I find it amusing how many people seem to think all you have to do is pick up a microphone and talk into it and you have yourself a podcast. Admittedly, there are some who simply have the knack or ‘gift of gab’ and can talk on any subject at the drop of a hat, but, many people don’t have that gift. Just put a microphone in their hand and they may immediately start talking, (maybe because they already have their first two lines worked out in their minds), and then they just as quickly begin to stumble around for words and eventually start with the ‘ums’, ‘and-uhs’, ‘I-uhs’ and ‘what do I say now’s.’ (Just for the record, it is my opinion that that won’t cut for long with their audience.)
Personally, I sometimes like to go to “mypodcast.com” to check out the new podcasts as they come out. You can always tell the brand new people from the ones that have done at least a few by the way they start. I am not at all surprised by what I hear. I’ve been there myself, (although it was some time ago and probably would still happen if I did more ‘spur of the moment’ talks or teachings.) I really got a kick out of one I heard. The person opened with a few words of welcome and then began to tell what the intention of the podcast was. Shortly after that couple of opening statements, he began stumble around a bit and search for words and then said, “I didn’t think this would be this hard. In the future I’m going to have to write down what I want to talk about . . .”
I can’t think of a better example of what I’m trying to point out to you. This person recognized almost immediately how important it is to have an idea of what it is you want to talk about. How important it is to ‘know what you want to say and what you want to do.’
I remember several years ago I wanted to start a radio station or, at least, be a DJ. I even made a tape I could hand out to people –(mostly friends of mine)– to show them the type radio show I wanted to do. I used the station call letters of “W-H-E-A-D”, (five letters so no one would mistakenly think it was a real station and yet, it did sound as if it was coming from the radio instead of a tape.) The talk would go something like, “Hello, I’m Russ and this is W-H-E-A-D Radio; Head radio, where the music we play is music for your head . . . music that makes you think and talk that does the same.” (Trust me when I tell you, I had a lot of fun doing that but never really followed through on that pursuit. I went on to other things. Now, it appears I may get the chance after all.)
Probably the hardest thing for me to do for that project was the talk between songs. I quickly realized that I just didn’t talk well from ‘off the top of my head’. I had to think about what I wanted to say first and even make notes so I wouldn’t be stumblin’ and mumblin’ around while the tape was rolling and I was getting ready to play the next song. Although I didn’t really know what I was doing, the final product turned out pretty good. Several of the people that heard it as they rode along with one or another of my freinds asked what station it was, when it had come on the air and how they could get it on their radios. Needless to say, I was pleased that they wanted to know what to tune their radios to, but I never did start an actual radio station nor did I become a DJ.
If you have a desire to be a podcaster and just want to jump right in, go ahead and do it, you might just be one of those that can. But, if you want to get started right, there’s a few things you might want to research and think about first. You’re not going to disappoint anyone –not even yourself– by being well prepared for whatever it is your podcast is about. That doesn’t mean everything has to be completely structured and that you can’t depart from the direction you’ve planned for your podcast to be going if an alternate direction seems more promising as you progress.
First, you’ve gotta know what you want to do. The better prepared you are to accomplish the original plan, the easier it is to recognize a detour that takes you exactly where you want to be.
See ya next time . . .