7 Beginner Tips for New Podcasters
By Mallory Senter
1. Start with an idea.
Hopefully, you’ve already completed this step but it’s important to know exactly what you’ll be covering over the course of your broadcast. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you begin drafting: Am I trying to cover too broad of a subject? Is there anything I need to research before I begin writing? Who is the audience I am trying to reach? What is the point you’re trying to get across? Take some time to jot down your answers to these and any other questions you come up with.
2. Create a recognizable introduction.
This could be as simple as “This is [your name] and you’re listening to [channel name]” or as complex as a montage of clips from previous recordings. I would recommend writing down exactly what you want to say so that you can give your audience the same introduction each time. This sense of regularity can help create an environment where you listeners can relax and know what to expect. This introduction not only tells your audience who you are, but it gives them an idea of what your broadcast is going to be like. Do you joke around in your intro? They probably won’t expect you to do a broadcast about serious topics. Do you use a spooky sound board and introduce yourself as Vlad? Your audience might expect a serial killer show, not a gardening show.
3. Draft an outline.
This is where personal preference comes into play. Depending on the type of broadcasting you want to do, outlining is still important, but to different extents. If your style of broadcasting is just riffing, an outline might be a series of points that you want to get to throughout the broadcast. If you’re like me, it’s easier to have a full set of notes available to you. In some cases, a full script might be what you need to read directly off of, which we’ll talk about later.
When drafting an outline, start with the largest topics and then move to your smaller points. An outline might look like this:
- Introduction: Amphibians are cool [5 minutes]
- There are lots of types of amphibians
- Each one has their own style
- They all look good in hats
- Frogs are cool [15 minutes]
- They hop around
- Many types are poisonous
- Frogs vs toads
- Salamanders are pretty cool too [15 minutes]
- How to identify a salamander
- Where to find salamanders
- Types of streams
- The best rocks to check
- Salamander mythology
- Outro: reiterate points [5 minutes]
Try to get at least three points for each major topic you are covering. Under those sub-topics, you can always add more points.
4. Time Yourself
Mark out the timing in your outline as I’ve shown above. For each topic you’re covering during your cast, decide beforehand how much time you want to spend covering it. This helps you avoid going over your time limit. If you are like me, you might also tend to get side tracked and ramble about a topic for longer than you plan to. Thankfully, live broadcasts in the Squable app incorporates and encourages active listener participation so your audience may be able to help keep you on track.
5. Know What You Are Going To Say.
If you need a full script, I’d recommend focusing your writing style more like an informal essay and less like a movie script. When I was drafting for broadcasting, I found myself writing as if I had multiple characters that all needed personality traits and dimension. With broadcasting, your voice and intonation are your driving force behind your words. Anything you write can sound interesting if you have the right voice for it. That being said, it’s easier if you have something interesting to talk about. If you are writing a full script for your broadcast, make sure you read your work aloud on a regular basis. The way words sound in our heads often do not line up with what they sound like when spoken aloud. For example, I might write: “It is a beautiful day for a walk amongst the flowers”. When read aloud, it gives the impression of someone overly proper. If I wanted to read this sentence out loud and make it feel less formal, I would want to add some action and dynamism to it. I might instead write: “It’s a great day to get out into the garden for a walk around the flowers”. In each sentence the same action is taking place, but in the second one, you can better see and feel the intent behind it.
6. Music is your friend.
This doesn’t have much to do with writing — don’t be afraid to incorporate music. One way to make your broadcast more dynamic is to add clips of music in between topics. You see this a lot on podcasts and broadcasts on radio shows. The music leads the listener to expect a change of pace by breaking up the intermittent talking and silence, which in turn can give your broadcast a more professional tone.
7. Have Fun!
Last but not least, Have fun! It’s great to put work into something new but try not to focus too much on making it perfect and enjoy the creative process. Avoid letting it become tedious and rather focus on having a fun new experience to share with friends and family!
Check out www.Squable.app it a Social Live Broadcasting app that lets you interact with your audience in real time.