mixing deckI love a podcast. New podcasts come out constantly and there is never a shortage of content to listen to. Inform yourself, make yourself laugh or escape – there are podcasts for everything and you can take them everywhere with you. So many people are producing their own podcasts nowadays, even the top ranked podcasts are sometimes self produced. This means that there are a lot of amateur professional set ups. I thought I would create this post to talk about some production values and broadcast knowledge for creating a professional podcast, as this is essential for retaining engagement. Alternatively, Nostairway produces podcasts and would love to be a part of yours if you require affordable podcast production. Get in contact with us HERE.

I recently wrote an article on the elements of radio production. In this I spoke about technical equipment and production of radio. This includes information about microphones and editing, it accompanies this article nicely so if you are interested then you can take a look HERE.

So, production values. These are all of the elements used to improve a piece of media – sound, lighting, scenery. They all add the how engaging and professional a piece of media is. Here are some production values which you need to consider for your podcast!

1. Episode Introduction

The introduction will typically have the name of the show and a brief description of the content. It is where the scene needs to be set, the brand explained and the viewer encouraged to listen on.

You can do this firstly by creating a sense of the listening space. This could be through soundtrack or by painting a verbal picture! Therefore your listener will have a sense of environment and the podcast will be more engaging.

Episode recaps are also a good way to start n episode and retain interest as they place the audience back to the last episode and remind them of important events they might need to remember.

So, you only really have a couple of minutes to hook the listener and engage them so use them wisely and start the podcast with something interesting.

2. Episode Outro

The outro should tell the audience what to do directly after they are done listening to the podcast.  This could include telling them to follow your social channels, subscribe to the podcast, listen to your other episodes or direct them elsewhere.

It could also include a cliffhanger or preview of the next episode to create anticipation and make sure they come back for the next episode.

3. Topic

Whatever your topic or style is, it is important to gauge whether iy is suited to being told with spoken word – or would be better communicated written down?

No topic is too niche for podcast – you can see that by looking through the podcast charts. Just make sure that it is a clear topic that can create a community and a strong independent identity.

4. Voices

A lot of people prefer podcasts  that are in the form of a conversation between two or more people. In these instances the different people will need distinct voices to avoid confusion. However, there are lots of successful podcasts with only one host. Lots of these podcasts may bring guests on occasionally or for every episode, but make sure that all hosts have a clear identity and the guests are introduced so the listener knows who they are engaging with. Some other pros of having two hosts are building a bigger audience more easily and less work!

Talk like real people. If the dialogue comes across as fake then you will loose engagement instantly. The episodes should be structured, planned and somewhat scripted – but not so that a script is actually being read as this wont be naturalistic. For this reason, don’t be afraid of using colloquialisms to sound more conversational.

5. Audience

To build a loyal audience it is key to engage with your listeners and create spaces for them to engage with each other. You can ask listeners to email you or engage with you on social media. You can also create groups on Facebook or other sites.

For podcasts to maximise their retention capabilities they should also immerse the audience emotionally, so be personal and talk to your listener directly.

6. Audio Quality

You need decent equipment for good audio – we’ve spoken about that plenty on our site. Take a look at some of our advice for audio HERE and HERE. If you don’t know how to produce audio then get someone to help you, we can edit and produce podcasts and you can get in contact HERE.

Unlike vide, with a podcast you are only appealing to one sense, a person’s hearing. So focus on the way your podcast sounds from a quality and a content point of view.

My Top 5 Podcasts

The Guilty Feminist

Hosted by Deborah Francis-White with inspiring guests and co-hosts each week this podcast is enlightening, funny and important.

Saturn Returns

This podcast is hosted by ex MIC star Caggie Dunlop who has made quite the lifestyle transformation since her days on reality TV. If you want top learn more about yourself and spirituality then this is one to listen to. Her voice is also very relaxing.

I Weigh

This podcast is not about weight in a physical sense. It stemmed from Jameela Jamil’s viral online movement which rejected toxic diet culture. She has fascinating guests every week and the topics know no bounds. Another enlightening listen.

Off Menu

Comedians James Acaster an Ed Gamble host celebrity guests every week who go through their dream meal. The podcast is structured into the different courses and hosted by a Genie Waiter (James Acaster). If you like food and laughter then you’re in for a treat.

Happy Place

Fearne Cotton created this life affirming podcast and community. She also hosts new guests each week and speaks with them about their lives and their happy places.

So, There’s my round up on how to make a great podcast and the shows I think you should listen to. If you need any help with your own podcast production then please get in touch with us HERE. We would love to hear from you!