(We discussed an amazing event called Collaborate at the beginning of this episode. Get details HERE.) Your voice is your power. It is your tool. Without your voice, you have no podcast. My college professor reached out to me this week. He asked if I would give a presentation to his new podcast class about developing and protecting the voice when creating a podcast.
Throughout the year, it is inevitable that you will get sick. Maybe it is just a scratchy voice. Maybe you lose your voice altogether. When illness hits, what do you do about your show? I typically get sick every Spring and Fall. Allergies in my part of the country run rampant. We get extreme weather changes. It can get up above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Summer and below zero in the Winter. Spring and Fall are yo-yos. Two weeks ago it was 84. This morning it was 24 as I was taking my son to the hockey rink. The combination of crazy temps and the leaves falling from the trees spikes allergies. When I get sick, it makes it difficult to record my show. My throat is sore and raw. There is usually a bad cough. The frog sound coming from my voice box is not anything I can use to record a podcast. Luckily I am prepared. When I record my show, I typically record two or three episodes at a time. They are also prepared a week or two in advance. In addition to working ahead, I always have an evergreen episode ready to go. This is in case of emergencies where I need an episode at the last minute.
There are three things you can do to prepare for disaster. First, work a week ahead. When you are working on the podcast for the following week, you have some flexibility. If something happens where you can't record for any reason, you already have the show ready for this week. Second, create an evergreen episode. This is an episode with content that never becomes outdated. This is your "just in case" episode. You simply set it aside in case you need it. Finally, you can record an evergreen "donut". This is an open and close that allows you to put repurposed content in the middle. It is like you are putting it in the middle of the donut. Michael Hyatt, creator of Platform University and other great programs, did this a few years ago. He went on a month-long sabbatical. In order to continue to publish episodes, he recorded a brief open and close to highlight previous popular episodes. To do this, you would record an open just like your regular show open. However, instead of introducing new content, you say something like, "This week we will be revisiting the one episode of my show that has been downloaded more than any other episode." You could also create a show of highlights or "best of" questions. This could be any content you can gather from previous episodes. Your close would be very similar. "I hope you've enjoyed this 'best of' episode. I will be back next week with an entirely new episode." This closes the donut. Now, if you ever get sick, you have an option to continue to deliver content every week. Consistency is crucial to creating relationships. Plan ahead. So, how do you stay healthy? How do you get well if you get sick? What ounce of prevention can you use to protect your most valuable asset? Here are a few tips.
Take care of your voice.
Wear a hat & avoid the head cold
Speak from the diaphragm when recording
Avoid excessive clearing of the throat
Warm up properly by slowly expanding your range
Use a nasal rinse
When recording, stay hydrated.
Drink room temp water to avoid constriction from cold beverages
Avoid caffeine, because it also constricts
Avoid soda & syrup drinks to prevent the crud building up in your throat
If your voice gets strained, here are a few things to try.
Gargle with warm salt water
Use a humidifier to keep your membranes hydrated
Drink warm decaf tea with honey
Drink warm, diluted cocoa
Use a nasal rinse
Drink plenty of water
Experiment to find what works
Your voice is your most valuable asset. Do all you can to protect it. Stay healthy. If you get sick, try these seven tips to get well. Above all, don't risk it. Plan ahead. Illness is inevitable. Have a show in the can or a plan to create some evergreen content should you get sick. Get ahead of the game. Above all, do your best to protect your podcast voice and stay healthy.
You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com. Let's turn your information into engaging entertainment.
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