The Art of the Podcast

The Art of the Podcast

What are the five types of podcasts? What is the common thread that connects each? How can you make your podcast better?

Yesterday, during the Craft Content conference in Nashville, I presented The Art of the Podcast. My goal was to leave the audience, who were a mix of current and future podcasters, with ideas on how to tell a better stories and produce better podcasts. I began my talk describing the five types of podcasts. 

The Five Types of Podcasts

The Five Types of Podcasts

1. Interview. An interview podcast is a program that features a guest and a host. Some of my favorites include; The James Altucher Show, WTF with Marc Maron, Marketing Smarts, and Six Pixels of Separation

2. Couples-Cast. A podcast featuring two co-hosts. I used to use this definition for podcasts with actual couples like Dawn and Drew, and my first podcast, Two Boobs and a Baby. I now use it to cover all co-hosted podcasts. Check out Marketing Over Coffee as a good example.

3. Ramble-Cast. A single host podcast. Any podcast with one person sharing what's on their mind fits this category. Tune into DicksnJanes and Up In This Brain to get a taste of what I am talking about.

4. Round Table. These are podcasts featuring a host as the moderator and a panel of subject experts. A favorite is The BeanCast.

5. Magazine. A magazine podcast is highly produced. It features multiple stories (like a magazine), and can also be referred to as a narrative podcast. I love shows like 99% Invisible, RadioLab, This American Life (admittedly this is a radio program first), and StartUp. I also have a new favorite, Neighbors, which I learned about from the host, Jakob Lewis, during Craft Content.

The online broadcasting barriers have dropped

While some of my favorite podcasts began as terrestrial radio programs, some favorites have gone the other way and become radio shows. The online broadcasting barriers have dropped with the advent of inexpensive production software (Audacity is free) and hardware like microphones, mixers, and headphonesAnyone can become a podcaster now. The point is to become a good one by telling and sharing stories your listeners will be interested in. 

What makes a great podcast story?

Each of the five types of podcasts has one thing in common: Storytelling. The interviewer knows when to remain quiet to listen to his guest's story. A couples cast will feature the hosts taking turns sharing and adding to their stories. A ramble cast features a single person telling stories about their day or from their past. A roundtable moderator will pass the mic to each panelist, she will ensure they stay on the same topic while each participant adds their own stories to the mix. Like a physical magazine, a magazine podcast includes narrative stories from guests and their hosts. All powerful podcasts include rich, vivid stories. 

What makes a great story in podcasting?

Four keys to podcasting an exceptional story

In The Art of the Podcast, I shared four keys to use in a podcast to relay an exceptional story. These don't have to all be used in a single podcast episode, but strong stories include one or more of the following; ambience (background sounds, music, sound effects), conflict and resolution, honesty, and humor. 

I included several clips during my presentation as examples. The sound bites came from 99% Invisible, RadioLab, DicksnJanes, and StartUp. I am truly passionate about podcasting. I hope my audience found my presentation helpful as they weave better stories into their shows. 

If you have a podcast please leave a link in the comments. I would love to tune in to your show. If you would like to see The Art of the Podcast live please get in touch

Procrastination Through Education

I just need to read this ebook before I get started. I'm waiting until next month for the webinar before I launch. I need to take this online course before I do it. Enough is enough!

It's procrastination through education

I had a laugh this morning over coffee, bacon and eggs with the talented Angus Nelson. Angus and I were gabbing away, when we both fell into the trap of recommending educational resources to help us achieve something for our businesses. Even when we had what we needed to get it done.

Illustration from Flickr by  Kars Alfrink

Illustration from Flickr by Kars Alfrink

It was hilarious because I just wrote a post about the fact that we need to stop learning and start doing. I'm not poo-pooing education specifically, I'm saying that we distract ourselves from doing the work by telling ourselves we have to learn more before we can get started.

Angus was laughing too because he just covered this topic on his podcast, Up In Your Business. In it, he said learning can be like breathing. If we spend too much time inhaling, we will eventually pass out. I love that!

Act on your knowledge. Act on what you already know.

It's fine to seek answers and to improve ourselves with new information. Just don't let the quest for more info become a distraction from getting the job done, when you already know you have what you need.

I was recently a guest on Angus' show. You can listen to that episode below. If you like it, I encourage you to subscribe to Up In Your Business in iTunes

The Best Way to Listen

I was laughing the other day as I listened to Ken Bole's Baby Sally podcast. I was chuckling because what he said rang true for me too.  We need to shut up more.

Here's the scenario. You are at a function, and you find yourself speaking with a few people. You are excitedly sharing an entertaining tale when something happens. 

As you are about to share the ending of your story, another person approaches and joins your group. The other people turn away from you and welcome him. Suddenly, they are talking with the new guy. Your story has become a cliff-hanger, but nobody cares.

I laughed at Ken's telling of his story because it has happened to me too. Has this happened to you?

Have a listen below, but be warned of strong language. ;)

Back at the Party...

Miffed, you rush to ruminate on how you can share the conclusion of your riveting story with your disconnected audience. It's usually too late. 

The moral of the story is to ferme la bouche. Instead, be the one who asks for their stories. Become a better listenerThe quieter you become the more you hear. 

Check out the full episode and more of Baby Sally Talks in iTunes