Helen Osborne - A conversation about podcasting


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Presented by Helen Osborne, MEd, OTR/L, on September 27, 2013 at the fourth annual Center for Health Literacy Conference: Plain Talk in Complex Times.

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Helen Osborne - A conversation about podcasting

  1. 1. 1 A Conversation About Podcasting: Using Audio Interviews to Communicate Your Message. Plain Talk 2013. Presented by Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L. Health Literacy Out Loud A Conversation about Podcasting: Using Audio Interviews to Communicate Your Message Podcasts are like radio shows in that they have informational or entertaining audio content. But unlike radio, podcast listeners choose when, where, and how to hear these shows. Why podcasting works well for communicating important messages:  The audience for podcasts is growing fast. Last time I checked, more than 6 million people listen to podcasts each day. This includes young adults, older adults and others you might want to reach with your message.  Listeners can access podcasts on many devices including computers, MP3 players (like an iPod) and “smart” cell phones. This makes podcasts available to a very, very large population worldwide.  People can listen to podcasts at times they find convenient. This might mean listening while washing dishes, commuting or, like me, going on a walk.  Podcasts can “stand alone” as audio or be offered with other ways of learning such as with written transcripts, web sites, and ways to learn more.  As a podcaster, your costs are modest after the initial outlay for equipment. While I choose to work with an audio editor, you can do this skill yourself.  As a podcast producer or host, you can open many “doors” to conversations with thought leaders, authors, and other industry experts. Why podcasting could work well for me: ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________
  2. 2. 2 A Conversation About Podcasting: Using Audio Interviews to Communicate Your Message. Plain Talk 2013. Presented by Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L. Getting Started with Podcasting 1. Choose your format: • Lecture format. This is with just one person talking. But many people find that the lecture format is hard to listen to unless the speaker is amazing and has an incredible story to tell. A good example is From Our Own Correspondent (BBC), at http://www.bbc.co.uk/fromourowncorrespondent/ • Radio show format. These often have several stories edited into one larger show. While wonderful to listen to, these can be time-consuming and expensive to produce. My favorites include This American Life with Ira Glass http://www.thisamericanlife.org/ and Radiolab with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich at http://www.radiolab.org • Interview format. To me, this format is interesting to listen to and can be produced at a reasonable cost. Examples include Fresh Air with Terry Gross at http://www.npr.org/freshair. And of course, Health Literacy Out Loud with Helen Osborne at www.healthliteracyoutloud.org. 2. Decide about time: • 20 minutes is a good upper limit for podcasts. This usually fits within a person’s commute or exercise routine. • 5 minutes is usually the lower limit for podcasts. If podcasts are too short, listeners need to repeatedly access new episodes. • Decide about the frequency of episodes. Generally, this should be no less than once a month (to build a devoted audience) and no more than once every week or two (so you do not tire yourself out). 3. Get needed equipment. Here is what I use now (but know that technology and prices change all the time):  Microphone to record over the phone. Snowball, about $50.  Recorder to take on the road. Olympus LS-10, about $250.  Microphone to take on the road. Audio-Technica AT8010, about $150.  Noise-cancelling headphones. Audio-Technica ATHANC7, about $150.  Computer. My strong preference is for a Mac, not PC. This is because of Mac’s built-in audio editing and tech support. 4. Get needed technology: • Skype to call the other person, http://www.skype.com. But please ask the other person to talk on a corded landline phone, not Skype. • Software to save recorded calls. For PC computers, a good option is Call Burner at http://www.callburner.com . For a Mac, I use Call Recorder at http://www.ecamm.com/mac/callrecorder/ • FileZilla, CyberDuck, DropBox, or other FTP (file transfer protocol) tool. You need this to send large audio files. Ask your podcast editor which to use. • Editing software. There are many programs available including GarageBand built into the Mac and Audacity for PC.
  3. 3. 3 A Conversation About Podcasting: Using Audio Interviews to Communicate Your Message Plain Talk 2013. Presented by Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L Audio Interviews: What to Do Before, During, and After 1. Before the interview: • Learn how to interview. Listen to lots of podcasts and radio shows. Pay extra attention to openings, closings, and transitions between topics. • Listen to yourself. Notice your tone of voice, inflection, clarity, and pace. Also notice any annoying habits such as saying “um,” “so,” or “you know.” • Carefully select interviewees. Beyond expertise, look for people who speak clearly, succinctly, and are good storytellers. • Talk first with the interviewee to brainstorm topics and key points. • Obtain interviewee's written or spoken permission. Let interviewees know what to expect in the podcast process. • Gather information. This includes interviewee’s bio, photo, and “fun factoid.” 2. During the interview: • Put energy in your voice. I do this by jumping just before the call. Others add energy by standing up. • Create your notes. For each podcast, my notes include: o Intro. A sentence or two to introduce the podcast series. o Guest intro. Two to three sentences about the interviewee. o Transition question. How I will begin the conversation. o Key points. What I definitely want to cover during the podcast. o Outro. My closing and ways to learn more. • Help interviewees feel relaxed. Let them know that all they need is their expertise. I’ll take care of the rest. • Keep a pad of paper nearby. Write down the interviewee’s key phrases to refer to later. Make notes about other questions to ask. • Be your own tech support. Honestly, this can be the scariest part. • Record after the interview “ends.” You might hear a new story to add. 3. After the interview: • Listen to the recording. This is to make sure everything is just fine. • Write edit notes. This includes the timing and content of key points. • Draft the podcast webpage. Ask the interviewee to confirm that it is fine. • Start all over again. Always be on the lookout for great topics and guests.
  4. 4. 4 A Conversation About Podcasting: Using Audio Interviews to Communicate Your Message. Plain Talk 2013. Presented by Helen Osborne, M.Ed., OTR/L. Learn More about Podcasting & Interviewing • Abel J, Glass I. Radio: An Illustrated Guide. Public Radio International: Chicago, IL. 1999. • Adam Weiss: Podcast Consultant, "Interview Basics," http://www.podcastconsultant.net/2007/03/14/interview-basics • Allison J, This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. Henry Holt and Co.: New York, NY, 2008. • Gross T, All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians, and Artists. Hyperion: New York, NY. 2004. • Health Literacy Out Loud, www.healthliteracyoutloud.org • Osborne H, Weiss A. Podcasting Guide: A Little About Technology, A Lot About Getting Started with Audio Interviews. 2009. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/buy.asp?PageID=8939 Notes: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________