Tag Archives: Voice

8 Podcasting Tips & Tricks – Episode 115

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8 Podcasting Tips & Tricks – Episode 115

Tips & Tricks

This week, I would like to share a few podcasting tips and tricks I have learned over my 25 years of broadcasting. These tips will help you with your interviews, editing, voice and sound quality.

1. Stronger Interviews

Would you like to make your interviews stronger?

There are times when your guest is not great at thinking on their feet. Sometimes it takes a couple sentences before she really hits her stride with her answer to our question.

To make your interview content stronger, prepare the guest ahead of time. Tell your guest to feel free to pause a few seconds to gather his thoughts before he begins to answer the question. You will edit out the silence before the podcast goes live.

This little instruction will help your guest prepare much stronger answers. And, it will only take a little editing on your part.

Next, tell your guest it is perfectly acceptable to stop and begin his answer again. If your guest feels the answer isn’t as strong as he had hoped, he can pause 10 seconds for an easy edit and then begin again.

This instruction will also provide some peace of mind for your guest. Simply knowing he can start again can sometimes calm his nerves and help him provide stronger answers in the first place.

2. Land Great Guests

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

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

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

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

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

3. Better Interview Answers

If you want to get more from your guest and get deeper answers to your interview questions, do not be afraid of the pregnant pause. Many hosts panic as soon as the conversation stops.

Let the silence sit there for a few seconds. Just as you typically jump in when you hear silence, your guest will do the same. If you do not talk, your guest will speak up. It is natural.

If the pause gets too long, you can always edit the audio. Take the silence out if it sounds unnatural.

If your guests provides a short answer, or you would like more, don’t talk. Allow that pregnant pause to encourage them to talk more. You will be surprised by the effectiveness of the pause. Not talking is a learned skill just like talking is a talent.

4. Have More Energy

If you want to better project your voice and sound like you have more energy, stand up while you record.

Many podcast “coaches” will recommend that you sit down, because it will help you sound more natural. These teachers unfortunately do not understand how the human voice works.

In order to project your voice, your diaphragm needs to work properly. Your larynx needs to be fully open. Your vocal chords need to have a sufficient oxygen supply.

When you stand, your entire airway opens to the extent that it can fully function. Your diaphragm can send sufficient air to your vocal chords. Your vocal chords will then need to do less work. Your voice will not get tired as quickly. You can project your voice with less effort.

When you sit, your abdomen is squashed. Your diaphragm does not have enough room to move properly. You then need to force the air through your vocal chords to create sound. In the end, your voice becomes tired.

Have you ever been at a cocktail party or networking event and found yourself saying, “Hey, let’s sit down so I can sound more conversational with you”? I didn’t think so.

If you believe you cannot sound natural and conversational while standing, just smile and stop yelling. Sitting has nothing to do with having a conversation.

5. Stop The Pop

If you want to avoid popping your Ps, talk across the microphone at a 30-45 degree angle rather than directly into it.

Your Ps pop when the burst of air from your mouth attacks the diaphragm inside the mic. When you talk across the mic rather than directly into it, the air doesn’t hit the mic so hard. This will keep your Ps clean.

6. Like Your Voice More

We often do not like the sound of our own voice. There are many reasons, many of them physiological.

There is one trick that will help your voice sound less bouncy, less singsongy, and less like a puking radio DJ. It is the way you use your headphones.

First, turn down the volume of your headphones. This will help you hear the natural sound of your voice.

Next, only wear one cup of the headphones leaving the other ear open. This will help you hear your natural voice without the enhancement of any audio equipment.

These two tips will help you deliver your content in a manner that is closer to your normal conversational voice.

These may not make you suddenly love your voice. However, your voice will sound more natural. This adjustment should help you like your voice just a bit more.

7. Cleaner Edits

Here is a quick tip to make cleaner edits.

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

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

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

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

This leaves a final product of <last word> into <breath 2>. The audible clunk comes from the unnatural transition between a word and a breath that didn’t naturally follow it.

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

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

The way you inhale after words varies. They way you start a sentence with a particular vowel or consonant usually remains constant.

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

8. Better Audio

If your audio sounds like you are in a canyon or restroom, you need something to absorb the sound waves in your studio.

Many podcasters record in a spare bedroom or the basement next to the water heater. These rooms are not always the best recording environments. Your mic may pick up a lot of echo as the sound waves bounce off of the walls.
To deaden the room, you need some baffling. Before you go spend a ton of money on expensive baffling, try creating your own from comforters, blankets, packing foam or other household items.

