The people who host the top-rated shows of the world share the same skill: they all know how to write.
Whether you’re making an interview podcast or a themed fiction show, it’s important to work on your writing skills.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular hosts that are active right now:
Karen Kilgariff (My Favourite Murder):
- Television Producer
Joe Rogan (The Joe Rogan Experience):
- Stand-up comedian
- UFC interviewer and sportscaster
- TV show host
Catherine Townsend (Hell and Gone)
- Licensed private investigator
Joe Nocera (The Shrink Next Door):
- Published author and business journalist
- Bloomberg Opinion Columnist
- Pulitzer Prize for Best Columnist
Peter Gwin & Amy Briggs (Overheard at National Geographic):
- Peter: Writer and editor
- Amy: executive editor of National Geographic History magazine; author.
Some of these shows don’t even follow a script. But good writers are ultimately good listeners. Good listeners attract others like them. And they always know what’s the right thing to say.
So where do other podcasters fail?
The lack of transparency. Simple as that. And as a beginner, it’s normal to follow the misconception that professional podcasters need to be super cautious and fancy.
Ultimately, a good podcast host needs to make it feel like they’re friends with you. Good friends are not only good at listening, but you find them inspiring.
Take the advice from a master podcaster:
My Favorite Murder is a podcast born out of a late-night conversation at a Halloween party when two women realized that they shared a similar obsession with lurid true-crime stories.
The host (and natural born podcaster) Karen Kilgariff, has some words to live by: “There’s nothing better than a personal story. I want to talk about the things that people don’t think you’re allowed to talk about.”
Ultimately, if you’re just repeating what everyone else is saying, why should people be listening to you?
Six memos from a legendary writer and journalist:
In 1985, Ítalo Calvino, one of the most translated Italian writers in history, wrote a wonderful book for aspiring writers called Six Memos For The Next Millennium. It’s based on a series of lectures that he was meant to have at Harvard.
In it, he establishes six key points that should be central to your written work. They fit perfectly for podcast development too, so we changed the words “writer” and “literature” for “podcaster” and “podcasting”. Yes, we believe podcasting is a type of literature.
- Lightness: Another way to talk about transparency. He encourages us to avoid the influence of the world’s heaviness, inertia and opacity and lean to the seamless, light and noble power of imagination, accepting what it has to offer. As Paul Valerý said “One should be light like a bird, and not like a feather.”
- Quickness: Speed does not take away the essence of the act, but rather the opposite: the less thinking it takes, the sharper and more powerful the scene that is formed.
- Exactitude: There is an image waiting to awaken in the imagination of any of us and the (podcaster’s) job is to find the right key, the precise order, the right combinations and the ideal extension so that language and idea merge into a single thing.
- Visibility: “If I have included visibility in my list of values to be saved, it’s to warn of the danger of losing a fundamental human faculty: the power to focus visions with eyes closed, to make colors and shapes sprout with the alignment of words.”
- Multiplicity: “Since science is suspicious of general explanations and solutions that are not specific and specialized, the great challenge of (podcasting) is to be able to weave together the various forms of knowledge and concepts into a plural, networked vision of the world.”
You may notice there’s a missing one, and it’s ‘consistency’, but unfortunately the writer died before finishing this piece. Now that’s a good story, huh?
If there’s something we can’t stress enough when giving advice on podcasting, it’s that consistency is everything.
Be still, and check out our blog post on how to avoid podfading and learn some hacks to play the long-game in this business.
If you want to know more about how to write a good podcast that gets listeners hooked, check out our post on how to make a storytelling podcast
Get in touch with nodalab to produce your own professional podcast today!