Waiting to be picked for that perfect presenter role?

Are you waiting for the phone to ring? Waiting to be chosen for that perfect role?

I just finished a wonderful book called “The Art of Creative Thinking” written by Rod Jenkins. One chapter “Be a generator” tells the story of an actor who hates having to audition because his fate was in other peoples hands. He realised it would be smarter to try and create a role and not wait for a director to pick one for him. The actor discovered an interesting book about a boxer that he thought could be the perfect vehicle for his talents. He believed this story needed to be told and he was the actor that would play him. After carrying the story around for months and showing it to an endless amount of people he eventually convinced a producer to finance the film and get it made. The story was Raging Bull, the actor was Robert De Niro. The rest they say is history.

Jenkins advice is clear.

“To produce anything worthwhile , you have to be proactive and generate it, not sit around and wait”

So if you are waiting for a producer to hand you that presenting role then you may be waiting a while. Here lies the beauty of podcasting. Create the show you would like to present. Get it out there and let the world hear it. Otherwise it will stay in your head and that’s never a great place to live.

Still waiting?

Go!

Photo by Jonathan Velasquez

What makes James Corden’s content such a success?

James Corden and the executive producers of ‘The Late Late Show’ Ben Winston, Mike Gibbons and Rob Crabbe understand how creative content works. In 17 months his show’s YouTube channel has attracted 7 million subscribers and notched up 1.7bn views worldwide, while his Britney Spears Carpool Karaoke is set to become the 33rd YouTube clip from the show to hit 10m+ views. In other words they understand the workings of a good feature and the needs of the viewer. In a recent interview in the Guardian newspaper Corden revealed a key point that as a content maker you should revisit time and time again.

“There’s a great bit in that Jerry Seinfeld doc where someone asks him if being famous helps with doing standup and trying new material, and he says: ‘I get three minutes of good grace from an audience whereas someone else gets 30 seconds, “We very much felt that we just had 30 seconds. So we knew we had to put a stake in the ground early and go: ‘We are a show where people come and do stuff.’ 

He adds.

“I genuinely couldn’t tell you how many people watch our show, because I feel like in this slot we’re not really in the ratings business, we’re just in the relevance business. My major ambition is just to stay relevant.”

Corden’s features always have a simple premise. He always gets straight to the point and he hops on relevant zeitgeist news stories straight away, putting his unique spin on them.

Audiences don’t want to waste time. How much grace have you earned?

You can read the full interview here

Views expressed do not represent the view of RTÉ.

@alanswan

The Crystal Ball of Content

One of my favourite podcasts is “An Irishman Abroad” produced and presented by Jarlath Regan.

His recent interview with comedian Dylan Moran really struck a chord with me and revealed a wonderful obeservation of what content makers should be looking for when seeking inspiration on what to talk about, what to write about.

“The universals are indeed the universals. They apply everywhere. What obsesses everyone is the same stuff. You know what? The best guide to … if you’re thinking of … sitting around thinking about what to write about. What can I talk about? I mean the what is a lot less important than the how most of the time anyway, but you know what the stuff that gets people directly? Or what engages nervous people is? It’s everything that someone would go and ask a fortune teller about.

What are they gonna ask an old lady with a crystal ball in a tent? It’s love, family, health, death, illness…  They’re all the things that the big engines turning in people”

And it’s true. The primal topics of family, relationships, love, death can provide so much content. It’s a brilliant yet simple observation from Moran. So what would you ask a fortune teller? That question could provide you with the inspiration for your next big piece of content.

Jarlath Regan’s full podcast is available here. I recommend his conversations with writer Louise O’Neill, broadcaster Baz Ashmawy and sportsman Ronan O’Gara.

Picture: The Amazing Zoltar by Nancy – I’m gonna SNAP! https://flic.kr/p/pPFjYg

Useful apps and tools to start podcasting

In the last few weeks I’ve had more and more people get in contact looking for advice on how to start a podcast. Below is some links to tools and apps that are easily available to set you on your way.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain 

The most important advice I can give to anyone who is looking to start a podcast is very simple. Just do it. You can procrastinate forever but if you have a topic or passion you want to podcast you really have to get your ducks in a row, record and release. From there you can re-edit, review and build on the initial recordings. The list below is short and sweet and will give you tools you need to get started quickly.

On the other hand if you’re looking for advice on producing a more advanced podcast/series or coaching on how to conduct a interview, get in touch by tweeting me @alanswan

LINKS

Even though this article is a year old Lifehacker’s guide is one of the best.

Hosting your podcast can be simply done via Soundcloud or Libsyn

To record Skype calls or video chats I use Total Recorder For Mac users try eCamm

I edit my podcasts on Adobe Audition but you could use a free piece of software called Audacity

For a recording microphone direct via USB into your laptop I highly recommend the Technica ATR2100

Or if you’re on the move the Zoom is the best portable recording set up you can get.

To clean up the levels of your audio Auphonic is a automatic audio post production web service for podcasts, broadcasters, radio shows, movies, screencasts and more.

Photo credit: Patrick Breitenbach