Editing can literally make or break your podcast.
Frequently we will check out a new podcast and can immediately tell that no editing has taken place.
A lot of people consider podcast editing to be adding your opening and closing songs and maybe an ad here or there, but it is so much more.
Whenever we are editing a podcast there are four major things we look for:
1) The Dreaded Umms and Ahhs
It’s natural for us to make a noise while we’re processing a thought. It happens constantly in conversations be it among friends, at work or while doing an interview. However just because we all make those noises does not mean they have a place in a podcast. It will always be worth taking the extra time to remove as many of these noises as possible.
2) Awkward Silences
There are countless podcasts we’ve recorded or hosted where there is a pause or an awkward silence as the host tries to figure out the next place the conversation should go. You would have a difficult time figuring out what episode those silences occurred on. These are the easiest things to edit out of a show and that’s why it’s always extra confusing when we find that people haven’t bothered to remove these silences.
3) Starting and Restarting Thoughts
No one expects your conversation to be as structured and flawless as a well crafted stage play, but when you’re recording you can make yourself feel well structured in the edit. Frequently we will hear hosts say things “So … do you… I mean, in your career, have you ever , you know like… actually here’s how I’m gonna ask this; when did you know that this was the career you wanted to pursuit”.
It might take a few minutes to chop and build the sentence but there’s no reason to release the audio like that when you can simply make it “So when did you know this was the career you wanted to pursuit”. Audiences don’t want to hear your thought process to the question, they just want to hear the question.
When you’re recording a podcast be it a conversation with your cohost or an interview with a guest not everything that is discussed is worth releasing. Editing for content is the most difficult to do and will take time learning your audience and what they find interesting. Your show may hinge on tangents and the comic back and forth on that tangent. It’s fine to stray from a topic on your show, but if the tangent isn’t as funny as you had hoped or doesn’t ultimately add value to discussion it needs to go.
Anyone can edit; you can find inexpensive programs and practice will make perfect. Next week however we will discuss why it always makes sense to outsource your editing.