Tag Archives: topics

How To Create Engaging Podcast Topics – Episode 149

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How To Create Engaging Podcast Topics – Episode 149

Copyright : golubovy
Copyright : golubovy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What daily happenings capture my attention?

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

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

What has happened in my past that created vivid memories?

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

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

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

What articles have capture your attention?

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

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

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

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

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

What conversations have you had today that were truly engaging?

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

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

What questions are people in your industry asking?

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

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

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

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

Brainstorm your notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Organize Your Podcast Content – Episode 135

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How To Organize Your Podcast Content – Episode 135

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

 

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

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

Not at all.

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

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

THE CLOCK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPONTANEITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

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Where To Find Podcast Topic Ideas – Episode 121

Magazines

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

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

You simply need to find topics that pique your interest.

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

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

YOUR INTEREST

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

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

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

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

TOPIC GENERATION

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

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

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

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

Use articles out of everyday periodicals.

PLAN IT

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

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

EXAMPLES

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

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

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

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

TOOLS

Ten Questions from the Topic Development Worksheet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

Here Is A Method That Helps Successful Radio Professionals Find Great Topics – Episode 109

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Here Is A Method That Helps Successful Radio Professionals Find Great Topics – Episode 109

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. What daily happenings capture my attention?

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

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

2. What has happened in my past that created vivid memories?

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

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

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

3. What articles have capture your attention?

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

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

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

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

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

4. What conversations have you had today that were truly engaging?

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

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

5. What questions are people in your industry asking?

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

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

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

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

NEXT: Brainstorm your notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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How To Improve Your Podcast In 9 Steps – Episode 105

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Did you accomplish your goal for the show?

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

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

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

2. What did you like about the show?

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

3. What was memorable about the show?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Where did you surprise your audience?

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

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

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

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

6. What did you reveal about yourself?

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

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

7. Where were the powerful words?

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

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

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

8. What could have been better?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know how I can help.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

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How To Develop A Show Clock – Episode 084

Podcast Clocks

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

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

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

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

QUESTIONS TO START

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

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

What is the goal of your podcast?

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

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

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

EXAMPLE CLOCK

(Get sample clocks HERE.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLOCK PITFALLS & EXCEPTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

5 Questions To Find Your Podcast Focus – Episode 077

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5 Questions To Find Your Focus – PTC Episode 077

Focus

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SHOW ON iTUNES HERE.

itunes logo

 

Whether you are a seasoned podcaster or brand new to the game, refining your podcast focus is always an important step to keep your listener engaged.

Brand new podcasters can use these five questions to refine the focus of their podcast idea.

Podcasters have been doing it for awhile can use these though starters in order to step back and assess the quality of their content and determine if they are reaching the goals established.

These questions will help you find content that your listener desires, solve a problem your listener encounters often, and find topics that make it easy for you to create that sticky content.

Sharpen your podcast focus using these five questions.

What are you passionate about?

– You will find it much easier to create content on a regular basis if you are discussing something that stirs your passion.

 

What are your unique qualities?

– Your unique qualities will separate you from the other podcasts in your niche.

 

What topics tend to occupy your conversations?

– If you find it easy to often discuss a topic in conversation, you will find it easy to discuss it regularly on your podcast.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

– Your passions usually occupy your spare time. If you find those things that occupy your spare time, you may have a solid topic for your podcast.

 

What topics do people ask you about most?

– If people are asking you about particular topics, that is usually a good signal there is a problem there along with some interest.

 

Make your content more engaging. Use these 5 questions to sharpen your podcast focus.

 

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.

You Are An Expert – PTC Episode 053

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You Are An Expert – PTC Episode 053

Podcast ExpertPodcast ExpertPodcast ExpertPodcast Expert

As I was grabbing a quick bite to eat at the local fast food restaurant earlier this week, I was reminded we are all an expert at something to someone.

