Diary of a Podcaster Part 10
Last night, myself, Hannah and Chris (AKA Jaedia and Wolfyseyes) had an especially productive recording session. We managed to produce two hours of material in total and I’m confident that it can be whittled down into a coherent and enjoyable ninety-minute episode. What I especially enjoyed about this podcast recording was buoyant atmosphere and the flow of the conversation. I felt that we explored the various topics well and that the discussion felt natural. Ultimately, it will be the listeners who’ll determine whether this is the case or not but from my perspective the recording went well because the guests were a good choice. If you are pursuing a podcast format that has multiple hosts or regularly features guests, then it is important for there to be a rapport between all involved.
I’ve been very fortunate over the years as I’ve always worked with experienced podcasters or those who are confident public speakers. Therefore, the discussions are broad and follow a logical pattern. Each participant listens to the other and responds to the questions and points being raised. This means that the conversation moves forward and doesn’t flounder. If everyone gets on, then there is a more natural connection. Humour and confidence often go hand in hand. Many of my favourite podcasts that I regularly listen to, work so well primarily because the hosts work well together. That’s not to say that all parties involved have to agree with each other. Consensus is not always especially interesting. However, podcasters that know each other often means that the conversation runs its course more coherently. There is less tendency to talk across each other and for one individual to dominate the proceedings.
On occasion, there have been times when a guest has struggled with the dynamics of a podcast. Not everyone is confident when in front of a microphone and sometimes it’s simply the notion of being recorded that kills their enthusiasm. However, if I think there may be an issue, we sometimes spend some time “warming up”, with some casual conversation. This process can help immensely in helping all parties to relax and focus less on the process and more on the discussion. Also, and lot of issues can be fixed during the editing process. Lengthy pauses can be reduced accordingly and misspoken lines can be eliminated entirely. You can also improve the narrative structure of a show in post-production. If a point is made that would better serve at an earlier point in the conversation, then it can be moved accordingly. It should also not be forgotten that you can re-record material if you feel it can improve matters.
There are great advantages to recording a podcast with a group, or producing a show with a regular co-host(s). I have experimented this year with producing solo content and it is immensely difficult and comes with an entire set of other problems. I therefore have immense respect for my podcasting peers that produce regular shows in this fashion. It requires a great deal of dedication, focus and confidence. There is a lot of truth in the old adage of there being safety in numbers. The solo podcaster is the focus of scrutiny on their show. However, for the present it is a format that I am no longer going to pursue. Returning to the subject of yesterday’s recording session, as well as all the other positive aspects I’ve mentioned, it was also immense fun. We did a lot of laughing and I think that is an important litmus test. It also motivates me to keep podcasting.