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Podcasting do's and don'ts

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Charlie Meyerson and Dometi Pongo's presentation to the Society of Professional Journalists Region 5 Conference in Chicago, April 7, 2018. (The original was created in Apple Keynote and the animation is much cooler, but SlideShare won't accept that format.)

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Podcasting do's and don'ts

  1. 1. Charlie Meyerson linkedin.com/in/cmeyerson facebook.com/meyerson @Meyerson C@ChicagoPublicSquare.com Dometi Pongo linkedin.com/in/dometipongo facebook.com/dometi.net @Dometi_ dometi.pongo@gmail.com Podcasting do's and don’ts: How do you build audiences -- and keep them?
  2. 2. • Good timing • Podcasting basics • Equipment do’s • Editing do’s and don’ts • Interviewing do’s and don’ts • Recording do’s and don’ts • Scripting do’s and don’ts • How to publish What’s to come
  3. 3. Do be excited. Audio is hot. 2018 report card on digital audio and other digital media
  4. 4. Do be excited. Audio is hot. 2018 report card on digital audio and other digital media
  5. 5. And the big players know it.
  6. 6. Howard P. Willens, Warren Commission lawyer, Charlie Meyerson (Photo: Debby Preiser) meyersonstrategy.com/2013/11/warren-commission-lawyer-howard-p.html You can make audio. Easily.
  7. 7. • Raw sound gathered with iPhone, voices with external mic. Edited on a laptop. • Live broadcasts, too, via Facebook, Periscope, etc.—from your phone, or from a podium (plugging the smartphone into a mult box). soundcloud.com/meyerson/final-farewell-to-a-chicago And with some editing on a desktop or lapt0p …
  8. 8. What do you need to do this stuff?
  9. 9. • One smartphone. Really, that’s it. But if you insist ... What do you need to do this stuff?
  10. 10. Also helpful: • XLR connecting cable to plug into mult boxes, mics + longer XLR cable (so you can sit down). Miki cable: amazon.com/Technica-Del-Arte-MIKI-B-Miki/dp/B00JVMUJQ8/ What do you need to do this stuff?
  11. 11. What do you need to do this stuff? Also helpful: • XLR connecting cable to plug into mult boxes, mics + longer XLR cable (so you can sit down). • Laptop
  12. 12. Also helpful: • XLR connecting cable to plug into mult boxes, mics + longer XLR cable (so you can sit down). • Laptop (with optional cell card or cell-phone hotspot). What do you need to do this stuff?
  13. 13. Also helpful: • XLR connecting cable to plug into mult boxes, mics + longer XLR cable (so you can sit down). • Laptop (with optional cell card or cell-phone hotspot). • Bluetooth keyboard (for typing quickly on a smartphone). What do you need to do this stuff?
  14. 14. Also helpful: • XLR connecting cable to plug into mult boxes, mics + longer XLR cable (so you can sit down). • Laptop (with optional cell card or cell-phone hotspot). • Bluetooth keyboard (for typing notes into a smartphone). • External battery for smartphone. What do you need to do this stuff?
  15. 15. Also helpful: • XLR connecting cable to plug into mult boxes, mics + longer XLR cable (so you can sit down). • Laptop (with optional cell card or cell-phone hotspot). • Bluetooth keyboard (for typing quickly on a smartphone). • External battery for smartphone. • Connecting cables (USB) for faster connection between phone, laptop and battery. What do you need to do this stuff?
  16. 16. Also helpful: • XLR connecting cable to plug into mult boxes, mics + longer XLR cable (so you can sit down). • Laptop (with optional cell card or cell-phone hotspot). • Bluetooth keyboard (for typing quickly on a smartphone). • External battery for smartphone. • Connecting cables (USB) for faster connection between phone, laptop and battery. • Case with branding on it. What do you need to do this stuff?
  17. 17. What do you need to do this stuff? What about external mics? • Yes, you can get them. Handheld mics, lapel mics, desktop mics, shotgun mics, Bluetooth mics. • If you’re filming a motion-picture soundtrack, or a professional-grade podcast, you’ll probably want one or two, or a whole console-filled assortment of them. (And you’ll find plenty of buying advice on the web.) • But the best mic—like the best camera—is the one you have with you when something interesting happens. Especially for beginners, a smartphone’s enough.
  18. 18. You probably already have everything you need— beginning with your smartphone or laptop. And you’ll find more counsel on the Rivet blog <blog.rivetnewsradio.com>. What do you need to do this stuff?
