Tag Archives: stories

7 Steps To Create More Podcast Listener Engagement – Episode 156

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7 STEPS TO CREATE MORE LISTENER ENGAGEMENT – EPISODE 156

Copyright: bogdanhoda / 123RF Stock Photo

Are you happy with your level of listener engagement?

When podcasters contact me for coaching, our first call is always a free fact-finding call. We chat about their struggles and how they hope to improve. The whole call is designed to lay out a plan and see if we are a good fit for each other.

I recently wrapped up a series of coaching sessions with two hosts of a podcast. On our last call, they said my greatest strength was understanding their struggle and helping them reach their goal. I really believe that first call to get focused is the key to our coaching success.

The one struggle that I hear most often is the desire to gain more listener engagement. How do we get more listeners? How do I increase my download numbers? How to I create more listener engagement?

The problem may be worded differently, but the struggle is the same.

TOO DIFFICULT?

Are you making the problem more difficult than it needs to be?

I am offering  a few listeners a FREE Engagement Explosion coaching session. It is explained in this episode.

If you have been working got grow your podcast for awhile now, and things are not happening as fast as you would like, then I would like to help you create a MAJOR breakthrough.

For a limited time, I would like to invite you to take advantage of a special “Engagement Explosion” coaching session where we will work together to …

  • Create a crystal clear vision for your “ultimate listener engagement success” and the traffic you’d like to create.
  • Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging the growth of your podcast and keeping you struggling to gain traction.
  • Leave this session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to turn your podcast into an engaging show with increased traffic, a growing community and a healthy e-mail list.

If you would like to take advantage of this very special, very limited, and totally FREE 30-minute “Engagement Explosion” coaching session, click here.

In this episode, we talk about the 7 steps to listener engagement.

The solution is easy to understand, yet difficult to execute properly.

Through all of my research and years of experience in both radio and podcasting, I’ve discovered a few key steps to create interaction. This week, let’s cover 7 steps to create more listener engagement with your podcast.

Some of these steps may sound a little too simplistic. Just remember … don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Step back and ask yourself if you are truly executing on each step to the fullest.

1. Ask Them To Engage

How do you expect your listener to know you want her to be part of your show if you don’t ask?

Be sure to make your request specific. Tell your listener exactly what you want her to do.

Create listener engagement by asking for it.

2. Make It Easy To Engage

You may use social media, your website, an e-mail address, voicemail, or a number of other methods to reach you. Simplify it.

Create one contact page on your website containing the info to avoid the need for a laundry list during your show. Then, always provide that one contact source. By using that one source, you also prevent your listener from getting caught in the decision paradox.

Make the questions specific, so they don’t have to think. Give your listener a question to answer or specific piece of information to provide. If he isn’t forced to be creative and “work” to create content for your show, you will have more success creating listener engagement.

Create listener engagement by making it easy.

3. Be A Storyteller For Success

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

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

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

Practice becoming a great storyteller.

Stories help define your character and personality. You should always be yourself. It is difficult to play a character consistently and tell great stories. Your true feelings and identity will always be revealed in the stories you tell.

If you are successful hiding your true self, you simply are not telling great stories. Vivid details and interesting points that stir emotions in your listeners can only come from your true feelings. Reveal your true character. Storytellers create raving fans.

Create listener engagement by telling great stories.

4. Focus On Helping Others

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

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

Ziglar is a great example of helping people. His speeches always offered great tips to improve your life, sales or attitude. He also had great books, CDs and other products he sold. However, most of his time was spent on helping others. There is a lot of free Ziglar information available. He would always help others and eventually sales would come his way.

Get what you want out of life.

Create listener engagement by being focused on helping others.

5. Make It About Them

If you want people to engage, there has to be something in it for them. Make them care.

Here is a great video about making your message about your audience. This is from BJ Bueno, author of “The Power of Cult Branding”.

Create listener engagement by making it about them.

6. Tease And Set Up The Next Episode

Prepare your audience to participate. Let them know the topic for next week. Then, ask them if they have a question about that particular topic.

If you have a guest, ask if there is a question they would like you to ask. Michael Hyatt does a great job at this on his podcast.

Create listener engagement by properly teasing the next episode.

7. Thank Your Audience

Thanks for listening. I appreciate the help you give me.

It is such an easy way to strengthen your relationship with your audience. Your listeners have given you something they can never get back. That is their time.

Show your appreciation. A simple thank you will go a long way with your listener. If they know you are honestly grateful for their time, the chance they will listen again goes way up.

It must be honest and authentic. You can’t thank them in a gas-station-attendant-I’ll-never-see-you-again kind of way. You must deliver it from the heart. It should be the kind of thank you that you would give a stranger who stopped to help when you ran out of gas.

Your listener is your lifeblood. Without your listener you have no show. She has many, many choices when allocating her time. Let her know you appreciate her for spending her time with you.

… And thank you for stopping by. You have done a ton for me just by being here.

Create listener engagement by thanking your listener.

 

Next week we will discuss how to properly review your own show to see if you are meeting your goals and expectations. We’ll get specific. If you have questions about that topic, head to www.PodcastTalentCoach.com to get your questions answered.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Please let me know how I might be of assistance. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Make The Most Of Your Podcast Interview – Episode 138

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Make The Most Of Your Podcast Interview – Episode 138

Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

 

I’m working on a podcast series where I interview high achievers. What’s the “formula” for making an interview a good story? How long should it be? How do you keep the guest interesting …and helping you tell the story ….without encumbering the interviewer? Doug Piper

The secret to a great interview is to be a great listener. Be curious, and ask great questions.

“Tell me about a time you thought it was all over.”
“When did you realize this was the career for you?”
“Describe an obstacle that stood in the way of your success.”
“How did it all get started?”
“What player made the greatest impact on your coaching career?”

When you listen back to your interviews, listen like a listener. Ask questions in your head that a curious listener would ask. Write those questions down. When you are conducting your interview, don’t be so concerned about following the script or list of questions. Listen and ask natural follow-up questions.

How long should it be? As long as it remains interesting. If you find it difficult to ask natural questions, or you are no longer getting great answers, the interview is probably over. That might be 10 minutes. You may talk for an hour-and-a-half and feel like you could go another hour. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t.

– – – –

The gist of my podcast will be interviewing Veterans and sharing their life story.  I have realized I need to focus on taking folks from mic shy to semi-pro, or at least comfortable on mic, in a short time. Was curious your thoughts & tips.  Thanks again for all you do. It is one of the 3 podcasts I download from my phone every week. Means more when you realize I only have old school dial up at home.
John “Nimrod” in Michigan

Get your guest to forget they are being interviewed. Treat it like a chat over coffee. Create some small talk before you begin recording. Get them to do most of the talking during the small talk. They will get comfortable more quickly if they are talking instead of listening.

Help your guest relax a bit before the interview begins. They are nervous, because they do not know what to expect. The more you can describe, the more natural and relaxed they will be.

Let your guest know that it is acceptable to begin the answer a second time if they mess up. This little trick let’s the guest know that nothing is set in stone. When they know the answer can be done again, they are more natural. Surprisingly, you probably won’t have many that start again, because they become more relaxed in their answers.

If your guest is using a standard mic, ask them to stay close to the mic at all times. There may be times during the interview that you need to remind them. This will save you a lot of time in post-production.

As you get your guest to tell stories, they will begin to focus more on the details of the story and less on the mechanics of the interview. Stories are natural and require less thinking. When they are simply reciting data or facts, they need to be specific. This creates some nervousness with the concern of making a mistake.

Over the next few weeks, we are going to dig into interviewing tips and techniques to help you become a better interviewer. Next week, we will discuss the pros and cons of interviewing versus being interviewed. Which can benefit you more?
If you would like some one-on-one coaching, or helpful tools to help you create great content, find my information at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Using Theater of the Mind to Create Powerful Podcast Engagement – Episode 131

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Using Theater of the Mind to Create Powerful Podcast Engagement – Episode 131

CREATING THEATER of the MIND

CREATE THEATER OF THE MIND

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

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

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

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

Create a great podcast brand. Create theater of the mind. Here is the way to create amazing images in the theater of the mind of your listener.

