We get ideas of ways to help further our message, reputation, product information and want to implement that idea right away because we KNOW it will help us gain more of our market. Let’s snap the bungee cord on that idea for a bit and come back to base. Recently we’ve seen a lot of people jump on the technology rocket ship of converting all meetings to zoom, launching podcasts spontaneously, switching in-person presentations and meetings to online versions of both. This is admirable, but you get one chance to grab your audience, build trust, and move them along into another bucket of the prospecting process. Slow down.

We’ve covered a lot of the pre-prep work to launching your podcast, same thoughts apply here – what is the PURPOSE of having an online meeting, event, podcast? Read more here about this, then come back here.

You are back here because you have read that post, answered the questions and are ready to move forward.

After going through Holy Week at our church and helping to facilitate the switch from live services to recorded and live-streamed, it drove home what I’ve been hammering loudly for years – PRACTICE. After seeing many churches run into issues live-streaming their services due to equipment glitches, connections, ambient noises, our parish decided to record each week and then do a more casual live event after. Homilies were extracted for their podcast because they are evergreen.

Here are some issues that came up:

Using an external mic to record is fine if the mic is near the people speaking. When you add in musicians, you have balancing issues. This applies to podcasting, too. The mic you are using – or think you are – may not indeed be the mic you are recording with. CHECK. VERIFY the settings – even if you record daily.

Whatever tool you use to record, make sure you have the mic selected you want to use and that the MUTE button is not on. Do a soundcheck. For your guest, have them VERIFY their mic selection with you on with them whether it’s a VOIP call, through an app, Hangouts, Zoom – whatever you are using. VERIFY.

Speakers to hear your guest – verify those are correctly selected, as well. You need to verify your speakers to ensure there isn’t feedback coming through to the guest. If they hear themselves speaking through your mic, so will the recording. The same goes for them. Do they hear an echo? Do you hear you twice? You may need to don the earmuffs or earbuds to avoid this, especially if you have a lot of ambient noise.

Minor setting changes can botch up recordings and visuals. The church recordings were done with a DSLR camera using a Rode mic and OBS studio. One change to any piece of equipment affected the recordings. The audio had to be adjusted for each MP3 version to account for soft talkers who are used to having a mic on. Autofocus had to be turned off to avoid the focus frame appearing on screen, and the stabilized had to be turned off or else all participants coming across the screen looked like a video game character until they stood still and the pixelation settled in.

Each decision made to change equipment such as calling into the podcast with a cellphone vs. landline vs. computer mic in WiFi mode vs. computer hardwired with mic – these all affect the quality of the audio. You risk losing valuable comments, spontaneity, and tips from your guests when you don’t test the exact setup. Test the setting and get your guest to commit, or write down how they set it up. Take notes yourself, “Gain set to …. over the ear headphones… all notifications, alerts, ringers OFF, phones that vibrate put away or in airplane mode.

Recently I had two hosts where one host didn’t let the guest speak enough, so the other host would text him to remind him to take a breath. This is a good method except the first host didn’t have his volume off so we heard it like a timer on a game show each time and a few seconds later he would ask the guest a question. No way to edit it out as it came in under his words – or over his words.

Have a BACKUP plan – ALWAYS. Always have a Plan B for recording. Sometimes it’s difficult to wrangle guests and their schedules. Not as difficult lately as in the past, but it can still be a challenge. You want to be prepared if the Comcast truck shows up on your street and everything goes down, or the utility company.

If you are broadcasting LIVE, streamed or however, have your guest meet you 15 minutes early if at all possible. This will give you both time to settle in, check equipment – sound, lighting if video, connection.

(Photo by Ann H from Pexels )