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How to connect with your podcast audience

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Presenting tips to help you build a better podcast…

If you want people to come back to your show week after week, you need to connect with them.

That’s not a simple task when the only things you’ve got to work with are your voice and their ears.

If you haven’t had a lot of 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 an audience’s attention and the second because you’ll come across like a douche bag.  And ain’t nobody got time for that!

Good presenting happens when you’re relaxed but still engaging and entertaining.  Your listeners need to feel like you’re just a couple of mates catching up but that requires more energy than you might assume from your side of the microphone.

That energy is easier to harness when you’ve got a co-host sitting across from you because there’s another warm body for you to bounce off.  But when you’re on your own it can be hard to get the balance right.

So how do you do it?

How to keep an audience engaged when podcasting solo

Read

Imagine you’re talking to ONE person

This is hands down the most important thing you can do when presenting your show.

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.

You can do that in a number of ways…

Think about the words you use

Avoid collective terms or phrases that refer to your audience as a group.

Words like “ladies and gentlemen” or “listeners” breaks the very personal connection you have with your audience.

These words make them feel like they’re one of many and that’s not ideal.

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 directly 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 hanging out, so do yourself and them a favour and reign in the circus ringmaster gear.

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 to no one.

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 the visualising exercise 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).

How to be an awesome podcast co-host

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Record where you can see people

If neither of the above suggestions 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 what a difference seeing people will 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 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 things sound engaging and the only way to find that out is by sitting where your audience is and listening 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 it 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.

5 Comments
  1. Ann says:

    Loved your interview on 2GB

  2. Pingback: Rachel Corbett
  3. Pingback: Rachel Corbett
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GET MY FREE PODCAST GUIDE

WANT TO START A PODCAST BUT HAVE NO IDEA HOW? THIS GUIDE TAKES YOU THROUGH ALL THE TOOLS AND TECH YOU NEED TO GET GOING!

SEND IT TO ME!