MAKE THEM FORGET

There is a primary reason most people seek entertainment. They want to escape reality. Help your listener make their escape by making them forget they are listening to a recording.

People want to forget about their troubles of the day. To get away, they watch movies, go to concerts, watch television, listen to radio and spend time with your podcast. People get wrapped up in another time, place and story. This makes them forget about their reality, even if it is only for a short time.

Take them to another place with your podcast by using stories. Make your storytelling so strong that their imaginations put your listener in another time and place. That’s what great storytelling is all about. That’s what great relationships are all about. It is engagement.

So, how do you make them forget? How do you engage and entertain to the point where your listener is so engrossed with your content that they forget about everything else? What are the steps to create a great story?

Take a few tips from movies and television. Tell compelling stories just like the movies.

Here are the five things you need to remember in order create great tales for your podcast.

HAVE GREAT CHARACTERS

Every story has great characters. You may love them. You may hate them. Either way, you remember them, because they stir emotions within you.

The characters are well-defined. You feel like you know them. During the story, you find yourself either rooting for them or against them.

Podcasts create these characters in various ways. It may be the host that is the character. The host may tell stories about others. The people defined in the e-mail questions answered during the show could be the characters of the stories. You could take phone calls or voicemail questions from people. Their voice alone helps define their character. Live guests with colorful backgrounds are also a source for great characters.

“Billie Jo, single mother of two who works as a waitress in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to make ends meet” is somebody you can begin to envision in your imagination. “She uses her kids to shoplift” completely changes your perception of her.

Great characters get your audience wrapped up in the story, so they forget they are listening to a recording.

CREATE SOME TENSION

All good stories have a plot. As we learned in composition class, great drama and tension create a solid plot. The protagonist must overcome the dilemma. Your listener begins to wonder what will happen next.

Podcasts that answer listener questions create some tension. The listener typically has a problem they need solved. This typically isn’t an Earth-shattering problem. However, it is a form of tension.

Great guests have usually overcome some obstacle to achieve their success. These obstacles create great tension in the story. Help your guests define that tension.

Tension in the story gets your audience wondering what will happen next. Once your listener gets focused on your story, they begin to forget about their reality. That’s what great stories are all about.

UNIQUE, VIVID, MENTAL IMAGES

When someone tells a story, on the radio or in a podcast, it is theater of the mind. When you hear the old time radio show describe the dim light on in the servant’s quarters, the scenery is playing out in your mind in a unique way unlike the way anyone else could envision it. No other person is imagining the clothing of the characters the exact same way you are imagining them. That mental theater is unique to you. You are listening and imagining by yourself.

Podcasts make the one-on-one approach even more important. Podcasts are often enjoyed through headphones. Your audience is truly listening by themselves. The headphones block out all other sounds and distractions. You have multiple “one person” audiences at the same time. Yet, it is still one person.

Connect with your “one person” audience by creating a great theater. The theater will be different for each listener, because they are using their individual imagination. Create a movie and put the listener in it. Make the story an individual experience for the listener. Engage the listener with vivid details and a fantastic storyline. Make them forget they are listening to a podcast. Create great theater of the mind. Create unique, vivid, mental images.

USE GREAT DETAILS

Details make stories come to life. When you use vivid details, your listener can smell the air. They see the colors. They can hear the sounds. Your details put the listener in the moment.

You can tell a story in one of two ways.

The first way would have no details.

I stopped at a diner to grab some dinner.

That line does very little to stir the imagination and transport you to another time and place.

The second way incorporates vivid details.

Dinner would be the first meal I would have that day. I stepped into the roadside diner and shook off the snowy, December cold. The beat of the jukebox and bubbly chatter of the locals began to warm me even before I could take a seat on a barstool at the counter to order my biscuits and gravy.

The detailed story begins to stir your imagination. You can feel the cold. You can hear the jukebox and crowd. You can almost smell the diner food. When those senses are activated, you begin to forget you’re listening to a recording.

HAVE A RESOLUTION

The resolution is the payoff to every great story. It is the climax to the movie plot. It is the “happily ever after”. The resolution puts the bow on the whole package.

Your resolution comes when you follow through with whatever you were hoping to make your audience feel. It could be the answer to the question. It could be the breakthrough success of your guest. You could wrap up the story with the punchline to the funny tale. Your resolution is where you solve the conflict and tension.

ME, NOT US

Talk to your audience one-on-one. Make your podcast personal by treating every listener as an individual. The more personal you get, the more engaged your listener will become.

Notice the tone of this writing. I’m talking directly to you. I’m helping you with your podcast. I’m not addressing “you guys”. I’m not talking to “all of you”. Sure, I’m writing for many. But when you read this, I’m writing for you and only you.

If I’m talking to you, you will in turn feel responsible to listen. If I’m talking to “all of you”, it becomes easier to assume somebody else will listen if you want to stay focused on something else. Engage by speaking one-on-one.
When you record your podcast, you need to create that wonderful theater of the mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading fiction or talking about gardening, put your audience in the moment. Transport them to another time and place.

Make your podcast entertaining by creating great stories using the five elements. Great stories have great characters. Engage your audience with some tension. Spark the imagination of your audience with vivid details. Wrap the story up with the resolution. Finally, speak to your listener with a one-on-one tone. Stories help your listener forget about their troubles of the day.

Try to incorporate stories in every podcast. Stories will help them escape reality. Make your listener forget they are listening to a recording.
Next week, we will cover how to get listeners to return to your show week after week.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Can You Tell Stories Like Walt Disney? – Episode 130

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Can You Tell Stories Like Walt Disney? – Episode 130

TELL STORIES

Walt Disney was one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

When you examine his work, you realize he wasn’t a great story writer. He was a fantastic story teller.

Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Jungle Book. All are stories written by someone else. Disney just turned them into great stories that sometimes didn’t follow the original exactly.

Snow White – “Snow White” is a German fairy tale known across much of Europe and is today one of the most famous fairy tales worldwide. The Brothers Grimm published it in 1812 in the first edition of their collection Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Pinocchio – The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written in Florence. The first half was originally a serial in 1881 and 1882, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883.

Fantasia – The movie was developed around the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a German poem written in 1797 by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Bambi – Bambi, a Life in the Woods, was originally published in Austria in 1923 and written by Felix Salten.

Cinderella – This movie started as a European folk tale. The first written European version of the story was published in Naples, by Giambattista Basile, in 1634.

Peter Pan – Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie in 1902. Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, premiered on 27 December 1904 in London.

Jungle Book – The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by English author Rudyard Kipling. The stories were first published in magazines in 1893–94.

Even recent, successful movies created by the Disney company after Walt Disney’s death were based on stories written by others.

Hercules – Greek myth
Mulan – Chinese legend
Tarzan – 1914 book by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tangled – Base on Rapunzel published in 1812 Brothers Grimm

THE DISNEY FILTER

Walt Disney’s upbringing shaped his view on life and influenced how he told stories. According to the book “Walt Disney – Hollywood’s Dark Prince” by Marc Eliot, Disney’s life on his boyhood Missouri farm was harsh. Though criticized for some inaccuracies, the book gives an interesting glimpse into Walt’s childhood.

Walt was unsure of his father, because he had no birth certificate. He grew up in a very strict household where his father often used corporal punishment. Walt’s mother usually did very little to tame the strick hand of the senior Disney.

Growing up on the farm, Walt and his brother Roy were required to do chores to earn their keep. They would attend school during the day while working on the farm at night. There was no time for friends. Walt’s friends were the various animals around the farm.

The life Disney experienced on the farm influenced his films.

If you study the films created by Disney while he was alive, you see the evidence. Most of Disney’s feature-length films contain a protagonist with no father figure. The main character is typically a lonely outcast who has made friends with various animals.

Think of your favorite Disney character. Does that individual fit that description?

Cinderella. Snow White. Mowgli in the Jungle Book. Peter Pan. It is all right there.

