I’ve been podcasting for over a year now, and I love it every bit as much as the day I started. Getting to chat with people about their stories, motivations and inspirations is really the most amazing privilege. As a semi-veteran of podcasting I field a fair number of questions about the process. I’ve been thinking of writing a blog post with some of my podcasting tips, tools and tricks. However, after my podcast today devolved into a total comedy of errors I’m thinking that I may be better off telling you what not to do. If you want to know how to mess up a podcast, here are some of my best suggestions.
I’ve got my headset on, and I’m ready to podcast
Five Ways to Mess up a Podcast
- Schedule the call for a time when your kids will be at home, and feeling needy. For me, 4:00pm on a Tuesday fit the bill perfectly. It’s in that stretch that falls after school and before dinner, when my kids are starting to feel a little bit tired and probably hungry and cranky, too. Plus, since Tuesday is when Jacob and I tend to run errands together like grocery shopping and visiting the library, I can guarantee that we’ve both already had a full day under our belts and our respective emotional reserves are low.
- Use your powers of serendipity so that your three-year-old announces he needs to poop just as you’re starting your call. You’re going to need to use ninja-like timing and manifestation to make this one happen, but you’ll be richly rewarded with an opportunity to discuss children and poop with someone you barely know. Luckily, as we all know, parents love to talk about their children’s bowel movements, so this will end up being a highlight of your day.
- Accidentally drop the volume control on the floor and then mute your headphones with your foot, so that you can’t hear your guest. This will not be awkward at all. When you pile this on top of the break you’ve already taken to deal with your child’s bathroom needs, you will just appear super-professional and organized and stuff.
- Ignore the fact that your children have located your chocolate stash as you’re distracted by your call. On the one hand, your children haven’t even had dinner yet, and they’re now sugared-up and you’re out of chocolate at a time when you could really use chocolate. On the other hand, they’re being quiet and steering clear of you because they know they’re not supposed to be eating the chocolate, so you just run with it.
- Tell your guest that you’ll turn off the recording but you won’t hang up the phone, and then hang up the phone. You are a technical whiz, as the cool trick with your foot that resulted in you yelling, “I can’t hear you!” into your microphone has already shown. Pressing the wrong button at the end of the call just reinforces how very computer savvy you really are, you podcasting goddess.
All of us have those days where it seems like nothing is going our way. But if you follow my five tips you can be sure that every day feels that way. Why you would want that, I don’t really know. In retrospect, this one should really be filed under Things to Avoid Doing. So take my cautionary tale to heart, and learn from my podcasting mistakes. You’re welcome.
Do you have any sure-fire tips for messing up a podcast, interview, blog post, dinner party, parent-teacher interview, first date or other occasion? Share them, and we can all learn from each other!