How do I Find My Voice? | Podcraft S8E04

Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Podcraft. This is the show all about podcasting, everything from interview skills to equipment and everything in between. We’re back this episode with some more questions from our listeners. We’ve got one question from the splendid, magnificent Dan Brew and also a comment back from Natalie Silverman as

How do I Find My Voice? | Podcraft S8E04

Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Podcraft. This is the show all about podcasting, everything from interview skills to equipment and everything in between.

We’re back this episode with some more questions from our listeners. We’ve got one question from the splendid, magnificent Dan Brew and also a comment back from Natalie Silverman as well.

Natalie’s comment was one of a few responses to the question we’ve put in our emails (if you sign up for our email list you get something out within a few emails which asks you to contribute to Podcraft).

So, if you fancy getting a two or three minute clip on Podcraft just talking about your show – about what’s working for you in terms of monetisation, promotion, equipment set up etc – then you can send it into us.

We’ll be accepting in questions from the comments section of the website, our contact formTwitter, or any other means in which you want to ask us!

First, let’s jump into the questions from Dan Brew.

He asked:

“I’ve been told that I’m a perfectionist in many areas and I’m finding it difficult to start the podcast process until I have all of the perfect technical sound experience, editing knowledge and technical set up created. I currently have a Mac Book and a Yeti mic I’ve just picked up. What are your thoughts on waiting to start versus just jumping in?”

Then, he added a second question:

“How do you find your voice? It’s a tedious and very self reflective process that has me spinning quite a bit. How much was trial and error versus you just knowing?”

These kinds of things are often raised with us – they’re big issues, so ones worth discussing.

It comes down to ‘perfectionism versus progress’.

All the time that you think you’re working by getting all this stuff in place, it’s not half as effective as actually going ahead and doing it. If you’re new to podcasting, you’re not likely to be exceptional straight out the gate. It’s going to take a bit of practise.

You could read all the books, listen to all the tutorials, watch all the videos. But nothing comes close to just experience.

As well as that, there is a lesson to be learned by actually putting content out. If you’re just doing a practice recording that you know won’t be going out live, then you won’t have the pressure to actually learn anything or have anything to reflect from it.

It’s only when you’re putting stuff out live that you’re really practising . The real exposure to actual listeners, to real people, that’s what really forces your learning, and it brings feedback as well.

That’s when people start getting back to you and saying, “This is what I enjoy, this is what I like. This is the good bits of the episode, this is the bad bits of the episode.” You can then build on that.

There’s a number of reasons why you want to get yourself in the game. It comes down to things like your podcast reputation – how long you’ve been out there, how long you’ve been on iTunes and things like that – but as we’ve mentioned before, don’t obsess over the iTunes stuff!

Every day that you’re not launching, you’re not here. You’re sitting on the sidelines, people are overtaking you.

A friend of ours, Andy Brown, runs a show called Triple Your Clients.

Speaking to another friend of ours, who was looking to launch her podcast but was procrastinating, he said to her:

“What are you going to do, how will you feel if somebody launches the exact idea, the exact podcast, the exact concept that you are looking to launch in the month or so leading up to when you’re finally getting perfect?”

She admitted that it would be a complete kick in the stomach – and that forced her to actually launch her show within the next week.

So that’s something to think about – how would you feel, in the meantime of perfecting your show, if someone else launched something very similar to your idea. Would it make you feel bad? If it would, then get out there!

Now, onto Dan’s second question about finding your voice.

Sitting down in front of a microphone and watching it record, your immediate reaction is to become really formal.

We’re used to seeing presenters on the TV, news presenters for example, and so you begin to talk like you don’t actually talk in real life.

You want your podcast, or most podcasts, anyway, to sound like you’re just chatting to a friend down the pub. The listener is your friend, so just be conscious of how you sound as soon as a microphone is put in front of you.

Like most things, it comes through practice.

One way that seems to work quite well is actually to commit to sharing a few episodes with some good friends.

People always fall into a trap of wanting to sound professional, knowledgeable, all that kind of stuff – which could come from a lack of confidence in a way.

You’re wanting to make sure you sound trustworthy so you end up writing or speaking in slightly bigger words or more convoluted sentences than you would normally.

