has an amazing roster of presenters and speakers. It is less than $135 (including fees) for the standard ticket before June 1, 2014. I would love to have you join me there using my affiliate link. Get your ticket by clicking the logo in the bottom right corner online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Dave Jackson recently invited me to join him on the Podcast Review Show. You can find the show and listen at PodcastReviewShow.com. Each week we invite a podcaster on the show for a critique of the entire business from content to website to revenue opportunities.

If you would like to be featured on the show, click the “Get Reviewed” link at PodcastReviewShow.com.

 

Joining a two-person show forced me to review my tips for shows with multiple hosts. How do you maintain the level of quality and professionalism? How do you maintain the focus without running down rabbit holes and getting lost?

Most of these tips apply if you are a solo podcaster or only have guests on your show.

There are five areas to develop for a show with multiple hosts.

 

Define Each Role

  • Select your partner carefully
  • If you are the same, one of you isn’t necessary
  • What is each expected to bring to the show

 

Responsibilities During The Show

  • Who drives
  • Who sets up topics
  • Who cues others

 

Smooth Flow

  • Develop hand signals to avoid talking over each other
  • Use chat if can’t see each other
  • Use names of each host to allow listeners to follow along
  • Use a show clock so each host knows where the story is headed
  • Begin stories with your intriguing introduction so your partner can follow

 

Other Work

  • Decide who handles other tasks like booking guests & post prod
  • Equal sound quality
  • Use similar equipment
  • Record on separate channels for processing & post prod

 

If It Ends

  • Create an agreement before you begin
  • What happens to the show if someone wants to leave?
  • Who owns the content if someone leaves?
  • Who owns the business & clients?
  • “Oh, it will never happen. We’re married/best friends/brothers.” It happens all the time. Don’t fool yourself.

 

Plan your show before you begin. If you are already creating content, it is never too late to start. Start planning today.

This week:

1. Define the roles of each member of your show and put it in writing

2. Start using the names of those on the show

3. Create an exit plan for the show if it should end

 

Next week we will discuss how to prepare for a show. We will review topics like how to get over prelaunch jitters, how to use your notes, and what should be included in your prep outline.

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Negativity Trap – PTC Episode 036

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Podcast Negativity Trap – PTC Episode 036

A quick note … Dave Jackson of School of Podcasting has invited me to join his Podcast Review Show podcast. Each week, we invite a podcaster on the show and review their podcast with them. Dave and I help our guest refine their content, delivery, production, branding and website. If you would like to find our more, head over to PodcastReviewShow.com.

This week on Podcast Talent Coach, we get a question submitted by Steve Stewart of the “Money Plan SOS Podcast” Steve brings up two questions. With all of the negativity surrounding us and pulling us in, how can we keep on a path of positive messages? How can you be passionate without being negative?

It is good to recognize the negative influence in our content. Negativity surrounds us everyday, making it difficult to stay positive. The nightly news uses the philosophy “if it bleeds it leads”. The political talk shows are typically more about the negatives of the opposition rather than the virtues of their position. The Sunday morning political talk shows in the U.S. Are all a battle with a “sky is falling” mentality.

Negativity attracts people. Many people have a desire to run from the negative rather than toward the positive. Many want to quit their job. However, few have any idea where they want to head. A cynical, sarcastic, mean attitude will simply pull successful people down rather than build anyone up.

If bad news and negativity attract an audience, why change? If conspiracy theories and stories of the world ending keeps people coming back, why get rid of it? If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Negativity in your life is destructive.

If you believe you are what you think about, then we need to remove the negativity from our lives. This theory is present in many books. You will find it in Napoleon Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich”. It is the main idea in “The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightengale. It is difficult to have a positive attitude in life if you are talking about negativity in every episode.

In the long run, negative content in your podcast will harm you and your listener.

I have stopped watching the news. I don’t want that negativity in my life. What good does it do me to see pain and agony in the lives of others?

What is the solution? Our content can’t be all tulips and licorice. We can’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses. How do we create the balance?

First, we can’t make your show great by simply removing the bad stuff. We need to replace the bad content with more of the good stuff.

Have you ever tried to stop doing something? Smoking? Eating fast food? The secret is that you can’t stop something without replacing it with something else. Many people that try to stop smoking gain weight. Food replaces cigarettes.

