Have you ever dreamed about being on the radio? — then podcasting can be your golden ticket.
Stay tuned on Moxie Talk as we are going to dive into everything you need to make an addictive and engaging podcast.
Hi everyone, I’m Fia Fasbinder welcome to Moxie Talk where we help you find your voice, share your message, and lead with confidence.
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Today we’re talking about the process of creating a successful podcast. The great news is that podcasting has opened the door for millions of people to share their passions, their expertise and find an audience who loves to tune in.
120 million listeners
In fact, there are an estimated 120 million podcast listeners and over 2 million podcasts today. Many of them started simply as a side hustle and a passion project.
It’s important though to keep in mind that recording a podcast that people love to listen to requires some groundwork.
You need to figure out your personal style choose topics and a target audience and ideally do some exercises to get your voice sounding rich and engaging.
I’ll cover some important elements of speaking later but for a deeper dive check out my previous videos on enhancing your voice.
CHOOSING A PODCAST TOPIC
Now everyone ready to get started?
The first step is to choose a podcast topic and it’s important to know that this is a compromise between you and your future listeners.
You don’t want to chase a popular or trending podcast topic if you’re not interested in them — stay true to yourself or you’ll just burn out.
On the flip side, don’t pick things that only you care about or are too niche for an audience. Yes! you want to speak to your passions but you need to do some research to make sure there’s a demand for that as well.
If you want some clues about what kind of topics your audience will be interested in, do some keyword research and see what’s being searched right now around your topic. It’ll help you find the perfect middle ground between your passions and your audience’s interest
Regardless of whatever you choose, the goal of a podcast should be to
add value to people’s daily lives.
You can do this by ensuring the content of your episodes helps your listeners in one of 3 ways. You either want to
- Provide answers to questions
- Provide solutions to problems
- Provide insights on their passions
You’ll have fans for life if you consistently deliver on one of these points. If you’re unsure of where to begin there are 3 very easy jumping-off points for you to consider.
First, try a talk show and join greats like Oprah, Donahue, Larry King. I know it sounds too good to be true but once you’ve established your niche, you’ll find so many experts that you admire that will be happy to be on your podcast and share their knowledge.
Try independent Journalism
Another option is doing some journalism within your field. It may sound simple but the news you choose to share and how you share it makes all the difference — you want to share your perspective on the news.
Make a documentary
My final suggestion is documentary-style podcasts where you invite listeners to join you on an experience for example starting your own business.
You want to share some highs, some lows, some lessons you learned along the way that can be valuable for listeners. It’s a great way to promote yourself as a side note.
Remember your podcast doesn’t have to be focused on entertainment. If you’re an expert on any subject, you can structure your podcast like a home learning course.
Broadcast a home-learning course
You can hook listeners by offering a certain amount of information for free and then reserve the biggest secrets for paying subscribers.
Ultimately the best way to decide what’s right for you is to see what’s out there already. I recommend podcasts like,
- The Tim Ferriss Show – one of my favorites.
- The Marie Forleo Podcast – one of the homegirls of my home slices, love her podcast.
- TED Radio Hour for a completely different style of podcast.
So choose one that resonates with you, see what’s out there, and then mold your podcast around those.
DECIDING HOW TO SCRIPT YOUR PODCAST
The second step is to decide if you would prefer your podcast to be fully scripted or semi-improvised.
In general, a scripted podcast is useful if you’re talking about complex concepts or detailed information and data that you have to get right.
However, with a semi-improvised podcast, you can just create a general outline to make sure you hit your key talking points and then leave room for some spontaneity. This is better for more conversational podcasts where you share opinions and ideas and you want there to be some freedom to flex a little within the structure.
Ultimately the best strategy is to experiment and find some variations that work best for you.
CHOOSING YOUR EQUIPMENT
The third step is choosing your equipment. Now I shouldn’t have to say this but you’d be amazed at how many aspiring podcasters don’t do this —
Get a good microphone
and know your phone or your laptop mic do not count.
Bad audio is seriously the death of any podcast or video. So if there’s any investment you should make, it would be here. Just a normal USB mic should suffice and they’re usually in the $60 to $100 range.
If you’re taking this seriously, you’ll need some familiarity with editing software to clean up your audio, add in music, add in some effects, or on that note, you may have started to see a lot of video podcasts in which Yes! this does seem like a contradiction.
You don’t have to film your podcast but it is a great way of adding more details and it helps expand your reach on social media. Therefore, if you’re comfortable with video this is a great option.
Video marketing is dominating right now so it helps get your name out there and it’s a treat for those of you who want to see faces behind voices.
Yes, your podcast could be based around the video but you still want to focus on how it looks and how it sounds and this is where when we get into one of the most important factors in your podcast your capability as a speaker.
Your voice and your body language are essential to ensuring people stay locked in and wanting to hear more.
IMPROVING YOUR SPEAKING VOICE
How do you improve it?
