When to include other sources in your podcasts

BY COURTNEY ECHERD

If you are an avid podcast listener, you might have noticed that sometimes you’re listening to one guy talk for an entire hour about one subject, seemingly without even taking a breath. Other times, you might feel like you are in the middle of a dinner table discussion, with opinions almost being shouted over one another. There are three main types of podcasts in terms of who has got the microphone. Here’s a quick breakdown for you to decide which type is appropriate for what type of podcast you’re trying to send out.

“Solocast”
Ah, the loneliest of all podcasts- the solo podcast. This type of podcast is pretty self-explanatory, it’s just you (or whoever your host is) and the microphone. Solocasts are ideal if you only want to get one opinion or have a specialist on a topic whose expertise you want to share with your listeners. I would recommend this type of podcast for sharing original work such as poetry, a monologue, song lyrics, or prose. There’s no forced reaction or additional pressure from a second person, so the composer is free to share their thoughts about the piece with the listeners. This type of podcast also works well for tutorials, because the podcast will have one clear and authoritative voice. I would also recommend this type if you want to get a heavily one-sided opinion across. The key to making this type of podcast work is make sure your speaker is colorful and can keep a listener’s attention for the duration of the cast.

Interview Podcast
If you have been operating as a solocast-er, that doesn’t mean you can never include a second source. An interview podcast is a great way to get a fresh opinion. Interview podcasts also allow your listeners to connect with you (or, again, whoever the host is) on a human level, as they can hear how you interact with other people, rather than just speaking straight into a microphone.

Bring in a different source every podcast, bring in multiple sources every podcast, or just try it out once before going back to solocasting. No matter what, interview podcasts are sure to add flavor to your stream. I would recommend doing an interview podcast when you feel you’ve found a source who can provide more insight on a topic than you can. Your source can be anyone. Make it a friend, a coworker, or just an expert on the subject you found on Reddit. Have fun with it. I do, however, recommend that you spend a few minutes chatting with your source before starting the podcast, just to ensure that the source is warmed up and comfortable talking with you.

Multiple Hosts
Multiple Hosts – that sounds pretty nice, huh? You get to split the work, share some laughs… While that’s the ideal scenario, it’s not always the case. The key to multi-hosting is mutual respect and teamwork. In my opinion, the most interesting multi-host podcasts feature hosts that are totally different from one another, and that means a lot of clashing thoughts and opinions. The good thing is, if hosts have totally polarized opinions, a listener tends to feel their opinion has been voiced by at least one host. Multi-host podcasts can be really fun to listen to, especially if the hosts have a natural chemistry. To ensure your podcast runs smoothly, find a host that has a similar work ethic and schedule to you. I recommend this type of podcast for broader podcast topics and subjects that lend themselves to discussion.

No one type of podcast is better than the other, what matters most is finding a type that you are comfortable with and making it work for every podcast topic you cover. What type fits your podcast?

 

  • by Courtney Echerd
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