The Secret to Great Podcasting
Actually, three ...
People ask me all the time about "tricks" and "secrets" to growing a podcast audience. And yeah, there are some cool tactics you can use that will help you do just that. If you look at the archive of this newsletter, you'll see more than a few of them.
But the real secret to growing a great audience is being a great host who connects with the people who are listening.
This comes from three things:
"Time on the mic."
When I was a teenager learning to play guitar, I told my teacher about some kind of gadget I’d just purchased that was supposed to help me strengthen my fingers.
He told me, “If you want to get better at guitar, you need to play guitar.”
The same is true for podcast hosting.
The basic elements of hosting, such as speaking and listening, can be developed both on and off the mic, but there is no substitute for learning the thousands of other things you need to host a podcast other than actually hosting a podcast.
I did an interview with Claude McKnight of the a cappella gospel sextet Take 6 and asked him for his advice to people who wanted to improve their singing.
He said, “If you want to be a good singer, you have to be a good listener.”
And it makes sense, because the quality of your performance is based on what’s happening around you – other singers you need to harmonize with, where the song starts and ends, the tempo of the song, etc.
The same is true for podcasting. You can’t ask great questions or respond to something that’s said without knowing where you are and who you want to reach with your message. “Awareness” is key and that starts with listening – to your audience, to your guest, to yourself.
Great hosts are “in the arena.” The more you experience in life, the better you’ll be able to connect with your guests and audience.