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Building Reflecting Time Into Your Podcast
Episode 957th March 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:09:25

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Evo Terra:

Everyone leads busy lives, and the smart podcaster

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doesn't waste their audience's time.

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But in your quest to tighten things up, don't forget to build in

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reflecting time to let your audience, well, reflect as they listen.

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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A few episodes ago, I talked about five ways to serve the changing

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needs of your audience because the needs of audiences are changing.

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Their needs are changing with every single new podcast they follow, with

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every new newsletter they subscribe to, and honestly, with every new

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source added to their media diet.

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Now, smart podcasters will change to fit those changing needs.

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Specifically, I talked briefly about how your audience may want you to go deeper.

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But you've been investing in longer episodes, which

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isn't quite the same thing.

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Or maybe you've been investing in more frequent content, either with

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more episodes, maybe increasing your normal output, like putting

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out bonus content, perhaps.

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Or even launching an additional show that covers a slightly different

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angle on the exact same topic.

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Now on the surface, each of those moves sure sounds like you're going to be going

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deeper onto a topic, and perhaps you are.

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Sure, I'll grant you that, but at the cost of more time.

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That's a cost your audience has to pay to get the depth they really desire.

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But that's not really depth you're giving, that's breadth.

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Breadth is important for sure.

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Breadth is required, if you will, on your journey to understand the topic of

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your show, developing a mere encyclopedic knowledge of your domain will make you

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a much better podcaster and a much more valuable podcaster in the eyes, or maybe

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the ears or the brains, of your audience because they get to reap the benefits

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of the breadth of your knowledge without having to acquire that same breadth.

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What they really want you to do, or what they likely will want you to

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do, is get to the point faster by distilling your breadth of knowledge

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down to the depth that they desire.

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It's not easy for people with vast amounts of knowledge in their brains

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in one particular area to deliver a concise, tight presentation on any

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given aspect of their knowledge.

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And no, I'm not talking from an egotistical point of

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view right now, I promise.

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Listen, that's a reality you've probably experienced at

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least once in your lifetime.

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Maybe a rambling speech someone gave.

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A novella-sized email you received.

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Or a podcast episode that just drones on and on without a point to stop.

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And that's right, podcasters, we're no exception to this.

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So rather than refining our scripts or being relentless in what content we

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edit out of our episodes, we look for filler content that's easy for us to cut.

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We think making those cuts are helping, and oftentimes

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they are, but they may not be.

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We're employing tools to quickly cut out all of those filler words

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from our episodes automatically, without even listening to the

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context where sometimes those filler words really help make our point.

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We're replacing our long, rambly questions - lord knows I do that

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when I interview people - with much shorter ones in post-editing.

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That'll save us, like, fifteen seconds for each time we ask a question.

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But then we're leaving in the guest's long, rambly,

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five-minute answer in our episode.

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We relentlessly look to tighten up every single pause to make our episodes snappy.

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We narrow all of the gaps between sections to get to our next point faster,

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oftentimes while our audience is still contemplating the point we just made.

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We do those things because we're trying to shove more information in less time.

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But when audiences are looked at as a whole, they seem to be asking

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for something different, not more, but better, deeper, more valuable.

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Part of deeper is giving your audience time to reflect.

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Not after your episode is over, they're already on to the next episode in

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their queue when that happens, but as you are delivering your episodes.

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Remember that your audience isn't sitting quietly with eyes closed as they listen

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intently to what it is you have to say.

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No!

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They're doing the dishes.

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They're driving to an appointment.

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Or working out.

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Standing in line at the post office.

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They may not realize the big buildup you're working towards as you come

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to the point you're about to make.

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So it's up to you to sculpt that point, use silence, bed music, repetition

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of words, or other ways to ensure the clarity of your message and that you

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delivered what you were trying to deliver.

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If you're going to go deep, you have to also deliver on clarity.

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So yes, of course, tighten up where you can.

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Yes, chop up your questions, summarize your guest's responses, and re-ask

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your questions if you need to.

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But also leave room in your audio for reflection.

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Let some of those silences border on uncomfortable.

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Let the bed music continue after you've made your point for much longer

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than maybe you think that it should.

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Let your audience hear those few seconds while your guest was really thinking

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of how to best answer your question.

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The parts of your episode where no one is talking are the parts where

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your audience's brains do the talking.

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That's how they get deeper into your episodes.

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That's how they feel like you're letting them be a part of the conversation.

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With that, I shall be back directly with yet another Podcast Pontifications.

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Cheers!

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Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra.

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He's on a mission to make podcasting better.

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Links to everything mentioned in today's episode are in the notes

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section of your podcast listening app.

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A written-to-be-read article based on today's episode is available at

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podcastpontifications.com where you'll also find a video version and a corrected

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transcript, both created by Allie Press.

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Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.