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Putting On A Live Podcast Episode (virtually)


I’ve been looking back over some of the recent episodes of this podcast and I’ve noticed a thing that I do. A lot.

I say “ohh that’s a good idea” about something I’ve come up with and then go on to say “I might try that myself”.


So here is some exciting news. At the end of July I will be recording the episode that will go out on the 30th LIVE in front of a virtual audience.

I know I spoke about doing this as a way to make money from your podcast but I won’t be charging you anything to come along as this is a bit of a test event for me to have a play around.


The date of the recording will be Friday 30th July at 1.30pm. If you want to be part of it sign up here





The rest of this post is going to be me explaining my thought process and my planning for the live podcast.


I’ll be honest I am a bit nervous about doing this for a few reasons.

  1. Putting on a live podcast recording is new for me and I’m learning as I go

  2. I’m learning in public!

  3. WHAT IF NOBODY WANTS TO JOIN ME. The SHAAAAME.

  4. I’m going to have to put on makeup aren’t I?


But then I remembered I spend a lot of time telling you to do something you might be uncomfortable doing and hey whatever the outcome I’ll get another podcast episode out of this right??


My planning of this episode is twofold - I need to plan the tech and the content.


Tech

Normally when I record a podcast I either switch on my computer, open up the audio software I use to record and edit (Adobe Audition in case you were wondering), hit record and off I go.

Or if I’m not at my desk I might use one of my recorders, so either an iPad or phone with a mic plugged in or my Zoom H6 which has a microphone or I can plug microphones in. It’s all pretty simple.

When I have guests I tend to use software designed for remote podcast recording or I just hop on Zoom. It depends on the guest and how tech savvy they are. Because sometimes it’s better to just go with Zoom and suck up the slight loss in audio quality if it means the guest is more relaxed and comfortable using Zoom rather than a different platform. (IT’S MINIMAL TO THE UNTRAINED AND NAKED EAR as long as you’ve got a good internet connection, you record locally, on seperate tracks !)


But with this, well I’ve got to make sure you can be part of it.


So how will I do that?


There’s a few options that I’ve been having a look at.


First off there’s Podbean Live Stream.This looks great and has a free level for you to take advantage of. Your guests can “call in” via the app and there's plenty of interaction in the chat. You can have different number of speakers on the different levels but even on the free version you can have four guests/co-hosts. That’s decent!

Podbean also provide sound effects and royalty free music for you to use. And there’s an option for your listeners to give you gifts via the podpoints - don’t worry it’s not some weird crypto currency scam.

You can schedule the live ahead of time and make it either a public link or an unlisted link that you share with those you want to share it with.

I’ve been having a play with this and it’s really good.


I’ve also looked at Spreaker - this is another podcast host/platform but it’s also one that is going to charge you! So for $7 a month you get 45 minutes of live stream podcast, if you want more than that you’re looking at $20 a month - but this does also include other things such as hosting your podcast.

I had to download the app to my computer compared to just using it online with Podbean. But like Podbean, Spreaker offers sound effects and a listener chat box.

I think I prefer Podbean to the Spreaker one, even though Spreaker looks a bit slicker.


Then there is Riverside.fm - I’m using Riverside.fm for recording a lot of my remote interviews at the moment and really enjoying it.

What I like about Riverside is that I can go in as a producer for clients and not get recorded! I also like the fact you can see each other but don’t have to record the video. I’ve also had good customer service from them. The downside is that you can only use Chrome and that has been tricky for some of my clients' guests.


Riverside.fm is a paid service - and that starts at $15 a month if you pay the year in full upfront.

As well as having audience members in your podcast recording you can also live stream it to wherever you livestream. And your audience gets to see you - which is the thing that (as far as I can tell from what I’ve had a play with) makes it different to the Podbean and Spreaker options. Now you may not want people to see you, but I think if you’re doing a virtual live - make it as real life live as possible. They can also “call in” and be on camera too. So I really like this option. You as host are in charge of letting the audience members come on or not - they have to type in their question and it pops up on your screen. No zoom bombing here! Or at least I hope not.

Riverside have also recently added a media board where you can upload your own tracks and sound effects and play them in live. This means I can pop my podcast intro and play it in real time which will make editing a piece of cake.


Personally I am going to use Riverside. Mainly because I’m already using it and I’m very comfortable with it and also because it has the video capabilities too.

But it was a close call between that and Podbean.


You could also use Zoom - either a “normal” call or in webinar setting. Or you could simply record a livestream video that you do on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or wherever you do that sort of thing.


So that’s the tech, what about the format?

Good question. And it’s one I’ve been thinking about a lot. Do I want to do a straight recording of a normal episode or do I make it a guest episode? Or should I just throw it open for questions from the audience?


I’ve gone backwards and forwards thinking about this. Because yes, this episode is for everybody - not just the people who show up. But the people who show up deserve a bit extra for their time. Well that’s what I think.

So for me I think the format will go something like this.


  1. Hello and welcome - housekeeping before I press record.

  2. Recording of “normal sounding podcast episode” warts and all. - this might get edited for publication depending on how much I go off script or how much I fail at talking.

  3. A chat about the episode topic with questions from the audience - this won’t make it on the public podcast - it will go to attendees separately.

  4. A general Q&A - from audience and submitted questions. If audience members don’t want there question on the episode it gets taken out. But in general this section will go public.

  5. A bit of a thank you from me

  6. Wine and chocolate.


I really think it’s important to recognise that the live audience has invested time (and potentially money if I do this again, or you’re thinking of doing this) and I want to make sure they get a return on that investment.


Concerns? I have a few.

I am nervous about this. Especially doing this virtually and making people sign up to take part.

I am worried we’re all Zoomed out. Zoom is the generic term for being in online events.

I’m worried people will think it’s a webinar and not turn up, or think it’s a webinar turn up and be disappointed.

I’m worried nobody will turn up and I’ll come on here and have to tell you. Yes I will be doing a podcast episode reflecting on the experience.

I’m worried nobody will have any questions to ask and the Q & A will be me making up questions from Jean in Fenton (this is a ridiculous inside joke that only a handful of people in the world will get but do feel free if you come along to ask me about Jean in Fenton. Or if you see me in real life.)

I’m worried the tech will fail.

I’m worried 4 weeks isn’t enough time for me to lose 4 stone (ha) - but in all seriousness there’s no filters on the camera and what if you all have this picture in your head of me and then you see lockdown lard Charlotte rather than the photos I use which were taken in 2019…


But here’s the thing, I’m not worried that I’ve got nothing to say and I’m not worried that what I have to say isn’t useful and valuable.

I also know the experience will be hugely beneficial to me and my clients.

And if I keep telling clients they have to get over their hang ups and do podcasting, then guess what? I have to push myself to get over my hang ups and do podcasting in a way I’ve not done before.


So now I have a bit of a plan - I need you. I need you to join my audience for the live recording of the podcast.


You can sign up here and I will love you forever if you do!





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