Here is a link to a great video that will teach you how to build your own baffling. CLICK HERE.
Are you stuck? 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.

More Podcast Confidence – PTC Episode 033

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How To Develop More Podcast Confidence

Self-confidence is a battle we all face. Do you feel like you don’t belong amongst the best in your niche?  Do you sometimes wish there was somebody that would give you that little boost of validation?  Most recently, I received nearly the same question. How do I become comfortable as a speaker?

We have discussed this topic in the past on the Podcast Talent Coach podcast. In episode 012, I offered tips to become more comfortable with the timber and sound of your voice. This week, I would like to give you a few ideas to use to develop more confidence in your content.

I had a coaching call and received an e-mail in the past couple weeks that included this topic. Both podcasters were unsure of their speaking ability. They felt they may lack authority on their topic.

I had a coaching call with a gentleman who had recently launched a new podcast. His career to this point had involved public speaking and presenting. He was self-conscious of how he sounded on his podcast. He asked if he should get a voice coach.

The second question came in an e-mail.

“So far I have interviewed and recorded 3 people and when editing I’m realizing how much I hate my voice and because of that I feel unsure about putting anything out. Though the desire to podcast and be a liable presence is there is it possible to have a nervous sounding voice and still taken seriously? I don’t know why I sound so timid and unsure because these people I’m interviewing are so far of people I know but as soon as I press that record button my presence seems to change. Do you have any tips? I hope there is still a chance for me. I hope this is just a newbie problem and something that I can eventually overcome.”

We all face the inner critic. We are unsure how we can sound like an authority in our niche. What can we do to develop more confidence in ourselves as we create our content each and every week?

This week, we discuss four steps to become more comfortable & confident with your content.

 

BE YOURSELF

A great podcast is a great relationship. It is just like creating a great brand. In order to develop that solid relationship, you must be yourself. You can’t fake it.

When you try to be someone or something you are not, you will not sound authentic. Eventually, the truth will come out.

Have you ever met someone you had admired from afar, only to have them do something that didn’t fit with your image of them? Maybe it was a baseball player, or a movie star, or a politician or a musician. You met them with great expectations of an encounter with your hero only to find out they were rude and average. It turned out they were only being who they thought they should be for the public when really they were someone completely different in real life.

Everyone has their flaws. That is what makes them human. Howard Stern has flaws. He makes his flaws part of his show. Domino’s Pizza admitted the errors of their ways with their cheap, low quality pizza. They laid it out for the world to see in their marketing. Your listener will accept your flaws. They will feel like you are “one of them” when you admit your flaws upfront. Don’t be afraid to expose yourself.

When your listener discovers you are something other than the character you portray, the bond of trust will be demolished. Your relationship will be forever damaged.

Build a solid brand. Be yourself.

 

YOUR STYLE

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

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

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

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

Howard Stern began as a radio DJ sounding like every other radio DJ. He was playing the records and spouting the lines written by management while going nowhere. When Stern decided he was going to do radio his way, he began to make a name for himself. He also went to the top.

Rush Limbaugh followed a very similar path. He had a cheesy radio name. He followed the format designed by somebody else. Limbaugh made every attempt to fulfill the typical radio DJ stereotype. He also got fired again and again. When he decided to broadcast in his style and true to his beliefs, he began his rise to the top.

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

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

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

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

 

MOVE BEYOND INFORMATION

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

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

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

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

 

REVIEW YOUR SHOW

Review your show on a regular basis. Actually listen like a listener. That is the only way to improve.

Many hosts finish recording a show and think, “That was pretty good. What’s next?” They might recreate parts of the show in their head to determine what might make the show better next time. Usually, there isn’t much time spent actually reviewing a show. There are so many other duties to handle. It’s on to the next thing, which is probably editing, posting, and promoting the show.

In order to make your podcast better, you need to spend quality time listening to the show. Play it back. Grab a pad of paper and write down the parts that jump out at you. Jot down the “oh wow” moments. Take note of the sections that didn’t work exactly as you planned.

You will only find these moments when you listen like a listener. The show will sound much different to you when you listen back than it did as you were recording it. You will hear things you didn’t notice as you were focused on creating the content. Words that you overuse will suddenly become noticeable to you.

