River Scott Profile picture
Queer storyteller, problem-solver, & award-winner. 'The Taylor Swift of podcasts' Creator, Probably True podcast + other stuff Non-binary: They/Them, please

Aug 30, 2018, 12 tweets

Right. No-one asked for it, but several of you fuckers need it, so here's my tips for creating a good #podcast:

1. Edit your work. Listen to what you've recorded and take the time to cut out the erms, the ums, the slurpy mouth noises, coughs, farts, etc.
And for the love of fuck, don't eat or drink into the microphone.

2. Edit your work. If your episodes are consistently more than an hour long, I will move on without listening. There is no subject I want to hear about for that long that can't be either restructured into smaller episodes, or more strongly edited.

(There are - very few - exceptions to this, of course, but as a general rule any podcast whose episodes are more than an hour long says "This is self-indulgent drivel." Which leads my nicely on to my next point...)

3. Edit your work. If your episode is full of tangents and stories that aren't related to the subject of the episode/series, remove them. If I'm listening to a podcast on Battlestar Galactica, I don't care that the host's friend had a crap night out last week.

I'm not saying don't put personality into your work. Quite the opposite, in fact. Just make it relevant to the listener, who has chosen your podcast because of the subject, NOT because you and your mates have top bants. You don't.

4. Edit your work. If I had dollar for every time I hear the phrase "Don't worry, we'll edit that out..." It's not the hilarious joke you think it is. It just makes the listener think "well, ya didn't, so you've just wasted my time."

5. Edit your work. Ditto a dollar for "This won't work well as audio, but..." Podcasts are audio. If you're telling a story or a joke or anything that is only funny/entertaining for the people in the room, don't include it. Find another way to tell it, or find a better joke.

6. Edit your work. Silence is a great tool that should be used sparingly. If you're just talking slowly, I will speed your podcast up. You don't want to sound like chipmunks. Edit out silences. Develop a constant rhythm in your words and the way you speak.

7. Edit your work. I once heard a podcast host get interrupted halfway through a story by his co-host saying "Oh, that reminds me - I have that stuff you wanted in my bag..." CUT THAT SHIT OUT. (Or, better yet, find a more disciplined and respectful co-host.)

8. Edit your work. If you only have enough good content for a 20-minute episode, release a 20-minute episode. Rambling because you think it 'should' be 30 minutes wastes everyone's precious time. Life is fleeting: short-but-higher-quality is better than long-but-padded.

There are exceptions to all of these, of course, but they're pretty solid guidelines.
In sum:
Respect your audience (and co-hosts).
Keep it tight.
Inject personality, but stick to the subject.
No-one is a natural. Put in the time and discipline needed to get good.

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