  19. 19. But … if you insist! Tascam DR-40 $179.99
  20. 20. Audio editing do’s
  21. 21. Do use your phone iPhone + Twisted Wave (etc.) app http://twistedwave.com/mobile (or search iTunes store)
  22. 22. How to get sound out of your phone and onto a laptop or desktop • Email it (best for small files). • Connect your phone and computer to the same Wi-Fi network, then let your app act as a server. • Upload audio from your phone to a service like SoundCloud, then download to your computer.
  23. 23. And then, once it’s on a computer …
  24. 24. Do consider using Audacity Why it’s good: 1. It’s free and open source. (AudacityTeam.com) 2. Works the same on Windows, Mac. 3. Googling reveals answers to almost any beginner’s question. Like: “How to connect a mic to Audacity.”
  25. 25. Do consider using Audacity Three things: 1. Basic controls. 2. Editing. 3. Fade-ins, fade-outs.
  26. 26. Basic Audacity controls 1. Record, play, etc. 2.Cursor 3.Zoom (shift = zoom out). 4.Time shift
  27. 27. 1. Drag cursor to highlight beginning. 2. Select “Fade in” from the Effects menu. 3. Repeat for ending, with “Fade out.” Do fade in and fade out
  28. 28. Edit from the middle of one word in one take … to the middle of the same word in the second take. (Reason to write down your questions: You can re-do them word-for-word in a second take.) Don’t edit hamhandedly Lots more help from George Drake Jr. on the Rivet blog: blog.rivetnewsradio.com
  29. 29. But … If you do it right in one take, you’ll need much less editing. So…
  30. 30. An encounter with comics artist Neal Adams, recorded with just a handheld iPhone Do avoid editing. archive.org/details/neal-adams-comic-book-artist.P5aRq7.popuparchive.org
  31. 31. Do decide in advance: What are you making? • Documentary or news report? Multiple interviews, multiple sources, lots of editing and production required. • Lecture or panel discussion? If well recorded, sure. • Interviews? One of the simplest, most compelling formats. Unique content, easy to create.
  32. 32. Interviews: ‘Game-changers’ • Outside experts augment your credibility. • Their audience becomes your audience (because they share with their followers, who become your followers). • You grow a network of meaningful relationships with influential voices. Andy Crestodina and Barry Feldman, “Content Matters” podcast http://feldmancreative.com/2016/03/interviews-content-matters-podcast
  33. 33. Do … • Learn where your mic is (on your smartphone or on your computer or whatever you’re using) and get the subject close to it. • If using a smartphone or external mic, point it at the corner of a speaker’s mouth (to avoid popping Ps and bursting Bs). • Record in a space as echo-free as possible—away from walls, or even with a coat draped over your head. Don’t … • Be afraid of ambient noise, like a restaurant’s clinking plates or the roar of traffic. It can make editing easier and it can add texture to your work. • Yell. No matter how noisy things may seem to you, the mic is right next to you. THERE’S NO NEED TO SHOUT AT YOUR AUDIENCE.
  34. 34. A big
  35. 35. Don’t be boring. Don’t create audio for audio’s sake! … Because if you’re just doing it because you have to do it, you shouldn’t do it. You’re not playing in the world of analog radio, where they have to have a show or the airwaves go dead. Any time you create audio just because you have to create audio, you’re diluting your brand, giving potential fans a reason not to return.
  36. 36. The competition is a click or tap or swipe away. Do fight for your audience’s attention.
  37. 37. Do create audio for a Tinder-like listening environment … when the competition is a click or a swipe away. Like NPR One, or Apple’s Podcasts app, or Rivet.
  38. 38. How long would you listen? Because the Rivet app functions as a “Tinder for audio” environment, our metrics reports function as sort of a stress-test for audio’s listenability. http://www.rivetnewsradio.com/share/539475
  39. 39. See how Netflix does it?
  40. 40. That encounter with comics artist Neal Adams, with lead tweaked Do consider spiffing up a raw audio interview smartaudio.com/share/541909
  41. 41. Don’t … • Start your audio with music. • Start your podcast with unidentified sounds or voices. (Confusing is a tuneout.) • Start your podcast with the show number. (A tuneout for those who haven’t heard earlier shows.) • Start your podcast the same way every time. (Waste of time for those who’ve heard it before.) • Start your podcast with advertising or underwriting messages. (The best way to get those heard is to create audio people want to hear, and that’s to begin with something interesting. If you begin with a reason to keep listening, you’ll get not only that first promo heard, but maybe several more into the show.)
  42. 42. Do prepare a script A strong intro, questions and a close, practiced and ready … … Written so that, when read, they don’t sound like they were written and don’t sound like they’re being read. The better these are, the less editing you need down the line. (Ideally: None!)
