Production
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Production

There comes a point where you have to stop planning and just 'do'. We've learned a few things about the technicality of 'doing'.

Hosts

They're (normally) the first and last voice your audiences will hear on the podcast. They are the window in to the topic and the guiding voice of discussion. As such, your host should be a strong speaker, comfortable in front of the microphone and good under pressure. They also need to be able to form great chemistry with whoever they are interviewing.
You should keep in mind that no one type of person is guaranteed to be a good podcast host. Performers or actors do not necessarily make perfect hosts. The same can be said of anyone else - from keynote speakers to journalists.
Most importantly, your host needs to be curious. They need to be truthfully interested in the topic they are exploring and they need to be quick to adapt to the ebb and flow of a conversation.
Ultimately, a podcast discussion needs to feel as relaxed as a chat at a pub. Hopefully, however, it's more insightful than a chat at a pub.
 

Recording

So, here we are. Your guests are set and so is the agenda for the episode. You're about to record your show. Because what's a podcast without audio?
There are a few ways in which you can organise the recording. Each way has positives and negatives.
 
In-person
This is perhaps the best way of recording a podcast. It is simple and effective. You gather your guests and host in the same room, recording them together. One major positive here is that you control the room and its acoustics.
Furthermore ( as we mentioned earlier in this series of posts) the goal is to create a relaxed environment. An in-person recording tends to be conducive to this. In the same room, speakers can build more natural relationships and trust. Potentially, you'll have more moments of spontaneity. A guest might even propose a question themselves.
However, you should also be aware that there are risks. Inevitably, there are some people that do not respond well to the setting. They may find the 'performance' aspect of it stressful. Here, it is a case of understanding your guests and making sure they are comfortable.
 
Remote
With the coronavirus pandemic, remote recording has been an essential practice. Obviously, remote means flexibility. You can talk to anyone anywhere. With that flexibility, you also have the potential to get more high-value guests. If someone is too busy to set an in-person, this is a great way of still having them on the podcast.
There are negatives. Unfortunately, you are at the mercy of an internet connection. There is the potential for people to drop out of calls altogether. Furthermore, flow of conversation will be more stilted. Often, we find more than three guests on a remote recording will descend into chaos. i.e. "sorry...no...you go first...Shall I go?" Continue ad infinitum.
 
Sequential
For sequential recording, you record, well, in sequence. You talk to your people whenever it suits you. Sometimes, this might not even require a host. If your producer is experienced, they might be able to tease out something special from the guest. However, doing things sequentially does mean the guest may feel more isolated in the moment. They might lack context.
 

Hardware

There is a myriad of options when it comes to technology for your recording. But don't let choice confuse you. Just pick the right tools for the job.
First, think about microphones. If you are recording a guest remotely, ask if they already have a USB microphone. If they do, obviously, that's great news. Use that. If they don't, look into getting them one. We like the Blue Yeti Nano. For hosts, we like the Blue Yeti Pro or the Shure MV7.
Again, if doing a recording remotely, make sure people are wearing headphones when recording. If they don't, you'll hear what their computer speakers are putting out.
Whatever you do, don't entertain using Bluetooth technology. Often, people proclaim they have great Bluetooth microphones in their office conference rooms. These systems often have a tendency to drop out and pick up a lot of unnecessary noise.
Also, it's wise to think about the recording environment. Offices with glass partitions are the enemy, bouncing sound all over the place. Quiet living rooms can often be better, with soft furnishings like sofas acting as sound traps.
If your guest doesn't have access to a laptop or desktop, you can get them to record using voice notes (or similar) on their phone.
For recording remotely we suggest you capture and record your podcast with the website Riverside. There are many options for sites that do similar. However, we think Riverside offers the best service. It even automatically saves audio if someone drops out.