Where can I get Podcasts?

I was at a training day recently when the subject of podcasts came up. One of the delegates there said "Okay, I understand what a podcast is - but how do I get them? Where can I find them?"

Okay - this is how.

I'm working on the basis that you've got a smart phone - iPhone or Android, it doesn't matter.

If you've got an iPhone, then you should have this app on your phone

This is Apple Podcasts. Open it and you'll have four icons along the bottom. One of them is labelled 'Browse'.

Click on that and BOOM! you've taken the first step into the vast, wonderful world of podcasting.

The next icon along is 'Search'. Click on that and just type in people, subjects or businesses that you're interested in. It's likely that they'll be a few results for whatever you type in.

Okay - if you have an Android phone, there are a couple of options for you. The first one is this...

It'll be a part of Google Play - and you can search from there, for the subject, people or business that you're interested in.

However, there is also TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Podbean which also all have their own apps - and almost all of them are free. It's worth pointing out that all of these apps are also available on an iPhone too

That's one thing I will say - if you're having to pay to listen to a podcast, then it's not a podcast. There may be paywalls for additional content - or to remove ads for some of the platforms - but podcasts should always be a free listen. For the moment, anyway - but that conversation is for another time.

The third and final way to find podcasts is simple - the internet.

Most podcasts worth their salt will have their own website, so search for them on Google and go to their page. The podcast episodes should be listed on the site and you can listen straight from there. The apps that I've listed are great for downloading episodes onto your phone for your commute, holiday, dog walk - whatever!

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get listening!

Are You Taking The Mick With A Mic?

We have a lot of people getting in touch, wanting to talk about podcasts.

One of the first questions they ask is about the equipment - what do they need?

Our answer is always the same - a microphone, some headphones, and an editing program.

"A microphone?" they say "But my phone (or laptop) has got a microphone built in! Why do I need to spend thousands on a microphone?"

First of all - you don't need to spent thousands. You can - but you don't need to. (If you fancy spending about £5k, we can recommend the Neumann U67 - a beautiful microphone). You can get a good quality microphone for under £200 - that's what we used for the first few months of podcasting. We've upgraded since, still kept the price below £300.

Have a listen to this little recording I made, using different microphones...

Now - we haven't fiddled about with the quality, or the volume of those recordings - and we recorded all 3 in our office, which is predominantly bare walls.

You can definitely hear the difference, can't you?

We get genuinely upset when we hear podcasts - or any audio, really - that has been badly recorded.

That's why we always recommend investing in a decent microphone - and why we use professional quality microphones for our client podcast recordings.

You make sure that your logo looks great, and that your profile picture shows off your best side, and that your articles are well constructed - so why skimp on sounding as good as you possible can?

As always, if you want to know more about Podcast, we have our FREE Podcasting Checklist here

Or, why not book a call (it's a conversation, not a hard sell!) by clicking the link here

Training? Training! Podcasts!

If you’re in charge of training for your company - what are the costs involved in that?

I’m guessing:

 - Room hire

 - Coach hire

 - Loss of work as workers are attending training

Just those 3 things on their own will run into the many hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds.

What if I told you that we could severely minimise your costs for training? 

Maybe you’re expecting me to say something virtual, something online-based that means that people take the course at their desk, rather than going to a meeting room, yes? Well, that only really deals with one of the costs, and that’s room hire.

How about delivering training for your company that can be rolled out and taken during the employee’s commute?

We are using the power of podcasting to deliver training to the right people, in the form of a clickable link, which they can listen to in their own time - no room cost, no coach cost, no role play, no ‘half a day lost’ cost.

Let me give you an example. Rolls Royce wanted to tell 2,000 of their employees about the changes to their Gifts & Hospitality policy. This is something that they would have normally taken up 2-3 hours to deliver, with coaches, room hire and lost work hours all having to be figured in.

Instead, I recorded, edited and produced a Training Podcast that could be sent out via email to everyone that needed to see it. Via my analytics I could also tell the company how many people had listened to the training, when they had listened to it - and where in the world they had listened to it. 

