How to cure a verbal crutch in your podcast

Hello. My name is Steve and I have a verbal crutch. So, whenever I talk to my listener via my podcast I want to sound, you know, conversational and sorta natural. Anyway, um, I noticed that I kinda can’t get away from  starting every sentence off with “So”.

Hello sticker by Trexweb1

So… (see that, I did it again!) I presented my problem to an online forum and guess what? I’m not the only one suffering from this improper use of the English language. There are many podcasters who use unnecessary words to bridge thoughts between sentences, many who have podcasts much more successful than mine.

The most common verbal crutches

Here is a list of the verbal crutches I use as well as some mentioned from the Podcast Technology Resource Group.

Beware: You can’t un-read this!

  • So
  • You see
  • Anyway
  • Like
  • Um
  • Ya know
  • Well
  • O.K.
  • Awesome
  • Absolutely

Now that you’ve read them I’ll bet you start to notice them in your own show. Sorry about that.

 

How to cure a verbal crutch

Here are some of the great suggestions the Podcast Technology Resource Group offered:

Mitch Todd, host of the Chocolate At Midnight podcast

A LOT of people use the “So” crutch. I hear it in interviews (podcast or otherwise) all the time and it drives me crazy.

Years ago, when I participated in Toastmasters, we did an exercise: the speaker would talk and the listener would clap every time you used a crutch – for example, “uh”, “um”, “so”, “well”.

This helped me back then. I need a refresher.

 

Ray Ortega, host of The Podcasters’ Studio podcast

Slow down. When you give yourself enough time to hear it coming, you can leave it out.

Even if the slowing down sounds unnatural at first, you’ll get back to a decent speed once you train yourself to not say “so” all the time.

 

David Jackson, host of The School of Podcasting podcast

Part of it is awareness (which means reviewing your show). My new one is “Right?”  Its like the American version of the Canadian “eh?”

The first step is knowing that I do it. That seems to help. I’m better at ya know than I use to be, and if you prep more and know what you’re going to say you will get better at ums. Part of it is just practice.

Get used to a pause. Another big thing I do is if I do mess up, I wait 10 seconds (its a long time) and then go back and say whatever I was saying. This makes it SUPER easy to spot flubs.

 

Dont Say That Verbal Crutch jar - YesYouCanPodcastToo.com

Wait, they get better

Mike Wilkerson, Owner of the 2GuysTalking podcasts network

Editing and training, as well as the “UmErUhYknow” Jar are how to cure a verbal crutch.

When we get to the jar, bad habits disappear pretty quickly inside my studio 🙂

 

Stephen Kling, host of the soon-to-be-released “Oh honey, yes” podcast

Have someone listen to you and literally count how many times you say the word. Once you become aware and hear it yourself you can try other words, being aware is the first step and sounds like you are.

A fellow trainer of mine said to me once don’t be afraid of the power of pause – meaning not speaking. Often times we use filler words I.e so, um, like, we’ll…etc. as a way to collect our thoughts and for us not to be perceived as boring or not having much to say. When in reality it’s the exact opposite. Avoid them by being aware, and pause when your thinking of what to say next. It’s a more powerful speaking method – I guarantee it’s more noticeable to you than it is to anyone else. 🙂

 

Jennifer Ebeling, host of the Still Growing podcast

First I started by editing some of my favorites out of the podcast. I love to say awesome and absolutely.

Now I simply put a little postcard in front of my monitor and when I’m interviewing a guest I use one of the words on the postcard. All the words are transition words and positive affirmations such as that’s fantastic, let’s switch gears now, along those lines, I’ve been wondering, that type of stuff.

Anyway, the postcards trick works brilliantly for me. Give it a try.

 

How I am going to cure a verbal crutch in my podcast

Those are all great suggestions. I’d love to join a ToastMasters group or have someone count how many times I say “um” or “you know”. But I do believe I can start with these three:

  • Review my podcast: I usually listen to make sure the download works properly but I’m going to start listening for the verbal crutches
  • Slow down, allow myself an extra pause between sentences, and mentally prepare to start the next sentence without a crutch
  • Position a postcard near my microphone with positive transition words like “That’s fantastic” or “Let’s switch gears now”

Over time I hope to reduce the amount of verbal crutches in my show.

