Monday, April 6, 2009

Podcast Do's & Don'ts

As a listener of podcasts I have come to realise that there are several factors that contribute to a podcasts 'success'. When I consider 'success' I refer to whether it has been an enjoyable experience to listen to the audio presentation/discussion regardless of whether the message has been communicated effectively.
Relevance to the audience - Was the description/information accurate about the podcast to indicate what the content included therefore allowing the listener to make an informed decision as to whether it is relevant to them.
Technology - There are often unavoidable delays or dropouts when listening to podcasts & they can be frustrating for the listener as they are for the participants. If a podcast is focussing on a presentation & you are only listening to the audio this can cause you to lose complete understanding of what is being discussed. A good eg of overcoming this is on E-learning insights presented by Kerry Jay who intervenes during a presentation on Digital Literacies to read words on the slide, when a facilitator has asked participants to read the slide as a podcast can be repetitive if a facilitator is just reading their slides.
Background noise - This can include typing (participants keeping up with chat room questions etc), phones ringing in the background can be very distracting & rude, people in the background (often this background noise can be louder than the speaker if it is coming from behind a participant who is not speaking at the time). Use of mute or a private room when participating in audio hookups is recommended.
Following a basic program/agenda - Knowing who is speaking first then who they will pass to & what the expectations of guest speakers or level of participation from the audience. In some podcasts it is evident that the agenda has not been made clear to all involved or sometimes there has been inadequate preparation on the part of the presenter or participants.
Set the scene - It is important to clearly outline your expectations of participants. If you require active participation throughout & want all questions via verbal or written chat then let them know this. If you will address all questions at the end of a topic also let participants know this.
Introducing, welcoming & thanking - This can sometimes be overdone eg, there is a leadline that explains the content of the podcast then the session commences & the leadline is repeated in the introductions & welcomes. When a guest is introduced the informal Hi, how are you can be seen as false or fake from a listeners perspective (prepping the guest to explain how the session will run should be done before any session & explain that what formalities are expected & which are not).
Rapport - It is obvious when presenters or participants have a good rapport, they can have a joke & the listener can appreciate this even if they do not find it amusing. When guests are involved there can sometimes be so much gushing at the introduction that the listener becomes embarressed for the guest - perhaps this is just not the way we do things in Australia (or New Zealand) so we find it uncomfortable to listen to. Being on the same wavelength is an important factor in achieving a comfortable mood, a good eg of this is a podcast by EdTechWeekly (#121)which is a collaboration between a group of educators who conduct a round robin style discussion where each provides a website reference & a brief blurb about the value or content of the particular site. They willingly have a dig at each other in a jovial & encouraging way, not only is it informative but easy & fun to listen to.

1 comment:

Kim Mc said...

Participating in Online Facilitation course has led me to some significant resources on conducting succesful tele conferences which in some ways align with this topic.