Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
What makes a successful podcast? What are the things that make people listen at first, and then come back again and again?
Some of it comes down to having a clever idea, which has been put together well, beautifully produced and edited. But a lot of it is based on the presenter (or presenters).
A good rapport
My current favourite non-Auddy podcast is called Smartless – it’s Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes. This is a super massive hit show with amazing guests. The episode with George Clooney is particularly good.
But the funny thing about famous people doing podcasts is that a lot of their immediate impact disappears when it’s audio only. You can’t see those famous faces and instead it’s their voices doing all the work. And on Smartless, it’s the rapport between the three presenters and their distinctive, familiar voices that makes it so engaging.
So, when you’re thinking about who the voice (or voices) for your podcast will be, you really need to think long and hard about the voice casting.
It’s really like an audio play – you want to have different and distinct voices, and different and distinct characters, which your listeners will be able to relate to and engage with.
Make it easy to follow
Having two men with the same type of voice or accent will make for a dull show and your audience may struggle to tell who is who.
So, think about your brand, how it presents itself, who works for you and what range of accents, personalities, and skills your workforce has. If you’re telling the story of your brand or product, then your podcast should sound like your workforce. It should be an extension of your company’s tone and personality, after all.
But if your workforce isn’t particularly diverse or gender-balanced, maybe this is a chance to lead by example and bring in some fresh new voices and viewpoints. In order to clarify if this is the right decision for your brand, you need to think about the purpose of your podcast and what you would like to achieve. If you would like more advice on this, check out our blog post: 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Audio Strategy.
You also want hosts who have something to say, who are clear communicators, and are good listeners. In fact, the real art of being a good host is knowing when to say nothing. Silence can be a very powerful tool. It allows the opportunity for a guest or contributor to open up and share more of their experience.
TOP TIP: Make sure your hosts use each other’s names frequently and that they refer to any guests’ names every few minutes, so the audience can follow who is speaking and the context of the conversation.
Having some freedom
Most importantly of all, give the hosts the room and the confidence to experiment. Let them know that the podcast is going to be edited, so you can tidy up any misfired questions or moments that don’t work. The art of good editing, however, is probably a topic for another day…