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Have Best Practices In Podcasting Made Us Boring?
Episode 807th February 2022 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:10:47

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There may not be a formula for success in podcasting, but there are many established

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best practices that we dutifully follow as we work to perfect the craft.

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But does that come at the cost of our creativity?

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

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I'm afraid I'm making boring podcasts.

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No, change that, I know I'm making boring podcasts.

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Not necessarily these episodes, but the episodes I make on behalf of my

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clients are, if I'm being honest, boring.

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And while I'm being honest, most of the podcasts made by everyone are boring.

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Most of the podcasts I listen to, therefore, are boring.

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But let me put some parameters around the word because, look, I'm

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not some kind of weird masochist.

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I don't mean that the information presented during the episodes is boring.

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No, it's really good content.

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That's worked on a lot to be exactly what it is right now.

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It's good info that people do, in fact, want to hear.

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What I mean by boring is deliberate efforts were made in the planning

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stage and the recording process, and even in production, that reduce

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imperfections and increase consumability.

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Both of those are very good things, we would all agree.

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But those things also lead to, well, boring episodes.

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I was kind of torn about talking about this topic because my

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greatest fear is that someone will misinterpret what I say and assume

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that I am all-in on unedited or the record-and-release style of podcasting.

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And that is clearly not my position.

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I am a kind of person who would rather err on the side of way too

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much editing at all stages of the production process than too little.

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Yeah, because we need to edit.

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We need to edit in a way that keeps the life in our podcasts, specifically

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the sound of our podcasts, which is all we really have to go on.

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And we need to ensure that that translates, that life translates through

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when it gets into our listeners' ears.

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Because again, in the vast majority of cases, that's all we have.

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That's what we make.

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We have a pipeline into our listeners' ears, and today, many of us are

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guilty of making that kind of boring.

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Almost all of us are guilty of making that kind of boring.

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There are three areas I want you to consider - music, voice, and structure.

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Music is often an afterthought when it comes to podcasting, for podcasters.

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They'll run a quick rifle through various royalty-free libraries and pick something.

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Or if they've got their own desires, they can just hammer out a couple of

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seconds of unassuming, neutral music that they can make on their keyboard.

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In fact, listening to some of the production tips from some of the top

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podcasters out there, you'll hear them use that very adjective, neutral, to

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describe the type of music they prefer to use in their podcast episodes.

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I've even heard some of these top producers, whose names

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you would recognize, say they actually use boring music.

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Then, there's the voice, specifically, the tone and the cadence of the voice

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or voices that are used in the show.

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Talk slow; we say to our talent.

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Do your vocal warmup exercises.

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Speak directly into the microphone, please.

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And if you can't control your quirks, like adding filler words or your heavy

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breathing or your tendency to get quieter as you end the sentence, we'll control

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all of that for you in post, as we get your vocals as close to perfect as we can.

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Finally, there's the structure, a format that we declared and designed.

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It was created to specifically get the point across of the episode as quickly as

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we can, not to waste anyone's time, and in a way that most people would find pleasing

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and markedly unchallenging to listen to.

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Because heaven forfend we offend someone's ears.

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Neutral music, perfect voices, pleasant structure, none of that screams exciting.

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None of that allows for the messy, chaotic, and just human nature of how

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we express ourselves in the real world.

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I don't have a solution to this problem.

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I don't even know that this is a problem.

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It's just something on my mind.

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Maybe it's the inherent rule-breaker in me struggling to be heard.

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Maybe it's my nature of wanting to challenge the status quo.

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And maybe you have similar thoughts about that.

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If so, I'll back you, if you want to buck the trend.

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I think we could use more trend-bucking in podcasting these days.

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And the more podcasting grows, the wider and wilder and wooly-er

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your podcasting is going to get.

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I, for one, want to welcome that change.

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With that, I shall be back tomorrow 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.