After all the knowledge we’ve shared on getting started with podcasting, you should be ready to finally speak on the air! Keep in mind that this takes practice and no one is perfect. Some people are natural speakers, while others need to practice and become familiar with it. As long as you’re willing to put in work and practice—practice—practice, you will no doubt improve as time goes on. Your podcasts will become sharper more precise and smoother the more you do.
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance — Although cliché, this saying holds true any form of broadcasting to an audience. When it comes to podcasting, it’s very important to plan ahead. This blog will cover the proper way to record or broadcast a live interview. Our audio engineers at Life Improvement Media suggest working up to a live interview. They sat down briefly with our blog writers to give anyone who listens in a few tips of advice.
Develop and Hone
Your topics in the comfort of your own home. Talk to the room you’re in as if people are listening. Practice in front of the mirror as a way to build comfort with speaking.
Make the Time
Run through your interview with your guest (or the host if you are the guest) a couple of times before you record or broadcast. It’s a smart way to iron out any kinks in the script and ease into the dialogue. By speaking the same sentences multiple times, it will sound like natural dialogue to the audience once you go ON AIR. Beware of over-rehearsing as no one wants to listen to a dull and monotone interview. Practice until you are comfortable, not until you are perfect. As a guest speaking on a show, it says a lot if you bring questions you want to be asked to the host. You and the host can go over which ones are pertinent and which ones are not. Stitching together an interview before you broadcast can bring you to your comfort zone. You and your host have a copy of the entire dialogue and can go off the topics in front of you without missing a beat. Keep in mind for a few ad libs to make transitions more natural.
Have a Plan of Action
If you are recording a broadcast, you have a lot more leniency with mistakes. A good sound producer will understand mistakes are common and let you get back on track. Editors will catch the errors, cut them out by piece the correct dialogue back together. Every Internet radio station out there their own way of working with podcasters. At Life Improvement Media, our sound producers and audio engineers work hand-in-hand with the hosts and guests. Before any record button or ON AIR button is pressed, the team signals when the host and guest will be coming in and going off the air. Bottom line: do not worry about making mistakes. Plan ahead by having extra questions and extra answers in case you finish earlier than planned. Finishing early with extra material is far better than having time left and no material. It’s very apparent when speakers change course and stumble. Plan ahead to avoid this!
Q&A: Questions & Audience
How you speak on the air is just as important as who you speak to. Remember your audience at all times. Helpful tip: write down your target audience at the top of your interview dialogue sheet as a reminder.
Your audience is listening because you have informational topics they want to hear. No one wants to hear short, boring dialogue. Yes and No questions are not ideal in this type of situation. You’re not being pulled over by law enforcement. Be lively in your discussions. Every question being asked should be an open question that evokes a thought out response from the interviewee. If the guest elaborates more on a planned answer that’s a plus. It means something better has come to light in that moment than previously planned for. Let it be shared with the world. If it was a mistake, don’t swear it. Remember: mistakes can easily be edited out in post-production.
Far too many times, we have heard interviews be handled in poor conditions. One particular instance showcased a host having to record his radio show from behind the wheel via bluetooth. The quality was awful and the frequent gaps in dialogue let everyone know, the host wasn’t fully paying attention to the show (of course not, he was driving home in rush hour stressful traffic). Be aware of where you are when you record or broadcast. Turn your phones to silent or off entirely. Often times, cell phone signals create feedback unheard by the human ear. It can ravish the audio quality and ruin an entire interview altogether once the file goes into editing.
We can not stress this part enough: DO NOT talk over your guest or vice versa. Just like in ordinary conversation, one person should speak at a time and the other(s) should be listening. It’s rude and very unprofessional to everyone involved when you talk over another person. Take your time in speaking and conversing.
Lastly … if you’re the host, NEVER:
- Ask more than one question at a time (don’t force the speaker to fumble or get lost).
- Speak your script with “… and my next question is …” (don’t read the script, speak your dialogue).
- Allow for an awkward pause or dull moment. (dead air hurts your ears).
- Be disrespectful to your audience and the person you’re interviewing (see “unprofessionalism” and “how to lose your audience”).
- Keep your mouth on your microphone (or breath into the mic) while the other person is talking (see “unprofessionalism” and “how to lose your audience”).
- Forget who you’re serving (your audience, at all times).
Now, go forth with these tips and practice your questions and answers and nail it on your first try!
- Our daily podcasting encounters
- Common industry knowledge
- Years of experience
Thank you for your attention!
To bring a copy of these tips and tricks with you during your interview or planning stages, click the eBook below to download a copy!