 

Do you have any other suggestions on how to cure a verbal crutch in my podcast?

How to easily embed a video in a WordPress post or page

Valerie Rind was interviewed by the Huffington Post. That’s awesome! The video was released to the public and Valerie wanted to know how to put it on her blog. WordPress makes this very easy to do for YouTube videos but what about other services? Once you know what to do it’s easier than you think. Here is how to easily embed a video in a WordPress post or page.

It’s so easy that I show you how from the front seat of my car!

Embedding YouTube and Vimeo videos

WordPress performs it magic voodoo when it comes to embedding YouTube or Vimeo videos. Simply copy the “Share” link from the YouTube of Vimeo video and paste it into your WordPress blog post.

How to embed a YouTube video in a WordPress blog post

How to share a YouTube video in a blog post

How to embed an On.AOL video on your website

Embedding an On.AOL video in a WordPress blogpost or page isn’t as easy. This might change in the future but it takes a couple extra steps with HTML code. Don’t worry, you aren’t programming or messing with CSS stuff here – it’s still as simple as copy and paste:

  1. How to embed video HTML in a WordPress postFind the Embed code in the Share options (located in the lower right hand side of the video player)
  2. Copy the Embed code
  3. Click the Text tab on your WordPress blog post or page (see photo)
  4. Paste the video embed code
  5. Click Save Draft or Publish

That’s it. You should see the video on your website and click to play.

Whey embedding video is better than hosting on your own website

It is important to note that Valerie didn’t need to have the actual video file for her website. The video will remain stored on the original website and you make it easy for your readers/viewers to watch it without leaving your website.

This saves your website valuable storage space and, more importantly, less data to download from your server to the millions of people who want to watch your video.

For an example of this, check out where Valerie put the video of her interview “When Family & Money Don’t Mix“.

Do you want to know more about putting video on your blog?

Have you thought about putting video your website? It’s easy and becoming more popular every single day. Contact me for help putting your face or your voice on your blog.

John Lee Dumas Interview on the Podcasters Roundtable

I wrote an article about “The John Lee Dumas Effect” and it stirred quite a bit of online conversation. Ray Ortega, host of the Podcasters’ Studio thought it would be a great discussion for his show.

John joined Ray along with co-hosts Daniel J. Lewis and Dave Jackson to talk about the John Lee Dumas Effect – and I got to join them to! Click on the picture to watch the the John Lee Dumas interview on the Podcasters Roundtable.

John Lee Dumas Interview on the Podcasters Roundtable

I give John Lee Dumas the “thumbs-up” for being debt free before quitting his day job

John Lee Dumas, host of the Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast, is seen as an overnight success. If you have heard his story then you know he is making a lot of money, but some people only hear about his success.

What they often overlook is the 3 months of work learning how to podcast, being declined for interviews, and making NO money.

It is important to realize that John did not quit his job and become an overnight success. It took him 9 months before reaching 4,000 downloads and start making some real money. Keep this in mind when thinking about starting a podcast. Planning ahead and knowing what NOT to do will pay big dividends in the long run.

Side note: John Lee Dumas was able to quit his day job and work full time on his podcast BECAUSE HE WAS DEBT FREE and had savings to support him through this transition. If you want to learn how debt steals your future paycheck and how to get out of debt would you please consider subscribing to my podcast: The MoneyPlan SOS podcast – teaching everyday Americans how to Pay Attention, Not Interest. 

Don’t let your podcast introduction be like a loaded DVD

Loaded podcast introductionThe other day my wife told me she checked out my podcast. Actually, she watched it as this was the first episode I also released as a video.

She gets enough of me at home so why would she want to spend time watching me on YouTube? Whatever the reason, I was excited to hear what she thought!

Did she find the topic enthralling?

Was the content complete?

Did she laugh at my jokes?

Her response was “I had to shut it off after 4 minutes. You kept telling me to go to all these links”.