Once you have created the lists of good and not-so-good, create two more lists. First, determine how can you create more of the “oh wow” moments on the show. How might you incorporate into the show more of the great content that worked? Second, make a list of ways you can eliminate the parts that weren’t polished enough.

Get on the road to show improvement. Review your show on a regular basis.

 

To Do This Week

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Your Professional Podcast Sound – PTC Episode 032

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Your Professional Podcast Sound

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

PREPARE FOR YOUR SHOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

STAY FOCUSED

Avoid the shiny objects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

REPLACE THE CLICHES

That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

If you find yourself saying “obviously” or “of course”, you are making one of two errors.

The first error is repeating yourself. If you are saying “obviously” because you feel everyone already knows the information, you are wasting your breath. There is no need to say it.

I may say, “The sun comes up in the East, of course.” Everyone listening to me knows the sun comes up in the East. There was no reason for me to point out the origin of the morning sun.

“Of course” gets thrown in, so it didn’t look like I was trying to teach you about the sunrise. I didn’t want you to think I just learned that. “Of course” plays it off.

The second error is lack of confidence. You may want to sound knowledgeable to those who know the information. Yet, you know there is a segment of the audience that does not know the details. In this case, you’re just wasting words.

I may say, “The band will be at the arena Saturday night, of course.” Some may be aware of this performance. Yet, there may be members of the audience who haven’t heard the news. It makes sense to add the information.

The idea is to sound knowledgeable and credible to those that already know, while providing the information to those unaware. You simply need to restructure you sentence and eliminate the cliché.

“When the band is at the arena Saturday night, parking will be at a premium.” This sentence provides new information to both segments. I include the “arena Saturday night” portion for the new listeners while giving those already aware of the concert new parking information. Both receive a benefit.

When you include “that’s right” or “like I said”, you are repeating yourself. Your listener heard you the first time. Most people use these cliches to fill time while they think of the next thing to say. Avoid going in circles. Your listener will quickly become uninterested. Know where you’re going and keep moving forward.

Avoid the cliches. That’s right, of course, like I said, obviously.

 

Take these three steps to sound like an expert and not simply knowledgable about your topic. These steps can make you sound more professional, more organized and more prepared. Start down the path to show growth this week by making these few small adjustments.

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

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

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Protect Your Podcast Voice – PTC Episode 031

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Protect Your Podcast Voice

Your voice is your power. It is your tool. Without your voice, you have no podcast.

Throughout the year, it is inevitable that you will get sick. Maybe it is just a scratchy voice. Maybe you lose your voice altogether. When illness hits, what do you do about your show?

A few weeks ago, I made a trip to a conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Five days of shaking hands, conference room sessions, and group dinners along with two flights there and back, made it difficult to avoid the germs. As much as I did to rest, eat properly and protect myself from getting sick, illness still found me.

The sickness had me down for the count. I had a horrible cough. My throat was sore and raw. The frog sound coming from my voice box was not anything I could use to record a podcast. What was I going to do?

Luckily I had prepared. I had been working two weeks in advance in preparation for the trip. In case I didn’t make it back in time to record the podcast for that week, I wanted to be sure I had something prepared. It came in handy, even though I made it back in time.

There are three things you can do to prepare for disaster.

First, work a week ahead. When you are working on the podcast for the following week, you have some flexibility. If something happens where you can’t record for any reason, you already have the show ready for this week.

Second, create an evergreen episode. This is an episode with content that never becomes outdated. This is your “just in case” episode. You simply set it aside in case you need it.

Finally, you can record an evergreen “donut”. This is an open and close that allows you to put repurposed content in the middle. It is like you are putting it in the middle of the donut.

For instance, you would record an open just like your regular show open. However, instead of introducing new content, you say something like, “This week we will be revisiting the one episode of my show that has been downloaded more than any other episode.” You could also create a show of highlights or “best of” questions. This could be any content you can gather from previous episodes.

Your close would be very similar. “I hope you’ve enjoyed this ‘best of’ episode. I will be back next week with an entirely new episode.” This closes the donut.

Now, if you ever get sick, you have an option to continue to deliver content every week. Consistency is crucial to creating relationships. Plan ahead.

So, how do you stay healthy? How do you get well if you get sick? What ounce of prevention can you use to protect your most valuable asset? Here are a few tips.

 

Care

Take care of your voice.

– Wear a hat & avoid the head cold

– Speak from the diaphragm when recording

– Avoid excessive clearing of the throat

– Warm up properly by slowly expanding your range

– Use a nasal rinse

 

Drink

When recording, stay hydrated.

