The Writing Center can help you as you compose your podcast. We can help you in the planning and outlining stages as well as give you feedback on your overall design. Here's a short podcast on podcasting strategies:
Advice on Podcasting
Hi, I’m Nicole and I’m one of the writing center’s tutors. I am a part of the digital projects group and we’re making different segments to help give advice on what digital projects you may have to do for a class, internship or a job. I will be going through the steps to make a good podcast and I will be discussing some strategies that you can follow.
The first thing that you should do when making a podcast is plan. If you’re not sure what you want your podcast to be about you should try to brainstorm some ideas. Jot down any topics or subtopics that you have in mind. But, before choosing your ideas ask yourself if it’s realistic. Then decide your goal, your overall theme, and what message you want to be conveyed in your podcast.
Next you are going to want to plan out the structure of your podcast. Decide if you want to write a script, and if you are planning on improvising most of the podcast I encourage you to at least have a script for just the beginning. Afterwards you should compile a list of sounds that you would like to record and decide if you want to add any background music or sound effects and the last thing that you should do in the planning process is drafting a timeline. So you want to include the days you will be gathering research, conducting your interviews, recording and editing. If there is a strict deadline you want to ensure that you have enough time to not only record the podcast but also edit it and submit it. Just be prepared for any challenges that may come up. So these could be technical issues or last minute schedule changes with the people you’re interviewing.
The next thing I’ll be going over is Recording. So just remember you don't need any fancy or expensive equipment. All you need is a recording device like your cell phone, tablet or computer. If you have access to microphones you can definitely use them, but they’re not required. You may want to keep a glass of water by you while you record just to ensure that your voice sounds clear. And don’t be afraid to mess up, because you can always re record.
Another thing you want to focus on is how you want your voice to sound during the podcast. Do you want your voice to be soft and smooth or loud and rough? Do you want it to sound tense or relaxed? A tense sound is higher, sharper, brighter and relaxed sound is more mellow. You don't need to get caught up with a recording personality, instead you want to sound like you. So sound like your most natural, alert and energetic self.
The next thing I’ll be going over is interviewing. So before you do an interview, do your research and come up with a list of questions. Make sure that you’re just really well prepared and research who the person you’re interviewing is. You want to understand why you're interviewing this person and how it’s important for the subject of your podcast. Make sure you have your general idea for each question that you’re gonna be asking, but don’t prepare a script because the conversation won’t come off as natural and genuine. You want to make it feel conversational and remember that it’s ok if the topic deviates naturally from the questions that you prepared.
Before you start your interview, remember to remind the person that you will be recording them. You want to meet somewhere quiet to limit any amount of background noise in your recording. And remember to record not only their answers, but your questions as well.
Next thing I’ll be going over real quick is editing. So avoid leaving any audio mixing to the last minute just because it can be so time consuming especially if this is the first time using a new software so just make sure you have enough time to edit because you don’t want to rush through after putting in so much time recording. And make sure you always test your equipment beforehand.
Overall just remember that all podcasts are different and there are so many different types of genres and styles so just focus on what’s important for your podcast. Focus on your individuality and creativity.
Blevins, B. (2019). Podcasts: Sound strategies for sonic literacy. In L. Sabatino & B. Fallon (Eds.), Multimodal Composing: Strategies for Twenty-First-Century Writing Consultations (pp. 140-152). Louisville, CO: Utah State University Press.
Carter, C. (2012). Instructional audio guidelines: Four design principles to consider for every instructional audio design effort. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 56(6), 54-58.
NPR. (2018). Starting your podcast: A guide for students. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2018/11/15/662070097/starting-your-podcast-a-guide-for-students
van Leeuwen T. (1999) Perspective. Speech, Music, Sound (pp. 12-33). Palgrave, London.
van Leeuwen T. (1999) Voice quality and timbre. Speech, Music, Sound (pp. 125-154). Palgrave, London.
- Headphones and a microphone are helpful in ensuring the clarity of your voice.
- When preparing interviews, review your interview questions before you start the interview process and practice the interview with yourself to help with the timing and the flow of your podcast. An example of this would be to read the questions out loud and time yourself as you go through them. This will ensure more preparation and makes for better time management.
The resource list is a works in progress and will be regularly updated.
Adobe Audition: https://www.adobe.com/products/audition.html
"Starting Your Podcast: A Guide For Students" : https://www.npr.org/2018/11/15/662070097/starting-your-podcast-a-guide-for-students
Macadam, A. (2017). "Radio intros: 5 examples of success": https://training.npr.org/2017/01/10/radio-intros-5-examples-of-success/
Examples of Public Service Announcements