#EpicFail

OUCH! She was right. I went back and realized I talked about how listeners can contact me, a giveaway I was holding, and how this was the first episode that was also being released as a video. I did this for 04:15!

Want to see what she was talking about? Experience the pain for yourself

To a new listener, or in this case a first-time viewer, four minutes seems like an eternity. This is not good when trying to grow an audience.

My introduction was like a loaded DVD

Here is where I went wrong: I put all the little nuances and bonuses at the front of the show like a DVD loaded with previews and other distractions.

How my show ended up like a loaded DVD:

  • It started with the music and branding
  • It offered a bunch of previews and other non-essential information
  • The viewer had to wait through it all to get to what they wanted: The Feature Presentation

Thank goodness I didn’t make viewers sit through an FBI Anti-Piracy Warning!

How to make my podcast introduction better

I have tried hard to change my style. The new goal is to get into the content in less than 2 minutes.

Here is what I’m trying to do:

  • Make my show introduction (music and welcome) less than 30 seconds long
  • Save the previews and giveaway information for the end of the episode
  • Briefly announce at the beginning that there will be content at the end

It’s been difficult, I’ve been doing this for over 3 years now, but with the right mindset and a little practice it will get better over time.

Do you have any other suggestions that will help me with my podcast introduction? Please leave your ideas in the comment section below.

The Most Important WordPress Plugin Every Podcast Needs

Pretty Link - The most important plugin for podcastersI was looking at another podcaster’s website and saw they had made the same mistake I did: They titled their blogpost with the URL http://MyAwesomePodcast.com/001. The 001 doesn’t help anyone except for the podcaster, but what do you title your first show’s page? There is an answer! They need to use the Wordpress plugin that is the single most important plugin EVERY podcaster needs!

It’s called Pretty Link.

What Pretty Link does

Pretty Link Lite is a free WordPress plugin that does exactly what the title implies: It makes links look pretty. There is a Pro version that has some extra goodies, but I got by for years on the free version before purchasing the Pro version as a “Thank you for the awesome plugin” gift to the developers.

Pretty Link uses

Use Pretty Link to redirect people to a page, a post, an affiliate sale page, or even to your newsletter signup page.

  • Page: Want to direct people to your Contact page? Create a pretty link that looks like this: http://MyWebsite.com/Contact
  • Post: Have you reviewed a product or have an evergreen post you like to send people to? Use Pretty Link to communicate it verbally by creating a link that looks like this http://MyWebsite.com/BestPostEver
  • Affiliate Sales: Listeners of my podcast, the MoneyPlan SOS podcast, know that I love a budgeting software called You Need A Budget (known as YNAB). The link I created to send them to try or buy it is http://MoneyPlanSOS.com/YNAB
  • Newsletter: Make it easy for your podcast listeners to subscribe to your email list. Create a link http://MyAwesomePodcast.com/Newsletter and announce that during your show.

There are many other used for Pretty Link. I would love to hear some of your creative thoughts in the comment section below.

Where to find Pretty Link

You can find Pretty Link in your WordPress dashboard under Plugins, then Add New, and finally search for Pretty Link Lite. Once installed you will find a shortcut on your dashboard.

I think once you’ve used Pretty Link for a while you will understand why I paid for the Pro Version. You can find it using my Pretty Link: http://YesYouCanPodcastToo.com/PrettyLink. (See how I did that?)

Help your listeners and people searching online for your content by using Pretty Link. And for heaven’s sakes, don’t create a post for your podcast that is only your website domain and a 3-digit number!

What is pod-fading and how to avoid it!

One thing every hobby podcaster needs to know is what is pod-fading? Pod-fading, or to pod-fade, is to stop producing a podcast when there wasn’t a pre-determined end date put forth.

Definition podcast PodfadeThis is heartbreaking. People don’t just start a podcast because they were bored, they start because of the excitement this medium brings! Then after releasing 7-8 episodes the “new car smell” vanishes and the newbie podcaster’s dream gets shattered. They pod-fade, quit, retreat to the corner to lick their wounds.

