I'm going to tell you three more things about podcasting that will give you a massive head start.
Well, not a massive head start. But, when I learned these tricks they all made life a lot easier. And these are the kinds of tips you're probably looking for if you're thinking about starting a podcast. Or if your new show is still in the infant stage.
**Disclaimer** This information is for people with an idea and a desire to start a show from scratch with very little or no experience at all in audio content creation. If you're a professional radio disc jockey, you can stop here.
Alright, here we go...
1) Create a "Master Track" and fill in the blanks each time you produce an episode.
If you've listened to some of my original episodes you might remember hearing the ringing of the Skype call, lack of intro and outro music, and a very unprofessional sounding show throughout.
What a train wreck!
If I would have known that creating a "Master Track" would have allowed me to piece together my work and create a very sophisticated sounding show I would have been doing that from day one.
Now I know. Now you know. And now you can.
See the image below for how I break up my show for editing purposes. This particular episode was a "best of" type show. Hence, all the chopped up pieces in the interview section. Usually, this would be one long and uncut track. Or two tracks, if it was recorded in person using two microphones.
2) Use the mute button and shut the hell up!
The biggest difference between those two episodes? Less background noise when I interviewed Bob. For example, as Bob talked, I listened for long, long periods of time with my microphone muted. I actually made coffee while Bob was answering one question. I also had my two 110 pound dogs in the room with me. And you would have never known that.
During my chat with Hugo, you can hear my dogs. You can also hear me typing my follow up questions and thoughts as they were popping into my head while he was talking. How lame, huh?
That's why muting is so important.
You'll also find out that muting your own microphone prevents you from interrupting your guests unnecessarily. Talking over guests was such a bad habit of mine when I first got started. It wasn't until I learned the art of muting, and picked up some tips on asking questions, that the episodes started to get a lot better.
This is another reason why the episode with Bob was so great (to me). He spilled his freaking guts out! And when there was a pause in the conversation, he took it upon himself to break the awkward silence and keep going with even more information. That was 100% by design on my part. And it's a tactic that you should try to use, too.
3) Ask interesting questions that other people aren't asking. And learn from people outside of your field.
You should 100% be listening to the mainstreamers in your field that are all asking same lame ass questions. Then, you should be asking different and more interesting ones. And you should also be listening to other experts in other fields and learning what and what not to do as well.
One of the most interesting things Gary Kleiban said when I interviewed him at his house came after I asked him the question "What rules have you broken when building 3FOUR3?"
First off, I thought that was a great question that soccer people just aren't asking. Ever.
Secondly, Gary said he doesn't think that he's broken any rules at all. He's just used tactics in his field of work that other people aren't using. And that he has learned these alternative tactics from other industries. And that is fucking genius!
Gary is one of my mentors, so it shouldn't be a surprise that this tactic of his is what I eventually learned and deployed myself. That's how I found that question about rule breaking actually. I stole it from a different podcaster who has a show totally opposite of mine. And this sort of thing is exactly what you should be doing when you start your podcast.
Scour the internet for interviews of all different sorts and take notes on what you like and don't like. Watch old Larry King interviews. Listen to interviews of politicians that were having their feet held to the fire by journalists asking incredibly uncomfortable questions during times of economic downturn or scandal. Watch, or read translations, of foreign post-game press conferences to see how media in other countries treat athletes and coaches. Check out something way out of your world, like Howard Stern or Oprah.
Question asking is an art. And I'm nowhere near a master. But studying some masters or some historic interviews just before some of my biggest interviews has helped my confidence and creativity tremendously.
Again, I have to remind you that I am not a pro. But if you're reading this, you're probably not either. And you're probably going to hit the same speed bumps and road blocks that I did. Hopefully, these tips will help you hit the ground running and keep you moving forward.
Good luck with your show! And if you have a question, drop me a line in the comment section. Someone else is probably wondering the same thing that you are.