Just finished a full 12 episode season of a podcast. Since lists always have to come in tens, here are 10 things I learned in co-hosting a podcast.
1. In-studio is a must. Remote podcasts where the hosts aren’t recording in the same room are possible but you lose so much in chemistry and natural rapport.
2. Three personalities on one show is the magic number. Is there something of trinitarian efficiency there? Maybe. Four can get crowded and two isn’t as vibrant a dynamic. Not a hard and fast rule.
3. It is such a blessing to the other hosts to have just as much to contribute as they do. It’s a blessing for you for them to have as much to contribute as you do. Any situation where you have one personality massively dominating everything may work great, but it ceases to become a “talk show” or a discussion of any kind and becomes a monologue. No one should feel like they have to carry everything.
4. A little bit of prep goes a long way. There’s a healthy balance to strike. You definitely don’t want to script everything, but you don’t want to come in completely directionless either. Usually if you do a little bit of prep about what the topics will be and a few things you want to say, everything else just comes together naturally.
5. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. I don’t mean like on a micro level, I mean in the meta-narrative sense. If you have a talk show and you don’t have anything you’re passionate about or any convictions you firmly believe that people need to hear then why would anyone want to listen to you?
6. Have one recognized HOST with two recognized co-hosts. This host (Jason for us) is the person who leads the discussion. That predicable structure allows for great freedom and creativity, and ultimately better value to the audience.
7. Sound quality matters and is an acquired skill. I wasn’t good at speaking into the mic directly initially and still can do better at times. We also had better mixing as the show went on. We had a soundboard and some high quality mics. You don’t necessarily have to make it the best in the world, but it has to be good quality.
8. Being friends with your co-hosts in every day life helps with natural cohesion and chemistry.
9. Have fun, laugh but don’t get carried away with inside jokes. Remember your audience.
10. Share your stuff on social media, but be content with slowly building a large, loyal, army of dedicated listeners and SUBSCRIBERS rather than trying to get a bazillion casual fans right of the bat.