After ordering my food, I pulled up to the drive thru window of the fast food restaurant to pay. My total came to $4.38. I handed the kid in the window $5.38. The amount completely puzzled him.

He looked at the currency for quite some time. I was beginning to think he didn’t realize I needed change. After what seemed like two minutes, he looked around for his manager.

When he realized his manager was helping another customer, he looked back at the money trying to devise a plan B.

The kid finally stuck his head into the window and asked, “Are you good at math?”

I said, “The total was $4.38, right?” He replied with, “Yeah.” I said, “You owe me a dollar.”

“Oh, that’s what I thought,” he replied with relief as he ducked to the register to retrieve my dollar.

At that point, I realized we are all an expert to somebody. Even people who do not normally deal in American currency could probably guess that $5.38 minus $4.38 equals $1. To this kid, I could have been Newton or Archimedes or Pythagoras.

You may not feel you are an expert in your field, because you don’t have the experience or success equal to others. On the other hand, realize you have more experience than the beginner.

If you think about where you were two years ago, you are much more experienced than a person in that position now. Help those folks make the two-year journey to get to the point where you are now.

Six Ways To Demonstrate Your Expertise

Help people learn what you know.

Help people find the tools you have discovered through your journey.

Help people find the right people in the industry where they can learn more.

Find people who are in a position that you have conquered.
Share your stories of triumph and woe to encourage those following behind you.

Help those that do not have quite as much knowledge and experience that you have.

If you have been in your field for any length of time, there will always be somebody with less experience than you. Find those people, and help them succeed.

You may not be number one in the field. That doesn’t matter. You can always be seen as an expert in the eyes of someone at some point. You simply need to find them. Then, help them in your expert sort of way. Who knows, maybe you are good at math.

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.

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.

8 Questions To Better Podcasts – PTC Episode 050

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8 Questions To Better Podcasts – PTC Episode 050

8 Questions To Better Podcasts

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

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

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

Ask yourself these questions

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

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

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

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Where To Begin Podcasting – PTC 046

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Let’s help you determine where to begin podcasting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

1. What do you hope to accomplish?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

The Show Funnel Solution – PTC Episode 041

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The Show Funnel Solution – PTC Episode 041

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

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

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

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

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

 

1. Develop A Goal For Your Show

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

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

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

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

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

 

2. Prepare For Your Show

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. Tease Me

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

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

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

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

 

4. Create A Power Intro

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

A well-crafted introduction serves two purposes.

First, it tells the brand new listener who is hearing the show for the very first time exactly what to expect from the show. It is like the intro to a late night talk show. “From New York. It’s the Late Show with David Letterman. Tonight, Tom Cruise. Larry The Cable Guy. And Katy Perry. Letters from the mail bag. Tonight’s Top Ten list. And Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra. And now, former New York City Medical Examiner … David Letterman.” You know exactly what is coming your way, even if you have never seen the show before.

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

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

 

5. Make Your Listener The Star

Make your listener the star. It is your show. You know where it is going. When listeners are involved in your show, it is always your job to lead your guest and make them the star.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

A few housekeeping notes for you.

Dave Jackson and I are now hosting the Podcast Review Show together. Our guests appear on the show to have their podcast reviewed by the two of us. Typically, hiring the two of us individually for an hour would be hundreds of dollars. Not only do you get an hour of consulting from us on this show, you get to plug your show for a sixty minutes.

Our guests typically pay $99 to be featured on the show. I’ve convinced Dave to cut you a break. By using the code coach50, you can appear on the show for only $49.50. You get half off. Still an hour. Still feedback from both of us. Still plugging your show. Half the price.

The code is coach50.

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

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

 

If you are truly serious about building your podcast, improving your show and increasing your traffic, you should also be attending the Podcast Movement in Dallas on August 16 & 17. Find my affiliate link online at PodcastTalentCoach.com.