Disney didn’t write great stories. He told great stories as seen through his filter.

ELEMENTS OF GREAT STORIES

There are four elements to a great story. Those elements include a reason to care, revealing the details, a powerful resolution and asking “what else?”.

THE REASON

Give your listener a reason to care. Begin with an engaging introduction. “Tell me if I’m gonna go to Hell for this…” That is a hook.

What do you want the audience to feel? This is what your engaging introduction should answer.

Make your introduction human. Stir emotion. Make it humorous, compelling or tragic. My radio coach Bill McMahon often asked what I would like to make the audience laugh at, marvel at or better understand.

Find great emotions. They could include joy, sympathy, empathy, anger, tragedy, tenderness, humor, rage, patriotism or various other emotions.

Your introduction should pull your listener into the story. Give them a roadmap.

REVEAL THE DETAILS

Details are more believable than generalities. Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character. This is how listeners get to know, like and trust you and your business.

Use all 5 senses when telling your stories. We are creating visions in the theater of the mind of your listener.

POWERFUL RESOLUTION

Your powerful resolution is a strong reframing of introduction. This resolution puts a nice bow on the story.

WHAT ELSE?

Asking “What Else” will transform your show. This takes your story to a whole new level. This transforms your story from a nice piece of entertainment into an incredible piece of engaging content.

When you ask “what else”, you let your story lead to something bigger. This might mean continuing the conversation on your Facebook page. You may solicit questions or thoughts from your listeners. The story might lead into a bigger discussion or interview or skit.

The options are endless. Your “what else” step will also make your content unique and powerful.

HOW YOU CAN BE A STORYTELLER

You can become a powerful storyteller by funneling your content through your filter. Then, ask the four storytelling questions.

What is the engaging set up?
How will it be revealed in the story?
What is the resolution?
What else can you do with it?

Try a few stories in your episode this week. Let me know how it goes.

If you would like a Podcast Talent Coach worksheet to help you develop your stories, CLICK HERE.

Next week, how your stories activate the theater of the mind for your listeners. Plus, how to use theater of the mind to create more engagement.

You can find my podcast, information on my coaching services and other tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 129

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Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 129

Know, Like And Trust

WHY STORYTELLING

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

Storytelling can transform your podcast.

THE POWER

Stories let your audience get to know, like and trust you. These are critical elements in any business relationship.

Out of stories come knowledge and friendship. Great storytellers create fans. Your stories help define you, your character and your personality.

Stories also touch many more people. The appeal of stories is nearly universal.

When you reveal things about yourself through stories, you begin to connect with, motivate and inspire your listeners.

Don’t fit in, stand out.

Personal experiences are the only way to make the content your own. No other podcaster can recreate your stories the way you can. Your stories are unique to you.

STORYTELLERS ARE EVERYWHERE

There are examples of great storytellers throughout everyday life.

You find great storytellers in songwriters.

Movie makers are usually great storytellers rather than story writers. Many great movies are based on books written by someone else. These include movies such as Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, The Help, the Notebook, the DaVinci Code, and any of the John Grisham books.

Great teachers and speakers are usually great storytellers. You can see examples of this in the bible and in fables that have been passed down through generations. Storytelling is also used by great speakers such as Zig Ziglar.

ENGAGEMENT

In podcasting, you cannot afford to be boring. Interest in your story never remains constant. When you tell a story, interest is either rising or falling.

Your information can only become entertainment when interest is rising. A great story continues to develop the plot and raise the interest.

Have you ever sat through a long, monotonous story that never seems to end? Interest is definitely falling with these stories. Keep your plot moving.

CREATE TRUST

Date your listeners.

The privilege of talking to people who want to be talked to and selling things to people who want to be sold to is earned over time. Work to build friendships.

After consistently building the friendship, you will earn the privilege to talk to your audience.

Practice becoming a great storyteller. You will soon be developing friendships.

BECOME A GREAT STORYTELLER

To become a great storyteller, listen to yourself. Hear your thoughts. Have courage to record your personal connections.

Once you have recorded your thoughts, reveal those thoughts through great stories.

Think of your podcast as a friendship. Ask yourself, “Would I enjoy taking a one-hour car ride with this person every week?” Your listener is asking the same thing. They are deciding to spend quality time with you just like they do with friends.

Stories allow others to live vicariously through you. They can experience the highs without putting in the work. Listeners can experience the lows without suffering the pain.

Friendships develop over time. They create trust. Friendship comes from self revelation. This is where your stories become powerful.

Next week, we will cover the elements of great stories and what you can learn from Walt Disney, one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How Radio And Podcasting Are The Same – Episode 118

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How Radio And Podcasting Are The Same – Episode 118

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

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

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

The Same …

1. Same Tools

Both create with audio equipment.

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

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

2. Same Approach

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

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

3. Same Conversation

Both have real conversations with the listener.

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

4. Same Visions

Both create images in the mind of the listener.

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

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

5. Same Experience

Both are individual activities.

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

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

6. Same Connection

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

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

7. Same Episodes

Both produce episodic content that keeps listeners returning.

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

8. Same Goal

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

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

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

9. Both Can Interact

Both are able to interact in real time.

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

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

… And Sometimes Different

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

1. Podcasters Time Shift

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

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

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

2. Podcasters Benefit From The Beginning

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

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

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

3. Podcasters Can Niche Down

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

4. Podcasting Is Inclusive

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

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

Again, advantage podcasting.

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

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

I’d love to know what you think. E-mail me anytime at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

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How To Turn Podcast Topics Into Creative Content – Episode 110

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you do make it engaging?

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

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

9 QUESTIONS

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

RELEVANT?

How is your topic relevant to your niche?

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

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

WHO CARES?

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

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

SOURCE

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

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

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

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

INTRIGUE

What do you find intriguing about the topic?

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

EMOTION

What emotion do you hope to stir?

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

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

CONTEXT

In what context will your story be set?

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

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

JOURNEY

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

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

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

DETAILS

What details will you include in your episode?

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

YOUR ONE THING

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

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.

Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

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Steps To Develop Your Show Strategy – Episode 099

Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions

Here are a few questions to help you begin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

4 Ways To Make Your Podcast Different Starting Today – Episode 098

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4 Ways To Make Your Podcast Different Starting Today – Episode 098

Your different podcast

When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Make people take notice. You are an expert at your opinion. Give it to people.

Take A Stand

Pick a side.

Some of the nicest people make the worst podcast hosts. They try to please everyone in the audience. Those people tend to blend into the background and go unnoticed.

I once coached a radio host who was one of the best storytellers I had ever met. When he and I would meet one-on-one for coaching, he would tell me some of the funniest stories I had ever heard. He would tell me stories of his dad that would have me crying from laughing so hard.

He once told me his dad was absolutely convinced the PT Cruiser was the best car ever made. As much as my host would try to explain that the PT Cruiser was basically an incarnation of the Dodge Neon, his father wouldn’t believe it.

The two of them would get in these heated arguments in public about this car. Of all the things in life you could argue about, this happened to be the PT Cruiser.

The way the story was told was full of fabulous details. The host really had the ability to make the stories come to life.

As much as I would encourage him, the host would not tell those stories on the radio. He didn’t believe the audience as a whole would be interested.

Instead, he played it safe. He only discussed vanilla content that would not upset anyone. Unfortunately, the show never took hold.

Ray Romano is a great example of success stemming from the stories of real life. Ray used stories of his family in his stand-up comedy. That routine eventually became the hit TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

Upset Someone

If you are not upsetting someone, you aren’t trying hard enough.

I would much rather have half the audience hate me and the other half love me rather than the entire audience have no opinion one way or the other. If the audience doesn’t have an opinion, they don’t care. I’m doing nothing to stir their emotion if I’m not making them pick a side.

If you haven’t picked a side and really focused your topic, people won’t care. They will not be passionate about your show.

Speak your mind. Be different. Get noticed. Make people care.

4 Steps

Here are four ways to make your podcast different from other shows in your niche.