It is perfectly fine to record a show that will eventually end. Hundreds of fan podcasts, like Galactica Watercooler, will cease to offer new content because the television show ends. That is not pod-fading. To podfade is to quit, and it’s a really sad thing to experience.

The 7 Show Itch

Most newbie podcasters are not warned about the challenges of launching a new show. It’s kind of like Multi-Level Marketing: they hear about all the glamour and success and are told how easy it is to get started. While it is true, that success comes at a price.

Newbie podcasters quit after 7-8 shows when they realize:

  • Recording and releasing podcasts takes four times longer than they thought
  • They aren’t seeing the downloads they were expecting
  • Comments from the audience are almost non-existent

These are the most common reason shows pod-fade. It is sad and as deflating as a failed business.

Before recording your first episode download 7 Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Podcast

How to keep from pod-fading

There are a few things you can do to keep your podcast from pod-fading:

  • Realize that it takes time to grow a tribe. Nobody starts at the top. It takes time to grow an audience. The power of the internet is that people can find anything and Google will give them the most accurate results possible. If someone is interested in Underwater Basket Weaving and stumbles across your podcast about underwater basket weaving then they are likely to become a fan if they like podcasts. One down, thousands to go.
  • Set a regular schedule. I struggle with this ALL THE TIME. Have you ever scrubbed a dish that had been sitting in the sink for two days? It took more effort and time to clean the dish than if you would have just cleaned it immediately, didn’t it? Podcasts are the same way: If we don’t set a regular schedule to “scrub some audio” then we make it harder to get back on the microphone to record another show. Also, your listeners will reward you for being consistent.
  • Have a higher calling to serve your audience. The other day I questioned myself, again, asking “Why am I doing this?” Then someone commented on a post and it all came back to me: If I don’t teach people how to avoid debt then who will? Sure, there are others speaking similar messages but that commenter listens to MY show. He/she is MY listener and it is my calling to speak into their lives with the MoneyPlan SOS podcast. How can I quit now?

While these aren’t WordPress plugins or cool gadgets they are things to be aware of before launching your first podcast or during the growing stages. Remember that podcasts are time-shifted conversations. Someone may discover your podcast a year after it was posted. If they like it they will want to download all your shows and you now have 12 months of content to listen to – unless you pod-faded!

Other resources to help prevent podfade:

Listen to Daniel J. Lewis’s 10 Tips To Prevent Podfading

Before recording your first episode download 7 Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Podcast

List of What Every Hobbyist Needs To Start A Podcast

The John Lee Dumas Effect

Author’s note: This is not an article bashing John Lee Dumas. It is written to educate the influx of people being exposed to his incredible success and believe the medium will deliver the same results for them – and it’s going to leave a bad taste in their mouths.

Everybody wants to know “How can I make money podcasting?” Affiliate marketing, digital products, and new customer acquisitions have brought a little something to the table but advertising is finally realizing how powerful podcasting is. However, podcasting newbies are getting the wrong idea and are being infected by the “John Lee Dumas Effect.”

This isn’t a question of integrity or doing something illegal, it’s my concern that the effect will have an adverse reaction to the medium.

EOFire

John Lee Dumas is an Entrepreneur On Fire

John Lee Dumas is on fire – an Entrepreneur on Fire to be exact. He saw a need, had the desire to fill it, and worked hard for a few months to record dozens of podcast episodes before releasing them to the world. His plan was to interview a successful entrepreneur every day of the week and inject a couple advertisements to make money.

The show has become known as Entrepreneur On Fire and has been at the top of iTunes charts for almost a year.

John Lee Dumas’s business plan

John’s idea for making money on his podcast is very simple: Put out a show with some ads and get paid per download However, this isn’t your typical once-a-week niche podcast:

  • John Lee Dumas releases an interview with an entrepreneur every day of the week – no exceptions!
  • The podcast includes a 15 second commercial at the beginning of the show and a 60 second one towards the last half.
  • Each sponsor pays the Entrepreneur On Fire podcast $18 – $25 per one thousand downloads (CORRECTION: See John Lee Dumas’s comment below).
  • The persons interviewed share the show with their audience, increasing the likelihood of EOFire gaining more followers.
  • More followers translates into more downloads.
  • John would share his successful story on other blogs and podcasts, increasing his visibility and finding new subscribers.

