Podcast Liberation: Set Your Podcast Free

Solo

The solo show is the simplest format you can follow. It’s just you and the mic, talking about a subject you love. You may have title music, and you may have outro music, but often there’s no need. The whole episode may just be you, on your own, talking through your material. This takes a little skill, as having just one voice on a show can become a little monotonous, depending on the presenter.

Formats

  1. Succinct, one topic – no nonsense, quick intro, then into a talk about the content, before a quick outro.
  2. Extended, one topic – perhaps a more conversational intro, the host relating recent events in their life or business, before moving on to the topic. The outro may contain more updates of relevance to the audience as well. 
  3. Multi-segment – Introduction, then content segment 1, transition, content segment 2, transition, outro. Often this type of show will have regular segments, eg. “What’s new in Cycling This week,” before moving on to the main topic which varies each week. 

Recommended Length

  • Short – from 5 to 20 minutes
  • Can go longer, up to 45 minutes or an hour, if the presenter has skill in speaking, storytelling and creating engaging content.

Pros

  1. Very quick and efficient way to get content out
  2. Very little editing required
  3. Very little equipment
  4. You have complete control over what’s said, and the length of time it covers.
  5. No distractions from your personality and message – very intimate with your audience, and can build a great connection

Cons

  1. A solo voice can be monotonous, without practice
  2. It takes skill to keep this format engaging, especially for longer episodes (>20mins)

Examples

  • Dan Carlin – Hardcore History. A masterclass in how to do a long solo show and keep it engaging. His episodes are 1 to 2 hours, but his speaking style is engaging, and the stories he tells keep you rapt.
  • Me – PodCraft! (Series 1, 2 and 3) – I like to keep my content compact, and control it, so I often do bite-sized solo shows to cover topics in a succinct way. 

Summary

The solo show is brilliant for those that want their podcasting quick and easy. But that doesn’t mean you’re lazy, it can be the difference between creating consistent, quality content and petering out too early. The solo show is also great for those that want to give their listeners focussed, concise information on one topic. No waffle, no filler, just quality.