1. Be real. Be yourself. Do no simply try to be an imitation of another show or host. Above all, tell the truth. It is much easier than remembers a character you have created.
2. All people to know you through stories. The details within your stories will reveal who you are. People do business with those that they know, like and trust. This is the first step.
3. Pick a side. Stand for something. That is the only way to stand out.
4. Avoid shades of gray. Be drastically different.
I would love to help you with your podcast. E-mail me any time at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

4 Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

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Four Essential Elements of Powerful Storytelling – Episode 090

Powerful Storytelling

Why should you use storytelling in your podcast?

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

Use stories.

Storytelling can transform your podcast.

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

Don’t fit in, stand out.

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

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

There are four elements to great storytelling.

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

Give Her A Reason To Care

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

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

Reveal The Details

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

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

Powerful Resolution

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

What Else?

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

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

How Can You Be A Storyteller?

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

Resources

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

Powerful Podcast Stories – Episode 043

Stories Transform Your Podcast – Episode 047

The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – Episode 076

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

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The Real Reason People Listen To Your Podcast – Episode 083

Dreams

Why do people listen to your podcast? Why would anyone spend the time to listen to your show?

Have you ever paused to give that question some consideration?

Why do people spend time with audio at any given point in time?

THE REASONS

There are two primary reasons people listen to audio. Companionship and dreams.

It is human nature to desire companionship. People do not want to be alone. Whether they are driving, jogging, biking, mowing or doing something else by themselves, they want to do it with someone else.

Audio serves the role of companion.

DREAMS

The other reason people spend time with podcasts is to dream. People want to live vicariously through your dreams, stories, challenges and successes. They want to enjoy your success without needing to suffer the pain of your failures.

Tell stories to help fulfill the desire of your listener to dream.

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

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

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

MY STORY

Architecture was my original career path. It wasn’t until three years into my architecture degree that I realized radio was the profession I was designed to pursue. I was able to work in a profession I absolutely love. Now, after 25 years in radio, I have taken the talent coaching facet of radio and turned it into a path helping podcasters create amazing content.

That path has now led me to be a speaker at some of the best podcasting conferences in the country. I was a speaker at Podcast Movement 2014. This year, I will give a presentation at New Media Expo in Las Vegas in April. My life is full of amazing events, because I dared to dream and follow my passion.

DREAMS

Your listeners want to dream. Help them.

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

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

When you simply lecture as the content of your show, you fail to help your listener experience any of those three desires.

KNOW, LIKE & TRUST

Find new ways to deliver your material to your audience. You will make those important connections that turn into friendships. Those relationships will foster loyalty to your show. Your tribe will follow you wherever you go. That’s a powerful thing.

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – Episode 076

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Who Else Wants A Unique Brand? – PTC Episode 076

My daughter took a group of us to the Katy Perry show. Now that's a unique brand.
My daughter took a group of us to the Katy Perry show. Now that’s a unique brand.

A memorable brand that becomes a household name. It is like the Holy Grail. So many companies strive for it, but so few achieve it. Why is that?

A brand is a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name, a brand name, a particular identity or image regarded as an asset, or a particular type or kind of something.

But, when we think of a brand, we think of so much more. There is so much more emotion in a powerful brand.

Under those definitions, Honda is a brand. However, it is a much different brand than Harley Davidson. Star Trek is a brand, although a much different brand than Battlestar Galactica. Oprah is a brand. I don’t think anyone would equal Oprah’s brand to that of Sally Jessy Raphael.

Each of those iconic brands were available at the same time their counterpart was making a name for themselves. Yet, the iconic brands became huge, powerful, valuable names. That’s not to say the other brands were not familiar or valuable. Those competitor brands simply did not become the astronomical brands of the segment leaders.

Why is that? What can you learn from these iconic brands that can help your podcast become a name, identity or image, but a name that evokes powerful emotion from your listener. How can you create fans instead of a casual audience?

Here are six steps you can put into use this week to begin to develop your unique brand.

 

Develop Your Style

Create everything you do in your own style. Powerful brands have a style all their own.

Your style is your way of doing something. Are you friendly? How about challenging or argumemtative? Maybe you are the Everyman. Is your podcast a narrative or instructional? Are you explosive, soothing or euphoric? Do I hear sarcasm in your show? Are you a friend to everybody or the guy they love to hate? Do you take risks or play it close to the vest?

Each piece plays into your style.

You can only stand out among all other shows when you create your own unique style. You must then make sure everything you do is consistent with that style.

Many new broadcasters try to emulate the style of their hero or mentor. They attempt to imitate the styles they hear from other broadcasters. Unfortunately, copying doesn’t create a unique style. Copying typically creates a watered-down version of some other style. When creating your content, be yourself and find your own style.

Some of the greatest broadcasters didn’t start the ascension to the top until they abandoned the attempts to broadcast in the style they thought others desired and began being true to themselves.

Oprah Winfrey quit trying to be a traditional news anchor. She also quit doing the typical tabloid, daytime talk show like Sally Jessy Raphael was doing at the time. When she began to create the show she always desired, she went to the top of the game.

Howard Stern began as a radio DJ sounding like every other radio DJ. He was playing the records and spouting the lines written by management while going nowhere. If you watch “Private Parts”, Stern’s autobiographical movie, one of the classic scenes is Howard trying to recite “W-N-B-C” just like his boss wants everyone to do it.

When Stern decided he was going to do radio his way, he began to make a name for himself. He also went to the top.

Rush Limbaugh followed a very similar path. His bland radio name was Jeff Christie. He followed the format designed by somebody else. Limbaugh made every attempt to fulfill the typical radio DJ stereotype.

He also got fired again and again. When he decided to broadcast in his style and true to his beliefs, he began his rise to the top.

Adam Corolla made his climb when he took full control over his style and show. He was climbing the DJ ladder in Los Angeles. Corolla had some decent television work. He then decided to create his own show in his own style via podcast. That began his rise as one of the biggest podcasters in the world.

All of these broadcasters made the decision to stop copying others. They all created shows that were true to their style.

They each also stay true to their style in everything they do. You will never hear Rush sound like Howard. You’ll never mistake something Oprah says as something Adam might say. Being true to their style isn’t something that takes conscious effort. It comes easy to each of them, because it is true to who they are as people.

Be true to yourself. It will make it easy to create everything you do in your style.

Define Your Character With Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iconic brands use their story.

Oprah uses her story of her upbringing and career building by breaking down barriers. Her weight loss. Her struggles to cut a new path in daytime talk.

Howard’s story of defying “The Man” and doing it his way inspires others. Rush was told he would never make it on the air and should consider radio sales.

Harley Davidson was a joke in the motorcycle industry. Harley owners had two bikes … one to ride and one for parts. Harley now stands for independence and “take no flack” attitude.

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

Don’t Just Fill Time

You never catch Oprah just going through the motions. She would never have typical guests on her show. When others were interviewing the co-star of some moving, Oprah would interview the President of the United States. Oprah has Tom Cruise jumping on her couch. You never knew what was going to happen on Oprah’s show.

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

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

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

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

Be Memorable

When other shows would give away a television, Oprah would give a television to everyone in the audience. Now, everyone does it.

If you want to keep your listener coming back show after show, you need to make them remember to come back. You need to remain top-of-mind for your listener. That is the purpose of audience engagement. Make your listener remember you for something specific about your show.

As you build your show, make it about one thing. Find one particular thing that will be remembered. If you try to be all things to all people, you will water down the show. Everything will be nice. However, isn’t usually truly memorable. You will get lost in the millions of messages your listener receives on a daily basis.

Find the magic. Your listener should remember one thing about your show this week. What will that be?

Stir emotion. Make it amazing. Bring your listener back. Be memorable.

Move Beyond Information

Make your show emotional. That deep connection creates relationships.

The goal of our podcasts is to create strong relationships with our audiences. We can take those relationships and move our listeners with a call to action. To achieve that strong relationship, we need to move beyond information to engaging entertainment.

