Are your podcasts limp and lifeless? Then try these tips to spice up your audio output …

Location Location Location

Get out there!!!  You might think that you need peace and quiet to record a podcast, but remember  – the joy of a podcast is that you can get to the centre of a situation or story. Sometimes silence just sounds strange.

Example: If your podcast is about farming – why not record it in a field, with the sound of the wind, sheep and birds? Use appropriate background noise (known as wildtrack) 

It not only sounds more interesting, it gives the podcast a sense of authenticity and makes you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Music / Jingles / Sound effects

Have fun with these. They will make your listener smile, and can be useful to break up different segments of the podcast, a change in subject or mood, or simply to illustrate a point. Just be careful where you get music from due to licensing laws. It’s a grey area but it’s best to be safe.  I haven’t used these guys, but looks promising (Magnatune)

Example: You’re creating an audio podcast for kids – teaching them English languge basics, How about using sound effects to illustrate the words you are saying – a baaaa-ing lamb, for lamb (lambs again!!!). Its even harder to keep kids interested, but this will definitely help.

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Stop going on … Think about where people will be listening to your podcasts. It could be on the way to work, in the car, on the bus … how many people have an hour-long commute? Some do, but not everyone.

Listening to a speech based podcast for an hour may be a commitment too far for some people. Think about “chunking” … breaking it up into smaller pieces.

In addition, trying to do an hour long podcast regularly will be difficult. Spread out your content or you’ll lose interest over time.

Signposting

People like to know what to expect. You could start your podcast with an introduction and an audio menu of what’s coming up. Then people can decide whether it’s for them, and what to listen out for. Similarly, you could post a written version of this running order, with times, so people can scroll forward.

Example – The DataStories podcast use this effectively
 

Interviews

You’ve landed a great interview for your podcast – a real find. However, resist the temptation to put the whole interview unedited into your podcast. It will slow the whole thing down. How about playing some clips from it, then putting the whole interview (the “raw”) as a separate podcast? Refer to this in your podcast, and you’ve got them coming back for more!

You could also split the interview over a series of podcasts – imagine saying “more from Dave next week”.

Mix it Up

Have a think who’s listening to the podcast, and what do they want? Think about bringing in different features, or sections to the show. It keeps interest up as you change subject, tone and pace.

Example: A news style bulletin for airport customers could be livened up by adding travel advice, health tips and local recommendations. Also, advice on facilities in departure lounges etc. This would make the podcast a lot more interesting and popular.