Principles of Podcast Production

Step Four: Insight — PFD 010

Insight is Step Four of the Nine Steps Back to Podcasting and requires you take an honest look at your podcast and prioritize what you need to fix or improve.

What is insight?

Step Four of the Nine Steps Back to Podcasting is Insight.

Insight is defined as deep understanding. The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing. I’ll tell what is NOT accurate or deep understanding — winging it.

Principles of Podcast Production

First and foremost, you need to understand what a principle is. It is a fancy term for rules. Only these rules are the kind of rules you don’t break no matter what. They are the foundation you base your entire podcast on and the antithesis of winging it.

For me, they start with three easy-to-remember rules:

  • Stay simple
  • Start small
  • Show value

Step 1. Two Column Drill
The first of three principles is Stay Simple. To embrace that principle, you are going to put every part of your episode into one of two columns. Column one is your nice-to-have list, while column two is your need-to-have list. Think of every little part of your podcast and put it into the column you think it belongs.

This drill requires three separate lists:

  • Gear List: Gear required to record your podcast
  • Format List: How your show is logically organized
  • Content List: How your looks using units of time

Step 2. First Draft Evaluation
Now take a look at your list. What did you discover about your podcast? What is in your need-to-have columns versus what is in your nice-to-have columns? Were you honest? Take some more time and see what you might have in one column, that should really be in the other and make some edits.

Step 3. Reality Check
Honesty time. It’s time to have a “get real with yourself” moment and edit your list a third time. This is the third principle in play — Show Value. If you took the advice from Episode #009 about getting real feedback, then you already have a list of changes that you could be making to improve your podcast. So take a deep breath, think about your budget, and take some time to edit your list one more time.

Step 4. Set Priorities
Now we will combine the three principles by working on a new list: A Priority List. This is a list of what we will fix, change, or improve in order of their importance. When you know what you must do to make the foundation of your podcast work — the parts you cannot live without — you begin to build a valuable framework for what will always be needed in every podcast you produce.

Step 5. Dream Sheet
The final step in this exercise is to figure out what nice-to-have elements can be worked back in. Now with all the MUST DO and NEEDS identified, we can finally revisit the nice-to-have list, and find out what you would pick first if you could pick anything off it.

Apply Your Principles
If you consistently apply these principles when building each of your podcast episodes, you should always have control over what is needed for each one, and what is just nice to have.

And now you know.

About the Show
Podfader, hosted by veteran podcaster Kyle Bondo, focuses on the challenges of keeping your podcast going and the drive we all have has creators to keep our podcasts going with new and interesting content. If you’re a struggling podcaster, Podfader will be your sanctuary to get you through the messy middle of any podcasting strategy. Stop fading and start casting!

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