What defines a good podcast? Make no mistake -- there is a difference between a good podcast and a not-so-good podcast. A high-caliber podcast is much more than just decent content. The sound quality, and the way a podcast is recorded, will impact the value of the podcast as well. Podcast structure and pre-planning are also important; do not skimp on the production, as it too can make or break a podcast.
Podcast production takes effort, but anything worth doing is worth doing right. Use these tips to help produce a quality podcast that will be distinguished above other related podcasts...
1. Invest In A Good Microphone
A gritty sounding podcast is tantamount to a radio station that can't be tuned in completely. Poor quality podcasts are not going to be tolerated, and listeners will simply unsubscribe rather than being subjected to a poor quality recording. There are a variety of microphones available, and different types are designed for different situations. Find a microphone that suits your recording environment. Sound quality really does matter.
2. Distance Matters
Maintain a consistent distance from the microphone while recording -- this will ensure the recording volume is consistent throughout. If you find this challenging, you may wish to consider a microphone that is on a headset, as that will help insure a consistent distance during the recording.
Use voice inflections to show emotion and to emphasize points and opinions. The inflections can add character and humor to broadcasts. Listeners will catch on to any enthusiasm, but will often tune-out monotones.
4. Polish It
Add an image and background music to your podcast to make it stand out. Those small additions will help distinguish your podcast from competing podcast listings in the podcast directories.
5. Use Editing Software
Use audio editing software to remove any recording defects or errors. Remove any long pauses or sound artifacts that might occur during the recording.
6. Minimize Background Noise
Find a secluded spot to record your show; this will help minimize background noises. Use the same spot to record each show, which will result in continuity in recordings.
Prior to recording, conduct an audio test to make sure that the sound quality is acceptable and background noise is minimal.
8. Break It Up
Record longer shows in short segments; this will make the final editing process easier.
9. Add Transitions
Use software to add transitional sound effects between show segments. Additionally, add background music, theme music, or overlays between the show segments to spice up the podcast.
Each show in a podcast series should follow a prescribed format. All shows in a series should be similar in length. Try not to stray too far from the preplanned format, as listeners will come to expect it.
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll, software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds, and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage, a wireless text messaging software company.© 2008 Sharon Housley
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