A behind-the-scenes look at complicated podcast episodes – TAP101

Behind-the-scenes look at complicated podcasting

Hear from the inside and hindsight of how I planned and organized the massive 100th episode, and hear tips for working with any other complicated podcast with lots of feedback, notes, and ideas.

Please forgive all the personal pronouns as I share my own experience and shortcomings that can help you.

What I did well

It took some hard work to host episode 100, and I think some things worked really well.

I planned ahead

I knew that I wanted my 100th episode to be of great value, not just “happy milestone to me, I’m so great!” I reflected on how podcasting helped me on The Audacity to Podcast’s second anniversary.

So I decided back before episode 84 what the 100th episode would be and how it would flow.

I requested feedback early and often

Things go better with planning. So the more planning you do, the early you can notify your audience of what they can do. And the early they knew what to do, the more time they have to do it.

Furthermore, the more often you remind your audience, the more likely they’ll remember to do the thing you want them to do.

I created Chains and customized keyboard shortcuts in Audacity

All of the nearly 100 voicemails I used required the same, non-unique, repetitive tasks:

  1. Mixer stereo to mono.
  2. Normalize to -1 dB (to reduce clipping for the next step).
  3. Run Chris’s Dynamic Compressor with settings that work for most voicemails.
  4. Renormalize to -1 dB.
I created an Audacity Chain to run all of these steps on every file I opened. I also assigned some new keyboard shortcuts to “Apply Chains” and “Normalize” to further save time.

My master guide was my draft shownotes in WordPress

Document, list, and collaboration tools like Google Drive (formerly Docs) or Workflowy (both free) can work great for preparing your outline and notes. But writing your notes directly into WordPress can help you get your formatting, links, and media all together where you’ll need to to be for a quick publish.

I numbered my files and named them simply

Instead of naming each file after its tip, I simply numbered them and added the person’s name. Then I referred to my master guide for arranging and knowing what each tip was.

I summarized everyone’s feedback with their name and verified links

Written and audio feedback can be hard to remember without reading or hearing the whole thing. Write simple summaries of the feedback just to remind you.

I tried to keep the 100 tips to be tweet length.

What I should have done differently

If you watched me record episode 100 live, then you saw some glitches, hiccups, and confusions. Here are two major things that could have save a lot of frustration.

I should have sorted feedback earlier, as I received it

So many of my problems could have been saved if I hadn’t procrastinated and had instead organized feedback as it came in. This would have allowed me to space out multiples, more accurately filter out duplicates, and plan ahead if I had gaps.

I should have rehearsed

Despite my complete notes, I still had some things mislabeled or in the wrong places. I could have prevented this if I had rehearsed ahead of time.

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Disclosure

This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his wife, Jenny, live near Cincinnati with their son, "Noodle Boy."

2 comments on A behind-the-scenes look at complicated podcast episodes – TAP101

  1. Daniel, what did you use to play back all of the audio clips? Was it something different than you would have normally used because of the sheer number of clips?

    1. No, I still used Soundboard for OS X, by Ambrosia Software. I had to create multiple tabs in order to hold all of the nearly 90 voicemails.

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