Last week we talked about how to plan for your studio podcast. Hopefully, you’ve figured out what you want to do, who you are doing it for, and what you hope to accomplish with the podcast. Now, let’s look at the actually production of the podcast and putting the “studio” in studio podcasting.
Don’t wing it!! You may think that you’re fine on the fly, but trust me; your target audience probably doesn’t think so. You don’t have to write out every word (and you shouldn’t) but you need to have some idea of what your going to talk about.
- Create an outline for each show. This will help keep you on topic and make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Be specific. Decide not only on a specific topic, but specific points within that topic that you want to discuss.
- Don’t ramble. This is the point of having an outline. Rambling does NOT make for a good podcast.
- If more than one person is talking in the podcast, and I recommend you do that, decide who will talk about what. That doesn’t mean that the other people can’t add to what the “designated person” says, but it’s good to have a plan of who will bring up what points.
- Find a good recording environment. You want a quiet room free of distractions. It could be at the church or maybe in your living room. Avoid outside locations as outside noises and wind tend to be an issue.
- Most importantly, remember this is a God thing, not a man thing. So, follow Gods direction through this whole process. Pray before every pre-planning meeting and every podcast. Your podcast is about God, for God, and its success depends on God.
Quality is important when producing a studio podcast. I know I said that studio podcasts aren’t exactly professional and that they are casual, but that’s the style/format. The audio quality and quality of content is very important. People will get turned off by poor audio quality and people will only listen if the content is quality. You may want to listen to a few studio podcasts before you get started. I’d recommend checking out Twit (a podcast about technology) and Geeks and God (a Christian tech podcast). Here are some other tips:
- Use real mics. So, you’re not talking into the built-in laptop mic. Go spend a couple of bucks and get some good mics. Cheap mics produce poor quality audio. You don’t necessarily have to spend a couple hundred dollars, but spend more than $10 (unless you already have some good mics)
- Address the mic properly. Get close to the mic, even touching the mic.
- Use a pop filter. A pop filter is something that sits in front of the mic that prevents your breath from making overly loud pops in the recording, especially when saying words with P’s and K’s. You can buy one, but you can also just use a piece of pantyhose stretched over a frame.
- If you have more than one person, face each other. It will make the conversation sound more natural.
- Use a quiet room and remove all distractions. No phones. No TVs. No interruptions.
- Schedule more than enough time. The recording will probably take at least twice as long as the length of the show.
- Use closed-eared headphones. You need to be able to hear what is actually being recorded, but you don’t want the sound to go beyond your ears and be picked up by the mics)
- Get comfortable. Choose a comfortable location and use comfortable chairs. You’ll be there a while.
When you are getting started, record a couple of shows that you do not intend to use. This will allow you to work the kinks out of the recording process and get the host(s) more comfortable and naturally sounding. Also, listen to your own podcasts. A good chef doesn’t serve food that he or she hasn’t tasted. You shouldn’t serve a podcast that you haven’t listened to. You will probably be your own toughest critic and it will improve the quality of the podcast. Don’t be afraid to get the opinion of other as well, but keep in mind that everyone will have their own ideas of “what would make the podcast perfect.” You don’t need to accept the opinions of others and you should evaluate whether you think their suggestions have merit…it’s your show.
Kurt Steinbrueck is a Deacon at his church and has been Director of Marketing Services with Ourchurch.Com for over 5 years providing Christian search engine optimization services including a service specific for church marketing, the Top Church Search Rankings service, a church search engine optimization service. Please contact Kurt at OurChurch.Com if you would be interested in getting better rankings for your church in the search engines.