You don’t need to follow a template (like this one) exactly, but you do need structure, more on why here.
STEP Three: Find a quiet space and capture a conversation
I use a microphone. You don’t have to, but it does help. You need a small space, with as little background noise as possible. Try to position your microphone or your computer up high enough to be near to the face of the people you are recording. I use QuickTime Player to record.
If possible, provide questions to your subjects in advance. I make sure to keep a notepad nearby to quickly make note of any follow-up questions I want to return to.
STEP Four: Listen to the recording and look for soundbites and organic pivot points
A good podcast is well-edited. That means you’ve thought carefully about where you want to bring your audience in. Do you have a clear hook? Do you preface or underscore crucial points? Have you curated the conversation? Radiolab absolutely nail this. Have a listen here.
Be sure to keep your episode moving. Watch out for lulls. Segments can be short and snappy.
STEP Five: soundscape accordingly
Don’t overwhelm the audience, but be sure to tease out the tension, suspense and wonder. Here’s a great example of excellent soundscaping.
When you post your podcast, share it in a space (like your blog) where you can include relevant links to the topics (or music used). Give your audience access to readings/viewings/listenings that shaped your show. Slate Culture Gabfest does this on their blog and on their Facebook page.
STEP nine: make room for your audience
The best episodes ask questions. There is space for the audience to think. Many pro podcasters ask their audience for their thoughts after the show drops.
STEP Ten: stories matter
We love stories. Don’t be afraid to start or end your episode with an anecdote. No one does this better than this show right here.
So step up to the mic and share away.
Did I forget a crucial step? Let me know in the comments below.