Dan Miller, author of “48 Days To The Work You Love” could simply explain how you might find a new job. Instead, Dan instills the belief in his listeners that there is more to work than a paycheck. He stirs emotion describing how you can turn your passion into your career. Dan uses that emotion to turn his job finding information into engaging entertainment.

Financial information is turned into entertainment on “The Dave Ramsey Show” when Dave turns debt into the enemy. He doesn’t simply walk you through the steps to become debt free. Dave helps you find that burning desire to escape the shackles of debt. He makes you envision the possibility of “living like no one else”. His help becomes engaging entertainment. That is the reason his show is extremely popular and he is very wealthy.

Our shows can be powerful when we build relationships and move our listeners with a call to action. Those relationships happen when we move beyond information to engaging entertainment.

Risky Stands Out

It was a risk for Rush Limbaugh to step out and be incredibly opinionated regarding politics. Now, there are hundreds of shows that do the same thing.

It was a risk for Harley Davidson to embrace the bad ass lifestyle. Today you can see middle aged guys riding their bike to the office.

It was a risk for Oprah to walk away from the standard daytime tabloid drama that made her successful. You cannot flip through the stations today without finding a dozen copycats of Oprah’s style. However, none of them achieved the success of Oprah.

As we develop meaningful relationships with your podcast, we in turn build credibility that will support our call-to-action within your show. To develop strong relationships, you need to create engaging entertainment that will get you remembered by your listener. To be remembered, you must stand out.

You stand out when you are loved. You are remembered when you are hated. You fade into the background when you are plain, vanilla and trying to not upset anyone. If you don’t stir strong emotions, you are easily forgotten.

When we create, we expose our perspective. We open ourselves to criticism. It is natural to want your thoughts, views, art and creation to be accepted by everyone. To avoid being disappointed, we often play it safe.

Those fantastic, memorable personalities are usually both loved and hated. Rush Limbaugh is loved by the conservatives and hated by the liberals. Dave Ramsey is loved by the conservative investor and hated by credit card companies and whole life insurance salespeople. Dr. Laura would consistently be critical of her callers. Yet she would receive more callers than she could handle on any given show.

Safety lacks creativity. It is risky to be truly creative. However, that is really the only way to get noticed. Safe blends in. Risky stands out.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. Post any questions or comments you might have, or e-mail me at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

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

freeimage-5478254

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

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

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

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

Lead with an intriguing introduction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be A Storyteller For Success.

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

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

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

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

Make them forget.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

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7 Common Podcast Mistakes That Drive Listeners Away – Episode 060

Podcast Mistakes

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

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

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

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

You Focus On Yourself

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

You Are Not Engaging And Use No Stories

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

You Are Talking At Me, Instead Of To Me

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

You Are Unfocused & Unprepared

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

You Open The Door

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

You Are Not Interested

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

You Lack Show Biz

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

 

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

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

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

Solutions To Boring Podcast Guests – Episode 059

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Episode 059 – Solution To Boring Guests

Boring Conversation

Thank you so much for all of the great feedback recently. I am happy to hear this content is having a positive effect on your show. You are truly beginning to transform your information. Congratulations.

This week, I would like to share two notes with you hoping you can use the information and answers as well.

JOURNALING

Hi Erik,

Just a quick note of thanks for your latest episode of ‘Podcast Talent Coach’ where you talked about story telling and using a journal as a tool. Somewhat skeptical that it was something I needed, I sat down yesterday and gave it a shot, using the 5 minute time limit you mentioned and writing my thoughts out using a pen and paper. I did this to capture something personal that I could use in my next episode of ‘Evolution Talk’. I am extremely happy to say that it worked. I was able to produce a couple of powerful thoughts for the show that I am certain I would not have captured otherwise. Suffice to say, it’s now going to become part of my show preparation for every episode going forward.

Just wanted you to know that you are making a difference.

Kind regards,
Rick Coste
Writer,Producer,Podcaster
http://evolutiontalk.com
http://philosophywalk.com

 

Thanks so much, Rick.

If you missed the past two episodes, you may want to check them out as a series. In Episode 057, we discuss the four elements of storytelling. In Episode 058, we explore how to explore your personal connections within your stories and use those connections to build trust with your listeners.

It is a common feeling of skepticism. When I first learned the method of journaling to discover my own personal connections, I found it a bit hokey and beatnik. After journaling for a bit of time, it became natural. There is true power in discovering your personal connections.

If you would like help creating your journal entries, mining them for personal connections and turning those connections into powerful, engaging content, shoot me an e-mail at Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

BORING GUESTS

Hello Erik,

I have a question for you about interviews. I’m sure you have had the opportunity to interview many popular music artists over the years in your radio career. Have you ever had to deal with someone who was not very cooperative? Comes across as a bit annoyed or just doesn’t put any effort at all into the conversation?

Is there anything you can do to get them to actually give a substantial answer without coming across as being rude? Especially when it is an artist that you may be a fan of?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks!

J.D. Sutter | Porchlight Family Media
New Media Consultant & Content Producer
http://porchlightfamilymedia.com/

 

Thanks for the note, J.D.

This is a common problem with podcast guests. There are times when we have such high hopes for and expectations of our idols. When we finally meet them, they simply are not as amazing and flawless as we had built them to be.

When you get a podcast guest on your show who is less than excited, there are a few possible reasons for their sourness. They could be having a bad day. Maybe they just got off a bad interview. It is possible they don’t enjoy being interviewed.

One thing to remember is that it is your show. You are in control of everything. It is your responsibility to make sure the content on your show is the best it can be. Make your podcast guest the star. Set them up to look good and everyone wins.

Here are six suggestions to improve an interview with a troublesome podcast guest.

1. Make sure your interview style is top notch so they see you as a professional. This includes before, during and after your interview.

2. Be sure you are asking unique questions. Know the hot buttons of your guest. Talk about things that stir their passion.

3. Take your guest off guard. Pull something out of left field.

4. Ask your guest “list” questions. For instance, “What are the three most important things to remember when booking a gig?”

If your guest simply won’t cooperate …

5. Don’t use the interview on your podcast as a traditional interview.  Create a narrative and insert drops from the interview, similar to the news shows like “60 Minutes” or “Dateline”.

6. Cut your losses. Sometimes people have a bad day and just need to move on. Cut the interview short, thank your guest for their time, and find a better interview.
Let me know how I can help you with your podcast. E-mail your questions to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Build Trust – PTC Episode 058

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How To Build Trust – Episode 058

How To Build Trust

Last week we discussed the four essential elements of storytelling.

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

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

Journaling

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

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

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

Your Personal Connections

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

Engaging Introduction

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

An Example

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

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

JOURNAL ENTRY

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

Four different personal connections in that journal entry.

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

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

Max’s great story about his father.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

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

Trust Me

WHY STORYTELLING

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

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

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

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

Don’t fit in, stand out.

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

ENGAGEMENT

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

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

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

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

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

Practice becoming a great storyteller.

GREAT STORYTELLERS

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

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

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

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

ELEMENTS OF GREAT STORIES

There are four essential elements of great stories.

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

Engaging Introduction

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

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

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

Reveal the details

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

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

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

Resolution

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

What else?

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

HOW YOU CAN BE A STORYTELLER

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

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At Last, The Secret To Podcast Chit Chat Revealed

PTC Episode 052

Podcast Chit Chat

Chit Chat at the beginning of your podcast has long been discussed. Is it appropriate? How much is too much?  When are you wasting the time of the pirates listening?

I was listening to a marketing podcast once. I just about gave up and moved onto another show. I had to force myself to stick with it. You would have thought they may have uploaded the wrong show.

Here is the opening of the podcast. I’ve eliminated the names and other identifying parts. I really don’t intend to call out anyone. I simply want to show you how chit chat can destroy your engagement.

Show host: Welcome to (marketing podcast). I’m your host (host name). (website). We’ve got a couple people hangin’ out in the live chat with us. (chat link) And you know, I shouldn’t say that, because I’ve taken the link down from the site. But if you’re listening and wanna see the schedule, it is fairly current. Although, not exactly throughout the summer. I am joined today, as I frequently am lately, by (co-host name) of (other show name). How’s it goin’ (co-host name)?

