Start your podcast by…starting to podcast
Read this if you need motivation
In the past entries of this blog, I said that if you’re reading this, then you have everything you need to start a podcast. As the pandemic has driven all of us to work from home, we have become pros at scheduling video conferences, setting up audio so that people can hear us and vice versa, and have technical proficiency over our devices.
This is why, whether it’s a friend, client, or a random person asking, my first piece of advice when people ask how to start a podcast is to Just Put Something Up.
There’s this study that found that people think they can do something because they’ve watched other people do it. By watching videos on YouTube and Facebook, people start to think they can do something. This is easily remedied by…actually doing the thing. Pull out your phone, record yourself, and upload it onto something free like Anchor or Soundcloud. When you commit yourself to tape ( I know no one uses tape anymore and everything is digital, but we still use the term) then you can literally hear where you need to go.
I don’t know about you, but I always cringe when I hear my own voice. But then, it’s only listening to my voice and the way that I speak that I can figure out what I need to do to improve. I’m always told to slow down, to better accentuate my words. And when I can hear myself, I can pinpoint the parts where I should have paused for breath, or done another take.
Beyond hearing your voice, you’ll gain an understanding of your gear and your surroundings: How good is your phone’s mic? Are your levels consistent? Do you weave toward and away from the mic, creating variance in sound? Is there reverb in your room? Are there harsh surfaces where sound bounces off? Does it sound better if you record in the hallway?
These are the first steps to understanding the sound space that you are in. From there, you can start planning out your gear, figuring out what kind of mic you should use, what you need to do to your surroundings, etc, etc.
Take note that these are all just aspects of production I’m talking about. But what about getting rid of all the ums and ohs and errs, and that inhalation that you keep inadvertently doing into the mic when you are about to make a point? That’s post-prod. You can download free DAWs for that. Or, you can upload straight to a platform and just live with it.
Podcasting is easy, and it isn’t. The bottom line here is you can only really know what direction you want to take once you strike forward and actually begin the journey. Then things will open you and you’ll start seeing how big, how complex it all is.
But you have to take that first step.