How to Turn Podcast Skeptics Into Listeners


PodMov Daily: Thursday, July 7

Episode 676: Your Thursday Podthoughts

How to Turn Podcast Skeptics Into Listeners

For everyone who thinks podcasts are not for them, there’s a breakthrough waiting to be discovered. In Podcast Pontifications, Evo Terra suggests creators carry around an IHNI – as in,  ‘I Had No Idea podcasts could sound like that.’ It’s a special, instantly appealing episode with the power to convert.

It’s 99.9% likely that this episode is not one of yours. Sharing an IHNI is about “rising above your own self-interests” to grow podcasting as a whole. For example, Terra would go with an episode of Love+Radio or Twenty Thousand Hertz. (Force your own show, and the effort may make this person swear off podcasts altogether.)

Another option is to take a personalized approach. As Tom Webster wrote in April, each one of us has to be a one-person solution to the growth of podcasting. If you know someone well, you know exactly how to find the ultimate niche show to make them say ‘I Had No Idea podcasts could sound like that.’

When in Doubt, Leave Out the Sound Effects

Sound effects in audio stories drive Rob Rosenthal up the wall. “How do they help?” he asks. “If they’re intended to add a little sonic zing to something that seems lackluster, don’t use sound effects as a band aid to solve a problem.” A narrative storytelling instructor for over 20 years, Rosenthal explains why.

It’s easy to assume that a sound effect works like a book illustration. Instead, “little sonic doodads” often have a cheapening effect. Rosenthal includes clips from a podcast hosted by a former CNN reporter. Listen to these, or the full episode of HowSound that accompanies the article. His point speaks for itself.

Before dipping into a sound effects library, consider your listeners. Will this whoosh, scream, or applause track add value? Will the audience better understand what’s being said? The answer might be yes if it’s an inherently goofy podcast. But in most cases, Rosenthal says, leave it out. (Insert gong sound.)

Nomono: Love Field Recording? Love Your Gear.

Field recording can get complicated – no one knows better than podcasters. Nomono simplifies recording, production, and collaboration for creators on the move. Completely wireless from microphone to cloud, Nomono’s self-contained recording kit takes the hassle out of making great content.

The Wi-Fi enabled Nomono Sound Capsule combines four ultra-compact lavalier mics with a 360-degree spatial audio microphone array. With automatic backup, full mobile app controls, and advanced processing capabilities, it’s a broadcast journalist’s dream. Best of all, it weighs less than four pounds.

Nomono’s companion cloud service and web app make team organization effortless. (Explore for free in public beta to see the magic in action.) Ready for projects that move faster and sound better? Designed and manufactured in Norway, hardware will be available soon in the Nordics, US, UK, and EU.

Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Chapter one: “How to Interview for Narrative Storytelling” from Radio Boot Camp is this Sunday, July 10. Karen Duffin (Planet Money, This American Life) will talk through practical skills, from figuring out what questions to ask, to asking them in a way that prompts story and emotion. $100 registration.
  • Magic words: “How to Ask Your Podcast Listener for Money” is next Wednesday, July 13. The UK-based MIC’s Podcast Club will host a panel on crowdfunding methods, best practices, pitfalls, and realistic expectations. Submit questions for the Q&A here. Begins at 11:00 am ET/6:00 pm BST. Free registration.
  • Win some: “Notoriety in Podcasting” from Pod People is next Thursday, July 14. When submitting your show to an awards program, standing out is essential. Deondric Royster (Signal Awards, Spotify) and Lauren Passell (Podcast The Newsletter, Tink Media) will explain how in a live panel. Free registration.

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