  43. 43. Do prepare your questions • Write them down—word for word. (Makes re-takes easier.) • Frees you to concentrate on what your guest is saying and not to worry about your next question. • Avoid yes-or-no questions, because you may get just “Yes” or “No” for an answer. • Avoid simply making statements. Be a question-asking machine and get out of the way. (Don’t “uh-huh” or “oh, no.” Nod and gesture.) • Coach your guest—for instance, to be brief. (Or not!) • Listen to what your subject’s saying. If you don’t get it, odds are your audience won’t, either. • Save your best—most controversial, engaging—questions for the middle or late part of the interview. (These may be the answers you excerpt for your introduction, so best if they don’t appear at the beginning of the interview itself.) Consider Chris Farley in this 1993 interview on Saturday Night Live.
  44. 44. Do … • Have a clear and engaging intro. • Have a clean close. • Have at least three questions. (Everything doesn’t have to be 30, 60 or 90 minutes!) — • Your intro should lead with the most interesting words in the whole story. • You can return later to re-cut your intro and close, but write them so they’ll work well even without editing. • Structure your intro so you can later insert a great cut that would fit.
  45. 45. Do prepare your intro 1. Interesting statement about guest, constructed so one of his or her answers might theoretically be edited in later. 2. Identify guest. 3. Identify the show and yourself. 4. Get to your first question.
  46. 46. Sample intro “Why would you want to mail a resume, old- fashioned-style, with a stamp and an envelope? (Cut might go here.) Job-hunting expert Janna Jones says what’s old is new. She’s the guest on This Show Is Mine. I’m Charlie Meyerson and …”
  47. 47. Do prepare your close “That’s job-hunting expert Janna Jones, whose website is jjjobhunt.com. I’m Charlie Meyerson and This Show Is Mine.”
  48. 48. Don’t say “Thanks for being here.” Thank guests before or after the show.
  49. 49. 1. Use contractions whenever you can. If it helps, run a find-and-replace to replace (for instance) will with ’ll, is with ’s, are with ’re, would with ’d, etc. 2.Use pronouns whenever you can. That’s the way we talk. Sound like you’re talking, not reading. Do …
  50. 50. Stress prepositions (of, by, for, in), conjunctions (and, but) or articles (a, the). In musical terms, they’re the grace notes of speech—present, but just barely. Save your emphasis for nouns and verbs. (Exception: “… OF the people, BY the people, FOR the people.”) Bonus tips: • The word “the” is pronounced thuh except when it appears before a word that begins with a vowel sound. (Thee elephant, thee NFL; but thuh cat, thuh president.) • The word “a” is almost always pronounced uh. (Exception: For emphasis, as in “He’s not just A man, he’s THEE man.”) Sound like you’re talking, not reading. Don’t …
  51. 51. How to publish a podcast Lots of help on the web
  52. 52. How to publish a podcast Lots of help on the web
  53. 53. How to publish a podcast One really basic outline: 1. Create your audio. 2. Upload it (somewhere; archive.org is free, but no-frills). 3. Embed it on a web page, with a specific label (like “podcasts”). 4. Find the RSS feed for that label. 5. Get that feed to Feedburner, which will generate code you can feed to iTunes, Alexa, etc.
  54. 54. Via SoundCloud.com Do meet listeners where they are Get your podcast on the major platforms using RSS feeds.
  55. 55. What’s an RSS feed? A web feed that lets users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer- readable format.
  56. 56. More options: buzzsprout.com | blubrry.com | libsyn.com Advanced options: Google Drive Do learn how and where people engage
  57. 57. Do create a web page for your show Gladwell gets it The Daily does it
  58. 58. To season or not to season? Pros Cons Stop Sets Give You a Chance to Breathe Disrupts Consistency Allows for Change of Direction Could Complicate Marketing Strategy* Builds in Time to Book the Next Season Potential for Drop in Listenership Allows for Time to Engage Press Could Confuse Passive Listeners
  59. 59. Do call your show … Something no one else is using.
  60. 60. Don’t name your episode … • with the show name. • with the show number. • with the show date. Here’s why:
  61. 61. Here’s why:
  62. 62. Do … • Make each episode name different. • Put your most interesting words first.
  63. 63. Do … Put your most interesting words first. (Because you only get two or three on many platforms, including email and smartphones.) Advanced class in email and audience engagement, anyone?
  64. 64. Charlie Meyerson linkedin.com/in/cmeyerson facebook.com/meyerson @Meyerson C@ChicagoPublicSquare.com Dometi Pongo linkedin.com/in/dometipongo facebook.com/dometi.net @Dometi_ dometi.pongo@gmail.com Podcasting do's and don’ts: How do you build audiences -- and keep them?

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