Are You Freestyle Or Scripted Podcasting?

Filed as News on May 3, 2007 8:16 am

A client of mine wants to add a podcast to his blog.

“I want to just talk to my readers”.

Hmmm. Should I recommend that he just “talk to his readers”? What do you think?

Knowing how “well” he speaks in public, I told him that he should have a script, at least some bullet points before he begins. He should make a few test runs before he plunges full into podcasting to see if he likes it and it really says what he wants it to say.

“But that’s work!”

Guess what, folks? Blogging, be it podcasting, video blogging, or just writing in your blog is work, if your blog is your business and you want to make money with your blog, and you want people to listen as well as read. It’s fun, but it is also work.

A podcast can be a rambling diary as you talk your way through your day, work, or life. It can also have structure and form, an outline of what you want to say and the points you want to make along the way.

Which do you enjoy listening to?

The key to a good podcast is having it scripted in some form. The key to a successful podcast is making it sound as if it is NOT scripted.

That’s the tricky part.

Blogging is communication. It is the sharing of your thoughts and ideas to express yourself and make a point or two. As you write, you can edit, changing a point here and there, fixing a word, a bit of grammar, and really arranging the words so they say what you want them to say.

What pops out of your mouth is rarely edited, is it?

Spontaneity is great, but not when spontaneity is filled with ums, ahs, buts, ergs, and you knows. Sometimes, what you want to say takes a lot of saying before you say it right. Think of the last time you had an idea you wanted to convey. Did you just spout it perfectly out of your mouth or did you mash the words around, trying new ideas left and right to see how it would sound best?

Many are nervous or uncomfortable talking to “themselves” in an empty room. I’ve tried to convince many “old timers” to share their precious stories on a tape recorder only to be told that they couldn’t tell the stories unless they had an audience. A tape recorder wasn’t an audience. My father said, “I feel stupid talking to the air!” His stories are now lost, only in my head and through the few times I recorded him when he wasn’t paying attention. Podcasting is no different. It sounds great until you start doing it, and then it’s a bit intimidating or uncomfortable talking without someone to recieve and respond. A script will help you get past the initial nervousness.

Once you become comfortable talking to an empty room for your podcast, you can rely less upon a set script, letting the monologue flow.

Do you script, or not script, your podcasts? Are you a freestyle podcaster? Any tips or techniques to suggest to others who want to start exploring this new dimension in blogging?


Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on .

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  1. By Larry Hendrick posted on May 3, 2007 at 10:34 am
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    Lorelle, For my podcast, I have winged it, prepared bullet points and written full scripts all with varying degree of success.

    Now the caveats … I usually do one or two run-throughs before the final recording. This means even the “winging it” casts were rehearsed to some degree and I always have a narrow topic defined in my head before beginning.

    The best casts? That’s easy. The ones with the best preparation, no doubt. A written script, practiced several times, tweaked here and there, then recorded. It can still sound natural and spontaneous. That’s what practice is all about. A prepared script also allows a certain amount of flexibility, but keeps everything on track. I think most of us tend to wander in our thoughts and speech if it’s not reined in, someway.

  2. By Nicholas posted on May 3, 2007 at 1:01 pm
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    You’re right Lorelle, bullet points on a podcast is more professional and in the end, your listeners will thank you for it.

    Even professional radio stations have pre-production meetings in order to sort out the flow of the show.

    It sounds easy, but it’s not.

    Yes, you have a script, but that’s just the flow of the show. The conversation can be as free flowing as you need it to be.