30 things we’ve learned so far about Top Audio Storytelling
Four weeks in, here’s a summary of the lessons to date identified by my J463 class at the University of Oregon.
We ♥ Radio
- Radio can’t be killed
- Podcasting is undergoing a renaissance
- Podcasts can be about anything
- KLCC (our local NPR station) only has two full-time paid news positions
- There’s lots of free audio software available to use online
- Be careful with “fair use”
- Bleed sound in and out to soften the cutting between sound sources
- Soft background noise/music can make a big difference
- Use of nat and background sound — often indiscernible, but it’s there
- The importance of a natural flow to background sounds and music
- Music must be authentic to the story being told
- Always bring spare batteries!
- Keep it conversational
- Your tone should be like you’re talking to a friend
- Be informal when it’s called for, but formal when it’s not
- You can choose not to use additional sound e.g. atmos, music etc.
- Compelling stories can overcome technical proficiencies
- The importance of suspense and narrative hooks
- Pacing is vital — consider extraneous sounds, deiberateness, flow, host rapport and mixing up your sources
- Slow down, be deliberate with your words
- Have a friendly voice, but still be a journalist
- Precision of language and of vocal delivery
- Importance of good visual descriptions
- Active participation — embed yourself in the story
- Where to place promotions and sponsor messages
- Set the scene
- Consider the building blocks of language; description and backdrop.
- Multiple ways to interact with the audience; from discussions with callers, to developing a relationship with your listeners so that you can emotionally move your audience
- Balance having enough sources without overwhelming your audiences with too many voices and perspectives
- Ensure there’s a purposefulness to your source choices