When I started producing my podcast last year, I didn’t know much about it. In fact, besides listening to other podcasts, there was nothing much to it. And I remember thinking that it is probably a very easy thing to do. All I need to do is record an interview, do some minor editing, and upload it on the platform. But, just that, it wasn't that easy.
Many things influence the quality of the podcast, and I may have made countless mistakes along the way. But the more I learned, the more I started to understand. So, let’s talk about five of them today.
The first thing I learned is that it is not about producing content.
Podcasting can be more than producing content.
For most people, a podcast is just another form of content. They want to record the podcast, chop it up in multiple bite-sized pieces and use it for their social media.
But in my experience, thinking that way was quite distracting. It could have severely limited my conversations with my guests. Because doing that means our questions become more focussed on producing soundbites rather than genuinely understanding someone’s point of view.
I think content can be the by-product, not the main goal.
Content is the by-product, not the main goal.
Once we are on a quest like a podcast or something similar, usually we start checking around for some advice and inspiration. But many people emphasized too much on gear and equipment, whether it was cameras, fancy microphones, headsets, etc.
The thing is less is more - minimal equipment is good enough. With less equipment, I had to bother less about technicalities. I focused more on conversation, learning, and understanding the next person. It also meant that my guests or I did not have to go through a long ordeal of settings things up for an inordinate amount of time.
When it comes to equipment, less is more.
The third thing that was put to the test was adaptability. Talking about adaptability is one thing, but things get real when the rubber hits the road. And that’s when we can truly practice adaptability.
And as life goes, not every interview went to the plan. Sometimes it was due to time constraints, and sometimes, it was due to a mismatch of objectives. So being flexible and steering the conversation to make the most out of it was more sensible. If I had remained adamant about how I wanted the conversation to go, I would have ended with nothing or, worse, a helter-skelter conversation.
Being flexible and steering the conversation is important.
It is easy to fall into the trap of content creation and keep producing podcast after podcast after podcast. But listening to my own podcasts and reflecting on what I heard was highly useful for two reasons.
First, I could spot my little mistakes and improve upon them continuously. Second, I could absorb those learnings at a much deeper level and quote them when applicable in my own work. And doing that helped me increase my knowledge base. It also helped to increase the body of knowledge on that subject.
Regularly reflect on the work being done or produced.
And finally, the fifth thing I learned was not to be transactional. This is the key one because some people are more interested in clocking the count of podcasts they appear on. It may very well be their goal. But I feel that when two people talk, we should have a conversation.
I reckon “Success can be achieved with one conversation at a time. Because in the end, meaningful relationships and connections do matter. And to get to those connections, we need meaningful conversations. So if you want to get to the core of what someone is really about, then ask them this one question: What is the most important conversation of your life?” Being less transactional and more conversational is the key.
Avoid being transactional. Have a conversation.
I was very fortunate because the podcast had an audience from over fifty-nine countries and 383 cities to this date. And it is growing, slowly but steadily.
So, considering all the learning and experience, I feel better than before. And very soon, I will be producing another season of the ICT podcast. The podcast is all about innovation, communication, technology and everything that converges on them. I will bring you more tips, stories, perspectives, and insights so you can improve various aspects of your life.