– Drink room temp water to avoid constriction from cold beverages

– Avoid caffeine, because it also constricts

– Avoid soda & syrup drinks to prevent the crud building up in your throat

 

Get Well

If your voice gets strained, here are a few things to try.

– Gargle with warm salt water

– Use a humidifier to keep your membranes hydrated

– Drink warm decaf tea with honey

– Drink warm/hot chocolate

– Use a nasal rinse

– Drink plenty of water

– Experiment to find what works

 

Your voice is your most valuable asset. Do all you can to protect it. Stay healthy.

If you get sick, try these seven tips to get well.

Above all, don’t risk it. Plan ahead. Illness is inevitable. Have a show in the can or a plan to create some evergreen content should you get sick. Do your best to protect your podcast voice.

 

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.

Turn Your Podcast Into A Conversation – PTC Episode 030

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TURN YOUR PODCAST INTO A CONVERSATION

PTC EPISODE 030

Let’s have a conversation. People want to feel part of the discussion and not like they are sitting in a lecture. How do you create that atmosphere on your podcast?

1. Talk to me, not at me

2. Treat your audience as an audience of one

3. Let your listener live vicariously through you

4. Use your regular voice

5. Do everything in your own style

 

Talk To Me, Not At Me

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

Podcasting is an intimate conversation with one person.  The conversation is typically one person speaking into a microphone addressing another single individual.  There may sometimes be hundreds of thousands of people listening.  However, they are all listening by themselves.  Even in an automobile with others listening via communal speakers, the members of the audience are listening by themselves in their own head.  Each listener is developing their own unique, mental images.

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

 

Audience Of One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody like to be lectured to. Data and facts get dull & boring. Engage by being conversational. Tell stories. This is a converstaion, not a lecture

 

Vicarious

Can I Be You?

Vicarious. Voyerism. 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.

Voyerism 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 faliure. 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 voyers 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. 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.

 

Use Your Regular Voice

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcome to the big show.”

It sounds like your voice is going up and down as if it is on a yo-yo.

Real people don’t talk like that. You are trying to build trusting relationships with your audience. You want to sound real and authentic.

When you sound like a supermarket announcer, you sound fake. Your listeners will find it hard to trust you, because they know that isn’t really you. The audio they are hearing sounds like a character you are portraying.

Don’t let your voice bounce like a ball. You can be excited and enthusiastic. You can also be real and natural at the same time. Just be yourself.

When the inflection of your voice bounces up and down, you will find it difficult to truly engage your listener. Be real. Avoid the scoop.

 

Create Everything In Your Style

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

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

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

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

Howard Stern began as a radio DJ sounding like every other radio DJ. He was playing the records and spouting the lines written by management while going nowhere. When Stern decided he was going to do radio his way, he began to make a name for himself. He also went to the top.

Rush Limbaugh followed a very similar path. He had a cheesy radio name. He followed the format designed by somebody else. Limbaugh made every attempt to fulfill the typical radio DJ stereotype. He also got fired again and again. When he decided to broadcast in his style and true to his beliefs, he began his rise to the top.

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

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

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

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

 

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.

I Hate My Voice – PTC Episode 012

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I Hate My Voice

Before I start, I want to give a shout out to Dave Jackson at the School of Podcasting.  Dave provided great help as I was launching my site and podcast.  He also mentioned my show on Episode 374, where he discussed the way we approached the topic of interviews in different ways.  If you need technical help with your podcast, Dave is your guy.

Ok, on with the show.

“I hate the way I sound.”

I hear that complaint quite often. Many people do not like the sound of their own voice. It is quite common.

It is also quite natural to dislike the sound of your own voice when hearing a recorded version of it. When you talk, the bones in your head vibrate adding to the qualities you naturally hear. When you hear a recording of your voice, those vibrations are absent causing your voice to sound different to you.

The natural bone vibrations also make you do some unnecessary acrobatics with your voice when using headphones. The bone vibrations combined with the enclosed nature of your headphones cause you to hear the big announcer voice in a much differently than the way the listener hears it. You tend to speak in ways you do not normally speak during everyday conversation.

There are six steps you can take to make your voice sound more natural and get you on the path to enjoying the sound of your voice.

1. Notes, Not Scripts

When you are interviewing a guest on your podcast, be real. Be present in the moment. Truly listen to the answers your guest is giving. Your next question may come from that answer, and the question may be nowhere in your notes.