Co-host: It is wonderful up here.
Show host: Is the … uh … now you guys probably didn’t have a lot of snow like we didn’t have a lot of snow, which I’m still bummed about. But, I’m trying not to talk about it. How’s your … how’s your weather in ____?
Co-host: It’s pretty good. It’s, uh … it’s been a pretty warm winter.

They proceeded to discuss the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion for the first 10 minutes of the 30-minute show. At 10:45 into the show, host says, “Should we get into some questions?”

This is a show designed to coach businesses to attract more customers.

How did we get lost down some path about temperature conversions?

I’m not even sure I can say it got lost. The show never laid out the expectations of the show. Neither does the show title. As I’ve written before, the opening of the show must tell your audience what the show is all about right at the beginning. Let your listener know what to expect. Assume they are listening to the show for the very first time.

Six minutes into the show, they actually say, “You’re safe by now skipping over the first 10 minutes” of the show. What!?! You’ve got me, now you’re actually telling me this isn’t worth my time?

At this point they aren’t really lost. They are well aware they are wasting my time. There are over 100,000 podcasts available. These shows are all trying to attract me. These guys actually have me paying attention (the tough part) and are wasting the incredible opportunity. What are the chances I’ll actually be back?

In addition to the chit chat that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic, they gave you info at the open of the show that you can’t even act on. They gave you a chat link that isn’t even active anymore. They gave you a schedule which is “fairly” current, “although not exactly”. Then, they tell me I can skip over this part of the show.

This sort of chit chat destroys your credibility and trust. People have come to hear you deliver on your promise of your topic. Talking for ten minutes about the weather does not accomplish that, unless you are the Weather Channel podcast.

Your show must deliver on the brand promise right out of the box. That is the key to audience engagement. Your listener has come to your show for a reason. If you get lost on some tangent, your audience will be gone in a heartbeat.

In this case, there are many podcasts available dealing with marketing. Instead of continuing to listen to this podcast, I moved on and found the “Unpodcast” with Scott Stratten. Scott was one of the keynote speakers at NMX2014. Scott has a bit of chit chat in his episodes. The difference is the relevance of Scott’s chit chat to his topic.

Chit chat during your show is appropriate if you can link it back to your topic. Let’s say you open your show with, “My local television news did an amazing marketing job getting in front of 100,000 people this weekend at the sporting event simply by keeping fans up to speed on the weather.” If you follow that with some chit chat about how crazy the weather has been and how the station used that to their marketing advantage, you have linked it to your topic.

Chit chat here is perfectly acceptable. It makes sense.

If you are talking about the new studio you have built on a show about podcasting, that would be completely understandable.

If you are talking about your weekend fishing and have no way to link it to your podcast about automobile parts, you are wasting time.

It is a fine line. If the information supports your topic, you are on the right path. If it does not fit with the subject matter at hand, find another story that does.

Lay out the expectations in your introduction. Deliver on those expectations immediately. If you find you’re getting off on a tangent, get back on track as soon as possible.

You will quickly find you are talking to yourself if your listener says to themselves, “I think we’re lost.”

Intriguing Introduction

Use a great, personal story to lead with an intriguing introduction. This is where chit chat comes in handy. It is a personal, chit chat story that will engage people. Your chit chat brings them into the topic for this episode.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Stories Transform Your Podcast – PTC Episode 047

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Storytelling Transforms Your Podcast

Magazines

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

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stories help you connect, motivate and inspire.

There are four parts to the storytelling structure.

 

Engaging introduction

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

 

Vivid details

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

 

Powerful conclusion

Wrap up the story by reframing of your engaging introduction.

 

What else?

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

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

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

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

Storytelling transforms your podcast.

 

A few housekeeping notes this week.

Coupon code ends this week!

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

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

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

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

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

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

GET REVIEWED – CLICK HERE.

 

Podcast Movement

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

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

 

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

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

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

More Podcast Engagement – PTC Episode 034

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More Podcast Engagement – PTC Episode 034

A few notes this week …

A big thanks to Dave Jackson at The School of Podcasting for having me on his 400th episode. That was quite an honor. We had a lot of fun. Check it out when you have a minute.

 

The Podcast Talent Coach workbook is now available in paperback. The workbook will walk you step-by-step through my worksheets. You will gain a better understanding of the purpose behind each question and worksheet as you develop your content. Find it at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

I received an e-mail the other day that contained a question I’m asked quite often. For quite some time, I’ve tried to solve the problem myself. I’ve read books, listened to interviews, purchased products and reviewed tons of notes and articles I’ve collected over the years. The question? How do we create more engagement with our podcasts?

 

Before we jump into engagement, let’s review your checklist from last week. On the last episode, we discussed ways to sound more confident in your content. Your checklist included four items.

– Be yourself. Tell a story on your podcast this week that will reveal something about you.

– Do everything in your own style. Start by defining that style.

– Move beyond information by defining what is in it for your listener. Stir emotion.

– Review a past episode while actually listening like a listener.

Now that you have some time between posting the episode and reviewing it, this might be a good week to listen to your show like a listener. See if you actually accomplished all four points.

I hope the episode helped you and served you to create your podcast with more confidence.

 

Through all of my research and years of experience, I’ve discovered a few key steps to create interaction. This week, let’s cover 7 steps to create more engagement with your podcast.

 

1. Be A Storyteller For Success

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

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

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

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

 

2. Ask Them To Engage

How do you expect them to know you want them to be part of your show if you don’t ask?

Be sure to make your request specific. Tell your listener exactly what you want her to do.

 

3. Make It Easy To Engage

You may use social media, your website, an e-mail address, voicemail, or a number of other methods to reach you. Simplify it. Create one contact page on your website containing the info to avoid the need for a laundry list during your show. Then, always provide that one contact source. By using that one source, you also prevent your listener from getting caught in the decision paradox.

Make the questions specific, so they don’t have to think. Give your listener a question to answer or specific piece of information to provide. If he isn’t forced to be creative and “work” to create content for your show, you will have more success creating engagement.

 

4. Focus On Helping Others

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

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

Ziglar is a great example of helping people. His speeches always offer great tips to improve your life, sales or attitude. He also has great books, CDs and other products he sells. However, most of his time is spent on helping others. There is a lot of free Ziglar information available. He helps others and eventually sales come his way.

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

 

5. Make It About Them

If you want people to engage, there has to be something in it for them. Make them care.

 

6. Tease And Set Up The Next Episode

Prepare your audience to participate. Let them know the topic for next week. Then, ask them if they have a question about that particular topic. If you have a guest, ask if there is a question they would like you to ask. Michael Hyatt does a great job at this on his podcast “This Is Your Life“.

 

7.Thank Your Audience

Thanks for listening. I appreciate the help you give me.

It is such an easy way to strengthen your relationship with your audience. Your listeners have given you something they can never get back. That is their time.

Show your appreciation. A simple thank you will go a long way with your listener. If they know you are honestly grateful for their time, the chance they will listen again goes way up.

It must be honest and authentic. You can’t thank them in a gas-station-attendant-I’ll-never-see-you-again kind of way. You must deliver it from the heart. It should be the kind of thank you that you would give a stranger who stopped to help when you ran out of gas.

Your listener is your lifeblood. Without your listener you have no show. She has many, many choices when allocating her time. Let her know you appreciate her for spending her time with you.

… And thank you for stopping by. You have done a ton for me just by being here.

 

Next week we will discuss how to define your target audience better than the generic avatar you have now. We’ll get specific. If you have questions about that topic, head to www.PodcastTalentCoach.com to get your questions answered.

I’d love to help you with your podcast. Please let me know how I might be of assistance. You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Confidence To Begin A Podcast – PTC Episode 027

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Confidence To Begin A Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

This week, plan your show.

Determine the topics for the show.

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

Define your call-to-action.

 

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

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

Tell the truth, make it matter and have fun.