There are four steps you can take to maintain a positive attitude and overtone in your podcast.

 

Positive Solutions

With your content, lead people to positive solutions. Start by identifying the negative. Then, replace those ideas with positive solutions. Show people better options. Give them help & hope.

 

Use Proper Planning

Know how to get to the good in the story and where you plan to go before you begin recording.

 

Review Your Show

Find the parts of your show where negativity appears. Then, determine how you could have lead the topic in a positive direction. Over time, you will become better getting to the positive during the show.

 

Stick To The Tough Work

The negativity trap is the easy path. Being positive is tough work. In the long run, it will be better for you and your listeners. Your audience will grow more slowly. However, it will be more loyal over the long run. Negativity wears out its welcome quickly. A positive attitude will help your podcast develop longevity.

 

The negativity trap is destructive to your podcast. It is unhealthy for you and your listeners. Being positive is hard work. Be confident, and stick to it. Over time, it will be better for your show. Help your listener find the positive in her life. Help her overcome her challenges and solve her problems. Lead her to better results. Positivity helps develop long-term success for your show.

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Your Professional Podcast Sound – PTC Episode 032

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Your Professional Podcast Sound

When I first started in broadcasting, I doubted my voice, my sound and my ability. I doubted whether I belonged with the other professional broadcasters. Would they find me out and end my broadcasting career before it began?

Everyday, I would search for ways to sound more professional. Any idea that would come along to help me sound more prepared I would put to use. If I thought an idea would help me sound organized, I would give it a shot.

Overnight radio is where most broadcasters begin. I did overnights for the better part of four years trying to find my way. The desire to belong in the category burned inside of me. My passion to sound like a professional drove me show after show.

After years, I realized the fear of sounding unprofessional, unprepared, and unorganized is perfectly common amongst broadcasters. The desire to be credible and belong in the category burns inside of most that go on to become successful. The inner critic is present in all of us.

If you would like to sound like an expert and not simply knowledgable about your topic, there are steps you can take to sound more professional. There are ways to become more organized and prepared. Your show can grow by leaps with a few simple adjustments.

Here are three steps you can take to sound more professional.

 

PREPARE FOR YOUR SHOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

STAY FOCUSED

Avoid the shiny objects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

REPLACE THE CLICHES

That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

If you find yourself saying “obviously” or “of course”, you are making one of two errors.

The first error is repeating yourself. If you are saying “obviously” because you feel everyone already knows the information, you are wasting your breath. There is no need to say it.

I may say, “The sun comes up in the East, of course.” Everyone listening to me knows the sun comes up in the East. There was no reason for me to point out the origin of the morning sun.

“Of course” gets thrown in, so it didn’t look like I was trying to teach you about the sunrise. I didn’t want you to think I just learned that. “Of course” plays it off.

The second error is lack of confidence. You may want to sound knowledgeable to those who know the information. Yet, you know there is a segment of the audience that does not know the details. In this case, you’re just wasting words.

I may say, “The band will be at the arena Saturday night, of course.” Some may be aware of this performance. Yet, there may be members of the audience who haven’t heard the news. It makes sense to add the information.

The idea is to sound knowledgeable and credible to those that already know, while providing the information to those unaware. You simply need to restructure you sentence and eliminate the cliché.

“When the band is at the arena Saturday night, parking will be at a premium.” This sentence provides new information to both segments. I include the “arena Saturday night” portion for the new listeners while giving those already aware of the concert new parking information. Both receive a benefit.

When you include “that’s right” or “like I said”, you are repeating yourself. Your listener heard you the first time. Most people use these cliches to fill time while they think of the next thing to say. Avoid going in circles. Your listener will quickly become uninterested. Know where you’re going and keep moving forward.

Avoid the cliches. That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

 

Take these three steps to sound like an expert and not simply knowledgable about your topic. These steps can make you sound more professional, more organized and more prepared. Start down the path to show growth this week by making these few small adjustments.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Where Is Your Podcast Going? – PTC Episode 021

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Where is your podcast going in 2014?

A goal is a dream with a deadline.  What are you dreams for the next year?  If you don’t have a map & destination, you’ll only wander.  You’ll never get anywhere.  Let’s be specific and set some deadlines.

What is the one big thing you want to accomplish over the next year?  Develop little steps to get there.  Break the big goal into bite-sized pieces.

