BY COURTNEY ECHERD
So, the day has come that you have decided to dive into podcasting. You’re feeling confident (or maybe not), but you don’t know where to move from here. There are several ways to prepare yourself for a podcast series, but I tried to boil it down to make it as easy as possible so you can hit the ground running with no obstacles.
Nail it Down
Get a specific idea of what your podcast’s theme will be and draft up a few topics you would feel confident talking about. You don’t have to have every weekly subject for the next 12 months planned, but it is helpful to have a general idea of how you’d like your podcasts to flow before starting your first. Decide if you want to produce your cast daily, weekly, monthly, or anything in between. Having this sort of structure will have your podcasts running smoothly right from the get-go.
To prepare for your podcast most effectively, you’ll need to talk to two types of “experts”. First, chat with someone who knows a little bit about podcasting. This could be your favorite podcaster or just a friend who has put out a couple of podcasts. Having a podcasting “mentor” just an email away for when you have questions will save you hours of Googling. Hey! I’m happy to be that mentor!
You will also want to find a few people who you would consider experts on the subject you’re podcasting about. Not only will these people make excellent potential on-air interviews, but odds are, if they’re an expert on your subject, they’re a pretty big fan of the topic. You know who else is likely a big fan of your topic? Your potential listeners! Talking to an expert for even for just five minutes, will help you to connect with the people who love your podcast’s subject most.
Start looking into equipment for your podcast. Most smartphones come equipped with a Voice Memo system. Play around with it. Record a few test monologues and see how you like the sound. If you’re satisfied, you’re set. If not, look into purchasing a USB-microphone or Podcast starter pack, both of which are available at electronics stores. Also, make sure you have a crisp and clear set of headphones. You’ll need them for the precision editing you’ll be doing after recording your podcasts.
Next is software. You may already have editing software, such as Audacity, GarageBand, or Audition. If you are familiar with any of those software programs, then you are all set for editing your podcasts. If not, checkout online podcast hosts, like podOmatic, podbean, or Spreaker.
Scouting a Location
You don’t need to have a fancy recording studio to produce quality audio (and if you have one, invite me, please). Believe it or not, you can create amazing and clear audio in your closet! The small space is perfect as the clothes act as a sound buffer. An added perk is you (usually) won’t be interrupted by anyone when recording. If you can’t make it work to record in your closet, make sure you’re not filming in a bathroom (as the tile will echo your voice) or outside (even if you *think* it’s quiet, wind noise will make editing difficult and you never know when a bird might start chirping or a truck will drive by during your best monologue yet).
I hope this leaves you feeling more confident and prepared as you head into your podcasting endeavor. What tips surprised you the most?