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Focus Of Your Podcast – PTC Episode 037

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Focus Of Your Podcast – PTC Episode 037

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

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

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

Show Focus

I was listening to the Solopreneur Hour Podcast with Michael O’Neal this week. His show is one of my regular, weekly listens. The podcast frequently features an interview with a successful person in business. Michael does a nice job relating his content to my business.

Many podcasters get lost in the interview and fail to make the important connection to the listener.

When you define the focus of your show, you create a filter for your content. This filter helps determine which content makes the show. It also helps frame your content with respect to your listener.

(Get the “Show Focus Worksheet” HERE.)

To succeed, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd. You cannot simply be better. You must be amazingly different. Make the connection of your content to the needs of your listeners. Help your audience solve their problems and eliminate their frustrations.

Even if you are a seasoned podcaster, it may be time for a tune up. Does your show have a strong focus? Is your content truly helping your listener? Have you defined what is in it for them?

Begin with your passions. When you are creating your podcast, find subject matter that stirs a fire inside you. If you can talk about it for hours, you are probably on target. If you can come up with fifty different topics on your area of interest, you could have a winning subject.

What topics and subjects typically occupy most of your conversations? This is probably where you will find the focus of your podcast. You will be talking about the same subject matter show after show. You better love it. To be interesting, you first need to be interested.

Once you have your topic, define your unique qualities. Remember, you don’t simply want to be better. You want to be amazingly different from the others. My show is focused on content. Where most shows about podcasting center on the technical aspect, I use my 25 years of broadcasting experience to create content you cannot find elsewhere. That is my unique position.

This is where we narrow your topic. Really focus on the niche. You cannot be everything to everybody. Being broad creates a bland podcast that lacks focus. Be specific.

The size of your niche is not nearly as important as the passion of the niche. Help people that are passionate about your topic. This is where you will succeed.

Where can you help? Determine what frustrates your listeners. Figure out what your audience needs to do to double their business or happiness or success. Then, help them accomplish those things. Create solutions with your show.

Finally, use this filter for all of your content. Define the focus of your show. As you prepare for each episode, run your topics and content through this filter to ensure the focus is on your listener.

If you are interviewing people on your show, run it through your filter. What is in it for your listeners? How can they put that information to use?

Even if you are a comedy podcast for entertainment only, your listener is still getting a benefit from your show. They are coming to you for companionship. They want to forget about their problems for a bit. Your content filter should ensure you are helping them accomplish that goal.

 

Here is your “to do” list for this week.

1. Step back for an overview of your show. Define the goal for your podcast.

2. Determine where and how you are helping your listeners.

3. Ensure your niche is focused enough.

4. Put all of your content through your listener filter.

 

Next week, we will discuss tips for the two-person podcast. We will examine five areas you should define and develop if you have a show with multiple hosts.

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Podcast Negativity Trap – PTC Episode 036

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Podcast Negativity Trap – PTC Episode 036

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

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

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

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

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

Negativity in your life is destructive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Positive Solutions

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

 

Use Proper Planning

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

 

Review Your Show

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

 

Stick To The Tough Work

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

 

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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.

Podcast Brand Positioning – PTC Episode 025

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Podcast Brand Positioning – PTC 025

At NMX 2014 in Las Vegas at the beginning of January, I discovered a ton of great podcasts and met many new, fantastic people. Here are a few of the new podcasts I’ve been enjoying lately.

As I was listening to new podcasts, I heard one particular show get concerned over a critical review he received from anonymous individual. I understand podcasters are concerned with reviews. Your show is your art. It is your baby they are calling ugly.

Please remember, one listener is such a small percentage of your overall listenership. There will always be somebody critical of you and your point of view. If you have 100 listeners, that is only 1% of your audience.

If you have people commenting one way or the other, positively or negatively, at least you are making them care. Trying to ride the fence is a lonely place. Stir some emotion.

Your firm dedication to your position is critical for your brand. Stand for something. Politicians aren’t trusted, because they constantly change their mind.

