Podcasts provide a cheap and effective way to deliver audio content to your audiences. They are particularly useful for broadcasting interviews, debates and lectures. You can use them to record Skype or telephone interviews with people that you can't meet face-to-face.
Podcasting allows you to:
- present your research and share ideas in an interesting format
- raise your profile
- add a different type of content to your website or blog.
Planning a podcast
Before you create a podcast there are a number of things you should do:
- define what the podcast is about and what topics you want to cover
- identify who you would like to take part in the recording and invite them to participate
- prepare a script/plan that covers any questions you want to ask or answer
- ensure that you find a quiet room where you can record the podcast
- test all equipment and ensure that any battery-operated devices are charged
- turn off your mobile phone
- practise your recording.
- Make sure your podcast is enjoyable and interesting for your listeners; be enthusiastic and engaging.
- Ensure that the language you use is appropriate for your target audience.
- Your podcast should not be more than 20-30 minutes long. If it needs to be longer then consider splitting it into several episodes.
- Ensure that all speech is clear, eg don't talk too fast.
- Don't make it sound like you or other participants are reading a script.
- Be yourself.
What equipment and resources do you need?
The technical side of producing a podcast can seem daunting but it is usually a relatively straightforward process.
You will need:
- a voice recorder (or call recorder) that provides good sound quality. You can use a normal voice recorder or a voice recording app on a smartphone.
- editing software: free software includes Audacity and GarageBand
- a platform to host the podcasts, eg iTunes, PodBean, or your website or blog
Communicating and sharing your podcast
After producing a podcast you will probably want as many relevant people as possible to listen to it. To increase the number of listeners, you should:
- Use clear titles and descriptions for your podcasts. This will help tell people what they are about and could also increase the likelihood of people finding them using search engines.
- Share your podcasts through your social media accounts, eg Twitter and Facebook.
- Add your podcasts to your website or blog. You could use them as a web feature or blog post and include some relevant text to go with them.
- Set up an RSS feed so that people can subscribe to your podcasts.
Other things to consider
- Ensure that anyone who participated in the podcast is happy with it before it is published.
- It's a learning experience – and your podcasting skills are likely to improve as you go along.
- Produce podcasts regularly – if they're good your audience will expect/want them.