Open Letter To An Amateur Podcaster (5 Solid Bits of Advice)
Dear Amateur Podcaster,
Um..... I just listened to your podcast and I thought I'd write you.... a little note. Consider it advice from one of your favorite teachers in high school that you've never forgotten because they were so instrumental in all your life decisions: QUIT.
Look, I get it. I understand the desire to express yourself. That's what Art is, after all, isn't it? Expressing your opinion in a concise, compelling, relevant way is an art form that you, my amateur podcasting friend, do not have. I know, I've hit a nerve, but sistah, you've hit one with me. Let me explain further.
1. I don't care about how you met Mr. Big Time Celebrity at that conference you once went to in Ohio. You took FOREVER to get to the point. It was a miracle that I followed you. It's cool that you met a celebrity, just get to the point and tell us about the person we really care about. The Celebrity, not you. Harsh, I know, but reality.
2. Who told you that it's okay to go from point to point in a podcast and people will like it? It's not true. People will not be able to follow and will eventually think to themselves, "Gee, I could be cleaning out the lint from my toes rather than listening to this dribble." Okay, maybe they won't say that, but they'll be thinking it. People have a very short attention span, (see tip #1) Stay on point or you will lose people.
3. The sound of your voice and only your voice will put people to sleep unless you are a masterful storyteller, which you are not. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you just want to scream, "GET TO THE POINT!" I happens to me all the time. Maybe it's because I'm in RADIO and it's my JOB! Get. To. The. Point, for the Love of Mike. (see Tips #1 & 2)
4. You are not hilarious. Look, this is my business and I know that I can't try too hard to be funny all the time. It's just not authentic. My Mother thinks I'm funny and maybe my husband, but he has to think I'm funny otherwise he won't get a pipin' hot dinner and clean laundry for a week. Just be you. I'm sure you can be funny sometimes.
5. You sound inauthentic. Listen, I go in to the studio every day and get behind that mic and I try to sound as happy to be there as I can. Or not. Above all, I have to sound believable and comfortable and that, my amateur podcasting friend, takes experience. If you insist on keeping at it, listen to the RADIO. Those people, (most of them) know what they're doing. It's not as easy as we make it sound. It takes practice.
Having said all that, what the hell do I know? Times are changing and maybe the sea of podcasts that I listen to are just solid gold and I'm too old to hear it, but I don't think so. Hang up the headphones, Kid. Go save the world and leave the broadcasting to broadcasters.
One more thing - look for my podcast coming to an internet near you in 3...2..... and 1.