Planning Your Podcast: Selecting a Format

Now that you’ve settled on the purpose of your podcast and the name of your podcast, it’s time to think about the format your podcast will take. There are several options to consider.

The Monologue

The monologue is just what it sounds like. It consists of one person, the host, talking for the entire length of the episode. Sermons, lectures, and TED Talks reproduced as podcasts follow this format. Sometimes, the episode may be punctuated by another voice introducing the host at the beginning, delivering an advertisement or programming note in the middle, or providing a special offer or contact information at the end. But, for the most part, there is one voice delivering the episode content from beginning to end. A good example of a monologue format program is Al Mohler’s The Briefing (albertmohler.com/the-briefing/).

The Panel

This podcast format involves two or more hosts/commentators. (Think of The View.) Questions are asked, issues are raised, and each panelist makes a contribution to the discussion. A great example of this podcast format is Collider’s Movie Talk (amcmovietalk.libsyn.com). The only drawback to this format is having to coordinate the schedules of two or more people on a consistent. Technology makes this easier as you all do not have to be in the same place to produce the podcast. Services such as Google Hangouts and Skype enable you and your co-hosts to gather virtually for a recording session.

The Interview

Many podcasts hosts use their platform to interview others in their industry. As the host, you have the responsibility to select interesting guests and have engaging questions ready to ask. Of course, if you are just starting out podcasting, it may be difficult to book high profile individuals. The best advice is to start small and work your way up as you build an audience. NPR’s Fresh Air is a well-known example of an interview podcast (npr.org/programs/fresh-air/).

The Call-in Show

If you are a gregarious, outgoing individual, you may find the prospect of sitting behind a mic all alone completely unattractive. Well, you can spice things up by creating a call-in podcast and getting your listeners engaged with whatever subject you are talking about. Of course, this will require you to do a live show and to announce the show before it airs. By far, the best platform for call-in programs is Blog Talk Radio. You can take a look at how they do things at blogtalkradio.com/live.

If you are just starting out, I recommend that you go with the monologue format for now. It is the easiest to set up, and once you get the hang of it, you can expand into one of the other formats as you see fit.

This post is a part of the PODCASTING FOR MINISTRY blog series.

Click here to view all posts in the series.
Click here to view the table of contents for this series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *