You might not be new to the podcast world if you’ve decided to start one. Most probably, you might have been a podcast listener for a long time and have now decided that it’s time to step into the world of creating one.
One of the major concerns of people who are just starting out as a podcaster or thinking about it is how to make their podcast sound more professional.
If you think it’s all about investing in high-end equipment, having the right microphone or podcast editing software, or creating the right environment, then this blog will make you think again. No doubt, those things are necessary to make your podcast’s quality better but that doesn’t mean they make it sound more professional.
Read ahead to explore and understand what it takes to make a podcast sound more professional.
1. Understanding good audio file
There’s more to what you call a good audio file. Besides being audible, your audio files need to be free from hissing sounds, any background noises, signal interferences, or any other sound that doesn’t belong in your audio file.
Here are some more pointers suggested by a podcast editing company, to help you achieve the level of clarity in sound that your listeners deserve:
- The recordings shouldn’t sound muffled and also make sure the amount of their volume is at an audible level for better clarity.
- The levels of your microphone while recording should always be in green.
- Vocals shouldn’t have much echo or reverb unless you have planned on it.
- Removing all the unnecessary sounds while podcast editing. For this, you will require editing software or a podcast editing service provider – you can choose any way according to your budget.
2. Give your audience what they expect
A podcast is another audio form of content consumption, just like radio. They are not the same but they do fall in the same segment and hence people tend to consume podcasts in a similar manner. They expect to be introduced to your podcast or the episode as well as a proper outro at the ending of the episode. This has been the format in which people consume content on the radio as well as the podcast. So, for your podcast to sound professional, make sure you are adding a proper intro and outro in every episode.
3. It’s all in the delivery
Your position, whether you are standing or sitting, while recording your podcast plays a major role since your surrounding defines the airflow and sound reflections which directly affect the podcast quality. If you are delivering while sitting, chances are there will be sound reflections as well as obstructions in the airflow from the desk and chair. Recording your podcast standing up in an empty room is the ideal scenario for a quality output.
Pro Tip: In case you need a script in front of you while recording, use a music stand. It’ll do the trick. Also, make sure you are putting a layer of foam or a rug or something to avoid any reflections behind your script on the stand.
4. Sources matter
Back your facts, figures, data, etc. by properly quoting the sources as well as include reputable sources to add value to your content. Mention the people who came before you and are doing well in your industry, give credit to people whose ideas you are mentioning, as well as be clear about your contribution to the ideas, your industry, etc.
Also, make a point to recheck the quotes, facts, figures, etc. before quoting them, you don’t want to use outdated information. Just verify the information with the latest events and figures to be accurate about what you are saying. This is one of the crucial points to make your podcast sound professional.
5. Test it out
Before going all-in with recording an entire episode, record a test clip or you can also use previously recorded episodes. Then compare the result with the quality of podcasts you enjoy but make sure you are testing the sample in environments in which your listeners might listen like in a subway, bus, or in a car. Also, test it out using different output devices that your listeners might use like earbuds, headphones, or low-quality earphones.
You can also send the test clip to your friends or families or trusted colleagues for their opinion on the quality of the sound as well as content to see if there’s any room for improvement. Or you can send the same to a podcaster you admire and see if they are willing to provide any input or insights.
6. Pay attention to the length
The length of your podcast can say a lot about you as a podcaster as well as how well-versed you are with podcasting. Moreover, it also shows if you understand your audience and the content you are delivering or not. Ideally, a successful podcast episode lasts anywhere between 30-40 minutes, that is statistically speaking.
This might not be the case with the content you are creating. If you are interviewing someone and digging deep into their life to understand where they come from and asking about their life stories then it is natural that your episode might stretch to an hour or two. On the other hand, if you are delivering just facts, then sticking to short length episodes will bode well with your audience since it’s not easy to consume too much raw information at the same time.
So, the length of your podcast will depend on the content you are delivering, your audience, as well as the ideal length. The goal is to keep it interesting for your audience to stick around till the end.
Making a podcast sound professional is not a cakewalk but it’s not impossible. The trick is to pay attention to the details and getting them right.
As long as you follow the above-mentioned tips while creating your podcast, you won’t have to worry about your podcast being unprofessional or informal.
Pro Tip: Once you get the hang of creating a professional-sounding podcast, retrace your steps and list them out as a checklist to follow for your future recordings.
Ross Plotkin is a founder of Barevalue – A podcast editing company that offers podcast editing services and show notes writing services. he usually writes articles on the topic of podcasting such as tips, guides, and information that can be helpful for beginners and advanced podcasters.