Chapter 3. Creating a Podcast
Now that you know what a podcast is, what's it's used for, and how it can affect your life, you may be inspired to create your very own podcast for distribution over the world's podwaves. Perhaps you would love to create a podcast but feel that the technology obstacles preclude you from ever doing so. Or perhaps you aren't worried about the technology but are unwilling to take the time to learn the
In this chapter, I take a look at the process of creating a podcast, from the nuts and bolts of recording techniques to the software that can help you edit and manipulate the podcast. I also include some tips and interviews with podcasting pioneers and aficionados whose hard-won experience will be to your benefit. After covering the equipment and the software needed for podcast creation, I walk you through the creation of a podcast from start to finish, using basic equipment and popular software.
Before you get the ball rolling on creating a podcast, it is critically important to figure out what will be said (or not said) during the show. What limits are there when it comes to choosing content? In short, there are almost no limits to what can be included in podcasts. Podcasting allows you to create shows, dramatizations, vignettes, commentaries, documentaries, and any other content imaginable. Indeed, podcasting is limited only by individual podcasters' imaginations. The sky is the limit, and I
Before the Podcast
This section deals with everything relating to the creation of podcast content, from outlining a show's content to booking guests and formulating questions for them. Although it is possible for a podcaster just to pick up a microphone and create a "show,"it requires a much larger effort to ensure that the podcast sounds professional while being a compelling listen. In this section, you see what you can do before the tape is rolling to maximize the quality and enjoyability of your podcast.
Some podcasts are clearly created by the seat of the host's pants, with little regard to a structure or plan for entertaining or
There are four key elements to a successful preproduction process for a podcast:
The first thing to do is write out a mission statement or design document that sets out rules for the tone and overall structure of the show. This document should spell out the boundaries of taste with regard to language, touchy topics (politics, abortion, favorite ice creams), and the overall attitude the host(s) should exhibit.
Although this process may seem rigid for an amateur podcast, the act of going through it goes a long way toward
Topics, guests, and show length
I'm guessing that you've already established an overall concept for your show, but even though you think "Foot Care for Firewalkers" is a fascinating theme for a podcast, you still need a topic for the first show.
I strongly suggest that you choose a topic for the show and stick to it, keeping as much of the content centered on the theme as possible. If you title your podcast "Navel-Gazing for Experts: To the Hole and Back," be sure to stay focused on the topic throughout. People who "tune in" to the podcast have done so because they have read the title and synopsis of the podcast. It is likely that listeners will be disappointed if the podcast strays too far from the announced concepts. It is advisable to make a reference list of
Next up, you need to choose who, if
Last, you must decide on a length for the show. Initially, shorter is better; you would be surprised how hard it can be to fill even one half-hour the first time you attempt to create a podcast.
Now that you know what the podcast is about, what the tone of the show is, and how long the podcast is, it's time to put together an outline that breaks the show into segments no greater than five minutes long. As shown in Figure 3.2 , the outline should be set up in such a way as to help you fill every minute of your podcast with entertaining and/or interesting content.
Figure 3.2. An outline is a
If your show is meant to be a
If the outline is complete enough, a detailed script may not be necessary. The need for a script depends on the host's ability to talk on the fly and keep the flow of the show going. If the host is the kind of person who has difficulty with idle banter while maintaining the flow of the podcast, however, a detailed script will be in order.
A script can be so detailed that it contains every line that is to be said during the show, but if you go to this extreme, you must be careful not to make what's being said too rigid. We have all seen movies in which the lines seem scripted, as though they are just being read and not