Podcasting – Tips For the First Time Podcaster
Podcasting is an exciting and rewarding way of communicating with your community. It's a chance to share your knowledge and experience and build relationships. Your podcast should offer relevant information in an entertaining and enjoyable way but a common problem is mastering a delivery and vocal style that listeners find appealing and agreeable.
You need to strike a balance between your natural and authentic voice, the sort of podcast style you want to produce, and what makes comfortable and pleasant listening. With all that you have to share with your community, you don't want your listeners to switch off in frustration or irritation. This article offers some tips and techniques to help make your audio publishing a success.
Spend time listening to podcasters and video content publishers who are targeting the same audience as yourself. What sort of vocal style and format are they following and what do you personally find appealing? What would you say are common features in terms of delivery and approach – are they in keeping with your own ethics and approach? You can learn a lot from what others but always strive to stamp your own personality in what you create.
Obviously, you seek to provide an appropriate tone, and pace that's appropriate to the topic, format and audience. If you're offering entertainment or personal reflection, a lively, engaging or intimate tone will draw your audiences in and build rapport. If you plan to offer instruction and solutions, clarity, brevity, and simplicity will help you get your points across. Speaking clearly, with assurance, and at a steady rhythm will instil confidence and promote understanding.
Recording test podcasts and listening back to check on your delivery and structure might make uncomfortable listening if you don't like the sound of your voice, but it will help you see what improvements you need to make. Learn to ignore the fact it's your voice – instead think on the overall tone and impact. Does it suit the content covered and the audience you're trying to reach?
Clearly if the subject is meditation and hypnosis, the most popular podcasts or videos feature speakers with a gentle, calming and soothing presence. It's unlikely you'll find presenters who are loud, speak too quickly, or seem uninterested in helping you overcome your problems.
Some people find it difficult to speak at length into a microphone. You might freeze when the microphone is switched on and think of nothing to say. A script or program notes will help boost your confidence and literally give you something to say when you're grasping for words.
On the other extreme, if you're over-excited or passionate about a topic, your enthusiasm may result in speed-talking which makes your enunciation less clear. Your passion can be appealing but can also confuse or overwhelm your listener which undermines what you have to say.
Learning to pace your narration is an integral part of delivering a podcast which is accessible and enjoyable. If you're covering information which is new to your audience, your delivery needs be simple and straightforward. Are you allowing your listener the time and space to absorb what you are saying or rushing through point after point? Following a script will ensure you can manage the flow of information – give yourself cues to pause and reflect as necessary.
Keeping your voice melodious, relaxed, and "warm" makes it a pleasure to listen to. Learn from professional voice artist and performers and use voice exercises and techniques to make the most of your voice. Warm-up exercises help your voice muscles handle the strain and tension of speaking for periods of time without inflicting damage to your vocal cords. Accomplished voice artists build intimacy and rapport with their audience, because they are able to use their voices to express emotion and speak clearly.
Put aside any feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness and loosen your voice muscles with some simple warm-ups. Begin with massaging your jaw area so you start to release any pent up tension. Place your chin in your hand, and then open and close your jaw as quickly as you can. After a few minutes, starting slowly and then increasing speed, make a sound like a fire engine or police siren.
Follow this with by gently humming "hmmm". Let the pitch move up and down so that you feel a corresponding vibrating sensation. Concentrate on this sensation and feel it moving from the top of your head and gradually down towards your chest as your pitch rises and then falls. Repeat a few times.
Follow with a few tongue twisters that will help you to relax and loosen your facial muscles and vocal cords such as: "Mr Merry drank some perry, mixed with sherry and cherry pop", "Terrible Tommy tripped up tiny Terry Topper, what a rotter , "Lucy licked a lemon lolly, then slowly slurped a sherbet ice", "Why might I wish for fish on a dish, or a frog on a dog, or a little toy lorry?"
Finish with some relaxers to help you gently stretch and lengthen your vocal cords and facial muscles: A (pronounced ah) ah – jah – ah – jah – ah – jah – bah – yah – pah – dah – zah; E (pronounced eh) feh – reh – keh – veh – leh – weh – neh – the; I (pronounced ee) kee – nee – kee – nee – kee – nee – kee; O (pronounced oh) doh – hoh – doh – hoh – soh – goh – soh – goh; U (pronounced oo) vuu – muu – luu – suu – tuu – duu – cuu "
In the effort to sound professional and get everything right, it can be easy to forget to smile or relax. You've probably heard of the technique of putting a "smile in your voice". By smiling before and while you speak, you change the character of your voice. Your smile resonates in the sounds you make and helps you reveal your calm, authentic and friendly self.
Podcasts can be a very comfortable medium which can really draw you close to your community. If you need a reminder to smile (or draw breath), draw smiley icons in your script or program notes – anything that helps you gain confidence and loosen up is worth adopting. Preparing well, practicing, and working on your vocal techniques will help you create podcasts that are a pleasure to listen to as well as revealing your individuality and personality.
I am a Commerce, Computer and Law graduate. I am running my own IT Company since 1993. I like to Read, explore Hindu Sanskruti, Travelling and Riding/Driving.