Well, one of my favorite analogies is that you want to speak like music.
Your voice is the most amazing most versatile most powerful musical instrument ever made. A voice without variety is like static — it’s just the same volume, the same tone, the same everything.
Music on the other hand has a variety of sounds and rhythms — it’s engaging and interesting. To help you speak more like music, I’m going to focus on 3 P’s which I teach in my workshops all the time.
These are key to producing a podcast that is music to your listener’s ear which we call vocal variety.
Let’s get started with pace which is really how quickly you speak.
Create impact with Pace
The one thing you want to avoid is to speak at the same speed the entire time. — it’s monotonous and it’s sleep-inducing.
In fact, your audience will tune out if there aren’t changes in your pace. Therefore, change up the speed and add interest to your listeners’ experience to give you better control.
For example, you can talk quickly to add intensity or excitement and you can slow down when you want to add emphasis to the most critical and key details that you want your audience to remember.
Nothing is more powerful than the pause. The longer you pause the more weight you give to your point.
Thus, never be afraid to give some listeners time for your words to sink in. Sometimes silence can be just as powerful as the spoken word.
The next aspect to focus on is pitch, which is how high or low you speak.
Change meaning with Pitch
In natural speech, we vary the pitch almost without thinking about it. Your voice will go higher the more excited you are and something will go lower when it’s more intense when we’re sadder when we’re more serious.
Hence, changes in pitch can cause the meaning of a sentence altogether to change and it can demonstrate powerful concepts deliberately for your audience.
Let do an example, if you could say, “What were yoooouuuuh thinking?” Obviously, you sound upset about this right? Now, what if you said “What were you thinking?” in a fast-paced high pitch tone, You’ll sound more panicked right? What if you calmly say something like “What were you thinking?” in soft pitch, so now you will sound like you’re actually eliciting a response from them right?
Just by varying your pitch, you can change the entire meaning of a sentence. So think about how you can play with pacing pausing and pitch to add some more vocal variety.
Add interest with Power
The final ‘P’ is power or the volume you speak at. It’s a great way to add interesting key moments to your podcast. Just like pace and pitch if you stick to one volume you’ll start to bore people.
Think of people who are always yelling in their podcasts or their radio shows, the anger and the yelling just causes them to lose impact really quickly and most of us just tune out because it sounds like a rant.
However, if they were to raise their volume at key moments then it would be clear where the anger lies and it would give it more impact.
Let’s do an example, just yell the entire sentence, you guys ready? “It’s a travesty that we have to deal with these consequences when the ones who cause them walk away laughing “
Now lets try the same sentence and listen to the power of words that I want you to pay attention to (…), this is also what we call emphasis, “It’s a travesty… that we all have to deal with these consequences…when the ones who cause them walk away laughing.“
Do you hear the difference? I’ve used volume and emphasis so that you care about the words that I want you to care about by stressing them and adding impact and power to them.
If you spend time working on these very simple P’s your ability to speak and to deliver your message is going to grow tremendously and not only that it will help you with the final key element of any successful podcast which is storytelling.
THE VALUE OF STORYTELLING
Now I have written a lot about storytelling so be sure to check out some of my other blogs on this for a deeper dive on how to create a compelling story.
In this blog, I just want to highlight a few of some great storytelling techniques.
First of all great storytellers combine pitch, pace and power in their delivery to captivate their listeners and draw them in. You can learn that this is why musicians encourage us to listen to music as much as possible.
The more you listen to great podcasters and great speakers the better you will get at having an ear for what is a good delivery of a story and what is a bad delivery of a story. The more you listen to music, the more you’ll get an ear for good and bad and the same applies to the delivery of a story.
Even the most dry podcasts rely on some level of storytelling to keep listeners interested.
Stories are great ways to put ideas and concepts into context that others can understand. They bridge knowledge gaps and the better you tell that story the more likely it is to be remembered and that is why the 3 P’s are so important.
It means that success isn’t just a matter of finding the most interesting podcast topics. The point is that you can take almost any topic and make it sound interesting with the 3 Ps. That is everything I have for you in this blog.
To sum it up, if your goal is to create an addictive podcast that listeners love then it is up to you to stay engaging and consistent with every episode.
Find out what your audience is looking for, decide how you want to talk to them about it, and practice your delivery so you can speak with confidence.
In the words of podcast producer Cole Weaver,
Treat your podcast like it has an audience of a billion and treat everyone in your audience like a VIP.
Find a topic, find a microphone, find your voice and you will find your audience.
Thank you so much for reading. If you enjoyed this blog and you know anybody else, a friend or a colleague that would benefit from learning a little bit more about how to podcast, please pass this on to them. Subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel — share it, like it.
If you want to learn more about moxie institute please check out Moxie website moxieinstitute.com. Until next time, please make sure to live brilliantly lead boldly and Speak with Moxie.