Being the host of a podcast is very challenging since the only control that the podcaster has is on his end of the line. There are a lot of things that could go out of hand in comparison to a planned out podcast wherein the podcaster has most of the control over what is going on in the podcast.
Podcasting in general is both very simple and also very complicated. Simple in a sense if podcasters get the fundamentals right and complicated in a sense that aside from the podcast itself, there are a lot of other things that the podcaster has to focus on like video quality, sound quality, content quality, upload quality, marketing, advertising, reach, and etc.
While this might sound scary, a lot of people are still able to become professional podcasters by first nailing down the fundamentals then branching out into the more complicated aspects. The fundamentals are things that should never be strayed away from and with every podcast, it is important to incorporate these fundamentals to the dot.
Here’s a short run-through of the fundamentals of being a podcaster:
1. TRUTHFUL. Of course, a podcast shouldn’t be used as a means to trick its users into believing something that just isn’t true. Although there are conspiracy podcasts lurking around, not all of them have a good reputation. It’s better to stick to what’s factual and proven.
2. Entertaining. What good is a podcast if it can’t keep its audience? A podcast has to be entertaining enough to keep the audience interested through being informative, humorous, or provide something really special.
3. Relevant. While there could be podcasts about niche topics that only a few know about, these podcasts don’t really make it that far in the industry. It is important to talk about something that not only the podcaster wants to talk about but what the audience wants to hear.
4. Good quality. There are people out there when they see that the quality of the podcast is not up to their standard, chances are they will close the podcast right away. Podcasting nowadays should be treated professionally with podcasts looking sharp.
While those are the fundamentals of podcasting 2021, there are of course a few things that podcasters should stay out of as well. Sometimes, these common mistakes can even cost them their advancement and can even result in the loss of audience.
Mistakes can be done especially when it comes to hosting since the podcaster is only in charge of half of the whole interview. The other half, of course, is reliant on how the interviewee would react or give their answers.
5 common podcast interviewing mistakes
1. Trying to push an opinion
One thing that everyone hates is a person who is not willing to listen. While it can be tempting to push an idea especially if the idea might be more correct, it is still important to respect the ideas and beliefs of the one being interviewed.
A lot of “not nice to look at” interviews happen when the host tries to push an idea over instead of allowing the other party to explain themselves. Especially in remote interviews, overlapping audio can be really messy to hear.
2. Not paying attention to time
When starting a podcast, it is important to gauge just how long can the podcast keep its audience engaged and build on that. Some podcasts tend to be too long and some tend to be too short. The podcaster has to do their due research on how long their podcast should be.
Every podcast is different and this is exactly the reason why some podcasts are long and some podcasts are short. While some podcasts can keep their audience engaged for long due to a really in-depth topic, other podcasts can’t and end up with their audience losing interest.
3. Not having a script
Sometimes, the topic just runs out and in order to avoid dead air, it is better to have a script at hand in order to make sure the podcast keeps running. Having a backup plan and some sort of flow is still very important especially when the podcaster is hosting a difficult interviewee.
A script also not only helps the host evade dead air, but it also helps the host to have more prepared topics at hand. While it is nice for the one being interviewed to really engage in the conversation, it is still the responsibility of the host to lead the conversation.
4. Not ending right
It is important to end on a strong note instead of a “well, that’s probably all we have to talk about.” The podcast should be properly ended and some do this with a short conclusion. Others might cut the corner and end the podcast right away and this is technically still effective to those that have learned to do this well.
Find a signature way to end the podcast and try to choreograph it a little bit. The more confident the podcaster is in ending the podcast, the better the retention and the “completion” feeling that the audience will get. This would conclude their listening and make them comfortable to possibly come back for more.
5. Failing to clarify
It can be tempting to go on with the podcast instead of clarifying something but it is much better to clarify something that might have been misheard or a concept a bit too abstract to get at first. Boiling things down to the core would allow the host to not only get things straight but would also allow the audience to keep up.
It is important to remember that when hosting the podcast, the audience is more important. It is essential that the audience gets to understand everything that is being said. Although it can be cleared up in subtitles or transcripts, it might be better to clear things out and allow the transcripts to do their work which is to provide better reading and boost SEO. Finding the right audio-to-text transcription tool is the best way to do so.
Podcasting can be a really competitive field and this is why a podcaster who is hosting the podcast should learn how to be better at hosting an online remote interview.