Podcasting is a new frontier when it comes to places you can tell your stories. You’re no longer beholden to the competitive process of selling your screenplay or the daunting process of trying to make a movie yourself. Now, you can tell your stories with a cell phone and some sound effects. And, if you do it right, you can be pretty successful.
In this article, we’re going to go in-depth on three skills that expert podcast producer Jeffrey Crane Graham says you should have to tell your story over audio, including:
Learning podcast software
Having a great idea
Jeffrey is a digital media producer. Behind the scenes, he’s responsible for hit podcasts such as “The Screenwriting Life” with Pixar & Disney writers Meg LeFauve and Lorien McKenna, “Better Together with Maria Menounos,” and “The Film Scene” with Illeana Douglas. Sometimes, he also steps behind the microphone to co-host, and he’s a pro at keeping shows moving, keeping things interesting, and growing podcast listenership.
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Below, learn more about the three skills he says can make or break a podcast. And you may be surprised to find out that expensive, fancy podcasting equipment isn’t required!
3 Skills to Create an Unforgettable Narrative Podcast
If you want to share your stories but aren’t making any headway in selling your screenplay, maybe it’s time to take matters into your own hands and develop a narrative podcast.
Narrative podcasts tell stories over a series of episodes, and they’re relatively inexpensive (or free) to produce, depending on the production level.
This medium is an excellent avenue for storytellers to test their projects, see what audiences respond to, and try on a different form of storytelling through an audible channel instead of visual. You’ll develop new storytelling skills by adapting your short stories, novels, or screenplays for the ear rather than the screen.
We asked Jeffrey what skills does it take to be a podcast producer? With his answers, you could have a narrative podcast up and running in no time.
For beginners, to optimize sound on your podcast:
Record in a big, quiet room so sound doesn’t bounce off of nearby surfaces and walls
Speak diagonally into your microphone for fewer popping noises on words with “p’s” and “b’s”
Keep input levels lower rather than higher, settling around -20 decibels on your fader (around halfway up)
Record high-quality audio files in 24-bit /48 kHz WAV or AIFF files for ease of editing
Record character voices and sound effects separately, then layer later in an editing program
Avoid processing your sound too much in post-production
Learning Podcast Software
You don’t need fancy podcasting software to make a good show, but you should understand how to use audio tools, whether on the software you purchase or the tools available on your mobile device.
Having a Great Idea
The best thing about podcasting is that it’s relatively low-risk. It also won’t sit on a shelf for years as a screenplay might. Test your idea by sharing it through a podcast to see if it’s great. If people bite, you know you have a winner on your hands.
Plus, you can use that built-in audience to show producers interest in your story when you attempt to take your screenplay back into the market to sell it.
Some podcasts are highly produced, but not every successful narrative podcast has a big production studio behind it. You should view podcasts as a new storytelling medium that’s highly accessible. Explore and experiment in the medium with some simple tools. You never know who’s waiting to hear a story like yours!
You hear me?