Raise Suspense

One week of podcast and social training. A podcast on gender stereotypes in fairy tales, one on female political crime, and one on biases in global tech. Some TikTok socials that took a planet money approach. These approaches go into the direction of acting, political-journalistic theater (a thing to explore in itself probably).

Main takeaway: Either do an interview podcast. If you’re super niche this may work out of the box. Or do a feature-like podcast and spend shitloads of time on scripting. Or do something else.

Podcast Research Takeaways

  • Having a good host (their voice) is great
    • Use voice modulation wisely
    • Think about format: Interview, Feature, Expolration, Kollegengespräch, Panel, w/o host
    • Podcasts tend to a niche. So be niche.
    • Laid back narrations let the story shine
    • Be well prepared. With political formats take extra care with research to avoid being criticized for bias.
  • Scripting well allows to build drama/tension
    • Focus well
    • Structure is key otherwise listeners get lost
    • Starting in the middle is great but don’t be confusing
      • Be sure to raise suspense
      • Starting with something people know situates them easily, then spin it into your direction (e.g. Use a well known TV show, then spin towards where you want to go with a bang)
      • Introduce the Fallhöhe early, then circle back to what you’d like to say
    • Create a takeaway list before scripting, then use it to structure
    • Repeat stuff if its important
    • Answer clearly: »Why should I listen to this?« - Raise questions but answer them
      • Be clear about the aim and state it
      • Keep audience hooked: Cliffhangers throughout?
    • Structure with music, use music to separate different pieces of content
    • Continuous pieces are super dense. Keep in mind to take the listener by the hand and possibly give them a break
    • Original elements early are nice to show you’re adding value
  • Feel & Vibes
    • World-building is great but doesn’t work for every format
    • How social is it?
    • Be entertaining
    • Atmo is generally nice but you can get away without it. It may sound overengineered
    • Collage of news-soundbites always work
    • Visual language is key (like with radio)
    • Fake atmo is tricky: It may create the desired effect but may also get called out

Podcast Feedback Criteria

  • Audience
    • Podcast for niche?
    • Hook: Why should they listen?
    • Keeping hooked
    • Visual language
    • Atmo: Are we »in the room«?
    • Do focus and audience actually match?
  • Structure
    • Clear title & teaser
    • Adds feeling with music
    • Emotional insight?
    • Intriguing, clear script
    • Was I ever lost while listening?
    • Did you state the aim clearly?
    • Clear focus?
    • Smart storytelling? Is there enough meat on the bone?
    • Strong soundbites from interviews?
  • Host
    • Connects with audience
    • Creates atmosphere
    • Sets up a space to narrate
    • Uses voice modulation well
This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.