It sounds like a great idea that anyone could replicate. That is where people go wrong.

John Lee Dumas EffectHow John Lee Dumas does it right

John does more than just put ads in his podcast.

  • The advertisements are done by him
  • They fit the needs of the listeners
  • He does it in a way that does not interrupt the listening experience

One more thing John does that makes his show stand out: He calls his listeners “Fire Nation”, giving everyone a piece of ownership in the tribe. This fosters a sense of belonging and once someone belongs to the club they tend to talk about it with their friends. John isn’t selling advertisements, he’s giving his audience value and pride of ownership in the show. That is something we all should be working on – bringing our audience into the “club”.

The John Lee Dumas Effect on new podcasters

It should be noted that John Lee Dumas isn’t the cause of the John Lee Dumas Effect. He is only the carrier. I would bet that he doesn’t want the John Lee Dumas Effect to hurt this wonderful medium any more than I would.

But here is the problem: Everyone is hearing about John’s huge success and wants to replicate it. There are new shows coming out with dreams of making lots of money by interviewing people and selling ads, just like John does.

Is this a bad thing? Maybe:

  • If your sole reason for doing a podcast is to make money then stop right now
  • If you decided that a podcast was your way to an instant 6-figure income then think again
  • If becoming a Professional Podcaster sounds like an easy job then stop lying to yourself

This is the byproduct I call “The John Lee Dumas Effect” and it is very tempting and seductive.

The John Lee Dumas Effect will cause you to look past the fact that it took John months of recording before launching his first episode. It will tell you it’s easy to find an audience and won’t mention that he had to earn every download. Don’t dismiss the fact that John spends a lot of time connecting with his audience and giving value!

How to take advantage EOFire’s success without selling out

Launching a podcast that you aren’t passionate about is like taking a job you hate: It doesn’t work out well for you or for the person paying you.

  • If the thought of having your own show appeals to you then continue reading.
  • If the idea of helping people you never met interests you then keep going.
  • If you have a skill or ability very few people have and you can share it via a podcast then don’t stop here.
  • If you believe hard work in an area you are passionate about pays off in the long run then start planning.

Become a Podcaster, not a Podfader

The reason for this article is not to discount John Lee Dumas’s success or tell you that it can’t be done. This post was written to ensure new podcasters don’t become podfaders.

The world won’t come to an end if you spend some money and launch your show before giving up on it after only a handful of episodes. No harm is done pursuing a passion and trying this new medium called podcasting. I asked Pat Flynn, successful blogger and podcaster at SmartPassiveIncome.com, if podcasting was alive, dead, or just treading water. His response was “It’s just starting. It’s been around for a while and only the techie people knew how to figure it out but it’s become so easy to produce a show you will see more and more coming out.”

Immunize yourself

Make plans to get started.

This is not an endorsement of any of these programs although I have had experience with most of them (and each has wonderful benefits to their members). Joining one will ensure you get started without selling out to the John Lee Dumas Effect.

*Note: These are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you are convinced these products/services are for you at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Enter the podcasting field with the passion and desire to help people. Sell them on your ideas, tools, or digital products that can make their lives better. Create a tribe of dedicated listeners that will follow you anywhere. Don’t be blinded by the dollar signs – it’s a powerful symptom of the John Lee Dumas Effect and has nothing to do with being an awesome podcaster.

Editing Checklist for Podcasters

Podcast Recording Checklist 2Do you follow a specific workflow once you’ve finished recording an episode of your podcast? I have developed a step-by-step process to refer to when putting all the audio together. It can get a bit lengthy but this is my recommended editing checklist for podcasters.

Note: Before recording your podcast you may want to read the Pre-recording Checklist for Podcasters.

Record and Export as WAV file

The first thing I do is export whatever has been recorded as a WAV file.

