Do you ever get annoyed when listening to a podcast?
Do you ever find yourself yelling “get to the *$%^£%$ point” at your phone?
Okay so you’ve probably not done that second thing but believe me, I’ve thought it. And if I’ve thought it, others have too.
It’s really easy to spend the first 10 minutes of your recording chatting about what you’ve been up to that week or how you’re feeling. But unless your podcast is an audio diary or about your health, it isn’t what people are pressing play to hear. Sorry.
So what can you do to make sure your podcast episodes stay on topic, without ruining the enjoyment of your experience of recording it? Edit it of course.
Make It Great
Great podcasts tell compelling stories. They use a combination of relatable presenters, interesting guests and thoughtful sound design to create content that people want to listen to.
Time is precious and while people are willing to spend time listening to podcasts, attention and focus is easily lost.
Ask yourself if what you’re talking about is relevant to the story you want to tell. And if it isn’t, cut it out.
Your Audience Want You To Edit It
People like me – podcast producers and editors – will always tell you to edit your podcast. It isn’t because we want you to pay us to do it for you – although that would be nice. It’s because we want you to be successful.
While they might never actually tell you this, your listeners want you to edit your podcast too.
They want to hear the best you have to offer them. They’re proud of you and your content. They want to tell others about you too. But they won’t do that if you include all the mistakes, unnecessary background noise and unrelated waffle in your episodes.
Edit To Improve
I’m often amazed when podcasters tell me that they don’t listen to their own show.
First of all, it’s an easy way to add one more listener to your download statistics.
Secondly, it seems weird to me that you’d make something that you aren’t interested in listening to yourself.
And thirdly – and most importantly – it will help you to improve.
I know it can feel icky listening to your own voice but you need to get over that and pay attention to what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Don’t worry about what you sound like, as I’ve never met anyone who’s voice has made me cringe.
If you’re not already, listen back to your podcast after it’s been released and ask yourself what you’d do better next time. Learn from it and then make your podcast better by actioning those things you’ve learned.
Of course listening to your episode before it’s released is even better as you’ll be able to fix things before anyone else hears it.
Remember, what the audience doesn’t hear, they won’t miss.
I’ll often listen back to the recording of my own podcast and remove bits that I’m not happy with.
The jokes that aren’t funny? Taken out. The ‘facts’ that aren’t true? No one ever knows about. The time I fell off my chair, hit my head and swore loudly? Ok, that one I left in but it was funny.
The point is, if I didn’t listen back to the recordings, it wouldn’t be as good as it is and I wouldn’t be as proud of it as I am.
Don’t Overdo It
On the flip side, it can be very easy to overdo it and edit your podcast too much.
I’m talking about removing every erm and y’know from the recordings. Some editors will tell you that these filler words should never be heard but I disagree.
I do remove the ones that stand alone in a sentence, filling the thinking time the speaker gives themselves before starting their next one. But the ones that happen naturally usually get left in.
People talk in their own, unique ways. So my belief is that removing all the little quirks and nuances of a person’s speech pattern will dilute the authenticity of how they speak.
If you met them in the street one day, how odd would it be if they sounded completely different to how they’d sounded on a podcast?
So while editing is definitely important, I’d urge you to concentrate mostly on the content. The odd erm or like isn’t going to kill the story you’re looking to tell. But an off topic discussion about what you had for breakfast, well, that will.
Give It A Go
If you’re not editing your podcast yet, I urge you to give it a try.
There’s lots of free software available to help you do it and loads of online tutorials too.
Next time you record an episode of your podcast, listen back to it and ask yourself if every part of it needs to be heard to tell the story.
And if you’d like help editing your podcast, then give me a shout here.