Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recording Audio Podcasts: Five Best Practices for Fast, Professional Results

A few months back I wrote some practical tips for recording video interviews, in Recording Video Interviews: Three Non-Obvious Tips That Make a Difference. Now it is the turn of audio podcast recording with five best practices that will help you to record audio podcasts quickly and easily yet produce a professional result.

1. Create your podcasts on your laptop using a lapel microphone and Audacity editing software. This setup is effective, inexpensive and portable so you can record anywhere. Adobe's Audition editing software is also good, but Audacity is free and more than good enough.

2. Record each podcast in one take without interruptions. Read an extra paragraph or two at the beginning to warm up your voice then delete them later. If you make a mistake in any paragraph leave a pause then read it again. Later go back and delete the bad paragraphs. Mark them by tapping your pen on the table to make a visible mark (see photo). This method makes sure you have the same voice tone all the way through.

3. Whether you use a written script or not, always focus on few messages -- not more than three. Better to split complex topics into several smaller podcasts.

4. When you use a script read it out loud to test it and correct the wording until you can read it smoothly. Leave the script sheets separate -- no staples -- and slide them quietly across the table.

5. Avoid or turn off noisy equipment in the room you are using, but when that is not possible then hold the microphone closer to your mouth. When you use a lapel microphone this might look ridiculous, but it sounds better and nobody will see you anyway.