Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lessons Learnt

From my first podcast interview

I did my first podcast interview with Kiruba Shankar yesterday. It was a great learning experience for me and enjoyed the whole process thoroughly. Looking back, there are several things I could have done better and differently. Here is my list, appreciate your thoughts as well:
  1. Have the Questions handy and readable: I had a set of questions printed and available, but couldn't find good way to refer to that during the interview. The font size was too small and I just couldn't glance at it and get to the question. So, my questions were more from what I remembered and were kind of ad-hoc.
  2. prioritize the Questions: I had a bunch of questions I wanted to ask but didn't prioritize them. Hence the result was that I missed out on several questions which I thought were important and asked a few questions that weren't even on the list.
  3. Become familiar with the recording tool: I used audacity to record our chat but wasn't too familiar with it. I should have played with it some more before the actual session.
  4. Get better Mics: Sujatha emphasized it in her chat with Kiruba, but I just didn't realize the impact of it till I did my first full fledged recording.
  5. Make the conversation casual: When I listened to the podcast today, I realized that I was perhaps stiff in some places. Need to learn to relax and get the interviewee relaxed as well and make the conversation as casual as possible. That's when the best conversations happen.
  6. Put more focus on the intro: I struggled with this one quite a bit. I tried to do it impromptu and tried several times. I should finalized the intro in the paper form first and record after that.
  7. Plan the closing remarks as well: I was completely unprepared for the closing and when the moment came, I just winged it and it shows.
  8. Have watch on the Watch: I wanted to limit the interview to 15 - 20 minutes, but went over by 3 minutes. I should plan to have some visual cues that can alert me as I reach the end.
  9. Ask crisp questions: I should have planned a little more so that my questions were crisp and to the point. In a few places, my questions were rambling.
  10. Anything that you can think off?: Would very much appreciate your feedback as well on making my future podcasts better, slimmer and tighter. Also, if you have any suggestions on interviewees, drop a line as well.


  1. 1. Invest in some good hardware(mics , amp).
    2. Intro music would make it more lively.
    3. Finish with what's on the next episode, again with BGM
    4. Publish a teaser.
    5. Questions - Ask about other interests, for e.g You could've asked Kiruba to narrate an interesting incident that happenned on his daily cycle trip.
    6. Another interesting format would be to have other people call in with questions.
    7. You could have two people express their thoughts on a common subject. Make sure they fight over it.
    8. Get views on a current topic from the man/woman (girl !!) on the streets.
    9. Setup a lemonade stand and let a bunch of kids sell it. Have a few of your friends try get the lemonade for free and see how the kids handle them.
    10. Can you get "S.Ve Shekar" ?.

  2. Hi Ram,

    Good start. Hope you continue doing podcast.
    Your voice was not that audible compared to Kiruba's

  3. Prem
    Thanks for suggestions for improvment.. I will try to get S.Ve.Shekar.

    Thanks.. I am hoping to continue.. I will definitely try..

  4. Hi Ram, It was an interesting podcast. Some suggestions from my side :-
    1) Your voice was very feeble whereas Kiruba's voice was very loud. So while hearing, I had to adjust the volume accordingly.
    2) Interviews are great. You can also try conversations. Take a common topic which interests you as well as the other person . Discussions would be more appealing.

  5. Hi Ram, well done...for the first attempt the podcast was just superb!! Repeating a few others - your voice was quite feeble, if u could improve on this next time, would be great. Also pls think about podcasting in tamil, and people like S.Ve Shekar, Sujatha - I know he refused, can't you try one more time....

  6. Anu & Nima

    Thanks for your encouraging words.. I will check my voice level next time around..
    I am trying to get in touch SV Shekhar and will plan to do that one in Tamil..

    I have tried Sujatha a couple of times now.. so that one will have to wait..

  7. Good one, Ram....whos next?

  8. Some of the words in your conversation were very inaudible.

    What are the various ..casts available at the present moment and what are their differences? Can podcast be radiocast and viceversa?

    May be a laptop could have been used as a promptor instead of trying to scan through a sheet of paper?

  9. Sundaresan

    I am working on the next one.. Look for a post..

    Yes, I need to work on the audio... and also the prompts.. thanks for your suggestion..