Do you want to make a podcast and share it with an audience who might be interested in your stories, or ideas? Perhaps you want to talk about how to train a cat, and then invite people to share their stories about pets. Or you might want to discuss do-it-yourself (DIY) tips at home, and work. Whatever be your USP, now is the time to get it out on the internet! Participate with thousands of other podcasters exchanging stories and ideas with each other. But before you launch your podcast, it would be good to work on your hosting skills so that the podcast engages as many people as possible. Let’s talk about how to be a good podcast host to engage audience attention.
Voice, Language and Diction
You will have to be prepared to work hard on several things if you are going to host your own podcast. Preparing yourself will help you reach your listeners faster, and attract audiences better. Firstly, decide your target audience and accordingly, choose the language in which you want to launch the podcast. There are several podcasts which have a number of listeners even though the hosting is done in native languages.
Take time to think about your idea, the audience and the language you are most comfortable with. You might want to consider recording in languages such as English, Spanish, French or Chinese that are spoken by a large number of people. Or you might be happy speaking to people in your native language because you are good at it! In any case, it might be a good idea to find the best mode of communication for yourself. It will save you spend time learning to speak a new language from scratch.
Secondly, observe how your voice sounds in an audio sample, and see if your pronunciation is clear and simple to understand. It won’t do to lose audience attention just because you did not work on these aspects of hosting a show. Linked to your hosting skills are presentation and communication with an audience. Let us see how these are important to a podcast host.
Communication and Presentation Skills
Polishing your interaction skills can help to hold your audience’s attention tremendously, as you get better at conversation and discussions. Try and develop a way of engagement that is pleasant and approachable. This will definitely help listeners engage with what you are saying, as they would feel comfortable while talking to you.
Organise the ideas that you want to present so that it is easy for you to communicate them to your listeners. Your audience should be able to receive the ideas clearly and appreciate the work you have done on expressing yourself.
“You need good communication skills to keep your listeners glued in your podcasts but don’t worry because this thing can be learned over time. If you regularly host podcasts, your communication skills will improve and soon enough, you will develop a natural and easygoing flow while speaking”, says Catherine Martin, copymasters.co
So just keep working on those hosting and presentation skills. You will get better and more popular with time!
Scripted or Spontaneous Hosting
You might have a natural flair for recording and presenting your stories in a simple manner. In that case, you should test your audience response by hosting a show spontaneously, and checking the feedback on your podcast.
“One of the best tips for a podcast host is to speak to your audience like they are in the room with you. Don’t tell them about what they “will hear” or how “great the interview was”. Instead, let them discover it along with you, in “their” moment. This helps your listeners to feel like they are right there with you, listening to the interview for the very first time as it is happening”, according to Carli van Heerden, weeditpodcasts.com.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t follow a structure, of course. It simply means that you are using your skills to run a podcast, wherein you have the ability to keep your audiences interested and engaged.
Sometimes, it could be that the content you want to share requires preparation. Or you might want to script an entire show to plan in advance for podcast episode(s). Say for instance, you have questions for your audiences that you want to list out before sharing the podcast. Maybe you want to be prepared for some guests on your show, and time is of essence.
Carli shares, “Being well-prepared and researched in your topic can help you stay focused and gives you a clear path of the conversation. It is important to keep a narrow focus and make sure that you are not losing anyone along the way. True knowledge and expertise trump a simple opinion every time!”
Maintain Decorum During the Show
Needless to say, but significant is the quality and tone of the podcast. Your guests and listeners show their appreciation in the kind of engagement you have on the show. After all, you are going to run the show. It is your responsibility to keep the interaction positive and pleasant for everyone.
About this, Carli van Heerden mentions, “Now, keep in mind, often listeners really enjoy a spirited debate, a conversation that really gets into the nitty-gritty of a topic, especially one that is close to their hearts. As the host, you have to guide these debates and encourage them to be respectful of all sides. Again, giving your listeners the excitement of it all without it getting too heated or uncomfortable”.
Keep the conversation pleasant. Your listeners and guests would definitely be eager to tune into the show.
Listen to be a Good Podcast Host
You have to be responsive to your audience, guests and team feedback. You are the host of the show, and listening to people around you is very important. Feedback and criticism can help you improve your hosting skills for the podcast.
“Aside from speaking, good podcasters need to learn empathy to connect to their listeners. When you do a podcast, you also need to build an effective relationship with your audience. You should make your content relatable to your listeners because this is one of the things that make them stick around”, according to Carli on weeditpodcasts.com.
Now that we have a good sense of how to be a good podcast host, let’s record those brilliant podcasts!