Getting Ready for Your First Podcast Recording Call

We’re looking forward to your first recording call! To help things run as smoothly as possible, we’ve pulled together some tips and recommendations related to technology requirements and your recording environment.

Preparing For Your Recording Session

Prior to our recording session, we will send you an email with the two topics we are scheduled to record as well as a summary of the key talking points we plan to cover.

This is your opportunity to review those items and make any changes or additions you would like to see. We budget about 10 minutes prior to recording each episode to discuss the talking points and review any last minute requirements.

Here are a few other items you may want to consider prior to each recording session:

  1. If the episode recaps a past event, consider spending some time re-living the event and jotting down key details, stories, or emotions you want to share
  2. If there are specific resources you want to share during the episode, it is helpful to have those blog post titles, URLs, or other naming conventions ready beforehand. We will also link to these resources in the show notes.
  3. If there is a specific call to action or resource you want to offer listeners during a particular episode, consider creating a dedicated form/landing page/URL that is easy to communicate verbally and is easy for listeners to remember when they get back to their computer.
  4. Review your schedule for the day of the recording sessions and plan ahead for the technological and logistical requirements of preparing for the meeting (more information on this below).
  5. Most important of all – RELAX! Preparation is important, but we want to tell your story in an organic way. Nobody knows your business as well as you do, so do what comes naturally to you and the end result will be both informative and entertaining for listeners.

Fine-Tuning Your Recording Environment

Here are a few tips for identifying and preparing a recording space that will help us capture high quality audio and video:

  • Seek out a recording space that is quiet, private, and will help you avoid interruptions.
  • VIDEO: If we are recording a video version of your podcast, consider the environment around you, especially the items behind you. You want your background to be simple and tasteful so that it doesn’t distract attention away from your face when you’re speaking.
  • The ideal lighting arrangement is plenty of natural light originating from somewhere behind the camera and pointing toward your face. If that’s not possible, the next best option is artificial light from an overhead fixture or lamps that are also positioned to the side and behind the camera.
  • Take a selfie. If you look good there, you’ll look good on camera!
  • If you are using your computer during the session, please turn off all notifications to avoid potential distractions/interruptions. This can be done with a tool like www.muzzleapp.com or controlled through your computer’s notification settings.
  • You will also want to prevent your computer from going into ‘sleep’ or ‘rest’ mode. This can be done through your computer’s settings, usually in the ‘Power Management’ or ‘Battery Settings’ menu.
  • You should also consider plugging your computer into a power source for the duration of the recording to avoid running out of battery. Cameras, microphones, video feeds, and recording software can demand a lot of power over a 1.5-hour session.
  • Place your phone or any other noise-making devices on ‘silent’ for the duration of the session. You may even want to place them out of the way on a soft surface so that any accidental vibrations don’t distract you or create background noise for the recording.

All About Technology

Microphone (Required)

  • Nothing fancy is needed. Microphones that are built into your laptop or headphones will suffice.
  • Preferred: Using a microphone specifically designed for audio recording can greatly improve the audio quality of your show. We typically use (and recommend) something like the Audio Technica ATR-2100 USB microphone.

Headphones (Optional)

  • Headphones are not required, but they can make a dramatic difference in the quality of recorded audio by filtering out background noise and echoes in most recording situations.
  • Something as simple as a standard set of iPhone earbuds can be a great option.

Video Camera (If Necessary)

  • Required: Only for podcasts that also have a video element, you will want to use a laptop with a built-in camera.
  • Preferred: Using an external USB camera can greatly improve the quality of the video that is captured during a recording session. We sometimes use (and recommend) something like the Logitech C922 webcam as a suitable option.
  • There are many external USB web cameras on the market. For the most part, any camera that offers ‘Full HD’ or ‘1080p’ recording will be an upgrade over the camera that is included with your laptop.

Recording Software

  • Preferred: We prefer to use Skype as our conference call facilitation and recording software. In our experience, it has better connectivity and higher quality call recording than competitors.
  • Alternative: We will also use Zoom as an alternative solution for clients who strongly prefer to use it over Skype or who don’t have access to Skype due to their location.