This is what it sounded like: http://traffic.libsyn.com/monkeypantsproductions/RR_Gifts__Hospitality_Podcast.mp3

Within just a few days, they had a 91% uptake on the training - and all it cost them was the production of the audio.

Want to find out we could help your business? Why not book a call, and we can have a chat - https://monkeypants.as.me/

The British Abroad

Olivia Colman is one of Britain's best and most talented actors and I could spend hours and hours talking about the roles that she has brought to life.

However, on this occasion, I want to talk about her Golden Globes acceptance speech.

Olivia won for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite and highlighted something in her speech that I tell my clients about all the time - being real.

First of all, just watch her speech. Don't worry, I'll wait here...

Wasn't it great?

Did you find yourself smiling as you watched it? I know that I did - and it was because happiness radiated out of her like sunshine. Of course, you would expect that from someone who's just won a globally recognised award...

The other thing that would have made you smile, though, is how 'real' she is. She makes a speech like you or I would probably make such a speech. She's noticing people in the audience; people she recognises but probably doesn't know (yet!) - all the while telling us all how happy she is, how she flew on a private jet, how much she's eaten, how much she's enjoying herself...

It all comes out in a rush - but you don't miss a word of it. 

Olivia is being a real person - and that's something that you should be doing when you're hosting your podcast, speaking in front of a crowd, or being interviewed by the press.

Do not, do not, do not be someone else! Listeners, audiences and journalists can smell a fake a mile off - and it makes us want to turn away.

However you're putting yourself out there - podcasting, delivering a presentation, being interviewed, make sure that we get to see, hear and experience YOU.

Now, that doesn't mean you should come along and moan about the row you had with your partner, or the bill you've just had for your MOT - but you shouldn't try and suppress your natural personality. Letting that naturalness come out is what helps people bond with you, connect with you, relate to you.

The way to find out if you're being the 'real' you is to listen or watch yourself back. Better yet, get a friend to do it with you. Afterwards, ask them if they thought you were being genuine. If they say 'no' - then go back and find out just what it is that is preventing you from being you.

For some, it's all about the confidence. They find it easier to be like someone else when they're speaking in public or being interviewed. They've seen someone that they like speak - so they try and do some kind of homage or impersonation of them. It. Just. Doesn't. Work. Not really. You might get away with it once, but it's no long-term solution.

Spend time talking out loud. Don't worry, it's going to feel weird at first. Start by just talking. On anything. Your favourite movie, or holiday destination. Then, start recording and listening back to it - again, it's going to feel weird - but after a while you'll be able to hear the real you coming through, rather than some version of you that you'd like to convey.

If you'd like to talk more about how we can help you be more 'real, why not book a phone call for a chat? 

What’s In A Name?

I wanted to write a little bit about the interview that Michael Gove gave to the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme recently.

As always, I preface these posts by saying that I am writing this purely from the point of a media trainer. I'm not looking to start a debate about Mr Gove, Mr Javid, any political party or major policy talks. I'm just looking at how Michael Gove acted during the short clip that I've posted at the bottom of the page.

I didn't want to post the full interview, as it is quite lengthy, but you can find it on the Radio 4 website here

So - Michael Gove was responding to the question about Home Secretary Sajid Javid's decision to come back to the UK to respond to the migrant crisis.

He did well. Michael Gove is well-versed in interviews (I've even interviewed him once. Pretty brief, though, but fairly challenging - for both of us) and that is proved here.

He speaks confidently on the subject at hand, engaging with the presenter - but one thing stood out for me.

He called the Home Secretary "Sajid". He was informal in his naming of him - and this is quite rare.

Normally, fellow MP's refer to each other in interviews as 'the Minister' or 'my learned colleague' or 'Mrs xxxxx' - so why does it matter that Michael Gove referred to the Home Secretary as 'Sajid'. Because it's a familiarity that you and I would use when speaking about people we know.

By taking that small step of calling him by first first name, he achieves a couple of very subtle things.

