Lessons Learned From My First Podcast

I’m in the middle of cooking dinner, and so I need to make this short. Lucky you. Still, I do have value to offer my nameless brethren out there in the early stages of building a creative enterprise. Everybody has a first podcast.

And Jan Swift, host of the Discover Lafayette, was my first. If South Louisiana culture is your thing, then you care about Lafayette. And if you care about the Hub City, you need to know this podcast. Just take a look at the archives. It’s a rolodex (remember those?) of influential denizens of Lafayette.

And then there’s me. Check it out. Jason on Discover Lafayette with Jan Swift

What a wonderful first podcast experience! Jan and I talked for more than an hour, most of which ended up in the final broadcast. I could go on and on about Jan. In fact, in last week’s blog I even confessed to a bit of a crush . . . but the carrots are caramelising and I still have to check on my pork, so let’s get on with it.

Know Your Talking Points. One thing I found doing my outreach and engagements for New Bayou Books is that you’re often given very broad prompts to speak. Not every question is a finely pointed one . . . sometimes the basic idea is “tell me about this”, and you have to just start talking in a coherent fashion. If I had not already grown very comfortable with my main message for New Bayou Books, I might’ve faltered. Know your talking points.

Sit Up Straight. I have a bad habit of slouching, and that leads to problems. Aside from the fact that slouchers tend to be poorly regarded in personal interactions (I’m serious–look it up), there’s a practical matter. When you sit up nice and straight, you can breathe more deeply from the belly. And this is a better way to power your voice. It also looks better on camera.

Hydrate, Take Your Nootropics, and Watch the Caffeine. Hydration and bladder control are a delicate balance, but it’s very important to keep your whistle wet. Start your hydration before the taping, so your body is primed. Also, I took a handful of Alpha Brain about 30 minutes before I went in there, and I definitely felt like it helped. Like the pre-game water regiment, I started my caffeine intake early . . . but unlike the H20, I made a point to err on the stingy side. You’ll already be amped from the experience, so go easy on the java. Too much of that will get you stuttering.

Take Your Cues from the Host (and Research Never Hurt). Every show has its own vibe. So pay attention to the social cues the host is giving you. If it’s a classy vibe, maybe save that Tijuana story for another time. Know what I mean? And of course, it just makes sense to listen to a few episodes before you go in there. You want to be yourself, of course . . . but we all have different versions of us, so read the room and adjust accordingly.

Leave Your Phone in the Car! I don’t even usually walk around with a phone, so I was doubly mortified when, a good 20 minutes into my discussion with Jan, the phone in my backpack started ringing. Why I brought the damn thing into the studio is beyond me. Next time, it stays in the car.

Okay. Time to open the wine! Thanks for reading.

Published by New Bayou Books

JR Reed started New Bayou Books to spark a revolution in Louisiana literature. The goal of the company is simple: to great writers out of the shadows to carry on the Louisiana literary tradition.

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