Last week, I wrote about 10 of my favorite business podcasts, and as I looked through my list, I noticed the variety of formats they represented. If you’re considering starting your own podcast (I am!), one of the first decisions you need to make is how you will format your show. The format can really define your podcast and set the bar for the value you will provide to your audience.
Here is a look at the four main types of podcasts and some of the pros and cons for each one.
A solo podcast is presented as a monologue — one person talking into a mic or camera. The content can be news-related, opinions, tutorials or any other information that can be provided by one person.
A solo podcast can be the easiest in terms of logistics because all you need is a subject to talk about, your voice and a way to record. The challenge is keeping the interest of your audience when it’s just you talking.
An interview format can add interest to your podcast because it introduces a second voice and allows you to get a second viewpoint on a specific topic. An interview format can be something you do as the regular format of your podcast or as an occasional feature to add variety to your solo format.
Interviews introduce a few additional challenges – you will be relying on a second person to show up and record with you, and you will have to make sure the quality of their mic is good enough to hear them clearly. You also may have to do some extra editing to make sure the interview sounds smooth to the listener.
A multi-host podcast format has two or more hosts and allows for a more conversational show. This is a great way to add to the interest factor and consistently present more than one viewpoint.
Some of the challenges of a multi-host podcast include being able to accommodate various schedules for recording, getting into a groove with each other so you don’t cut each other off or talk over each other, and, like interviews, making sure all co-hosts have equally professional equipment. And the more hosts, the more editing time you will need to plan for.
A vidcast is a podcast that not only has audio but also video. A video podcast can be one of the most interesting and engaging formats you can use, and it’s a great way to create a more personal relationship your listeners/viewers.
In order to create a successful video podcast, though, you need good recording equipment, decent editing software, a quiet environment and extra commitment for recording a video on a regular basis. And the type of editing you will want to do will be more time consuming than an audio-only podcast.
Once you select your format or combination of formats, you need to make a second set of decisions that will help you create a unique an interesting show. Some of the questions to consider include:
- What is the subject matter and/or ongoing theme you will focus on?
- How many and what segments will you include?
- How will you transition from one segment to the next?
- How long will your podcast be and how frequently will it be published?
When you start a new podcast, the planning is the most important step. If you take time to consider and plan for the possibilities, you will find it easier to consistently produce interesting podcasts that listeners want to hear.
Are you considering starting a podcast? What format tops your list?
Image credit: symbot