Having a regular cohost in your podcast can make your podcast more conversational, personal, and more thorough with alternative perspectives. These tips will help you to podcast with others.
1. Choose the right cohost
Look for someone as passionate as you about your topic. Otherwise, you’ll feel like they’re dragging the topic down.
You and your cohost need to have a good connection and ability to carry a conversation. Neither of you should be “hogging the mic,” but should be passing the conversation back and forth.
2. Communicate expectations
Expectations are to be expected. If you don’t communicate these with your cohost, then you’re setting up yourselves for failure.
Make sure your cohost knows what you expect of them. For example:
- When do they need to show up?
- What should they be contributing?
- What is their role in decisions?
- Who handles what responsibilities?
Along with content and recording expectations, have a signed agreement on ownership, rights, responsibilities, and how money will be handled.
3. Prepare together
Always let your cohost know what’s going on with the podcast and involve them in the planning. This ensures that it’s a joint effort so they’re not just responding to your statements the whole time.
Use Google Drive (formerly Google Docs), WorkFlowy, or any kind of tool that will allow you to collaborate (preferably in real time) on a document. The details of how you prepare your podcast together will vary based on your circumstances.
Failure to plan means planning to fail. So plan together and you’ll succeed together!
4. Break the ice before recording
Have a meal together. Tell jokes or funny stories and laugh together. Do whatever you can to “break the ice” and personally relate with each other before you record. This will make your recording much smoother, and help you both be on the same mental page.
5. Follow an outline
If you adequately prepared together (step 3), then you should have some kind of outline. Make sure you’re both aware of this outline and are following it. This can prevent unnecessary jumps and also allow for teases of later content.
6. Listen and interact
It’s easy to get distracted while podcasting (especially if you’re live-streaming). But try to focus on what your cohost is saying. Don’t just acknowledge their contribution; respond to what they say and add to it.
Simply acknowledging their side and moving on will sound like you weren’t listening at all or don’t value their perspective.
Do not respond to everything they say with, “yeah,” “uh-huh,” and “hmm.” Instead, you can nod your head to acknowledge what they’re saying and encourage the conversation without distracting (or annoying) your listeners.
7. Face each other
Face-to-face communication is always the best! Simple things like accidentally talking over each other is so easy to avoid if you can see each other while you’re talking.
Face-to-face also helps the podcast sound more personal and conversational, because that’s exactly what you’re doing—having a personal conversation with a real human in front of you!
Use Skype, Google+ Hangouts, GoToMeeting, or be in the studio together.
8. Use signals or cues
In addition to face-to-face communication, have some defined hand signals or use instant messaging to communicate important things while you’re podcasting.
- Hold up spread fingers to indicate how many minutes until something.
- Point to one of multiple cohosts to clearly state who will speak next.
- Hold both palms open and facing up, extended toward your cohost, offering them the opportunity to speak or ask whether they have anything more.
- Point an index finger up and twirl to communicate that you need to wrap up.
- Hold an index finger up in to communicate “wait,” when you need to get through something without interruptions, like ads or sponsorships.
9. Allow disagreements without fights
Don’t be afraid to disagree with each other. Disagreements mean you both have different perspectives, which makes for a more valuable, thorough conversation.
Let these disagreements arise, but don’t turn them into fights, and also don’t just dismiss them. Let each other clearly state their positions and acknowledge that you could be wrong.
It’s always okay to explain why you disagree (and probably more valuable), but you should rarely try to convince your cohost to switch to your side, unless something is clearly being misunderstood or facts misrepresented.
10. Share the rewards
When your podcast receives positive feedback, share it with your cohost to encourage them!
If you monetize your podcast through donations, affiliates, or sponsorships, consider sharing this with your cohost if possible.
What are your thoughts and tips?
If you have some experience working with cohosts on your podcast or someone else’s, I would love to hear your stories or tips! Please comment below the shownotes!
Send your feedback for upcoming topics
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Audacity training webinar on March 9, 2013
I’m going to offer my first online training workshop for anyone to learn how to use Audacity. The workshop will be at noon (EST/GMT-5) on Saturday, March 9.
This will be an information-packed hour with time for questions after. All registrants will receive a downloadable copy after the workshop.
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