But, if you commit yourself to sharing an episode before you actually record it, then you become a lot more aware of how you speak.

The commitment to do it helps you think about how you speak in the first place, and then when you give it to them they can give you some feedback on it – like “this didn’t sound like you at all. I’ve never heard you say that in real life”. So that can be a really useful exercise.

You do also have to ask yourself, if you’re putting a podcast out completely in your own voice, might that put a few people off?

The answer is, maybe it will. But, for the people it doesn’t put off – it will probably make them like you more for it.

Having a small audience isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it’s a more loyal audience. You’d rather have much fewer people who really, really like you then a large group of people who think you’re all right, but soon forget about you because you’re a bit generic.

Better a thousand people that love you than 10 thousand that are pretty ambivalent to you.

Hopefully that helps you out with your questions Dan and do get in touch to let us know how you’re getting on as you progress.

Anyone else, too, if you want to send us a question, send it via our contact page or you can tweet us any short ones @thepodcasthost and we’ll include it on future shows. We’d love to get lots more listener questions on the show in the near future.

Finally, we have a comment from Natalie from the Fertility Podcast.

This is her thoughts around what’s working for her, what’s not working for her, and generally how it’s going with her podcast just now:

Hello, I’m Natalie and I host The Fertility Podcast, which launched in September 2014 and I’ve just published my 85th episode. It’s for anybody who has found their route to parenthood hasn’t been straight forward, so they’re not able to get pregnant naturally and possibly having to have fertility treatment or consider other ways.

I get about 300 to 400 hundred listeners every episode. I release an episode weekly. I get new listeners through iTunes, Stitchers, Spreaker, Acast, the podcast is on all sorts of platforms. I also have a Patreon page.

I use Facebook and Twitter mainly and I’m just starting with Instagram, and as far as monetizing the podcast, I’ve got a Patreon page, which I need to do more with, but I’m delighted to say I’ve now got two sponsors who have signed up for 12 months and I’m currently in talks with some other sponsors about getting them onboard and I’m also starting to create bespoke content for other people as The Fertility Podcast, because it’s all kind of relevant subjects, so if you want to find more, just go

Thank you very much for sharing your story with us Natalie.

If you want to give us a similar type of comment – then let us know what’s working for you! Get in touch about your monetisation, sponsorship, promotion of your show, growth or even just about the story of launching your podcast.

We’d love to get some more stories of how you’ve gone about getting your show out there in the first place, so what’s worked in terms of launches. You can sent them as well to [email protected] if it’s a recording or you can pop onto our SpeakPipe page, which is found over at our contact page.

Just before we go, we want to give a wee shout out to Dave Jackson over at The School of Podcasting for giving us a mention on his show.

And for a quick catch-up on what’s been happening with us at The Podcast Host, Matthew has put out an article about the ‘8 tips to avoid Podfading‘.

Podfading, if you’ve not heard the term before, is if when someone launches a podcast, for some reason or another they just stop doing it. This is often to do with the planning and preparation, so we’ve put together eight tips just making sure you’re building on solid foundations.

And for Colin, apart from taking part in Tough Mudder, this week has mainly been working on the design for our new app and putting together wire frames for the workflow.

If you’ve been listening to The Numbers Game you’ll know we’re working on an app just now which is designed to make podcasting easier. It will help you produce a show really quickly, from really simple automation, just turning a basic audio file into a produced, branded podcast with just the click of a button down to some simple editing tools as well.

The aim is just to help people get shows out there easily and more regularly, so Colin has been doing some design on the interface, just figuring out the workflow and everything.

We’re also having a lot of people in The Podcast Host Academy. So, if you’re looking for more support or to take part in some of the courses we offer – we do a launch course, an interview skills course, equipment courses etc – as well as live sessions, so head over to the Academy to find out more.

That’s it for this episode of Podcraft. We hope you enjoyed the show, and we hope you tune in again next week!

Once again, let us know your questions and we’ll answer as many of them as we can. Here’s a reminder of where you can find us:

Get in touch with us on Twitter, drop us an email via the contact form, or leave us a comment on any relevant blog post!