This is Chapter 3 of our Engaging Episodes series on creating hugely engaging podcast content. Read other chapters at the following links: Introduction | Chapter one | Chapter two | Chapter three | Chapter four | Chapter five | Chapter six
The Missing Link?
As a voracious listener of many podcasts, nothing will turn me off quicker than a dull, lifeless podcast host. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve found a potentially fascinating podcast, only to be left disappointed. Don’t let that be you. Don’t be that guy (or girl!) who has great content but a complete inability to deliver it.
Let your personality shine through. That’s what people will remember. That’s what will draw people in. And that’s precisely what will mark you down as a superior podcast host.
Filters Off – Writing
When you’re scripting the set-piece elements of your script, write your first draft with complete freedom. Don’t hold back. That’s what editing is for. Above all write with ‘your filters off’.
In other words – anything goes. Too often people think of funny quips, a play on words or anecdotes but fail to write them down. They self-police. They dismiss potential pieces of podcasting gold. They think it’s too risky. They fear they’ll be judged. So they leave them out.
Don’t do it!
Create a Website/Blog for Your Show
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Those moments of personality are what most of us are looking for. We don’t expect you to be a comedian, but we do expect you to tell your story, share your insights and communicate in as natural a way as possible.
So write it down. You can always delete it later. But first drafts should be all about capturing the big ideas and your personality. Leave the editing for later. For now, just write.
Trust me, it’s quite liberating!
Filter Off – Live
There’s also an opportunity to show your real personality in a live podcast setting. Nothing will show your personality more powerfully than your interactions with a fellow host or podcast guest. One of my favourite podcasts is ‘The Self-Publishing Podcast’ The three hosts deliver great advice, but more than that, they deliver pure entertainment. It’s a joy to listen to.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. If you have something witty to add – do so. And don’t be afraid of making a fool of yourself. What’s the worst that can happen? The audience groans or at worse you’re met with the unmistakable sound of rolling tumbleweeds.
Have fun. Don’t hold back. OK, wait, that needs at least a couple of boundaries! Don’t be racist, sexist or go out of your way to offend anyone. Other than that, though, have at it!
The Power of Telling Tales
One great way to demonstrate your personality is to share your ability to be a powerful storyteller. Use clever personal stories throughout your podcast to make your point.
Stories are also powerful when used to simplify a potentially confusing or technical subject. It will make your show more accessible and far more personable.
Your stories can be even more powerful if they are self-effacing. In other words, use stories that show you up to be the buffoon you are. Nothing creates empathy like sharing a story that highlights a rudimentary mistake that you once made.
It might be a technical mistake or a ‘rookie error’. Either way, it shows a level of honesty and helps build trust. Never forget that as the host of a podcast, some listeners might be intimidated by you. Making fun of yourself can help put your listeners at ease.
Your podcast will be around for a while, so your content should be as ‘evergreen’ as possible. In other words, you don’t want too many elements that will date your podcast.
That being said, I’d make one exception. If there is something funny or interesting in the news that you can share and relate to your podcast content, then do so. Even if it becomes old news, as long as it illustrates your point well, then it’s still useful.
Share the Real You
Finally, when it comes to adding personality, be a sharer. Let your listeners know what’s happening in your life. Pepper your content with what’s been happening in your World.
If you’re doing this early to mid-way through the show then keep it brief. You don’t want content that’ll date the show, or feel self-indulgent to new listeners. But, feel free to add a longer personal update after the main content, once you’ve already hooked people in with your amazing insights.
Pete Matthew from Meaningful Money does this really well, keeping his personal update to the end every week. That means the first section of his show remains evergreen and gets right to point every time, drawing in each new listener that finds his content.
In the end, wherever you put it, don’t be afraid to share. Remember you’re an awesome human being, as well as an awesome podcast host, and that’s what’ll persuade people to stick around for the long haul.
- Which podcaster, for you, does the best job of effortlessly sharing genuine personality?
Share in the comments below. And yes, you can share more than one – the more the merrier!