Updated: May 11
How to find yourself behind the microphone...
Start a podcast for your business they said, buy the equipment they said, you'll sound great and everyone will want to hear what an expert like you has to say...they said...
But the reality is, a microphone can be as intimidating as being called to your High School Principal's Office over the school intercom. The second you crack that mic your brain suddenly freezes up and you can't seem to muster the words that were easily flowing from your lips just seconds before. First, don't feel bad, almost everyone freezes up in the beginning because being "on the air" fills your head full of self doubt.
Yes, continuing to press on through your insecurities and concerns of how weird your voice sounds in a pair of headphones will eventually get you relaxed enough to become the podcast host you want to become. That is, if you don't give up out of complete frustration while on your journey to excellence; which many people do. I am sure there are storage areas in multiple businesses around the world with podcast equipment tossed away in them out of frustration, so let's make sure that doesn't happen to you.
Let me share three techniques that can help you sound better while conducting your podcast...
Talk To A Photo of A Good Friend Get a photo of a good friend or family member that you can easily talk to, and place it in front of you when you conduct the podcast. I would suggest a head shot of the person in an 8x10 frame because the size will seem more natural to you when you talk to the photo. Yes, I said "talk to the photo" or more importantly talk to the person you are comfortable chatting with. This is an old trick used by hundreds of radio personalities and it makes it easier for them to hold a conversation by themselves. It will take a little while to get used to but it does help you feel comfortable talking to someone you trust rather than a wall. Plus, you will start to sound more conversational and natural rather than like an announcer. However, I would not use a photo of your significant other to talk to. If you should have an argument or your relationship should end, it will effect your podcast delivery. Rather, use a good friend, sibling or parent.
Make Your Podcast Team Effort Instead of trying to carry the entire podcast yourself, invite someone you trust to join you on it. Even if they are simply a "producer" (someone to help produce the podcast by running the audio equipment and listen to you) then you will have a level of human interaction which will make you sound more natural. It is the same concept as having a photo in front of you but it takes a little more effort to execute. You may want to pay the other person for producing your podcast, or at least take them out to lunch.
Prep Your Show Prep, prep, prep, and prep your podcast some more. In other words, no matter how long or short your podcast is, make sure you bring notes and talking points that you can easily access. Know the topics you wish to bring up and have an idea of where you are going to go with it. This will help you sound more informed and help you avoid stumbling around your podcast. You wouldn't go for a road trip to a specific destination without using GPS, so you should never start a podcast without "show prep" (notes).
I hope these three tips help you on your journey to becoming the next big Podcast star. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
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