Be concrete in your beliefs. If you love something, shout it from the rooftops. If you really dislike something, be open about it. Either way, stand your ground for the health of your brand.

 

On the show this week, we discuss …

7 Ways To Protect The Positioning Of Your Podcast Brand

1. Talk about what you care about – Find topics that excite you

2. Show prep – Know your position

3. Have a goal for every episode – When listening to “Smart Passive Income” with Pat Flynn, Pat said podcasters and speakers should always ask, “What transformation do you hope to have happen for your audience?”

4. Make it interesting by being interested – Even with guests

5. Don’t take the first idea, work a topic

  • Various things to do with a topic
  • Doesn’t always have to be an interview
  • Parody song, skit, long form report with natural sound (experience), demonstration

6. Never be boring – Do something unexpected

7. Have a strategy – Not only what you hope to accomplish, but how to accomplish & how it affects the brand.

Shout out to Kathy Kelly at “Special Mouse” podcast. The show is described as “Disney parks and travel planning for guests with a wide variety of health issues and special needs.” www.SpecialMouse.com.

Mario from www.210LocalMedia.com. This show is described as “Art, music, film & entertainment around San Antonio, Texas.”

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

How To Find Podcast Topics – PTC Episode 019

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How To Find Podcast Topics

One challenge to podcasting is coming up with topics for every episode.  However, topics are everywhere. You can find them in everyday life.  You simply have to look and be creative.

In this show, we use two unrelated magazine articles to generate show topic examples for Podcast Talent Coach.  You then learn how to use this method to create topics for your show.  Finally, we discuss the importance of digging past the first idea to find the best idea.

To generate topic ideas, I highlight interesting words, phrases and sentences from the first two paragraphs.  I then brainstorm on those words to create topics for my show.

The first article is from INC magazine.  “The More Competitors, The Better” comes from p20 of the Nov 2013 issue.  You can read the article by clicking here.

Here are a few topic examples.

Hybrid cars – What are some of the leading edge innovations in podcasting?

“A bigger field would help jump-start the market” – What are we doing as podcasters to grow the industry & medium?

“If competition is good for a billion-dollar automaker, why not for your start-up?” – The top 8 things you can learn from your competition.  – How to fish where the fish are when marketing.

“… Shown the benefits that competition brings to similar businesses within an industry” – Who are the podcast leaders and what can we learn from them?  – How can other shows help boost our show?

We’ve just generated 6 possible topics from the first two paragraphs of an article.

You may think it is easy, because it is a business magazine. Let’s look at an unrelated field.

The next article comes from USA Hockey Magazine.  “The Meek Shall Inherit the Ice” is on p20 of the June/July 2013 issue.  You can read the article by clicking here.

“When the nation’s top quarted of college hockey teams hook up at a neutral site, only one gets to go home with a shiny gold trophy”  – What makes a winning podcast.  – Examine the winners of the podcast awards.  – What industry events are available to allow us to learn?

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

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

Here we’ve generated 10 questions from two paragraphs.  In total, we have come up with 16 topics from 4 paragraphs of two articles.  That would easily last us for a couple months if we were creating our podcast once per week.

This is where you need to push yourself.  Don’t settle for your first idea.  Brainstorm.

Don’t Settle For The First Idea

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

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

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

On her television show, Ellen DeGeneres asks fun, off-the-wall questions of her guests. She will get them talking about crazy topics you don’t hear on other shows. DeGeneres may even compete with the guest in football throwing or put them in a dunk tank. Whatever it is, her content is always different from her competition. (read more)

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Strategy For Each Topic …

Strategy For Each Topic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Structure Will Help Define Your Topics …

Structure Will Help Define Your Topics

Deciding the correct topics for your show is instrumental when creating consistency for your podcast. Once you have developed the goal for your podcast and a goal for this particular episode, you need to determine which topics you hope to discuss. Select your topics carefully. Creating a show structure will help you find the right topics.

