12 March 2023

The Waveform Issue 31 Talking is Easy, Listening is Hard

Talking Is Easy, Listening Is Hard

But maybe for you, it’s the other way around. Listening is easy, and talking is the hard part. I got a chance to do both on a recent appearance as a guest on the Care More Be Better Podcast, to talk about eco-anxiety. The host, Corinna Bellizzi, did a great job of preparing for the show. We had a short pre-interview to brainstorm the questions. She had me write out some themes I wanted to cover and questions I wanted to be asked. (Also questions that I did not want to be asked.) We had a sharp, informative conversation over the course of an hour that required very little editing in post. Prep works! These are some of the skills I’m sharing with clients of my new program, Professional Development for Podcast Hosts. It’s was great to see them on display from the other side of things” as a guest on a podcast.

Protect Your Voice

As an actor (or podcast host), your voice is an invaluable commodity. Imagine how you’d feel if it were stolen from you? That’s entirely possible, using a deepfake simulation of your voice. Gizmodo reported a story about video game voice actors who are asked to sign their voice rights away. If they sign, then the companies who hire them are free to remix and reuse their voices generated through AI simulations. Word to the wise: sign nothing that might give producers the right to digitize your voice. In Red Cup’s recent agreements with voice actors, we include a paragraph that prohibits Red Cup from digitizing an actor’s voice and says we can’t use their voice outside of the project that we’ve agreed to.

Open up Your Audience

Since I’ve been a guest on a few podcasts lately, I’ve had to make a few changes. Like being on camera. I love the audio format for podcasting, but for discoverability, producers are recording video, too. Platforms like Squadcast, Riverside.fm, and StreamYard make it easy to record video along with audio and livestream the show as well.

Why bother with video if your primary interest is in making an audio show? If you post your show to YouTube, people who are looking for a podcast to listen to will be likely to find your podcast there. And there are even more opportunities for discovery: People who are simply searching for the topic you’ve covered will be more likely to encounter your show on YouTube. You’ll be able to reach new people that way.

If you’re going to go for video, you’ll need a better camera than the one on your laptop. We use the Logitech Brio and the Lumina. Both plug in via USB and give you more picture choices and framing control than the onboard webcam on your computer.

What Are Listeners Doing While They Listen to Your Podcast?

What are podcast listeners doing while they listen to podcasts? A study published by YouGov.com says that about half of your listeners are doing household chores. The next-biggest group is listening while commuting to work.

It’s all a good argument for listening to your final mix in headphones, earbuds, and in the car. That’s what we do, because we never know where people are going to be listening.

Digging deeper into the study, I found it fascinating that the audience for podcasts remains on the young side. Twenty-seven percent of the sample who were 18-34 listened to at least one podcast a day, and 26% listened once or several times a week. Of the age 35-49 group, 45% listened to podcasts once a week or more. Those audience stats should influence your choice of topics, your pacing, and who hosts your podcast.

Thanks for reading,


(c) Lee Schneider 2023. Take care of each other. Subscribe.