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3 Steps to Being a Better Podcast Host

So, you want to create a podcast. Great! Envision the ‘thing’ you want to talk about the most. Got it in your head? Chances are there’s already a podcast about that. That’s okay! There are plenty of ways to make a podcast about your chosen topic even if there already is one. Or ten.

If you want to create a podcast about a topic that’s been talked about extensively, you can. Just make sure you’re following some guidelines, and lucky for you, we’re here to provide them!

If you want to talk about something that’s already been discussed at length, make sure that you come at it with a different perspective. There’s nothing wrong with podcasts with different perspectives on the same topic. This can be different angles, a different form of discussion, or even a podcast that completely disagrees with viewpoints already expressed.

The fundamental similarity between all of these is a key word: different.

So, that’s the first question you have to ask yourself: What makes me different?

Simple: Your personality!

Personality is the heart and soul of your brand. “But wait,” I hear you say, “What if my personality is the wrong type to host a podcast?” Put your mind at ease, there is no wrong answer for the type of personality you need to host a podcast.

However, regardless of who you are as a host, there’s still the question of how you host. Here are 3 simple steps for being the best host you can be.

1. Learn From The Masters

Think of your favorite podcast. You might be thinking of the obvious hosts like Joe Rogan, Marc Maron, or Bill Kurtis. You might even be envisioning more obscure podcast hosts like… me. When listening to these hosts, pay attention to the inflection of their voices, how they ask questions, and how they incite, and respond to, responses. Really look at how they tell a story. How do they have a conversation with the audience? All of these are important lines of thinking that shape hosting mentalities. Whether it’s an interview or narrative episode, these questions and actions eventually will turn you into the host you’re meant to be. It’ll also shape the guests’ responses without directly telling them to answer in a particular way, which allows for authentic interactions. So what’s your voice behind the mic?

2. Fake it Till You Make It

I’m a major advocate for “Fake It ‘Till You Make It.” In essence, it’s exactly what it sounds like, pretend you’re an expert until you are. Learning how to control the conversation is one thing, but having the confidence and personality to do it is another. It really comes down to understanding yourself; Who are you? What are you passionate about? Why do you care? Who are you talking to? The answers to these questions will be reflected in your conversations. Without knowing it, the audience can gage whether or not the message is for them. The names mentioned in tip 1 have mastered these capabilities. It’s a skill to connect with an audience with your personality, rather than just a common interest in the topic. These practices come with time, they’re learned, and you will eventually get there. In the meantime, fake all the confidence in the world if you have to, I promise you’ll start to believe in yourself.

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Make Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. That’s why pencils have erasers. Podcasts don’t have erasers once released (unless you want to delete an episode and re-release it), but that doesn’t mean your mistakes will haunt you forever. In the first days of releasing your podcast it’s essential to listen to yourself and judge how you did. Were you confident? Did you ask good questions? Did you miss any opportunities to react? Could you think of a different way to engage the audience? Listening to yourself improves your ability as a host. Plus, I find that a side effect is being a better conversationalist in real life. So, rather than hating your mistakes, or erasing them, learn from them, and improve.

What’s the conclusion here? You’re not going to be a perfect podcast host from the beginning. Some who are years into the business still aren’t, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Listen to the pros, try to carry the episodes the way that professionals have, and be open to learning from mistakes. These three tips will be crucial to improving your show, and I’m glad we could provide them. You have an amazing personality! You have big things to share with the world! So what are you waiting for?

Charles Volk

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