Why don’t I save time by exporting directly to an MP3? An uncompressed WAV file offers me more flexibility and freedom when editing without degrading the sound quality.

For more about MP3s vs WAV files read this article from MusicRadioCreative.com

Level and Normalize

I tend to move around when speaking into my microphone. This causes my volume to vary depending on how close or how far from the mic head I am.

Before editing the master copy I will normalize and level the volume of the entire track. I use Levelator, a free program for Mac and Windows, because it’s as easy as drag-and-drop. After a couple minutes there is a duplicate file in the same folder as the original recording with the volume balanced throughout the track.

It should be noted that Levelator is no longer being supported.

Edit and Export the Final Edits

Need I say more? I use Audacity but have been tempted to try Audition. What editing software do you use and why?

Take note that I am still exporting the files as WAV. Just trust me.

COPY AND RENAME

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a copy of the original recording. Don’t risk losing everything – if you edit something wrong, have a backup!

Throughout the editing process I will export the file with a new version name such as MPSOSv01 or MPSOSv02. I will eventually go back and delete them after the podcast has been downloaded for at least a day.

Import, Convert, and Tag in iTunes

Not all MP3 converters are alike. iTunes uses the Fraunhofer converter and delivers superb audio in a small file. Most spoken-word shows can get by converting to 128 kbps but I ratchet it up a ‘bit to 192 because I want my intro music to sound clean. I also stick with mono instead of stereo for many reasons but smaller

This may have been an extra step but it could save you time when entering ID3 tags. iTunes makes it easy to right-click to get the underlying information about the file. It is there that you can quickly enter the tags used to identify artist, title, and even your name as Composer at the episode level.

For more about WAV, MP3s, and the LAME encoder read this in-depth article and podcast by Daniel J. Lewis The Audacity To Podcast Episode 10

ID3 Tag Editor exampleGot $15? ID3 tag like a Pro

You could get by without this recommendation but I have found using ID3 Editor makes entering episode-level data even faster. You can set up entries to populate automatically, saving you even more time, and the data can be transferred over

ID3 Editor also allows for fields like Copyright and things other devices need that iTunes doesn’t support. There is enough reason here to buy ID3 Editor from Pa-Software.

Get ready to upload

I’ve missed a step or two over the years, that is why I created this list. I don’t want to lose an original recording or leave the Description field blank ever again.

Now it’s time to upload the file and move to the next stage of podcasting: The After-Editing and Promotion stage.

Have you found my editing checklist for podcasters useful? Is there anything you would add or skip? Feel free to make any changes you feel are necessary and please leave your comments below.

Recording Your First Podcast Episode

Recording Your First Podcast Episode 001Have you wondered what to do for your very first podcast episode? When recording your first podcast episode it helps to envision your ideal listener, identify how he or she will consume your podcast, and prepare an outline to make the process run smoothly.

Don’t you wish there was some kind of an outline to follow? And how do you talk to someone you have never met?

Below are five things to consider, think through, and prep when recording your first podcast episode:

Subject Selection: What are you passionate about?

You likely already know what you want to podcast about. Now is the time to zero-in on that passion. What is your main theme, your specialty, your niche?

Action step: Describe your show in 2-3 sentences. Boil them down to a tagline.

Audience: Who is the listener?

Who are you speaking to?

  • What do they do?
  • Where do they live?
  • What do they eat or buy at the store?
  • Are they single, married, have kids or pets?
  • Where to they vacation?

Action step: Picture your ideal listener. This will make you frame discussions in a way that will be more easily understand.

Consumption: How will they listen?

How will your listener consume your show?

  • At work?
  • While jogging?
  • In the car?
  • Via computer or smartphone?

Action step: Consider all the ways you listen to podcasts. You want the audio to be clear enough to be heard in the car and exciting enough to keep a jogger energized during their run.

Vision: What does your show look like in 2 months?

It is a good idea to have a schedule for your first 7-10 shows:

  • What will each episode be about?
  • Does it flow?
  • Will each topic match the message of your show?

