Speech slowly and intentionally. This means that a normal conversational pace is probably too fast for the casual listener to follow. It also means that you should take care to pronounce every word clearly. When the listener is distracted by trying to understand what you said, they stop paying attention to the podcast.
Remember there are no visual cues to help them understand what you are thinking. It is only your words and your tone. That must say it all.
Recording a podcast requires a bit of talking. Rather than going into your session cold, warm up your mouth and vocal cords by practicing your script or saying a few tongue twisters. Properly warming up will improve your diction and keep you from stumbling over words. There’s nothing better than delivering your points flawlessly the first time around.
Pause for four or five seconds at the beginning of your recording to create a noise profile. Stay absolutely silent and eliminate all environmental noise. This test recording before you start will tell you if there is a problem with your guest’s microphone or you can hear unwanted sounds like a train outside. If you have these issues, don’t try to power through. Identify and resolve audio issues from the start or even wait to record. The worst case scenario is recording a full episode only to find there’s a larger issue you can’t fix in editing.
Adopt proper microphone techniques. First, place your microphone at the same height as your mouth. Then sit a few inches back and have the pop filter between your mouth and the mic. Next, focus on your mouth’s distance from the microphone setup and adjust your body for the desired volume level. Remember, the closer you are the mic, the louder your voice will sound.
Stay quiet while your guests speak. It’s tempting to drop in simple phrases like ‘yes,’ ‘right,’ and ‘okay’ while your guests speak. Those are natural parts of language that we use without realizing, but they can distract your listeners.
Stay hydrated. Drink at least eight ounces of water before you record. This will settle your stomach, loosen your mouth, and help your focus. It’ll also reduce any mouth clicks, the natural clicking and popping noises we make as our mouths dry.
Watch your breath. We all need to breathe but controlling the sound of your inhales and exhales will stop any big gusts of wind from sneaking into your recording. For quieter inhales, sit up straight, try taking smaller breaths, or completely move your mouth away from the mic when you need to take a big breath.
Keep your body still. Moving your body around creates background noise while recording. This happens a lot if you use earbud headphones. The wire lays close to your chest which causes the microphone to rub against your shirt and collar. Try to stay still in your chair with your feet planted. Avoid moving things around on your desk. If you print your notes on paper, move them around as silently as possible too.
One feature of well-made podcasts is that they can be searched. You want your work to be discoverable. This is done either with a full transcript or through a strong keyword list. The transcript is the best option since it will contain every word said in the presentation. In a narrative, your script may be exactly what you need. It is a little more challenging for an interview. Creating a full transcript can be very time consuming. An alternative is to provide a comprehensive keyword list. Comprehensive does not mean five words that relate to the overall topic. It means every word that someone might possibly enter into a search that you would want your work found with. Every noun in the assignment is not too much.