One - he indicates that he is close, friendly even, with the Home Secretary. By inferring that closeness, that leads us to believe that we should trust what he is saying because he knows the person he's referring to; he knows his thinking.

Two - on a subconscious levels, he ever so slightly becomes relatable. He's speaking about someone he knows in the same way that we would - that means he's more like us, doesn't it? Of course, as soon as you become conscious of it, it seems laughable; ridiculous, even. But it will have worked on some sections of the audience. 

It's these subtleties that seem very natural, but will almost certainly have come about through media training. As I said, Michael Gove is an accomplished interviewee - but that's because he works at it.

If you'd like to talk about how we could help you with your media training, click here

Or, if you'd like our FREE Media Training Checklist, click here

Mr Bean, Has-Bean (?)

WARNING! There's some fruity language in this clip. NSFW!

I wanted to have a look at this clip ever since first watching it a couple of days ago.

I love Rowan Atkinson. I've loved him since his first days of solo stand-up. His ability to create laughter with just a look is incredible.

He also doesn't do much press, so I jumped on this as an example of a great interview, by someone who just doesn't do them.

There's a couple of reasons that Rowan doesn't do much press. For a start, he's incredibly shy; much more comfortable spending time with his family and his cars, than on a red carpet or star-studded event.

Also - he has a stammer. He's clearly been working on reducing it as much as possible, and that's something else that makes this interview something quite incredible.

His approach to the interview is simple. His only Key Message is to publicise his new film. He does that well, with help from Graham Norton who clearly knows why he is on there, and plays a clip from the film too.

However, there are other things that you simply must ask Rowan Atkinson about - one of them being Mr Bean. This is a global character, known by millions. His last appearance as Mr Bean (apart from the chocolate bar commercial) was in 2015. People love the character, and many of them would love to see him return.

Graham was always going to ask about it, and even if Rowan didn't have the nod from the BBC about that question, he's certainly savvy enough to know that it would come up.

So - does he, when asked, simply say  'Nah - there's nowt else to do!'?

Of course not. That kind of answer just doesn't work on a show like Graham Norton's. It's all about the anecdote; the story; the tale. In this age of 'share-ability', celebrities telling short stories can be shared across social media, creating a much bigger audience.

And that's another aspect of the wonderful nature of this interview. From watching it a number of times, Rowan goes into a character. True, it's a character called Rowan Atkinson who looks exactly like himself - but he just has a bit more about himself; a bit more spunk (no laughing at the back!)

The story itself is lovely, but Rowan's telling of it gives it a new dimension, a new life which makes it wholly his. And that's the lesson here.

If you are doing an interview, and the question, or opportunity, comes up to tell a story about yourself - take it. However, keep in mind a couple of things.

Obviously, make sure that the story is one that can be repeated/broadcast in polite company.

Also, make sure that you've practised it. You can be sure that Rowan Atkinson practised telling the story about the man in the car parts centre near Peterborough. That's how he knew where the peaks were, where the pauses should be, what kind of voice he should use for the man - and what the ending of the story should be.

Sometimes, with some interviews, it's not enough to just get your Key Message across - sometimes 'they' want more. You just need to have a cunning plan up your sleeve for when that moment arrives.

If you want to learn more about media training, get our Essentials Media Training Checklist by clicking here.

Or, let's have a chat. You can get in touch here.

The Eyes Have It

So - it's political party conference season. That means plenty of fuel for people like me, who love watching media interviews - and picking them apart!

As always, I just want to point out that this video doesn't reflect the political views of myself, or anyone else who works at MonkeyPants Productions. All we're doing is analysing interview technique.

Jeremy Corbyn is an interesting case study for media interviews, He can come across as a little nervous at times, and his style of speech is one that contains various bits of pauses, slight stammers and other little tics. None of them are particularly major - but together, they create an image of someone who isn't completely comfortable being interviewed.

The above interview is an excerpt of an interview Mr Corbyn did with Andrew Marr from the BBC, which was then shared by The Guardian website.