Action step: Jot down a list of three questions you would ask if you were the listener, contact three people for interviews, and create three Top 10 lists. This will get your brain-juices flowing.

Show notes

It is highly recommended that you have a rough outline or complete script prior to hitting the record button. An outline organizes your thoughts before the mic is turned on and gives you something to look back on when you’ve lost your place.

Action step: Use pencil and paper, a text editing document, or smartphone app like WorkFlowy.

DOWNLOAD A PDF WITH A SUGGESTED OUTLINE FOR RECORDING YOUR FIRST PODCAST EPISODE

Follow these steps and Yes, You Can Podcast Too!

Pre-recording checklist for podcasting

Podcast Recording Checklist 1After years of podcasting I have developed a simple checklist for how to prepare for the moment I sit down to do my show. I have a “To-do” list that must be completed before pressing the big red button, especially when interviewing someone over the internet. Do you have a pre-recording checklist for podcasting? Does it look like this?

Unplug laptop

You may be raising an eyebrow wondering “Why in the world would Steve unplug his computer?” I have recorded podcast episodes on desktop PCs, Dell laptops, and my current CCM (Content Creation Machine – a MacBook Pro). It doesn’t matter what the machine is – sometimes there is a buzz that develops in the background. Simply unplugging my laptop while recording always eliminates the buzzing caused by the power source. Always.

Bob Marx of the “Selling More by Talking Less” podcast took this advice and it solved his problem.

Water

Speaking for 15 minutes or longer can cause dryness of mouth. Having a glass of water for the occasional sip helps to keep the ol’ chops lubricated. You could substitute water for any beverage of your choice. I would prefer soda over water because of the sugar-rush but the caffeine tends to make my throat “pop” and alcoholic beverages tend to slur my speech.

Many podcasters will down a Red Bull before recording to get their energy level up. What has worked for you?

Potty break

No duh, right? There is nothing worse than being on the mic and then having to excuse yourself when Mother Nature calls. There’s no way around it.

No Duh Stevelation

I also remind my interviewees to consider going to the bathroom before starting to record, but most of my guests are smart – they already visited the loo and not one person has ever had to excuse themselves to go tinkle.

Silence your phone!

Have you been in a meeting or at the movies and been interrupted by someone’s cell phone going off? Having an unexpected call in the middle of a recording will totally de-rail your show. I recommend putting your smartphone in Airplane Mode, put it on vibrate, or shutting it off completely. The advantage of Airplane Mode is that you can still use a smartphone as a clock, timer, or alarm. Having your phone on vibrate gives you more flexibility such as using apps that need to connect to the internet (but then you probably should have been doing more show prep, right?) But if you can get by without a smartphone then having a clock in your room is all you need – just shut your phone off.

Tip: If you choose to keep your phone on vibrate then set it on a cloth or completely different surface area. Avoid setting your smartphone on the same surface as you microphone stand so as to keep vibrations from making it into the recording.

Print your outline

I’m tempted to use a digital copy of my show’s outline (useful tools like WorkFlowy or even Text Edit) but they require some of the computer’s resources. Even though they use very little power, this could impede the recording or interview feed from VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol like Skype). Having a printed copy comes in really handy, including the opportunity to jot down notes without my listeners (or interviewee) hear the clackity-clack of a keyboard. “No, I’m not on FaceBook while recording this interview with you Mr. Important Guest.

Do you have an outline ready before recording? If not, how in the world do you get by?

PRESS RECORD!

How many times has this happened to me? Two times. Yes, this has happened to me only twice. How do I know that? It is because the moment I realize my digital recorder or computer isn’t recording is the moment I begin sweating profusely and try to figure out a way to tell my guest I’ve been wasting his/her time. “That’s really great stuff Mr. Important Guest. Thanks for practicing with me. Now I’m going to hit record and we’ll start doing this for real.”

GAH! Don’t take this one for granted – pressing the record button is the most important item on anyone’s pre-recording checklist for podcasting.

Do you have other pre-recording items on your podcasting checklist that I did not mention? Please leave them in the comments below and save me some embarrassment!