You’ve got the BEST idea for a new podcast. You’ve reviewed all the tech information. You’ve purchased a great microphone. You’ve got some great editing software that you’ve tinkered with. And, you’ve got a great podcast host lined up. You’re all set to do it! You’re going to record your podcast.

You sit down at your computer. You hit that record button. And, now what?

Ever had one of those moments where you have so much to say that you’re not sure where to start? You just sit there. Quietly. Thoughts race through your head while you try to figure out exactly what you want to say.

We have all had those moments, so it’s okay to admit it.

Podcasting, much like blogging and social media integration requires some prep. Podcasting is more than just sitting down in front of a computer (or smartphone) and recording audio. It’s more than the tech. It’s about getting your voice, your idea out there. In order to make sure you’re sending the right message, it’s important to know exactly what you want your message to be.

Think back to that awkward high school speech you had to give. You spent a few weeks working on the statistics, and the facts, and the pros and cons. You carefully worked through your presentation. And, you probably used some cue cards and bullet points as part of your outline.

Podcasting is pretty much the same thing. You need to know what you’re going to be talking about before you can talk about it. Sure, a lot of podcasters have a general discussion. It’s not like podcasts are completely scripted. However, podcasters generally have a plan or a list of topics they can talk about. They’re looking to fill a 15-minute chat to an hour or more.

So, how do you plan your podcast?

We previously talked about planning out your social media using a social media calendar. Much in the same vein (but probably more like mapping your high school speech), you should plan out your podcast. There are plenty of planning sheets out there if you look for them. Myself, I am a huge fan of the Blubrry notes pads that they brought to previous Podcamp Pittsburgh events that they have sponsored. (There’s a picture of one of them on their website at: https://create.blubrry.com/manual/podcast-promotion/promotional-materials/)

If you’re podcasting with remote co-hosts, a paper planner probably isn’t the best idea. For in-house podcasts through Sorgatron Media, we utilize Google Docs as an easy way for co-hosts to share and collaborate for our discussions. AwesomeCast, for instance, usually has 3-4 co-hosts. Each person includes an Awesome Thing of the Week – something they found new and interesting in tech. Our Google Doc lists the co-host’s name, so we know who will be talking about that particular item. It includes a link to the news source or content they are sharing for the week. And, it includes a brief description of the item.

We also include news stories and articles for the week – again, identifying the name of the person who included it so they can talk about that particular item of interest. There are some weeks that we get through all of the content. There are others that we hit upon a fraction of the stories we have tagged. The key is that we have a list of topics so that we’re not stumbling to find something to talk about while we’re recording our podcast. It helps to keep the show flowing and moving a bit more naturally.

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