If you create a weekly show, you only have 52 shows over the next 12 months.  It may sound like a lot.  However, you need to be intentional to reach your goals.

What is your call to action within your podcast?  How can we make that call-to-action more effective?  Where are you sending your listener each episode to get more info?  Be specific and write it down.

Are you monetizing your podcast?  There are many possibilities, such as books, speaking engagements, seminars, affiliates, products and more.  If you have yet to monetize your podcast, schedule your time to create something powerful.  Be sure to include deadlines.

Do you interview guests on your show?  Create a list of guests you’d like to get on the show.  Be brave and reach out to those people.  Let’s get them on the show.  Give yourself a goal with a deadline.

Are you effectively planning each show before you begin?  Sometimes it is difficult to get motivated to record your show on a regular basis.  Plan ahead.  Download the planning worksheet at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.  When you lack motivation, revert to plan you’ve already created.

Are you reviewing your show on a regular basis?  To get better, you need to look at game tape.  All great sports teams review tape of previous games.  You should do the same.  Again, get the worksheet at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.  Finding someone that can help you honestly review your show will help as well.

The next year can be huge for you if you plan.  Set deadlines to turn your dreams into goals.  Be sure to find balance in all areas of your life.

Take some chances.  Go for the big interview or launch a product.  Dream big.  You might just reach your dreams.

I want to thank you for a tremendous 2013.  It has been quite a success for me.  I’ve launched the podcast to great success.  Many have downloaded my worksheets and purchased the Podcast Talent Coach workbook.  It has been a blast.  I couldn’t do it without you.

I do want to thank a few people for the 5-star reviews on iTunes.

I hope to see you at New Media Expo in Las Vegas in January.  Let me know if there is any way I can help you with your podcast.  E-mail me anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Have a fantastic 2014.

Strategy For Each Topic …

Strategy For Each Topic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Structure Will Help Define Your Topics …

Structure Will Help Define Your Topics

Deciding the correct topics for your show is instrumental when creating consistency for your podcast. Once you have developed the goal for your podcast and a goal for this particular episode, you need to determine which topics you hope to discuss. Select your topics carefully. Creating a show structure will help you find the right topics.

Topics come in many different forms. A podcast will sometimes focus on one topic for the entire show. Other podcasts have an overall theme while addressing a few different topics under the umbrella of that theme. There are podcasts that answer various listener questions during the show. Others interview a single guest. And yet, some podcasts combine many styles into one show. How you approach your podcast is completely up to you. That is one thing that makes podcasting so great. You are in control.

Your show should have a structure that you follow for each episode. Your structure is a rough guideline that can be easily followed by your listeners. Structure creates consistency.

An example podcast structure might begin with your show open and a quick overview of the episode. You could then include some news about your business and the industry in general. A short guest interview could be next followed by listener e-mail questions. Finally, you could end with a recap and contact information. Each week, you simply plug in new content to each segment.

On the other hand, your show may only be a single interview each week. It could be very focused and streamlined. You get to decide.

Once you have built the structure for your show, you can easily determine which topics will fill each particular episode. You can look at the structure in the example above and know exactly what you need. To record today’s show, you would need the show open, the outline, a list of news headlines, the recorded interview, and a list of e-mail questions and supporting answers.

Many people forget to bring the answers to the questions. Have your answers outlined to ensure you have any supporting material you need to appropriately answer the questions. When you try to answer the questions off the cuff, you will inevitably forget some important facts. It is best to make some notes before you begin recording.

A structure for your show will bring consistency to your show. Your audience will know what to expect each time they listen to the show. You can then populate the structure with your topics. Structure will help define your topics.

The Goal For Your Episode …

The Goal For Your Episode

You must know where you’re going before you can actually get there. That statement is true with a road trip and it is also true with your podcast. When you set out to record a show, you must have goals in mind. Once you’ve determined what you hope to accomplish, you can then decide how you will make it happen.

So many podcasters seem to record their show less than fully prepared. I hear hosts often search for details that should be right at their fingertips. There is no reason to lack the proper information while you are doing your show. If you’ve fully prepared for your podcast, the information should be right in front of you.