The Power Of You – PTC Episode 023

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The Power Of You

This week is a little self-reflection. I’m not sure I’m doing my job with my message and serving you as well as I can. Is my communication cutting through in the correct way?

This past weekend, I attended the New Media Expo (NMX) 2014 in Las Vegas. I had an incredible time and learned a lot. The inspiration I receive by attending these conferences is amazing.

The only thing more incredible than the inspiration is the friendships. Mike & Izabela from Music Radio Creative held a meet up at an amazing wine cellar within the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. We all had an incredible time mingling with other amazing podcasters. Mike & Izabela held the gathering in a room of the Wine Cellar & Tasting Room at the Rio. It was like sitting in their living room with couches, chairs and end tables near a bar filled with wine and cheese. The intimate setting really spawned some great discussions.

During the meet up, I had the chance to sit down with Kenn Blanchard from “Black Man With A Gun”, Dave Jackson from “School of Podcasting” and Rem Lavictoire from “The Sci-Fi Movie Podcast”. We had a great time sharing stories about our lives and podcasting. It was a gift.

Kenn mentioned to me that he wasn’t sure how my podcast would be received. He said I was so passionate and determined about my style that he felt it might turn some people off. I loved the feedback. His words really got me thinking.

I stepped back and assessed my message. Is my message really being communicated they way I hope it is? That leads us to the podcast this week.

My message is all about you. I never want to tell you how you should do anything. I want to show you ways it may be done and let you decide. I want you to be you in a way that only you can do it. It isn’t a prescription. It should be a thought starter.

There are a few things I wholeheartedly believe about any podcast, such as podcasts should be built to attract and grow an audience. I also believe every podcaster should be their own unique self. How that happens should be completely up to you.

Today, we discuss the power of you. Many thanks to Kenn Blanchard for showing me the path. His insights are cherished. Check out his NMX2014 session with the virtual ticket if you have the chance.

Here are the 8 facets of the Power of You.

 

1. Be yourself

Only you can be you

Don’t simply copy somebody else

2. Stick to your beliefs

Be true to yourself

Can’t consistently be something you’re not

Hard to fake it without tripping up

3. Tell the truth

Honesty fosters relationships

4. Use your personal style

To make your show unique, add your personal style

Do it in a way that only you can do it

5. Stories define your character

Listeners will learn about you with stories

Stories breed friendships

6. Have fun

People don’t simply want info, they want entertainment

Much more fun to learn when the content is entertaining

7. Be consistent

People know what they like and like what they know

They want to know what to expect when they listen – Deliver the goods every time

8. Be memorable

Own your category – When they think of your category, they think of you

Don’t want them to casually listen then go away

Hard to monetize your activities if you are not top-of-mind

Most marketing is focused on top-of-mind awareness and a strong call-to-action

Call-to-action is powerful when you are the first one that comes to mind

 

This week …

Review two of your shows to see if you are being yourself

Find one personal story to include in your next podcast

Do one thing in a way only you can do it and make it memorable

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Powerful Profitable Podcast Stories

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Powerful Profitable Podcast Stories

Our goal is to create meaningful relationships with our listeners. Powerful, profitable relationships. We use engaging content to solidify those friendships.

What did you reveal about yourself on your show this week?

From self-revelation comes friendship. Can you think of a true friend that you know very little about? Friendship become stronger the more you share with each other. People learn things about you through the stories you tell.

How can you use the stories you tell to solidify your brand and strengthen your relationships?

We’ve discussed storytelling in Podcast Talent Coach Episode 002.

-The Power of Great Storytelling

-The parts of a great story

-How to structure a story

Today, I want to teach you about three other areas of storytelling that can help transform your podcast into powerful, engaging entertainment.

What Did You Reveal Today?

When you tell stories on your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Vivid details are critical elements of great storytelling.

Details are more believable than generalities.

Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.

Details put your listener in the moment helping them envision your story in their mind.

Garrison Keillor, in one of his “Stories From Lake Wobegon”, describes a woman who endures crushing loneliness and town gossip. (read more)

Memorable Words

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

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

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

Part of the magic that was Seuss was created by the words he used. (read more)

Tease With Anticipation

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

Your podcast should be like a vacation you are planning to take. The fantastic anticipation for the trip is almost as pleasurable as the trip itself. You can’t wait for the trip to arrive.

You want your listener to feel the same way about your content. When they can’t wait for the story to arrive, you have created some great content.

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Beyond Defining Your Listener – PTC013

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Beyond Defining Your Listener

You’ve heard many times that you need to define your target listener.  What do they look like?  Who is your avatar?  Who is your ideal customer?

When most people define their target listener, they list age and gender.  If you stop their, you haven’t truly defined your listener.  Age and gender alone are pretty generic.

Defining your listener means moving beyond age and gender.  Discover what they need.  What are the hopes, dreams and fears of your target listener?  Where do they live?  What do they drive?  What is their family makeup?

In the episode this week, we discuss the many facets that make up listener definition.

Age & Gender

We begin with age and gender.  Though it is generic, we need to start with the basics.  You can find a 30-minute, deep-dive video on the differences between marketing to men and women here at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

Men and women are different.  I speak in generalities and stereotypes.  I realize these statements will not hold true in every case.  However, they are most common.

Why They Listen

Next, determine what you listener seeks.  Why do they listen to your show.  I’ll give you the first reason.  Companionship.  People do not want to be alone.  You are their friend and companion.  People have an inner need to be around other people.  You fill that role. (read more)

Make your listener feel comfortable, as if she is spending time with a friend.  When people listen to Adam Carolla, they feel like they know him.  He reveals so much about himself, you feel like you could have a beer and a conversation with him.  He fills that role.

Determine the other factors that bring your listener to your show.

Be Like You

Voyeurism is another reason people listen to the spoken word.  They want to live vicariously through the stories of others with the risk.  By telling stories, you allow your listener to experience the great things you’ve seen in life.  Your listener doesn’t need to put in the time, effort or work to get where you are in life.  They can live through your stories.

Here is a link to the worksheets that will help you go beyond age and gender when defining your target listener.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

What Makes Your Podcast Different?

What makes your podcast different?

When you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. Make people take notice.

You are an expert at your opinion. Give it to people. Take a stand. Pick a side.

Some of the nicest people make the worst podcast hosts. They try to please everyone in the audience. Those people tend to blend into the background and go unnoticed.

I once coached a radio host who was one of the best storytellers I had ever met. When he and I would meet one-on-one for coaching, he would tell me some of the funniest stories I had ever heard. He would tell me stories of his dad that would have me crying from laughing so hard.

He once told me his dad was absolutely convinced the PT Cruiser was the best car ever made. As much as my host would try to explain that the PT Cruiser was basically the Dodge Neon chassis with a different body, his father wouldn’t believe it. The two of them would get in these heated arguments in public about this car. Of all the things in life you could argue about, this happened to be the PT Cruiser. The way the story was told was full of fabulous details. The host really had the ability to make the stories come to life.

As much as I would encourage him, the host would not tell those stories on the radio. He didn’t believe the audience as a whole would be interested. Instead, he played it safe. He only discussed vanilla content that wouldn’t upset anyone. Unfortunately, the show never took hold.

If you’re not upsetting someone, you aren’t trying hard enough.

I would much rather have half the audience hate me and the other half love me rather than the entire audience have no opinion one way or the other. If the audience doesn’t have an opinion, they don’t care. I’m doing nothing to stir their emotion if I’m not making them pick a side.

If you haven’t picked a side and really focused your topic, people won’t care. They won’t be passionate about your show.

Speak your mind. Be different. Get noticed. Make people care.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

7 Keys To Interesting Podcast Content – PTC Episode 005

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7 Keys to Making Your Podcast Content Interesting and Not Simply Topical

This podcast is created to help you with the ART of podcasting. Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment. I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.

In this episode we cover …

1. Attracting people with benefits and not simply contents

2. Be well prepared, not scripted

3. Attract people by being creative

4. Fear is the enemy of creativity

5. Listen to your guest, and be interesting by being interested

6. Tell stories instead of reading them

7. Keep it simple

Can I Be You? …

ID-100109373

Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyeurism. Eavesdropping.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Tell Me Your Podcast Is Funny …

Don’t Tell Me Your Podcast Is Funny.

