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POSTED 29.6.2020

How to make a successful podcast

There is nothing like a good chat to bring people together – and Irish people sure like a good chat. The country loves its radio. And that’s why podcasting has become such a useful storytelling tool, helping brands to connect with their audiences.

When people talk about things that matter, there is an emotional connection that holds the listener. Radio can be a powerful experience when a compelling story or a good anecdote is unfolding.

Professional broadcasters do not make programmes for the sake of it. Each broadcast has a purpose, each guest has a role to play, every second on air must count. The broadcast also knows its audience.

You must remember these simple rules if you are contemplating making a podcast. Without purpose, things will quickly run into trouble and you will be left with a recording that has been poorly executed.

There are a few common traps. The most common and costliest error is dullness. Often, the subject matter is stiflingly dull, the questions are terrible, and the answers go on and on. Corporate jargon – like a death blanket – suffocates the conversation.

To compound matters, there is often no podcast promotion = nobody knows it is out there.

Why are they called podcasts? It’s simply because the first broadcasts were made to be listened to on Apple iPods – nowadays people listen to their favourite broadcasts on all sorts of devices.

There are a few simple steps you can take to make a successful podcast.

1. Know who your audience is

What is the purpose of the podcast? Who is it aimed at? What do you want people to do? Is it offering added value and showcasing what you do?

2. Pick presenters and guests who can tell a story

You never put people on the radio who cannot talk – the presenter is left drawing blood from a stone.

3. Change things up

Make your podcast subjects quirky and interesting and do not use it as direct vehicle to sell people things. Listeners will hate it.

4. Keep it tight

Nobody has time. We think a perfect podcast is between 25 and 45 minutes: enough to listen to it during a car journey or while out for a good walk.

5. Use proper equipment and editing

The professional polish will pay off and take care of those unwanted rough edges.

6. Promote the podcast

Let people know the podcast is out there, use your social media channels and build your audience.

7. Listen!

Some recent podcasts for clients including SIF Ireland and Sligo Chamber focused on conversations with key leaders in business.


ESG Stories: Adventures in Responsible Investing: a leadership series by SIF Ireland, features stories from the rapidly evolving ESG space. You can listen to episode one, featuring one of Ireland’s leading advocates for sustainable finance, Stephen Nolan and AIB’s Colin Hunt here.

Life is Sligo: by Sligo Chamber, shares topical opinions, boardroom insights and chats with some of Sligo’s most inspiring business leaders. Listen to episode one featuring Richard Kennedy, CEO, Devenish Nutrition and Sligo Chamber CEO, Aidan Doyle here.

If you would like help in producing an interesting podcast for your business, give us a call. We provide a one-stop service with a Podcast Plan that includes everything you need to get your podcast up and running. Email info@storylab.ie