How to make a podcast
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a short program (such as a talk, interview or music) made in digital format for automatic download over the internet.
What equipment do I need?
You do not need any specialist equipment. You can record a podcast on a smart phone, tablet or digital voice recorder.
With digital voice recorders, the quality is very dependent on price. Moving above the £50+ mark generally takes you into the range of good quality recorders, and you can spend infinitely more than that if you try.
When I’ve recorded a podcast, what do I do?
- You could add music and sound effects. There are various websites where these can be downloaded and added. Always check on copyright and publishing rules.
- You can edit the podcast. There are numerous online free software programmes. With these you can edit, cut and have the ability to add any third party sound effects.
- You need to encode the podcast. Encoding is the process of compressing a file into an mp3 format. This compression makes it easier and quicker to upload the file to your blog or website.
Making a podcast: some hints
1. Know your audience
- Who is the podcast for? The local community? Professionals? Older people, children, young people?
- Which language(s) will the podcast be in? (English, Punjabi, Urdu…?)
- Keep the language clear and simple.
2. Choose your style
- Lecture style: ‘I am an expert telling you about…’
- Story style: ‘I have a story about….’
- Interview style: ‘Today we’re hearing from…’
3. Choose your tone
- Serious: this can suit a documentary style (think David Attenborough).
- Light hearted: this can suit a story telling style (think Ricky Gervais).
4. Organise your content
- Organise a beginning, middle and end.
- Have a short ‘take home’ message as a conclusion.
- Be verbally descriptive at all times. For example, ‘I’m (name) and I’m sitting/standing in the (name) building in (place). This morning/afternoon I’m discussing/chatting with (name) …’
- Will you add background music or sound effects later? If yes, check copyright.
5. Find your voice
- What’s natural for you? Find a way of speaking that feels comfortable. If you're interviewing, you should also make sure you talk in a way that puts the interviewee at ease.
6. And finally
- Keep it short!