Fewer things are less funny than somebody telling you they are funny.

When somebody starts a story with, “Ok, this is funny”, the story rarely lives up to its billing.

My latest post on the New Media Expo blog deals with this very issue.  Check it out HERE.

Just be funny, or don’t.  Either way, don’t tell me you’re funny.  That diminishes the humor.

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

Avoid The Shiny Objects …

 

Avoid the shiny objects.

(photo by scantynebula)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk To Me, Not At Me …

 

Talk To Me, Not At Me

(photo by Albo)

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

Podcasting is an intimate conversation with one person.  The conversation is typically one person speaking into a microphone addressing another single individual.

There may sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people listening.  However, they are all listening by themselves.  Even in an automobile with others listening via communal speakers, the members of the audience are listening alone in their own head.  Each listener is developing their own unique, mental images.

Garrison Keillor paints fantastic, mental pictures for his listeners. On his show “A Prairie Home Companion”, Keillor describes Lake Wobegon as “the little town that time forgot, and the decades cannot improve,” and as the town “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” It is that idealistic, fantasy town where everyone wishes they lived. As you listen to his stories, you get the feeling that Keillor is talking directly to you personally. That approach is the key to personal connections with your listener.

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

— 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.

When you are podcasting, talk “to” your listener.  Don’t talk “at” her.

Keep Yourself Out …

Keep yourself out.

(photo by zen2000)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do your homework. Ask wonderful, open-ended questions that set up great stories. Then, sit back and listen. When it comes to interviewing, keep yourself out.

Turn Over The Interview Rocks …

Turn over the interview rocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

None of this would have happened if I had just read Miranda’s bio, website and news release.  If you want great questions, dig a little bit.

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

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

Are You Important Yet? …

Are you important yet?

(photo by tofi)

The most important marketer in a person’s life is someone they know, like and trust.

This is the primary reason word-of-mouth is so powerful. The recommendation that comes from word-of-mouth usually only comes from a friend. A friend is someone you know, like and trust.

If the recommendation comes from someone you don’t know, the message is no longer word-of-mouth. The suggestion is now called “marketing”, or “sales” or “a pitch”.

If you want the call-to-action within your podcast to be effective, you need to build that trusting relationship with your listener. From your stories will come self-revelation. This will allow your listener to get to know you. By being yourself and sincere, you will become likable. Finally, if you continually help your listener get what they want by putting their interests first, you will build trust.

On The Dave Ramsey Show, Dave helps people with every call he receives. Out of six or eight calls and e-mails he answers in an hour, he may mention his books, websites or seminars once. He will always mention his “baby steps” philosophy. However, he will rarely suggest people buy his products.

Dave reveals many personal things about his past and his family. The listener gets to know him. He is often blunt and honest. Dave’s tough love makes him likable. The help he provides his callers builds trust. These steps make Dave’s manta become a true following. His listeners spread the word to the point where The Dave Ramsey Show has around 5 million listeners.

If you have built a true friendship with your listener, where they know, like and trust you, your call-to-action will be powerful. Spend time creating that relationship between your brand and your listener. Then and only then can you effectively use word-of-mouth.

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

Are you important yet?

What Did You Reveal Today? …

What did you reveal today?

(photo by photoblaz)

When you tell stories on your podcast, you reveal things about yourself. Vivid details are critical elements of great storytelling.

Details are more believable than generalities.

Details reveal specifics about your thoughts, beliefs and character.

Details put your listener in the moment helping them envision your story in their mind.

Garrison Keillor, in one of his “Stories From Lake Wobegon”, describes a woman who endures crushing loneliness and town gossip. Keillor says, “She got into bed with a dying man – so she could sing ‘Abide With Me’ in his good ear”. You can see the details in your mind. Envision the man’s hearing aid. Can you hear the song? There are so many details in that one sentence, many of which aren’t even described.

Lake Wobegon is a fictitious place, yet is believable due to the details. The story details reveal what Keillor finds amusing. The story is also vivid enough that you can see it in your mind.

That’s the wonderful thing about audio. Everyone sees their own personal, mental images in their own way. Those differences add to the enjoyment and entertainment of the story. Each listener can enjoy the unspoken details in their own way. They are not at the mercy of the interpretation of a movie director.

Tell great stories. Use vivid details. What did you reveal today?

Out Of Self-Revelation Comes Trust …

Out of self-revelation comes trust.

(photo by Vatikaki)

If you wish to have your audience/listener/customer act on your call-to-action (sales pitch, invitation, read your blog again), you must first create trust. People buy things from people they trust.

A person will only trust you if 1.) they believe you have their best interest at heart and 2.) they believe you trust them.

A relationship moves beyond acquaintance to friendship when trust is developed.

People will believe you trust them when you reveal things about yourself to them. Your revelations show you trust the other person to hear you without judgement.

If you give first, your counterpart will be more likely to give in return. If you show trust, they will eventually show trust in return.

When you tell great stories in your podcast, you begin to develop strong relationships with your listeners by revealing details about yourself and trusting your audience with those details.

Howard Stern reveals his inadequacies often on his show. Domino’s Pizza revealed their missteps in their latest ad campaign. When Oprah Winfrey revealed her personal issues and troubles, people loved her even more.

Create a trustworthy, solid, effective brand by telling great stories. Out of self-revelation comes trust.

Unique, Vivid, Mental Images …

Unique, Vivid, Mental Images.

(photo by Chris Harvey)

When someone tells a story, on the radio or in a podcast, it is theater of the mind. When you hear the old-time radio show describe the dim light in the servant’s quarters, the scenery is playing out in your mind in a unique way unlike the way anyone else could envision it. No other person is imagining the clothing of the characters the exact same way you are imagining them. That mental theater is unique to you. You are listening and imagining by yourself.

Podcasts make the one-on-one approach even more important. Podcasts are often enjoyed through headphones. Your audience is truly listening by themselves. The headphones block out all other sounds and distractions. You have multiple “one person” audiences at the same time. Yet, it is still always one person and their imagination.

Connect with your “one person” audience by creating a great theater. The theater will be different for each listener, because they are using their individual imagination. Create a movie, and put the listener in it. Make the story an individual experience for the listener. Engage the listener with vivid details and a fantastic storyline. Make them forget they are listening to a podcast.

Create great theater of the mind. Create unique, vivid, mental images.

Put Your Audience In The Story …

Put your audience in the story.

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

You have probably seen a movie like “Silence of the Lambs” where you completely lose awareness of your surroundings as you’re sucked into the scene. It may have been a movie like “Casablanca” where Rick and Ilsa say goodbye at the very end. Those are two great stories that put you right there in the moment.

Stories told by great storytellers do the same thing. Garrison Keillor is probably one of the best storytellers of our time. When listening to this story, you can see the guy Keillor describes in a few short seconds. He includes great lines like, “… In the midst of drinking a Bombardier at the Moonlight Bay Supper Club and she’d gone off with him to the Romeo Motel.” The story is short, yet the details are vivid.

If you can create details so vivid that your listeners can almost feel them, you can truly put her in the story. Your listener will be fully engaged. That is where information becomes entertainment. Strengthen your relationship with your podcast listener at every opportunity. Put the audience in the story.

Stories Define Your Character …

Stories define your character

I’m not simply talking about your integrity. By character, I mean all of the attributes that create you, as in character in a play.  Your stories help define who you are as a person.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Delightful Details Dazzle

Delightful details dazzle.

Great storytellers use delightful details.

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

When you’ve used an intriguing introduction in your podcast, your listener can now enjoy the details of your story. The more vivid the details, the more your listener will enjoy the story. Make them see the story in their mind. Draw the mental picture for them.

“We were walking through the woods when I lost my footing, rolled down a hill and into some mud.” Generic stories like this do very little to spark the imagination.

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

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

Put your listener in the moment. Always include delightful details in your story.