As someone who regularly engages with new and first-time podcasters, I am frequently asked how much preparation should be done before hitting record. Often, these inquiries include a question about scriptwriting. Should episodes be completely scripted to ensure that material is covered as intended? Or, should they be recorded on-the-fly to sound more natural?
Personally, I recommend a combination of both. However, there are pros and cons to each and as a podcast host, you will have to determine what works best for you. Read on for a more in-depth look at each of these methods.
Using this option, the podcast host prepares all of their content in advance and reads from a script during their recording. The benefit of having an entirely scripted episode is that your content will be covered exactly as intended. You will never need to worry about forgetting an important piece of information, or trying to properly articulate your thoughts. If you’re finding this process a bit challenging, try checking out Quill, an online service that can match you up with a professional script writer who is perfect for you and your podcast.
The downside to following a script is that your recordings may SOUND scripted to your listeners who are expecting a more natural flow of conversation. If you do feel most comfortable using this method, I recommend practicing your content out loud several times before hitting record. Making notes in your script about specific inflections to use or where to insert a pause can be helpful as well.
For those who are confident in their ability to think on their feet, the completely unscripted option is the right choice for you. One of the benefits is that your content does not come across as forced or monotone. It also leaves room for spontaneous inspiration and discussion during the podcast.
An obvious risk that you take with this method is forgetting what you wanted to say. As thoroughly as you might know a topic, it is easy to miss something when you’re caught up in the moment. Because of this, my advice is always to jot down a few main points that you wish to discuss. You will be glad that you have it if you find your mind going blank in the middle of a recording. If it does, don’t feel bad! It happens to the best of us.
The Basic Episode Plan
The approach that I have settled on is a combination of the two methods. Before I record an episode, I create an outline of the main points that I wish to discuss and list them in an order that makes sense. The benefit of this method is that you will cover all intended material and still sound natural and conversational.
Focus on content – We’ll take care of the rest!
Here at TalkShoe, we know how much work goes into each and every episode that you record. Because of that, we are proud to offer a podcasting platform that eliminates much of the heavy lifting. With FREE unlimited hosting and storage, easy to use RSS feeds, and lots of cool extras, the TalkShoe platform lets you focus on the most important aspect – your content.
With so many options available out there, purchasing a microphone for your podcast can feel like an extremely daunting and overwhelming task. That’s why we’ve created this guide of our top choices to fit within any budget. Whether you’re just starting out and looking to purchase your first microphone, or a seasoned pro looking to upgrade your hardware, this guide has got you covered.
First, consider directionality
When selecting a microphone, it is important to plan ahead for the number of people that you intend to have on your show at one time. If you will always be recording solo, a microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern (records from one side only) will be sufficient. If you will be having more than one person on your show, a bi-directional microphone (records from both ends) or omnidirectional microphone (records from all sides) will be needed.
This compact and portable USB microphone is perfect for podcasting on-the-go. The unique design allows for it to be clipped onto a laptop or sit upright on a flat surface. You can select the pickup pattern, either cardioid or omnidirectional, depending on your specific needs at that time.
Recommended by podcasting expert Sam Laliberte from the Freedom Lifestyle Podcast, this USB microphone is the perfect option if you are looking for crystal clear audio quality and plan on recording alone.
One unique benefit to this microphone is its supercardioid pickup pattern which reduces background noise for extremely clear audio recordings. Although promoted as a gaming microphone, it is highly effective for podcasting as well.
One of the most popular microphones on the market is the Blue Yeti. This USB microphone is incredibly versatile as it offers cardioid, bidirectional and omnidirectional pattern selection. It also comes with a stand, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing additional accessories.
This broadcast-quality dynamic cardioid microphone is an excellent choice if you have a bit more money to spend on equipment. One unique feature that it offers is an internal pop filter that minimises harsh plosives which can distort your audio.
RE320 - $340
This professional-grade dynamic microphone is our personal favourite! We like it so much that you can find 4 of them set up and ready to capture your audio in incredible detail at the TalkShoe recording studio in downtown Toronto.
Live in Toronto? Come and use our equipment!
If you live near the city and want to avoid the hassle of purchasing your own microphone, the TalkShoe recording studio inside Stackt Market provides everything that you need for FREE. The space has been outfitted with professional recording equipment provided by Remenyi House of Music and Electrovoice for an excellent sounding podcast every time. So, what are you waiting for?
Companies looking to reach the growing global podcast audience have been creating their own shows, known as branded podcasts. These podcasts are an extension of the brand and can be created for several important reasons such as thought leadership, having control over your brand, and creating positive engagement around your brand. Usually, these types of podcasts are created in-house and your company is fully responsible for the content, including any references to your brand’s products/services.
Here are a few ways companies can benefit from having a branded podcast:
Branded podcasts give your company more control
The first way branded podcasts are beneficial to your company is that you have full control over your content in contrast to inserting ads in other podcast shows. Since the brand creates all of the content in the podcast series you can decide how you share the brand with audiences. Your company can strategically place these brand mentions within an episode which could provide a more effective way for listeners to understand the usefulness of your products or services.
