You have a show, or perhaps you’ve been invited to be on a podcast. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to spice up the conversation you usually only have in writing, in a pitch, on social media. Many hosts will record a show, edit it, put on their music, insert commercials and then publish the episode. But they also typically run it through an editor. The editor’s job is to make the host, but especially the guest, sound good while keeping the audience intrigued enough to listen to the episode start to finish, and ultimately, share it out to their network. This can be challenging depending on the recording equipment, the mic, the phone, interference, connection, wind, papers, fidgety guests, popular ones who refuse to turn off their notifications, move the phone so it doesn’t vibrate on the desk which carries into the mic. Here are some tips to keep your editor from muttering and spending three hours editing a 20-minute episode.

  1. Do a soundcheck. Don’t just test it, record and test it. Run it by your editor. A minute will do. They will immediately be able to tell who has a stark setting echo chamber where the sound is bouncing all over, who is outside, who is distracted, fidgeting with stuff on a desk. And remind your guests to use whatever they used in the test, if possible, for the full recording.
  2. Consider recording a video to keep you focused on the conversation. If using video, test the mic – which one are you using? Choose the right one for the best sound. If you are using a phone and camera, make sure your desktop mic is muted and your phone is easy to speak into – if you turn your head, you may lose the sound. Consider a headset, but test it first. Sometimes people’s headsets for their phones are terrible quality and sounds like they are in a bathtub.
  3. Keep your hands off the desk and away from the mic.
  4. If you have a cold or are congested, watch the deep breath intakes and sniffles. We hear it ALL and have to edit it out one at a time.
  5. Mute, unmute, mute, unmute. It’s a click. We hear it and edit it out. But if you are in a noisy room, you may have to mute while your guest is answering a question. Take a PAUSE to make the edit easy, unmute then answer. Ask your guests to do the same. The pause is OK. Better than heavy breathing in the background. Personally, I’m carrying a little extra weight and am out of shape. If I walk around talking and am getting wound up on a topic, I start what I call “chubby breathing.” My brothers tell me to sit down because it scares them when I do this.
  6. For good golly’s sake – turn off ALL ringers, go into airplane mode on your cellphone, close anything that sends notifications and do a clean reboot of your system if you are using a computer for the interview.
  7. Are you prone to ums, ahs, likes, sooooo’s? Silence is better and easier to edit out. These are habits people in large families develop to “hold the floor” when there is a conversation. It’s OK, you are the host or guest – people will wait for the next thing you say. This also happens when the host or guest isn’t focused on the conversation or didn’t prepare. Spontaneous rarely works out.
  8. Put a note on your door – whether at home or in an office – “Interview in session, please wait until finished.” Post something so you are not accidentally interrupted. Yes, it can be edited out, but it breaks the rhythm of the conversation.
  9. SMILE – we hear that too.

Even if you don’t have us producing your podcast, you can have us help you with tests and a bit of coaching to make the most of your podcast episodes and to be more likely to be shared out! Contact our VP of Operations, Susan Finch, if you want to schedule some time.