As you prepare for your interview, don’t script your questions. When you have a script, you will be too focused on the script and less attentive to the answers your guest is providing. Lose the script. (read more)

2. Talk To One Person

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

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

3. Headphones

This is a simple trick.  Try wearing only one cup of your headphones leaving one ear exposed.  You will be able to hear your voice in a more natural state.  Your headphones tend to distort your perception of your voice.  Using only one side of your headphones will give you a better feel of how you really sound.

4. Volume

This is another simple trick.  When you turn down the volume of your headphones, you will get a perception of your voice that is more authentic.

5. Sing-Songy

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcom to the big show.”

It sounds like your voice is going up and down as if it is on a yo-yo.

Real people don’t talk like that. You are trying to build trusting relationships with your podcast audience. You want to sound real and authentic. (read more)

6. Review Your Show

If you hope to improve your show episode after episode, you need to properly review your show each and every time. To improve, you must look for the correct things. You also need to listen as a fan and not simply as a podcast producer. Below is a list of questions to help you effectively review your podcast. (read more)

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

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

You can find the workbook that I mentioned here:  WORKBOOK.

Let’s turn your information into engaging entertainment.

Speaking On Mic Or Speaking In Public?

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Speaking On Mic or Speaking In Public?

I received a question the other day from a brand new podcaster.  He was curious to find way to help him be more comfortable speaking into the microphone while recording his podcast.  He asked if he should be taking public speaking classes.

My suggestion was to save his money.  Podcasting and public speaking are different in many ways.  One-on-one communication should be your focus for your podcast.  Addressing the common denominator of a crowd is key to public speaking.

To help you get in a better frame of mind while recording your podcast, in today’s podcast we touch on five key points regarding your speech.

1. The Audience Of One

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

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

2. Pretend you’re on the phone

You do not need public speaking classes.  You are not speaking in public.  You are having a one-on-one conversations.  Broadcasting began in the theater.  We are no longer living in that world. This is a New World medium.  It is all about personal communication.  Talk to one person as if you are talking on the telephone.  Post a photo up if you need one.

3. Avoid the scoop

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcom to the big show.”

It sounds like your voice is going up and down as if it is on a yo-yo.

Real people don’t talk like that. You are trying to build trusting relationships with your podcast audience. You want to sound real and authentic.  (read more)

4. Hear the smile

It may sound strange. It may sound hard to believe. But, it is true. Your audience can hear it when you smile.

If you want your listener to have fun and enjoy your podcast, you need to smile as you deliver your lines. The smile will come through in your voice.

Just like you can hear when someone has fear in their voice, you can hear joy in a voice.  (read more)

5. Pregnant pause

Our world today is so busy and noisy. There are thousands of messages hitting us everyday from every direction. In a noisy world, silence attracts attention. Silence is golden.

When you are interviewing a guest during your podcast, don’t be afraid of the pregnant pause. When that long pause begins to feel uncomfortable, let it last a little longer. Don’t create just a pause. Make it a pregnant pause. Not only will the silence attract attention, the break will give your guest time to think of a great answer to your question.

Too many hosts ramble on with their questions fearing the pause that naturally comes between question and answer. Some hosts make their questions go on and on to the point where the question is almost answered before the guest even has a chance to speak. When conducting an interview, avoid the urge to continue talking. Shut up and listen.  (read more)

 

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

Avoid The Scoop …

 

Avoid the scoop.

(photo by pemotret)

The scoop is that fake announcer voice that you hear quite often. It’s like a slow start with a gradual build.

“Wwwwweeeelllllcom to the big show.”

It sounds like your voice is going up and down as if it is on a yo-yo.

Real people don’t talk like that. You are trying to build trusting relationships with your podcast audience. You want to sound real and authentic.

When you sound like a supermarket announcer, you sound fake. Your listeners will find it hard to trust you, because they know that isn’t really you. The audio they are hearing sounds like a character you are portraying.

Don’t let your voice bounce like a ball. You can be excited and enthusiastic. You can also be real and natural at the same time. Just be yourself.

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

When the inflection of your voice bounces up and down, you will find it difficult to truly engage your listener. Be real. Avoid the scoop.

Can You Hear The Smile? …

 

Can you hear the smile?

(photo by eyedear)

It may sound strange. It may sound hard to believe. But, it is true. Your audience can hear it when you smile.

