Want to Start a Podcast? Here Are Some Basics to Get You Started.

Getting Started

Max Huber from the Masonic Cancer Center shares his tips on podcasting.

A great place to start is to come up with the theme or topic that will be covered in your podcast. Workshop some ideas with your colleagues or start an idea board of what your podcast team could cover and talk about.

You’ll also want to consider the style of your show. Some of the main styles include: solo, group chat, interview, storytelling, or a combination of those.

Another thing to consider is the ideal length for your episodes and your intended audience. You can find many quick-hitter podcasts that last around 3 to 5 minutes, while others cover swaths of information in one sitting and last hours. Think about how you want to portray your expertise and get your message across in the time that makes significant sense.

The last thing to really get started is the podcast name. You should find something that melds with the brand your team is already portraying and is easy to remember. This is another great workshopping opportunity, and don’t forget to do your research to see if there are other podcasts out there that share the same or similar names.

Equipment and Software

Podcasting equipment doesn’t need to be expensive. You can go that route, but if you want to test the waters and determine if this is the right thing to do, there are some affordable and readily available options.

The first thing you will need is some sort of audio recording equipment, such as a portable audio recorder, computer desktop recording tools, or even your cell phone. With that you will also want to determine if you need a separate microphone or two. If you determined earlier that you want to do a group chat style podcast, one microphone will likely not be enough.

With your microphone you should look at a windscreen or microphone muff to cut down on the hard sounds and pops from your speakers.

If you want to have video capabilities and turn your idea into a vlog or video series, you will want to get a camera setup. You can also use your computer for much of this (audio and video recording) and will also need that handy for the software side of things.

You will need to edit your podcast, host it on a platform for sharing and user consumption, and if you need music or sound effects, you will need to download some content. The University has some great stock content resources and there are plenty of other options out there.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t be afraid of editing
  • Have a script and or questions
    • But don’t be afraid to go with the flow
  • Check your audio levels via tests
  • Keep water handy so you don’t get parched
  • Practice, practice, practice!

There are plenty of options out there and lots of campus-wide experts who can help guide you through the process. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at mjhuber@umn.edu. Good luck!