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How to connect with your podcast audience

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Podcast presenting tips to help you build a better show…

If you want people to come back to your show week after week, you need to present your podcast in a way that makes your audience feel connected to you.  That’s not a simple task when the only things you’ve got to work with are your voice and their ears.  And if you haven’t had a lot of podcast presenting experience you can often go one of two ways…into your shell or OTT.

The problem with both of these approaches is they immediately disconnect you from your audience.  The first, because it’s not engaging enough to hold someone’s attention and the second because you’ll come across as insincere.

Good podcast presenting is about being relaxed but still engaging and entertaining so your listeners feel like you’re a couple of mates catching up.

Being relaxed often takes more energy when you’re presenting than you might feel comfortable with.  That’s because your voice needs to travel the distance to your audience and if you’re giving it a little more oomph than feels natural by the time it gets to your listeners it’ll have enough energy to grab their attention while still sounding conversational.

That energy is a lot easier to harness when you’re sitting across from a co-host or a guest but when you’re on your own it can be hard to get the balance right.

So, here are my top podcast presenting tips to make sure you’re striking the balance between conversation and performance…

How to keep an audience engaged when podcasting solo

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Imagine you’re talking to ONE person

This is hands down the most important thing you can do when presenting your show.
Why?  Because podcast listening isn’t a collective experience for your audience.

Each person has their earbuds in and is doing their own thing. So even though you’ll (hopefully) have many ears on your show, you need to connect with each listener individually so collectively they all feel like the show is just for them.

How do you do that?

Think about the words you use

When you’re presenting your podcast, avoid collective terms or phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” or “listeners.”

Words and phrases like this break the very personal connection you have with your audience by making them feel like they’re one of many rather than someone you’re speaking to directly.

The only word you should use when addressing your audience is “you” e.g. “I’ve got some great tips to help you grow your business,” “I’ve got an awesome segment you’re gonna love.”

As a listener, if I hear that, it sounds like you’re talking to me and that’s how you build a connection with people you’ve never met.

Each listener needs to feel like it’s just you and them, so do yourself and them a favour and reign in the circus ringmaster gear when you’re presenting.

The most important word to use in your podcast

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Visualise someone in your mind

If you haven’t got someone sitting across from you the next best thing is to conjure someone up.

You can think about your best friend, your partner, your ideal listener, anyone you like.

You might find this silly but it will help you harness that conversational energy you can lose when you’re presenting your podcast to no one.

So, get a picture of someone in your mind and present like they’re standing right in front of you.

Why you should design an ideal listener for your podcast

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Talk into a mirror

If you can’t quite get the visualising thing down you can always try recording in front of a mirror.

That might sound weirder than visualising but you’ll be surprised how much your voice will change when you’re looking at someone (even if that someone is you).

Performing to another person (or reflection) will help your subconscious channel the social instincts you need to harness your natural conversational energy.

Plus you can give yourself a little mirror high-five when you’re done (coz that’s not weird at all).

Should you use video when remote recording your podcast?

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Record your podcast where you can see people

If neither of the above podcast presenting tips floats your boat, try recording somewhere you can see people.

If you’re at work, record in a conference room where you can see your colleagues.  If you record your podcast at home, creepily stare at your better half while they’re watching TV.

You’d be amazed at what a difference seeing people can make to the energy of your voice.  (Just keep the staring at strangers to a minimum because no podcast is worth an AVO).

How to record high-quality audio at home

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Practice

As with anything, the more you practice the easier it will get and the quicker you’ll find your podcast presenting sweet spot.

It’s also essential to listen back to yourself if you want to improve.

You’d be surprised how much energy you need to make your words sound engaging and the only way to find out where the right energy level is for you is to listen back to what you record.

This will help train your muscle memory so eventually, you’ll know instinctively where you need to be to sound natural and engaging.

Get this right and your listeners will be friends for life.

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.

6 Comments
  1. Ann says:

    Loved your interview on 2GB

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  4. mamba campbell says:

    thank you very much for this handy content!!

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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

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!

SEND IT TO ME!