If you want your listener to have fun and enjoy your podcast, you need to smile as you deliver your lines. The smile will come through in your voice.

Just like you can hear when someone has fear in their voice, you can hear joy in a voice.

When Adam Carolla is having fun with a guest on his podcast, you can hear it in his voice. When he is getting angry at the dues he pays the Screen Actors Guild, you can hear the frustration in his voice. When Adam is getting excited about his next opportunity to drive really fast, it is clear in his voice.

The voice is a very special communication tool. The nuances in your speech tell so much about the information being delivered. Your inflection is a critical part of your communication.

If you hope to get your listener excited about your content, you need to first be excited yourself. If you want to turn your information into entertainment, you need to sound like your content is entertaining you. A smile goes a long way.

When you don’t smile, you sound bored. Your content sounds boring. Your information will never become entertainment if you sound like you are simply going through the motions.

Remind yourself.  Smile. Your listener will hear it.

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

Your emotion will come through the speakers. When you sound excited about your content, your listeners will feel excited about it. That’s when you begin to develop influence.  Next time you are recording your show, ask, “Can you hear the smile?”

Their Voice Will Always Be More Meaningful …

Their voice will always be more meaningful.

(photo by Yanc)

One major purpose of your podcast is to foster relationships with your listeners. Many use e-mail, texts, tweets and posts to interact with the audience. The podcast host will read these on the show.

Unfortunately, these methods of communication put distance between you and your listener. It is much more compelling to hear the words of another individual in their own voice than it is to hear someone else tell the same story (or ask the same question). Written word loses the passion when it is read from an e-mail. The inflection, meaning and emotion is always different when read by another individual.

A scripted e-mail lacks spontaneity. When read, an e-mail will always make less of a connection than your listener actually asking the question in their own voice. Less of a connection equals less of a relationship.

Be creative in finding ways to use the voice of your audience. You might use voicemail or ask listeners to submit audio questions through your website or by e-mail. Similar to the way Clark Howard occasionally answers financial questions on “The Clark Howard Show“, you could record questions using a “man on the street” style with a quality, handheld recorder.

There are various ways to capture the voice. Be creative. Stockpile some great questions that you can use over the course of a few shows to cut down on the work it takes to collect the questions. Begin truly engaging your audience and creating meaningful relationships by using their voice. Their voice will always be more meaningful.

Natural Is Better …

Natural is better.

(photo by Dmccale)

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

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

There are various ways to include others in your show. You can field questions from your audience in many ways. You could answer e-mail like Justin Lukasavige does on “Coach Radio”. Listeners could leave you voicemail to include in your show similar to “The Art of Podcasting”. You could take live phone calls similar to Dave Ramsey on “The Dave Ramsey Show”. Guests could also join your show live in the studio as happens on “The Adam Carolla Show”. Each version is a little stronger than the previous.

The second voice makes the show much more personable. It allows the listener to feel that they are part of the conversation. The additional voice also adds credibility to the question. Your listener will hear the authenticity in the question or comment.

Other voices bring a depth to the show. This is the reason radio stations use callers on the air.  It may not always be possible to include that audio. However, if you can swing it, your show will definitely gain that showbiz quality when using multiple voices.

Use the voice of the individual asking the question whenever possible. Natural is better.

Hello Everybody In Radioland …

Hello Everybody in Radioland!

To be engaging, you need to be human.  You need to be yourself.

As you record your podcast, use your natural voice and your own words. Individuals who are new to broadcasting tend to want to sound like their broadcasting idols. They try to imitate those they have heard on the radio with their voice and clichés. Unfortunately, new broadcasters tend to sound as if they are using scripted drivel done in some character voice that is forced and unnatural.

You don’t need to sound like Wolfman Jack, Howard Cosell, Don LaFontaine or Howard Stern. In fact, you shouldn’t sound like those guys. They are who they are. You should be who you are. If you are naturally over-the-top, then be over-the-top. If you are not, don’t fake it. You’ll sound like an amateur.

Be natural. Talk with a little energy, but always deliver it as you naturally speak. The days of “the voice for radio” are gone. You don’t need a big voice to be on the radio. You surely don’t need a big voice to create a podcast. Your voice becomes unique by what you say, not how you sound saying it.

Be yourself. Use your own voice instead of trying to impersonate someone else. Use your natural voice and your own words. And please, avoid all of the clichés like “Hello Everybody in Radioland.”