Here’s the thing. I constantly get ideas, writing them down on index cards, in notebooks, talking them into voice recorder apps. If I had a waterproof notepad I would be writing things down in the shower. My bounty of ideas is great, but they do the most good in the world of podcasting when I can attach them to shows.
The first step to organizing your podcast ideas is to recognize that podcasts fall into genres. Podcasting is maturing as a medium and some genres have moved to the front of the line with listeners. There are podcasts that unravel true-life crime stories. There are comedy podcasts that are conversations between two (or more) funny people. They are current events podcasts that analyze the news. There are scripted podcasts that play like old-time radio.
A Podcast For Your Team
But guess what? Your podcast doesn’t have to fit any of those categories. You might have a completely different reason for making a podcast. The audience for your podcast may be your company. Your podcast can be for your team.
Let’s say your job is to inform everyone in the company about policies, lead generation techniques, or new initiatives. Your title might be internal communications. Or you might work in HR. You might work for a big company or small company with a distributed workforce — the challenge here is the same: You need to distribute information to everyone at once. How do you inform everyone on the team about new policies? You might try conference calls, or blogs, or company retreats. All of those solutions have their drawbacks. For one thing, company blogs are read less than ever, while listenership is rising for podcasts.
Your team can listen to a company podcast anytime, anywhere. They might be on a commute, at the gym, out for a walk. Podcasts create “captive ears” — when they are compelling, listeners give them their full attention. Listeners can absorb your message if it is presented in a conversational style.
Which brings us to your podcast format. If you’re creating podcasts for your team, what ideas do you present and in what format? You might be producing a short series of podcasts for onboarding new hires, schooling them in your company. Your podcast could be all about your company’s policies on diversity and inclusion, or how to work efficiently when you work remotely. You might want to help your sales force produce better results by sharing the techniques of your top salespeople.
Any of those ideas would play well in a simple but effective conversational format. In your podcast, you might ask your top salesperson some questions about their techniques. You could walk a new hire through the onboarding process. You might interview some of your top performing remote workers — remotely, of course.
Consider breaking your podcast into segments. Think of just about any news show you’ve ever watched on TV. There is an opening segment, then a series of stories, then there might be the weather, and then what is known as a “kicker,” a light, inspiring or humorous segment at the end that leaves the audience smiling. Most podcasts you can think of have a section of introduction, announcements, and chatter at the top, then dig into a story or two, then have a commercial or musical break, and then wrap up. If you are doing a podcast for your team you probably won’t include the weather. You also aren’t likely to have a commercial break. But the rest of those segments are worth considering. You’ll have an introduction. You will present a few topics, possibly divided by short musical interludes. You’ll have a wrap up. Your audience wants a storyline. It’s our responsibility to give it to them.
A recording studio is a wonderful thing, and if you have one (or I get you access to one) your podcast will sound great. But what if a studio is not an option? Recording remotely is not difficult. There are apps like RINGR and SquadCast that make it easy enough, as long as you consider one thing. The room you are recording in. People will tell me they’ve found a great place at their office to record their podcast. But when they say, “I got the biggest conference room we have!” I try to break it to them gently. Big (and echo-y) is not good. It’s best to record in rooms with carpeting and lots of furniture to absorb sound.
Winging It (Or Not)
One more thing. You think it would be a good idea to wing it, riffing your way through your podcast without a script? It could work if your guest is one of your top salespersons and a great talker. But why not jot down a few thoughts and create an outline of the conversation. That way you have a storyline. It will make the conversation flow more smoothly. It will make editing easier also. Remember, this blog started with notes about jotting down ideas. They do the most good for podcasting when you can find a genre to put them in and use them to build a compelling storyline.
Want to dig deeper? Here’s how to brainstorm your way to podcast story ideas.
Image from rawpixel via Unsplash.