In early 2007, I happened to come across a website called Talkshoe.com. This site makes it easy as one, two, three to put together your own podcast, recorded live in front of an audience that if they choose, can interact with you live through chat or by calling in, sort of like AM Talk radio. I’m a talk radio junkie so when I discovered that I could just as easily have my own talk radio show broadcast online without the need of licensing or FCC approval, I was stoked.
Even though the technical aspects of putting a show together were at a minimum on Talkshoe, my biggest barrier to entry was myself. I’ve never been a fan of speaking in front of an audience. I have proof of this considering I failed Speech class in high school! However, I did manage to do a few things to help ease me into having my own show.
Listen To Many Shows – One thing I did was listen to a wide variety of shows on Talkshoe.com. I was interested in knowing if everyone who produced a podcast on the site did so in a professional manner. I was quick to find out that this was not the case. While some shows did feature a host who apparently had some sort of radio experience, most Talkshoe hosts were made up of your average joe who thought it was fun to have a voice of their own online.
Establish Friendships – While listening to a wide variety of shows, I happen to come across a few that I really enjoyed. Each time they began recording, I hung out in their chat room participating in their conversation. Eventually, chat simply wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to chime in with my voice. Thanks to the kindness of the show hosts, they walked me through the various ways in which I could connect to the show and participate. They also showed me the ins and outs of the Talkshoe service.
Listen To Yourself – This is one of the tougher things for an individual to do. Just like some actors who hate watching themselves perform on the big screen, many people don’t like listening to themselves on a recording. I am one of those people. The first time I listened to a recorded show that I participated in, I cringed at the sound of my voice and how I presented myself. However, doing this has allowed me to tap into the perspective that my audience has and I have since improved my ability to present information as well as clarify my speech. Once you learn to relax and get over hearing yourself speak, take that opportunity to improve upon your spoken word.
Those three steps really helped me to start podcasting on my own. However, there is one last major hurdle that I had to leap over before I hit the record button and that is, my fear of speaking in front of an audience. Now even though I would be speaking from my room, not exactly in front of an audience, the feeling of fear and nervousness usually beat out my ambitions to do a show of my own. However, after dialing into a few shows and talking with other hosts and in front of other people, this really helped to put my fears aside and to just jump right in. With the help of a few friends and some words of encouragement, I eventually started my own podcast on Talkshoe and I’m still going strong.
Podcasting has enabled me to talk to my audience on a personal level while establishing connections with a greater reach. While blog commenting, sending emails back and forth, and tweeting 140 character messages are all fine and dandy, nothing beats communicating in real time through the spoken word. If you’ve been sitting on the fence trying to decide whether you should have a podcast of your own, I recommend going for it. This is a new age where you don’t have to be a professional in order to succeed. Also considering the barrier to entry is minimal, what do you have to lose?
Do you have a podcast that is either separate or part of your site? Link it to me in the comments.