Planning for a Podcast

BEGINNING A PODCAST

People find comfort in the podcasts that engage their interests. Whether the podcast is about true crime (fiction or non-fiction), books, films, tv shows, life advice, advice about something you like, or any other topic, each person will find a different reason why they enjoy listening to the podcast. So if you like a certain podcast for a specific reason, someone else may not enjoy it at all. Each person has different tastes in what they like, but the podcasts all have one thing in common, to create a conversation that is enjoyable and interesting for creator that will affect someone’s life for the better.

Planning a podcast is always a smart step before diving into the recording process. Treat it like any other task in your life. Would you start building a house before creating the blueprint? Would you just wing it in an interview at your dream job? The answer is most likely no, instead you would plan it out and make sure you are very prepared and all the points have been covered. Creating a podcast is no different. One must choose a topic of interest that can easily be talked about with a natural flow to the episode that makes the audience feel like they are in a conversation with the host. Choosing a topic can be difficult, and creating a mind map can help get all the topic ideas out and narrowing it down from there to one that will be perfect to talk about.

Once the topic has been set, the next step is the script. It’s a controversial step for the most part. To create a script or not? That is the question. The Podcast Host explains in the article “The Art of Creating an Invisible Podcast Episode Script“, that creating a script of some kind whether it’s a word for word script, a bunch of bullet points of the key points to hit throughout the episode, or just an outline with as much information as you would like in order to help make the podcast episode flow smoothly and as natural as possible. In fact, it also talked about how some podcasts seemed like they were ad-libbed because of how natural the host spoke and the episode felt overall. Using the filters off approach can help greatly by writing everything down you want to say without any restrictions in order to get everything down that will possibly end up in the podcast in some way. From there, you can always edit, remove, and change it to meet the your standards. Creating a plan of some kind is alway a great way to start because many of us, including myself, tend to start on topic and then somehow in the middle we start talking about something completely off topic with nothing to do with the episode. Whenever this happens the audience tends to lose interest since that’s not what they came to the podcast to listen to. In other words, while creating the script or the outline of the episode always put yourself in the audience’s shoes. By doing so the host can tell if their audience will enjoy it or lose interest very quickly and then adjust where they need to.

Creating a script and doing all the preplanning is great and all, but it won’t be successful if you can’t capture the attention of an audience across the entire episode and longer. In order to do so, you must create a tagline and hook that reels the audience in. The Podcast Host explains in “Podcast Taglines, Hooks, and the Power of Words“, that the tagline and hook should be simple, clear, direct, memorable, fun if you want it to be, and the length is up to you. If it’s memorable then by word of mouth or in other ways, the podcast would become more and more popular and who knows where it can go.

Sound is a major aspect to be concerned with while recording the podcast episode. The audience needs to be able to hear and understand everything that is being said. Background noise at times can be heard, no matter how quiet they may seem, but can be distracting to the audience. In the chapter titled “Sound” in the book, The Bare Bones: Camera Course for Film and Video by Tom Schroeppel, he talks about the different microphones to use and the problems that come up when recording any audio as well as how to get high quality audio and sound effects. It surprised me to know that our voice changes throughout the day that can give a different feeling to the audience than what was originally desired. Sound, whether its someone talking or a sound effect, needs to be taken seriously since it can greatly influence and change the outcome of the podcast. The outcome can be great and the audience can love it, but if it’s not then the audience will lose interest real quick, and move on to another podcast about the same topic and like it more. So you have to be very careful when recording any sound and audio for the podcast.

RESEARCH TO INFORM

Everyone has their favorite podcasts or ones they like for different reasons than someone else. Other people may not agree with me that a certain podcast is good or not because it all depends on one’s interest and criteria in a podcast.

This is certainly the case for one of the podcasts that I enjoy listening to and it’s definitely not for everyone. The podcast is called …and my guest is Richard Speight. This podcast is hosted by Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr. (whose name is a part of the title of the podcast), who are two actors and comedians that I like that started this podcast at the beginning of the pandemic at about a couple weeks into quarantine. What I enjoy about this podcast that other people may not like is that they are literally just having a conversation and they even mentioned in an episode that they don’t do any planning before they start recording or talk to each other before. This is so they have tons of things to talk about since each episode is just a conversation about anything and everything from parenting, to quarantine being the new normal, to recomending movies and shows, or anything else and they just talk about anything where ever the conversation happens to go. They keep it very casual and real that they will look stuff up on Google or even leave to get a drink while one of them is talking in the middle of the episode and keep it in, which is interesting to me because they make it funny for the audience. So who really knows what they are going to talk about or do in each episode, but it in way it keeps me coming back interested in what they are going to talk about next. Also, they don’t remove any interruptions that occur since they both have kids. So if a kid or spouse enters to ask them questions or anything, they will keep it in a make a segment from it in which at times are very funny. Their very short theme song in the beginning as well as some others they have scattered in the episode are interesting and fun. The sound quality is great and they fact that it is all about them having a very real and normal conversation with no plan interests me because it normalizes them in a way by not just looking at them as celebrities but as normal people like us, and makes me feel like I am with them having this conversation.

Another podcast that I enjoy listening to is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. This podcast is enjoyable because while we have seen celebrities interviewing other celebrities, they go beyond the normal topics and conversations that we see over and over and they make it interesting. Also, their conversation makes it feel like I’m there with them, with great sound quality. It’s also interesting that he has a co-host that adds a third personality that adds to the podcast and comes up with even more unique questions to ask that Dax probably hasn’t thought of before.

The Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast is also interesting to me because of the fact that the hosts are brothers in the animation industry who has done a lot of work on various Disney movies. They talk a lot about the industry, how to get into Disney, they even have on guests who has great careers in the industry past and present, are just among the many things that they talk about. As someone who wants to get into the story department at one of the many studios at Disney it is interesting to listen to someone who has been there and done it all. They also tell behind the scenes types of stories at Disney which is unique to hear.

CREATE

After doing research and looking at everything I am interested in, I decided to go with my love for Disney and Disney movies by comparing the animated version and the live-action version of three movies. With the recent release of Mulan and the very mixed reviews, there is a lot to talk about. Check out my plan for my podcast below.

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