The Secret to Podcasting Like a Pro

by Renee Robbins on January 25, 2010

PodcastingThe word “podcasting” strikes a certain fear and awe into the hearts of many trainers.  Many of us look at podcasts as something only tech genius can master.  However, now a days advances in technology have simplified the process of creating and publishing a podcast.  Now its easy to construct a podcast that your learners can access anywhere and anytime.  So what are you waiting for? 

In truth the only tools you need to create a podcast are a computer, microphone, and software that allows you to save in an MP3 format.  You can perform a search using your favorite search engine for Mixcraft or Audacity; both of these programs are suitable for recording podcasts and are FREE. 

When recording your podcast, you will need to include a few elements.  The first is branding.  You want to almost make your podcast seem like a radio show.  Use a standard branding statement to introduce yourself and the podcast.  For example you could say, “Welcome to Company X’s Chat and Challenge Podcast where we chat with the experts and then challenge you to put what you have learned into action!” 

As for the educational content I go with the old saying “tell your learners what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.”  So, for example, say that you are going to interview the Sales Director about a new product.  Tell your learners “we have a great interview for you today where we’ll be chatting with our Sales Director about our new product,” then go into the interview, and finally close with “Wow, that was a great interview with our Sales Director where we learned so much about our new product.”

When you will want to add a closing statement at the end of your podcast.  Your closing statement can inform listeners of what your next podcast is about or you can just say a simple goodbye and thank them for listening.   But make sure to repeat your branding statement one more time. 

To really sound like a podcasting pro you can also add nice background music to the introduction and closing statement of your podcast.  If you decide to do this, make sure that you use music that you have obtained permission to use.  It is not legal to use copyright protected music in podcasts without permission.  I personally own Podcast Music #1 and Podcast Music #2. There is a third version (Podcast Music #3) but I haven’t had a need to buy it yet.

You will also need some means of distributing your podcast. You can use your own internal website to host the podcast or partner with iTunes if the content isn’t confidential.  If you do not have a website or want to bother with iTunes then you may want to consider burning your podcasts on to CDs.  If you use this method, you will also need a CD burner and applicable CDs.  There are also podcast hosting services that you can use to upload your podcast for users to listen to, but these services are usually more expensive then hosting for your own website.  Using your own website also offers you more control over your podcasts.

As you can see podcasting isn’t that scary from a technical aspect.  Honestly, the main fear people have about podcasting is sounding like an idiot.  The truth of the matter is that podcasts are meant to be conversational in nature.  Yes, you want to know what you are talking about but beyond that a few wording fumbles and a joke here or there is what keeps people interested in the content.  The secret to podcasting is just to try it!  Record one or two “shows” and send them out to a few of your friends.  Let them listen to the podcasts and give you feedback.  I bet what you are doing to hear is “wow… that was great!  How did you do that?  You must be a tech genius!”

Best,

P.S. One of the best all-in-one podcasting kits I have seen is the Behringer PodcasStudio USB.  It comes with professional recording software, microphone, and a great “How to Podcast” quick-start guide.  And right now you can get the Behringer PodcasStudio USBon Amazon for only $99!  This is less than Behringer’s own price!  For an all-in-one kit this is a steal. Click here for more details!

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