Podcasting -- Let the Experiments Begin


 Podcasting -- Let the Experiments Begin

Podcasting has grown into an almost $200 million industry in the US. It's a great way to listen to and share educational information, creator-driven entertainment, and personal stories. If you're looking for new ways to tell your story or connect with people who share your interests, then this is the time for you to get serious about podcasting!

Sharing your stories can be scary at first but it's worth it when you see all the benefits of having a voice: increased self-confidence and self-awareness; improved social skills; stronger relationships with peers, family, and friends; quicker learning of difficult topics; higher standardized test scores.

Here's how you can get started:

1. Start with a plan -- Get some friends together and brainstorm your podcast idea. Think about the purpose of your podcast; the length, topics, and format. Brainstorm some great questions to ask guests or interviewees on your show. You might want to collaborate with friends or family on your podcast project. Or you might want to try out different hosts for each episode. You can even use more than one format for different episodes, such as interviews, roundtable discussions, monologues, field recordings of interesting places, etc. Once you have a basic idea of what you're going to do try it out! See if it works in practice as well as in theory. If it doesn't work out, just remember that it's only an experiment and not the end of the world.

2. Start at square one -- You don't have to have professional recording equipment or editing software to start podcasting. Just use what you have and improve as needed. You can get some really great sounding audio with your iPhone or Android phone, a quality microphone, and free Audacity software for recording and editing on your computer. Audacity even works on old computers that you might already have in your home and is available for Mac and PC computers. Once you get started, you can buy upgrades if you want more features (such as new recording devices) or better sound quality (such as a better mic).

3. Get some feedback -- Before you start your podcast, get some friend or family member to listen in advance of your first recording session. Ask them to listen for interesting and engaging moments that you might want to use in the podcast, or things that they think sound too scripted, or places where they think you could say something more clearly. Then, during your recording session, ask them to listen again and tell you what they think of the material overall, how well it's organized, how clear it is, etc. You may even want to try out a few story prompts on them and see what kind of feedback they give you about different possibilities for stories.

4. Get feedback from listeners -- You can create a simple website for your podcast and ask people to listen and give you feedback. For example, they can tell you what they liked or didn't like about the podcast or the individual stories. You can also ask what kind of topics, style, or length of episodes people want to hear in the future.

5. Get involved -- Find out if there are local groups of podcasters near you who have regular meetings that you could attend to network with other podcasters and get their suggestions for how to improve your show while learning from their experience. There are also national organizations that help people get started with podcasting such as the Radio Education Foundation (http://www.rnefnow.org/). There are many other resources out there for podcasters that will help you improve your skills and network with other podcasters.

6. Start to build a community of listeners -- Like any relationship, the most important part of podcasting is that you have listeners who care about what you have to say and want to hear it again. You can do this by starting with a really short pilot episode and then asking your listeners what they think. You can use feedback from this first recording session to decide what you'll focus on in future episodes, or if you want to produce more content at all. (You might also want to create a page on your website where people can leave comments about future episodes.

Conclusion: In summary, if you're not ready to be a full fledged podcaster yet, then start out by producing and sharing a few sample episodes. If those are well received, then you can scale up and produce as many different kinds of episodes as you want. Keep in mind that podcasting is an experiment that might not pan out at first but it's still an excellent way to share your voice with the world.

Below is a video version of this article for those who have access to a youtube account:


Post a Comment