Creating powerful podcasts for radio – Part 2 

By Valerie Geller


Radio podcasters understand they may be reaching NEW audiences who do not necessarily know them or their work, as well as the super fans who want MORE of what you can give.

For radio broadcasters, podcasting may mean enjoying new freedoms, without FCC guidelines, format parameters or time constraints, this does NOT mean you may abuse your new blank canvas. Each moment of your podcast should answer “why should someone listen to this?” Never be boring.

Moving to podcasting is NOT “less work,” warns veteran radio producer, Corny Koehl, now a full time podcast creator and producer. She advises, “You’ve got to spend the time.  There are no shortcuts. It’s a ton of work. But it’s worth it.”


Streaming previously broadcast programming is not really a podcast. But if you do use archived or encore material, make sure and label it that way.  But podcasts are best when they can offer something unique, that you cannot get elsewhere. Eric Nuzum in his book, Make Noise, A Creator’s Guide To Podcasting and Great Audio Storytelling,: suggests, before you start, define with a razor sharp focus, what you want to do, who your podcast audience is, and what the podcast is about.  “Make a list of ten words that will describe your podcast. Know what you are making and stick to it.”


Do your homework. Prepare, research,  and learn as much as you can about the person you are interviewing and their subject, but take care not to over-prep to the point where you risk losing your natural curiosity.


LISTEN. Respond to answers that may take you down a whole other, surprising and unexpected path, that may be even better than anything you might have gotten if you’d just stuck to a rigid prepared list of questions.


Podcasting is intimate. Always talk to one person at a time, directly. Address the individual and use the word “you” instead of “we, me, I or us” whenever possible.


Immediately get to the topic or why they should listen or what they will get. You can open with a story as long as it finds its way to your topic… A general rule, avoid “podcast speak” or talk too much about  “behind-the-scenes of making our podcast” type details. Does your audience care that this is your 23rd podcast?  And while you might think insider jokes are fun, 99% of the time, it excludes those not in on the joke.  If you want to grow your audience, keep in mind: Listeners care about what’s in it for them, and want to be informed, entertained, inspired , persuaded and connected.


Get creative. Radio broadcasters have been accustomed to working in professional spaces, but zooming or working remotely during Covid was a game changer. You can literally podcast from anywhere if you can:

You’ll need to create a quiet space where you can record. Insulate so that your podcast is protected from external noise. You can purchase those fancy home studio wall panels, but in a pinch, if you’re away from a studio,  towels, pillows, blankets, books, down sleeping bags and piles of clothes and jackets also work perfectly well as adequate insulation, so you can podcast from a hotel room, office building, a parking lot etc.  Some of the best podcasts I’ve ever heard literally came out of a closet.

You don’t need a fancy studio, but it’s important to have a good microphone, know how to use it. Make sure cell phone connections are clearly understandable,  if you go that route.

Anything you pre-record should be as perfect as you can make it. This doesn’t mean your podcast should lose what makes you unique, or that you should edit out a spontaneous magic moment. But it does mean you should not regret any aspect of what you’ve put into the world. Stories should be shorter, tighter, and sound quality clearer than what you might put up with in a live broadcast.

EXCERPTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE FORTHCOMING 2024 EDITION OF BEYOND POWERFUL RADIO – An Audio Communicator’s Guide to the Digital World  by Valerie Geller, Routledge Press

International broadcast consultant Valerie Geller is an author, talent coach and trainer for radio and podcasting.  An in-demand keynoter, and workshop leader, she is one of Radio Ink’s Most Influential Women, and has worked in 42 countries, helping more than 500 stations get, keep and grow audiences.  She will be in Australia presenting a Powerful Radio session in October 2024 for the CBAA

[email protected]

Read more at: Creating Powerful Radio Podcast Part 1