- Tom Kelly
10. Editing Your Podcast with the Listener in Mind. Stop Over Editing and Focus on Flow and Vibe.
"With great power comes great responsibility". We all know the phrase, but when it comes to editing a podcast, we don't keep it in mind. The ability to edit audio on such a microscopic level is an INSANELY POWERFUL ability, and we need to use this power for good and do it responsibly.
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I think what people struggle with the most when it comes to editing a podcast is WHY they're editing a podcast. I have one very simple philosophy: We should be editing our podcasts with the listener in mind. Many people edit their show as if merely uttering the word "um" is a jailable offense. Our job with podcast editing is NOT to simply obliterate every "um" we come in contact with, but rather to provide the listener with the most pleasant, accurate, and distraction free podcast possible. True, the word "um" can be distracting, especially when used excessively, but in the removal of the word, many don't focus enough on preserving the pace and tone of the phrase. If we merely hack and slash the "um" out of existence, there's a strong potential for 2 words to be cut too close together, causing an audible and jarring edit, and the listener will notice. Potentially even more so than if you just left the crutch word in.
Typically we're ridding our episodes of more than just a few ums (or let's face it 1,500 in some cases), but no matter what we're doing in post, we need to make sure what we are left with is an engaging and natural sounding discussion. We shouldn't be creating edits at the risk of losing a natural flow, and we shouldn't be editing for a rapid fire, no breaths, no time to think conversation between 2 people who want to appear smarter than they sound. In the episode I tell a story of the time I left an 8 second silence in a clients podcast because that silence told a story! It's the same with a 3.5 minute song or a 90 minute movie. If it stays at one pace the entire time, the audience will disengage because animals are wired to notice a change more than a constant. Allow your podcasts to breathe, allow your guests to breath, create impact by focusing on pace and vibe, and never make an edit at the expense of a natural flow.
Hit me up on Twitter and let me know all about your editing philosophies!
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Take It Easy by Joakim Karud
For more info, or to ask any questions, check out my website and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org