NOTE: Today's show is NOT edited to show how much editing I do.


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Dual Voices In This Episode

So you can hear when I go off script; when I am off script, I will be louder on one side of your headphones. Some of this is good as I expand on the point of the documents. Other times, I'm taking tangents that normally would've been deleted.

Solo Podcast Episodes: Tips and Tricks to Connect with Your Audience

Everyone has their own workflow. Here is mine:

  1. Write out what I'm trying to say.
  2. Record using the Google doc as a reference. As I'm recording/talking, I know what the next paragraph is, so I often will expand on the paragraph as I want to tell a story or elaborate on the concept. Previously I would boil down the document to bullet points, but found I have to do less editing; if I write out the main points and then expand on those points when I record
  3. Don't think about THE AUDIENCE. Talk to ONE person, and remember that you can re-record it.

Don't Go Back to the Beginning – Fixing Your Podcast Flub

When you make a mistake, you don't have to start from the beginning. You can go back a sentence or two and then, as you play back your recording, talk along with the recorded version of yourself. Think of this like singing along with a singer. The point is this helps your tone of voice match when you press recording to “punch in” and continue recording. When you are at a stopping spot, return to that spot and make sure it sounds natural.

Relax, It's Not Live

I know it's weird to talk to yourself, so think of that one person who needs to hear your content. If you mess up on a solo show, it's no sweat. There are no re-interviews to schedule. Just go back and fix your mistake.

The Importance of Treating Some Podcast Recordings as Practice Sessions

Even in my early days of the School of Podcasting, while there are things that could be improved for a new podcaster, I felt I had the “talk to your invisible friend” part down. This might be because I often had to entertain myself. I've played with audio tools like cassette decks and reel-to-reel tape machines since I was young. I started and still keep a journal. I'm a musician and have been on stage since I was 15, and I did daily presentations as a teacher for decades. There is no replacement for experience. This doesn't mean it will take you 40 years to sound good, but it will take more than 40 minutes. Just start recording yourself and practice getting words out of your brain, out of your mouth, and into a recording. Then delete it. 

How Do I Come Up With Ideas For Podcasts?

One of the things I do is go to places like Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Quora – but not to promote my show, but to LISTEN.

The first step of having valuable words come out of your mouth is to have valuable insights go into your brain.

For this episode, I had Dave from Weekly Wealth Podcast ask me about solo shows. Then I saw the same question in three different Facebook groups, and when I looked it up on Reddit, there were quite a few people wanting to know more about it.

As I was in a group of podcasters, I no longer wonder if people want to know about this topic, I KNOW they want to learn more about this topic. This can help with impostor syndrome as you know you're delivering content with value.

Also, if someone emails you via your contact page (you have a contact page, right?), you can start a conversation with them and ask what they would like to hear in future episodes of the show.

I Did Not Record This In One Take

While I was flatted that people thought I was recording this episode by sitting down, talking for 30 minutes, and pressing stop. That is the reason I'm purposely leaving in mistakes so you can see just how imperfect I am.

How Do I Sound Comfortable?

This sounds like a humble brag, and I don't mean it to, but I've been working with audio since I was six years old. I played “radio” with my Grandma and a cassette recorder. I repaired reel-to-reel tape decks when I was a young boy. I did multi-track recording with two cassette decks in a bathroom.

As a teacher in the corporate world, I did a “presentation” 5 days a week for decades. Looking back even further, I've kept a journal since I was 11 years old, so I've had plenty of practice shaping my thoughts. In looking at all of my shows, I've easily done over 1000 solo episodes.

Does this mean you need to record 1000 episodes to sound comfortable? No. Just practice. Tell yourself a story while you're in the car. Practice gathering your thoughts and successfully getting them out of your mouth without flubbing.

This is worth repeating. Don't worry about “THE AUDIENCE.” Talk to that ONE person who needs to hear your content.

I Hate This Answer, B

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About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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