Creating my first podcast was a rather daunting task for this perfectionist, one that justified several days of angst and procrastination. I love to write, but for some reason the thought of taking an idea, writing an outline, and then recording myself presenting it seemed intimidating at first. When I finally resigned myself to the task, I discovered that the microphone I had borrowed didn’t work. After making a trip to the mall to purchase one of my own, there were no excuses left.
In order to give my podcast the feel of a “real” show, I decided it should have an introduction. Since my work is about holistic healing, I felt it was appropriate to use nature sounds instead of music for my background. After poking around on several websites looking for the perfect free audio clip, I found a selection with a stream and some birdsong that I felt would work well. I recorded myself doing my intro speech of 25 seconds or so, and then the challenge really began. I had to learn how to select 30 seconds from the 17 minutes of nature sounds, and cut that file to size. Then I had to experiment with the sound levels so that the nature sounds faded into the background when I was speaking, returned to a louder volume when I was done, and then gently faded out at the end. Thank goodness for YouTube and various how-to guides on Audacity!
After spending probably 3 hours on my 30-second introduction, I was ready for the actual podcast. I decided to draft an outline instead of creating a full-on script, although the outline was very detailed. I found myself reading it verbatim at some points, but tried to make my voice natural and conversational. I actually only recorded myself once! A great deal of editing needed to be done though, since unfortunately I am suffering from a cold right now. I learned how to cut out those annoying parts where you could hear me wheeze between sentences or sniff delicately. When I listened through the final version I thought I had sewn it together rather nicely, but when I listened to it again after posting it to PodOmatic a couple parts seemed a little choppy. 😦 Live and learn, right? I managed to resist the urge to figure out how to insert a second or two into those parts where it seemed to jump from one sentence right to the next.
Once the recording was done (and my husband had reassured me several times that it sounded good and that nature sounds were fine) I went to the PodOmatic website to upload it. Creating a profile, adding a picture of myself, adding a cover picture for the podcast, and finally uploading the file took another chunk of time, but in the end I felt really proud of my creation!
The whole process turned out to be very valuable for me. First of all, it exposed me to some new hardware and software, and now that I know the basics of using Audacity and have got everything set up on PodOmatic I am sure my next podcast will be a lot less time-consuming to create and post. Second, it gave me confidence in my speaking abilities. Surprisingly, by the time I posted the final product online, I had gone from feeling terrified that people I know would actually listen to my podcast, to deciding to share it on Facebook and asking my friends to check it out! Finally, it got me thinking about how I could use podcasting as an effective tool in promoting my business (more on that in another post).