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PodSchool Podcast | How segments can improve your podcast

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Podcast segments can make things interesting

Some people think there’s only one way to do a podcast…open the microphones and talk until you run out of things to say. And while there are some very successful shows that subscribe to that formula it’s not the only way to do a show.
Chatting non-stop might seem like the easiest option when you’re new to podcasting. But just because you’re a beginner doesn’t mean you can’t think more creatively about how to deliver your content.
Breaking your show up into podcast segments can be a great way to keep it interesting and make hosting much easier.

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Do podcast segments work for every show?

Not every podcast is going to benefit from the use of segments but it will work if you talk about a bunch of different topics in each show.

Putting a little musical breaker (or “sting” as they’re known in radio) in between each section or topic can be a great way to separate your content and keep things interesting for your audience.

It can also help you, as a host, because you don’t need to find a way to segue from one random topic to another.  Instead, you can wrap up one train of thought and let the music do the hard work of transitioning people to the next piece of content.

These little stings can also be a great place to pop information about your show.  For example, you could use them to point people to your social media pages or your website rather than having to list that stuff off at the end.

Do you need a podcast intro and outro?

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Be creative about your segment length

Varying up the length of each segment is a great way to keep things interesting.  You can also use the length of your segments as a creative tool.

Below is a really short segment from my old podcast Paul and Rach.  You obviously can’t drop segments this short into your content all the time but in this moment it ended up becoming part of the joke…

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Don’t overdo it

There’s a fine line between segments being an interesting way to divide up your content and being a distraction.

You want the stings to pop up in your show in a way that naturally moves your content from one topic to the other and not something that makes your listener feel like they’re being blasted with audio production every two seconds.

This is where having a mix of longer and shorter segments will help.

Ideally, you want the production in your show to support the content not distract from it.

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

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the show. Today I'm going to be talking about segments. Sometimes when you are new to podcasting it's easy to think you just open the microphones talk until you run out of stuff to talk about but segments can be a really great way to keep things moving for your audience and to make things easier from a hosting perspective. There will be some shows that will obviously lend themselves to sitting down yapping into mics and then turning the mics off at the end. A good example is an interview show. I certainly know on my show, "You've Gotta Start Somewhere," it would be nuts to stop and start my guest every five minutes to move onto the next segment. So, we just open the mics, I ask them questions for an hour and then we wrap it up. But sometimes when you are doing a lot of different topics, rather than trying to find a natural way to wrap it up and segue into the next bit it can be good to finish your train of thought on one topic, stop and then start again on the next topic and put a little musical sting in between those different pieces of content.
[00:01:21] This is something I used to do on my old show Paul and Rach where Paul and I would do 2.5-3 minute segments and play a piece of audio, or a 'sting' in between each segment. You can use these stings to tell people about your facebook page, social media or website.
If you are dealing with a lot of different topics it can be really hard to make sure that, it meanders through in a way that makes sense. So, think about segments and whether they might be a nice way to help you move through your content. A word of warning however, don't do too many. You don't want to be hearing those sorts of stings in your ears every minute or every two minutes and vary up the lengths of your breaks. It's a really nice thing for your audience to listen to when there's a bit of a difference between each of the bits and pieces that you put in their ears and they go on a bit of an audio journey. So think about how segments might work for your content. As always you can head to PodschoolPodcast.com to check out the show notes page for this episode. Grab my Tech Guide to find out all of the tech and tools you need to set up your own home studio and join the wait list for my online podcasting course Podschool.com.au. I really appreciate you tuning into these episodes every week and I love your questions so head to the website and hit me up on the contact page. I am always happy to hear from you. Thanks so much for listening. I will see you next week and until then happy podcasting.

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