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

Your show should have a structure that you follow for each episode. Your structure is a rough guideline that can be easily followed by your listeners. Structure creates consistency.

An example podcast structure might begin with your show open and a quick overview of the episode. You could then include some news about your business and the industry in general. A short guest interview could be next followed by listener e-mail questions. Finally, you could end with a recap and contact information. Each week, you simply plug in new content to each segment.

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

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

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

A structure for your show will bring consistency to your show. Your audience will know what to expect each time they listen to the show. You can then populate the structure with your topics. Structure will help define your topics.

The Goal For Your Episode …

The Goal For Your Episode

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

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

Overall, what do you hope to accomplish with this particular episode? Define the call to action you hope to make your listeners take. Here, you are defining the ultimate purpose of this specific show. The purpose of this particular episode may be more focused than the overall goal for the podcast as a whole. If the general goal for your podcast is to teach people how to coach lacrosse, the goal of the show today might be to discuss the power of Double-Goal Coaching. The goal today is a subset of the goal for the podcast overall.

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

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

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

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

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

Know where you are going before you actually begin the trip. Your first step in creating your podcast should always be defining the goal for your episode.

Focus Your Podcast Topic …

Focus Your Podcast Topic

When you try to be all things to all people, you end up being nothing.

Focus your topic on what you know best. Be opinionated. Be passionate. Pick a side. Be unique. Most of all, be consistent.

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

Let’s take Dave Ramsey for example. During the opening of “The Dave Ramsey Show”, Dave says, “Where debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.”

Dave’s show is a personal finance show. Moreover, it is a show about getting out of debt. Dave helps people find ways to pay off their debt and become financially stable.

“The Dave Ramsey Show” doesn’t discuss particular stocks or mutual funds. It doesn’t discuss how to go about investing other than simply suggesting you sock away 15 percent of your income for retirement and then some for college.

Dave’s show recommends 7 basic steps to financial security. He has been doing a show on these 7 steps for over 20 years. Every show, everyday, every call. It’s all about these 7 steps in some way or another.

When you tune into “The Dave Ramsey Show”, you know what you will get. Dave is focused.

Now, if Dave talked about the benefits of real estate investing on one show and the pitfalls of no-load mutual funds on another, you would never know what to expect. You wouldn’t know what the show would be about on any particular day.

There are times where Dave will focus a particular hour on entrepreneurs. Even these shows are centered around the 7 steps. He helps businesses start and operate debt free.

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

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

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

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

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.

Let’s Help Each Other …

Let’s help each other.

(Photo by Grafvision)

I would love to answer any question you might have about your podcast. I have been in broadcasting for well over 20 years. Coaching on-air radio talent has been part of my day-to-day role since 1995. Studying and developing marketing and promotional campaigns for our radio stations and clients is also something I do on a regular basis.

If you could use some help in any of these areas, please shoot me an e-mail at Erik.Johnson@Cox.net.

Your questions will help me refine my blog. You will help me select topics. It will also make the blog much more enjoyable for you. I would love to hear your questions.

If you could take a minute to shoot me an e-mail, or even comment on any of my posts that may have helped you, I would truly appreciate it. Making this blog better is always my goal.

Let me know how I can help you. In turn, let’s help each other.

Make It Interesting By Being Interested …

Make it interesting by being interested.

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

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

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

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

Don’t Settle For The First Idea …

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

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

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

On her television show, Ellen DeGeneres asks fun, off-the-wall questions of her guests. She will get them talking about crazy topics you don’t hear on other shows. DeGeneres may even compete with the guest in football throwing or put them in a dunk tank. Whatever it is, her content is always different from her competition. Her interviews always contain a ton of laughs. She will always eventually get to the topic the guest is there to promote, like a movie or book. Before she does, DeGeneres will always have a lot of fun in a unique way.

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

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

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