By creating your own podcast, a brand can pick and choose how, when, and where to advertise their products or services within the episodes. These product plugs can be done in a way that’s obvious or in a way that is more discreet.
An example of a company using a branded podcast to have full control over their messaging is The Message podcast by General Electric (GE). “The Message” is a science fiction podcast in a journalistic style. In the podcast, scientists work to decode extraterrestrial messages using real technology developed and sold by GE. This is a great example of how GE decided to tell
their brand story in a truly original and creative way. They had full control over how they expressed their brand through the podcast medium.
Branded podcasts create positive engagement around your company
By starting a branded podcast you have created another way for potential customers to interact with your brand. This can help your brand seem more approachable and for larger businesses this can be the key to being viewed as more personable. Another benefit is that you can tell your brand story to your audience over time (daily, weekly, monthly) through digestible podcast episodes. As long as you’re creating high-quality podcast content on topics your audience cares about, you’ll be able to deliver your message to them consistently.
The way to discover if audiences are enjoying your podcast episodes is through engagement and analytics. Are there a high number of listeners tuning in to each episode? Is there conversation being sparked online as a result of your episodes? Branded podcasts have the potential to create positive online conversations around your brand.
The Thank God It’s Monday (TGIM) podcast by Shopify is an example of a branded podcast that has created positive engagement around a company. The show includes inspirational stories about entrepreneurs that turned their ideas into a successful startup. Shopify has received a lot of positive reviews for this podcast which shows that their listeners are engaged.
Branded podcasts help your brand become a thought leader
Branded podcasts can be part of your company’s marketing arsenal. They can be used alongside your other forms of content marketing and lead generation to help the company become a thought leader on a specific topic. This strategy will drive a lot of traffic to your website and product offerings. As a result of this content, your sales have the potential to increase.
These podcasts can be about any topic even ones not necessarily directly related to the brand itself. An example of a branded podcast is one created by Slack. While Slack is in the business of using software for collaboration in the workplace, Slack did not just focus their podcast on
software. Instead, they created a branded podcast called ‘Work In Progress’ about the workplace as a whole. This is smart marketing because a podcast about software would never be that popular, but Slack understands that people are interested in the future of workplaces. Therefore they are able to expose listeners to their brand over longer periods of time with content they really care about, that still relates to their business.
Branded podcasts can deliver information to your internal team
Another way branded podcasts can be beneficial is by creating an internal one for your team. An internal podcast is one produced by the company for its employees. There are several reasons why an internal podcast can be useful for a company such as delivering internal communications, culture building, learning and development, and onboarding new employees.
An example of a branded podcast produced for a company’s internal team is the Tell Me Why podcast by American Airlines. The company made their show because they have many employees who admitted in internal surveys that they wanted to know more about corporate policies. The podcast has various episodes that share this information with American Airline employees in an engaging way.
Ready to get started?
Starting a branded podcast can help your company become a thought leader, create positive engagement around your brand, and allow you to completely control your content. Since starting a branded podcast isn’t very expensive, companies should consider starting one to reap the benefits of this medium. If you’re interested in hiring help to get your branded podcast up and running or to support your ongoing production needs consider hiring one of our freelancers.
About the author:
Amanda Desouza is a Toronto-based content strategist and writer for Quill. She is passionate about covering stories related to business, lifestyle and tech.
Podcast conferences are an excellent opportunity to interact with and learn from other like-minded individuals involved in the podcasting industry. Featuring special guests and keynote speakers, these events can benefit both aspiring and seasoned podcasters alike. Speaking from personal experience, we highly recommend checking out one of our following top 5 picks for MUST attend podcasting conferences in 2020.
When: February 12-15
Where: Millennium Biltmore - Los Angeles, California
Cost: $169 - $519
At Podcast Movement: Evolutions, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re a Creator, Professional Podcaster, or Industry Professional, this experience will be hugely beneficial. With over 100 speakers and panelists ready to share their expertise, this is one conference this year that you don’t want to miss.
When: March 4
Where: New World Stages – New York, New York
Cost: $349 - $450
Featuring an array of experts in podcasting, audio innovation, research agency, brand perspective and executive-level marketing, the RAIN Podcast Business Summit will explore a variety of topics in the digital audio space.
When: March 6-8
Where: Orlando World Center Marriot - Orlando, Florida
Cost: $349 – $1,099
With the goal of bringing together passionate and like-minded individuals, Podfest Expo will provide an experience that is both educational and inspiring. Whether you’re preparing to launch your first podcast or a seasoned expert, this conference has something for you.
When: June 25
Where: Millennium Biltmore – Los Angeles, California
Cost: $299 - $469
Specifically targeting enterprise-level marketing teams, this conference aims to provide education on the many benefits of podcasting. Whether you are seeking to create your own branded podcast or advertise an existing one, Listen In will provide the required insights to assist with your success using this medium.
When: August 5-8
Where: Hilton Anatole - Dallas, Texas
Cost: $249 - $459
With an expected attendance of over 3,000 podcasters, this massive conference is an incredible opportunity to network and learn from others in the industry. Featuring a trade show with over 100 exhibitors and 200+ educational sessions to attend, this event should be at the top of your list.