Overall, what do you hope to accomplish with this particular episode? Define the call to action you hope to make your listeners take. Here, you are defining the ultimate purpose of this specific show. The purpose of this particular episode may be more focused than the overall goal for the podcast as a whole. If the general goal for your podcast is to teach people how to coach lacrosse, the goal of the show today might be to discuss the power of Double-Goal Coaching. The goal today is a subset of the goal for the podcast overall.

Your call to action of your show could be one of many things. It could be teaching your audience in order to build relationships, sales of your product, visiting your website, supporting your cause, joining your club or simply listening again. Know what you hope to accomplish before you begin the journey.

Knowing the goal for your show will help you develop a filter for your subject matter and topics. When each topic passes through this goal filter, you will be able to determine if the topic should be part of the show and how to best handle the content. Your show filter helps keep the show focused. You cannot build your filter until you first know the goal of your show.

Let’s take the “School of Podcasting” podcast with Dave Jackson for example. Dave is focused on helping people launch podcasts. He wants to help as many people as possible get up and running with their own show. Therefore, everything Dave does on his podcast is centered around that goal. His content goes through that show filter.

Dave also reviews podcasts. Reviewing shows isn’t part of launching shows. Dave has a completely separate podcast called the “Podcast Review Show”. Where “School of Podcasting” is focused on launching, “Podcast Review Show” is focused on improving. Both shows have their own unique content filter.

The goal you develop for your show will build a focus for your podcast. When your show has focus, people know what to expect. Consistency is developed with your content. You also build confidence to fight your inner impostor when you consistently reach that goal each and every show.

Know where you are going before you actually begin the trip. Your first step in creating your podcast should always be defining the goal for your episode.

Prepare to Battle the Impostor …

Prepare to Battle the Impostor

If you have ever fought the impostor syndrome, being more prepared will help you win that battle. Being prepared for your show will give you focus, make your show more entertaining, and create stronger relationships with your listeners. Most importantly, it will give you confidence to overcome impostor syndrome. You will be able to build that belief in yourself.

The impostor syndrome, or impostor phenomenon, is the psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence that proves they are deserving and successful, those that suffer from impostor syndrome do not feel they deserve the success. These people believe their success came about not because of skill or expertise, but more because of luck or manipulation. Students sometimes face this phenomenon in college when they tell themselves they really don’t belong in such an esteemed university and others may soon discover the fraud.

It is common for us all to experience the impostor syndrome to some extent. The phenomenon is roughly the opposite of your ego. Your ego is telling you that you are the best around and people should admire everything you’ve done.

Your internal impostor is then telling you that you have no authority to be doing this. You are a fake and a fraud with no credibility. The only reason you are in this position according to your internal impostor is because nobody has yet discovered the truth.

Both your ego and impostor exist within you. Learning how to manage both is a challenge. Take steps to build confidence within yourself. Understand that others fight the same battle. You are not alone.

You have every right to create a great podcast.  You have just as much right as the next podcaster.  There is only one expert at your opinion.  That expert is you.  Nobody knows more about your beliefs and opinion than you do.  Develop confidence in yourself.  You have great content and a unique opinion.  Believe in yourself.  You’ll be great.  Prepare for it.

Being well prepared for your show and having the confidence to stick to the plan will help you win that battle against you internal impostor.

Show Prep & Review – 004

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This podcast is created to help you with the ART of podcasting. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment. I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

In this episode, we cover 5 things …

1. How to properly prepare for your show

2. Is rehearsal really the enemy of spontaneity?

3. Lose the script

4. Review to improve

5. Coaching

Is Rehearsal Really The Enemy Of Spontaneity? …

 

Is Rehearsal really the enemy of Spontaneity?

(photo by mibseo)

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

Think about a speech you have given. When you have only rehearsed the speech a couple of times, anxiety sets in right before you go onstage. Thinking about mistakes makes you nervous. You worry you may forget a section. You simply are not prepared.

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

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

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

If you are worried about how you will answer a question, if you haven’t rehearsed the key questions you intend to ask your guest, if you haven’t scripted an introduction and conclusion to the show, spontaneity will not be allowed to flourish. You will be too concerned about thinking of answers, questions and conclusions. There will be no brain power left for spontaneous things to happen.

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

Where are you spending your time? Are you too busy thinking about the next question and blocking out the spontaneity? Is rehearsal really the enemy of spontaneity?