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.