I’ve spent the entire morning catching up on the podcasts I subscribe to. When I have the time, I’ll also go out and check out who’s new on the scene. I’ll subscribe to a feed, listen to one or two podcasts and make a quick decision on whether or not I’ll continue with this author. Because there are soooo many great content providers, we all have the luxury of being super critical on where we spend our precious time. Here are some of my filters:
- The person must be connected, relevant, intelligent and informative. This is filter #1. If the first author doesn’t meet this criteria, I quickly hit the delete button.
- The person has a voice, powerful opinions and is carving out their own niche in the world. Me-toos don’t cut it for me.
- The feed isn’t too long. I’ve only kept one feed that regularly goes over 30 minutes because the author jam packs the cast with great, valuable content. Not many people can do that. Most podcasters would be better served to keep their casts to less than 15-20 minutes.
A new addition to my list (as of this morning) is whether the person can speak. I listened to a West Coast social media podcaster this morning and although she passed muster for the above criteria, I had to delete her feed because it was agonizing to listen to for any stretch. Two full podcasts was my limit. It was a continuous stream of “uhs”, “ums”, “ands”, mouth smacking, and just general filler while her brain scrambled for the next idea on which to ramble. OK content … terrible presentation. YIKES!
I was at a seminar in Boston a couple of months ago and the speaker was so bad that several people got up and left the room in the middle of his talk. The remainder of the crowd (around 100 or so) stayed put but got increasingly anxious and restless. Most certainly, few of them will attend this speaker’s sessions in the future.
The difference between the two scenarios is the “in person” speaker has the luxury of watching people get up and leave the room. Whether they do something about this is up to them. The podcaster, however, will likely never know if people quickly unsubscribe from their feed.
This, however, can be remedied! … For several years now I’ve been – off and on – involved with Toastmaster’s International. Toastmasters is an organization dedicated to helping professionals improve their speaking skills … as well as listening and thinking. There are clubs all over the world. If you’re going to seriously get into podcasting and you have no experience in public speaking, then I strongly recommend finding a Toastmasters club near you and honing your speaking skills. Your audience will love you for it!