5 Tips on Podcasting

Want to be the next “Serial?” Here are a few tips by award-wining radio personality Ben Manilla to get you started.

1. Be aware of background sound.

Our brains are good at tuning out background noise, so close your eyes for a few seconds and listen to the surrounding noise. You are in control of the environment in which you record; if you have the option to move to a quieter area, do so. If it’s possible, ask the subject to adjust the environment as needed, such as turning off noisy appliances like air conditioners.

Berkeley Advanced Media Institute / Via multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu

2. Ask, “Then what?”

During interviews, prompt interesting anecdotes and gather details with questions like, “Then what?” or “What did that park smell like? Sound like?” Ask pithy and specific questions to elicit details that will enrich the story and may provide options for ambient sounds.

Berkeley Advanced Media Institute / Via multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu

3. Read your subject’s body language.

Watch your subject to see how they react to your questions or the environment. Reacting to your subjects’ movements with statements like, “You’re really worked up about this!” or “I can tell this is important to you” will often produce valuable responses.

Berkeley Advanced Media Institute / Via multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu

4. Don’t interrupt.

Never interrupt your subject. Do not disrupt the flow of the speaker unless you need to clarify something or bring them back on topic. Having longer segments to choose from promotes a more natural flow, and you may lose important details if you prematurely cut the story short.

Berkeley Advanced Media Institute / Via multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu

5. Spot-check audio.

After recording, spot-check your audio to check for mistakes. Listen briefly to ensure you recorded the interview well. through as much of the interview as you have time for and note areas that you may need to re-record. That way, you will have a chance to correct them while your subject is still present.

Berkeley Advanced Media Institute / Via multimedia.journalism.berkeley.edu
Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Berkeley AMI’s story.