The PodSchool Podcast | The most important word to use in your podcast


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!

Podcast presenting tips

How language can impact your connection with an audience

The relationship you have with your podcast audience is the most intimate relationship of any media out there.

That’s because when someone decides to listen to your show it’s an active decision to put their earbuds into their ears and focus on your content 100%.

So you need to make sure, when you’re presenting your podcast, you’re doing everything you can to build a connection with people listening.

That doesn’t mean you’re going to say hi to every person individually.

But instead of presenting your show like you’re standing in front of 1000 people, you need to present it like you’re sitting across from one person, speaking directly to them.

And that means using the most important word in podcast presenting …”YOU.”

Apple Google Spotify

What does that mean in practice?

Instead of saying “Hey everyone!  I’d love to know what you all think.” Just say “What do you think?”

If you’re talking about what you’ve got coming up on the podcast, say “Next week I’ve got some great tips for you” instead of “Hey everybody, tune in next week because I’ve got some great tips for you all.”

It’s important to remember for the listener, podcasting isn’t a collective experience so when you’re referring to them as “ladies and gentlemen” or “listeners” or “guys” it disconnects you from them because they’re left thinking “Who are they talking to? It’s just me here!”

If you connect individually with every single member of your audience when you’re presenting your podcast, then en masse they’ll feel like they’re all a part of your show.

And that’s how you turn people from listeners into raving fans.

How to keep an audience engaged when podcasting solo


What if you’ve got a collective term for your audience?

Of course, as with any rule, there’s always an exception and that’s if you want to create a collective term for your listeners.

Similar to Beyonce’s ‘Bey Hive’ or Taylor Swift’s ‘Swifties’, if there’s a term you use to refer to your audience as a group this can be a great way to make them feel part of the club.

This can help build your connection with fans of your podcast and make them feel part of the show.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me back in your ears and if I'm in them for the first time thank you very much for the invitation. It's delightful to be here.

This week on the show I'm going to be talking about the most important word you can use in your podcast and that is the word "you". The relationship you have with your audience in a podcast is the most intimate relationship of any media out there. This is a decision by someone to put their earbuds into their ears press play on your content and listen to you. There are no other distractions like you get in radio where people are doing the shopping or driving or working and you're more of a background noise. This is a really active decision by an audience member to put your content in their ears and concentrate on it. Sure you can be doing other bits and pieces but they are paying attention to the stuff that you do so it is so much more important even more so than radio to really make sure that you are trying as best you can to connect with that person on the other end. And that means you have to think of your audience as individual people and speak directly to one person at a time. Hopefully your audience is bigger than just one person, unless it's just mum on the other end and she's super supportive of your new endeavours.

But obviously you want to be speaking to a large amount of people but you don't want to treat the performance of the show as if you were in a room of that many people. If you were actually standing up on stage and addressing a room you would address everybody collectively because that's the natural way to present to a room like that. But when you are talking in a podcast it's really important that you just talk to one person. Think about sitting down across from one individual person and delivering your content to them and the way to do that is to refer to them as "you". This is really important to develop those relationships with listeners where people will become an ambassador for your show. It's the easiest way to make people on the other end feel like you are in a relationship of sorts with them and that's the kind of stuff that makes people go from just an audience to raving fans if they feel like they're sitting in a room with you and you're talking directly to them.

So an example of that would be, instead of saying "hey all you guys out there I'd love to know what you think." Just say "what do you think?" If you're talking about what you've got coming up on the show you would say "next week for you, I've got some great tips" instead of "hey everybody, next week for everybody I've got some great tips ladies and gents." It's just making sure that you use a language that you would use if there was just one person sitting across from you.

Of course as with any rule there is always an exception and that is if you want to have a show language or a label for your listeners so that you refer to them as a collective community. In my own podcast Paul and Rach with Paul Murray our listeners we used to refer to as "Mad Rooters." It's a long story of how we got there but when we were doing our radio show back in 2009 the language became such that they would ring us and say "hey Mad Rooters and we would call them Mad Rooters." But when we actually got into the meat and potatoes of the show if we ever referred to the listener it was always "you." "We want YOU to give us a call," "What do YOU think?" Those kind of things but the idea of having an umbrella term for the people who listen to your show can be a really nice way for people to feel like they're part of a gang. It can be great on social media as well. It's a language that you and your listeners can use together. They feel like they're a part of something.

So that's kind of the exception to that sort of language. I wouldn't refer to them all the time through your show although, of course, it's completely up to you. But best practice is really to talk one on one to your listener so that they feel like they're in a relationship with you. You have to remember what it's like to be a listener on a podcast and for listeners of podcasts it is a very individual experience.

If you start calling your audience "ladies and gentlemen," "hey peeps," "hey listeners" - if I'm listening to you and I am walking my dog or doing my shopping I think to myself "who are these people that this person is referring to?" Nobody else knows what I'm listening to, they're not with me in this experience so it's really important to think about that when you're presenting your show because the individual that you're talking to will be listening by themselves. And if you connect individually with every single member of that audience then en masse they will feel like they are engaged and connected to your show and that's so important. If you want people to keep on coming back and to feel like you are a friend because that is the ultimate goal in a podcast to make it feel like you're sitting down with this person and that they're speaking just to you.

So that's it. Make sure that "you" is a big part of your show language. Think about one person in your mind when your podcasting rather than a big group of people and you will connect with your listeners individually one by one and that's it for this week.

Make sure you head to podschoolpodcast.com. I've got heaps of resources there. There's a blog with plenty of articles about podcasting that'll give you heaps of information. I've also got my free guide that takes you through all the tools and tech you need to set up a home studio and get recording and upload your first podcast episode. There's links to my online podcasting course and of course a contact page where you can ask me anything if you would like a question answered.

I would love to create an episode around that question and I'll let you know when you're going to be featured on the show. Please get in touch. This show is definitely to help you improve your podcast so if there's anything you're struggling with or something that you're a little unsure of or if you've just started out or you're not yet started and you're thinking "Gosh I wonder what that does" or "I wonder what that's like." Then just shoot me an email and I shall answer your question.

Thank you so much for joining me and until next week Happy podcasting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!