Last week I had the opportunity to speak at a Lunch & Learn for the Carlisle, Iowa Chamber of Commerce about effective communication. How the vast majority of what you "say" isn't as impactful as your visual and vocal skills...or lack of them. It's true. While we might like to "think" content is king in communication in reality that content amounts to only 7% of your ability to connect with your audience...be it one person or one-thousand.
So, where am I going with this?
Every day an individual or a company launches their podcast often without really thinking about the two items that truly impact a listener: Visual & Vocal. Now, it's true that with an audio podcast visual can often be taken out of the mix unless you, as we do, incorporate some video teasers as to the content.
That leaves the impact of your vocals. At the Lunch & Learn an attendee asked this question, "What if you are not a trained broadcaster or public speaker, what are some of the hardest things to overcome?"
We talked about the use of "filler words" and vocal inflection and projection. Which brings me back to podcasting.
This week three new podcasts came to my attention. When things like that happen I like to click through to listen...just to hear what others are doing in the podcast world. All three of these new podcasts we're created by fairly large companies and/or non-profits and they were all...awful. Using the formula regarding Content, Visual and Vocal each of these new podcasts missed in the two most important categories with "vocal" being really bad.
Podcasting is the new cool way to connect but if you fail to think it through and your work sounds like you recorded it over a speaker phone...you are done. Stick a fork in it.
So, before you launch here are just a couple of tips: (Image is of our "mobile studio")
- Get A Good Microphone - There are loads of options available. If it is just you or one other person you can get by with a USB mic like the one I use. It's the Blue Yeti and the quality is superb...broadcast quality. It allows you choose several options from picking up the entire room to picking up one voice direction or two. Here is a link to Blue...we love their products and their service is top notch.
- Microphone Tip Two - We do a ton of remote recordings so we invested in some great equipment that we can take with us. Now, you may not be moving around but you might consider, if there are multiple people on the podcast to get mics and a recorder that can handle several inputs.
- Recording Device - When on the road I use a Zoom H4nPro for my recording. Simple to use and set up and the quality is amazing. It has two microphone inputs and you can also record using the built in microphones but, for podcasting get a couple of good mics. It's worth the investment. Here is a link to my favorite audio/visual store that has great service B&H New York City. And they have dedicated professionals in each area so you can ask your questions and some smart people will be able to answer them.
- Microphones - I use the Audio-Technica AT8004L for my remote recordings. I like that the mic body is a bit long. When using just one for a quick interview, rather than a "sit down" conversation I think my subject appreciates that my hand isn't in their face. You can pick those up at B&H as well.
- Post Production Software - We've used the open source Audacity program for years it's easy to learn and you can add so many touches to your podcast...like a pro. Here is the link to Audacity. Yes, there are more expensive programs out there...but for our use this has worked just fine. And, remember we're also sharing our podcasts on various radio broadcast outlets.
- Visual Use - Make sure you take a photo of your podcast session and identify the people involved. It helps create a human touch. Likewise create a logo for your podcast so people know what it is that you are doing.
- Plan & Be Informative - Sure you can have fun with your podcast...we do a weekly piece about "Stuff to DO" with our friends from Cityview Magazine but the majority of our news and interviews are things that many people simply don't know about. So plan your work to be informative.
- Know When to Stop - People listen to various lengths of podcasts. We've found, over the years, that for us the best length of our interview segments is between 16 and 20 minutes. Anything over that and we create a Part One and a Part Two.
- Share Your Podcast - We recommend that you be active in the social media world. If you simply post to your company website it's highly unlikely others will find you. Get social and watch your work get traction.
I truly hope some of this helps. But, if in doubt let us know. We're more than happy to answer your podcast questions.
Here is a LINK to our Radio Blog for Insight on Business the News Hour so you can get an idea of what we do...there.
Thanks for reading!