Lessons from Storytelling Podcasts
3 Tips to Improve Your Podcast Through Storytelling
07.04.19 | Podcasting | By: Janelle Dawkins
Making a meaningful podcast that people can relate to, learn from, and take note of, is hard. We’re all motivated for different reasons to pursue paths to make life meaningful; choosing podcasting techniques and formats to make our show have an impact is no different. Depending on what we want to share with the world will more often than not, determine how we share our thoughts, our experiences, and our voice with the world. Alternatively, I could very well say the opposite, how we share ourselves with the world, will certainly influence what the world receives and perceives about us.
There are a few things to consider when formulating exactly how you want to express yourself and your brand. You should keep in mind your target audience and particular preferences and characteristics that are unique to it. In addition to your audience, you should consider how the overall theme, content, and any time constraints will affect your delivery and format. Your format will influence your listenership and it will convey a brand and content.
Choosing a Format For Your Show
There are various podcast show formats being utilized in the podcasting world. Deciding which one works for you should be carefully considered. Many podcasts consistently stick to one format, while others choose to break up their show and use different formats or combine formats. Some podcasters choose to follow a more educational and informative route, sometimes as a lone host or multiple ones. Or, perhaps you’ve listened to podcasts that feature one host who provides their own commentary and experiences. Other podcasters choose to have a conversational format, opting for more banter whether as a multi-host show or a round table; the hosts of Truth’s Table carry this format well. Still others choose interview style. Two examples of this format are Masters of Data or Without Fail. A few podcasts are adapted from presentations in front of a live audience.
A storytelling technique can be a part of the content expression in these other formats, and storytelling can be a format in itself. You might see storytelling take a narrative non-fiction approach or a fictional approach. Although the other formats I’ve mentioned are great and we’ll definitely go more in depth about them in time, this post will specifically be about storytelling and how to consider making your storytelling better.
One of the ways in which some great podcasters are capturing rapt attention is through storytelling. What does good storytelling look like? How do you keep your audience’s attention when you focus on storytelling? No matter if it’s using storytelling as a device within another format of podcasting, or if storytelling is your format, good storytelling has a few key elements that make it good.
1. Make it Flow
Allow your story to flow in a manner that is relatable and easy to follow. That means, if you have a lot of industry-related jargon, keep it to a minimum. Tell the story in the same manner that you talk. Tension is great, however, too much tension and drama can be just as bad as not enough tension and drama. Reflect on just how much can be too much or too little, and try to find the happy medium.
2. Don’t Get Lost in the Sauce
If your podcast episode was a dish, let’s say BBQ chicken or BBQ tofu, the main nourishment of the dish would be the chicken or tofu and the details would be the BBQ sauce. The sauce is great and delicious, but the sustenance and what you can truly sink your teeth into is the chicken or tofu. Too many times have I seen stories get lost in the sauce, if you pardon the expression. Where the main point is so covered, nay, buried by irrelevant details, that it gets lost and the dish (podcast episode) is less thematic and more chaotic.
3. Seek Out Constructive Criticism
One great way to make sure your entire episode you’re serving out to the world is as stellar as it can be is to have a listening party or even just one other person who is trustworthy to give constructive feedback. Allow at least one other person to listen and give you pointers – like a taste tester before you serve out your dish. Additionally, said person can help give you pointers on whether your main point’s delivery is too dry, doesn’t have enough substance to it, not completely thought through, or can tell you that you have an Iron Chef quality episode. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism to help you make the best podcast you can.
Good storytelling has as much to do about pre-production planning as it does post-production. Planning out what you’ll talk about is well and good, but is there a connection between what you’re talking about and how it’s mixed together in post. You can enhance the narrative of your podcast with sound design, transitions, and music.
Here at Resonate Recordings, our professional engineers take the time to make sure your story is told how it deserves to be told.
Resonate Recordings is a comprehensive podcast production company. Headquartered in Derby City–Louisville, Kentucky–we are committed to developing partnerships with our clients, not just performing transactions. Since 2014 it’s been our mission to make podcasting easy for businesses, brands, entrepreneurs, and individuals. We do this by providing support with podcast launch, podcast consulting, podcast editing, podcast production, and other creative podcasting services. If you have questions or are looking to start a podcast, our in-house team is available and ready to help! We would love to schedule a call with you and learn more about your podcast needs and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
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By: Janelle Dawkins
Janelle earned a B.A. in Communications and a B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Spanish from Saint Louis University. She has always been curious about story telling and helping to share captured moments of life. As a Production Coordinator, Janelle manages the schedules of the Audio Engineer team and Show Note writing team, manages the client publishing schedule, and is a key player in making sure Resonate’s clients have a smooth experience.