After making the initial decisions regarding the topic and format for your podcast and the frequency and time you will appear, you are now actually starting your podcast. Talking appropriately is the most critical part of your podcast, as your audience will only hear you only hear your words.
Scripted vs. nonscripted content
You might be thinking about whether your content should be scripted or not during a podcast. Among the most successful podcasters, very few have the content written out like the traditional newscasters. The news anchors read the news, written word for word in front of them from the teleprompter. A podcast is typically less structured, less formal, and more conversational compared to news channels. It is also less expensive and more timesaving if you don’t have it scripted. It takes a lot of time to write, rewrite, then edits the script of the podcast.
Moreover, it does not seem natural when you speak during the show. You can have a script if you want in any specific case, but it’s generally not much better to have it scripted. It is hard for a non-fulltime newsreader to read scripts naturally. If you have a particular advertiser, sponsor, message, or website, you can have a script.
If you want an exciting opening for your podcast to hook people, you can have a couple of lines scripted that you can learn to speak naturally. But for most of your show, you must be conversational with a subject you have passion for. Scripted interviews and conversations are easy to notice, and people don’t like to listen to them. The best thing is to have an outline for the podcast, as you need a road map for your show. It would help if you had some structure and ideas to tell the people what the show will be about. Have some bullet points that keep you on the right track during the podcast. If you introduce some guests in the show, you can have a few lines to introduce them in a written form, but the conversation must not be scripted.
Record your podcast
Now record the podcast first to listen to yourself. Some people have an initial hesitancy about their voice, whether it is suitable for a podcast or not. Someone may think I use too many verbal fillers in my talk, so get over all these thoughts. It is natural that very few people like the sound of their voices. You will get used to it the more you listen to it. Don’t worry too much about the verbal fillers you use in your conversation. Everybody does the same. It is far more essential to have something interesting to say than to sound like some generic news reader or broadcaster from the 1940s. Your passion, exciting and provoking ideas, news, guest, entertainment, and humor are going to make your podcast fun to listen to.
Rehearse your podcast by recording the whole or its initial part. You can record on the voice recorder of your phone, although there are dozens of different audio recording equipment to choose from now. But here, we are not going to discuss the technical aspects of the podcast. Our primary focus is to make you believe you can do it. And then make yourself comfortable with your content, voice, and presentation. Editing and creating special effects in the podcast is a commodity and is secondary. You can hire any professional to do that for you, but you cannot hire anyone to be the voice of your podcast. The voice must be you, and once you have a great voice and exciting content, that is all you need.
Record something that you think is very much close to the actual podcast you envision. This may be the most challenging part for most people. Many people want to do it but face difficulty getting over the hump of recording for themselves. If you don’t do this, you may waste your time on all other activities for the podcast.
Critiquing you voice
Now listen to the recording you made for the rehearsal of your podcast. It may not be the whole podcast necessarily, but it can be a few minutes from your start. Write down the things you liked and didn’t like in your recording. If you feel strange about the sound of your voice, it’s logical. The fact is that you hear your voice all day long is filtered through the flesh and bones of our head. So, we hear our voice in a profoundly distorted way. When we hear our voice coming through a speaker, we hear it in a much less distorted way. It is the way everyone else is hearing our voice all day long. That is why it seems strange to us.
The problem with most people is not that they have a terrible voice. It is simply disorienting to hear their voice out of the speakers because it’s not the sound they have in their minds. This disconnect creates anxiety, but you must get over it. If you often record and listen to your voice, it will no longer bother you. There are no criteria to have a perfect voice, and don’t compare your voice with any other. Many people without a good voice are successful podcasters because of the exciting content they bring to the audience.
Analyze your talking style
When you listen to your recording, analyze them. Are you conversational? Are you speaking too quickly, too slowly or too softly in a way that does not set the right mood for your program? You must have a range in your voice, i.e., high, low, fast, slow, loud, soft, pauses and stops, repetition of words, sentence fragments. That is what makes a conversation. Things that sound good may not look good in the written form. In podcasts, it’s people’s ears: you must sound good. Well-written content is a requirement for a blog.
Now notice the things you didn’t like about your voice or accent. Work on one mistake at a time and try to remove it. For example, if you feel you are speaking too softly, making you look scared, practice increasing your volume while ignoring all other things. Practice removing this mistake. Target logically when fixing things, like trying to sound like an elder when you are 12 years old, will not be a good idea. Improve the things one by one by practicing, recording, and analyzing your final presentation.
For hosting an excellent podcast, use notes instead of the script most of the time. Get easy with your voice and improve your conversation style by practicing and recording. Listen to your recording and keep on going until you feel it’s perfect. The main idea is to get over the doubt of your ability to speak. Many people do have great topics and ideas to speak on, but they do not have confidence in themselves. Practically following the guidelines given in the blog will make you clear about how you sound. To get better and better in your podcast, listen to your podcast to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and to other famous people’s podcasts to learn from them.