I think it was a strong interview. He clearly knew the message that he wanted to get across, he dealt with Andrew Marr pretty well - and we come away from the clip knowing what his aims are, especially when it comes to a potential General Election.

However, I've posted this clip because of something that Mr Corbyn does in the first few seconds - and it's something that can be a little distracting, and I want to make sure that if you're speaking to the media in any way, shape or form - you are aware of this particular pitfall. 

In the first 15 seconds, the camera is pretty much on Mr Corby constantly, so it's easier to spot - but watch his eyes. He blinks a little too much, which can convey nervousness - but his eyes flit from left to right almost constantly.

Now, I appreciate that this is something that you might not notice consciously, but you'll almost certainly register it on a subconscious level. Whenever you're watching someone speak, you're only paying partial attention to the words that they're saying - far more is being taken onboard from their physical cues :- the way they sit, what they do with their hands, where their eyes are looking - and it's this last one that I want to talk about here.

It's a given if you're on camera, but even if you're being interviewed for print or online media, or radio - the journalist will still want to be engaged with, so watch your eyes.

Eye contact is such a huge part of building trust in any relationship - and that even applies to interviews.

Because Mr Corbyn's eyes move from left to right and back again - that means that they're not making contact with Andrew Marr - and that's something that can affect how much we trust someone.

I know that eye contact is a major stumbling block for many people who have to give press interviews, or speak in public, but it's such an easy one to deal with. 

One way of dealing with it - is to practise. I'm not saying that Mr Corbyn should have challenged Andrew Marr to a staring contest, but he should practise even, continuous eye contact with someone at home, or someone in his media team. People don't like doing it because they fear that it can come across as a little too intense or intimidating. That's why you practise, though.

The other tip is just that - the tip of the nose. Unless you're about 2 feet away from someone, if you look at the tip of their nose, it looks like you're making eye contact. That way, you can allay that fear you have about eye contact - and the audience feel that you're a little more trustworthy because you're keeping (or looking like you're keeping) eye contact.

If you'd like help with your Media Training and interview skills, get your hands on our Essential Media Training Checklist here

Or get in touch with us to talk about how we can help you here

How Do You Tell The Truth, But Make It Your Truth?

I'll be honest, I've tried to avoid looking at interviews that deal with Brexit - but it's almost impossible now.

As always, I feel that I must preface this by saying that this article isn't meant to represent my own, or the company's, political views - it's just analysing someone being interviewed...

Anyway, watch the video (it's pretty short) and then read what I say about it below.

The first thing that I noticed is that Nick Robinson started off by asking a question that wanted to know how the Prime Minister felt - but she didn't answer that.

More and more this technique is becoming known as a Politicians Answer - don't answer the question you're being asked, go straight through to getting out your Key Message.

From my point of view - and other media trainers may well disagree - I'm not sure that I like this approach. She was under no time constraints and I'm almost convinced that the answer wasn't edited - so why didn't she answer it?

It comes down to being afraid of the unknown - and making quite a few assumptions about the interviewer. Let's break that down a little more...

Theresa May, and her team, are afraid of her being made a fool of. That's a good fear to have - the jokes about her running through a field of wheat as a child are still being told months after her talking about it on Newsnight - but it has also stymied any chance of showing a real human side, certainly in a political interview like this one.

So - any questions with words like 'feelings' or 'emotions' in it, referring to the Prime Minister, are to be avoided. That's a shame. Nothing endears you to an audience more than when they realise that you are just like them - a person with fears, dreams and emotions. 

Of course, there is also an argument that we don't want that from a leader - we want someone to lead. If that's the case, why ask the question in the first place? It's because we've become increasingly interested in what people feel or think, personally, about something that they are experiencing.

The assumptions about the interviewer - the very experienced Nick Robinson - are that he would have other questions based on the possible answers she could give to that question - and now you're down a rabbit hole that could lead anywhere. Nick is used to getting interviewees to give the answers that they might not want to give - and it's that thought that scares media teams too. I know that if a client of mine was being interviewed by him, I'd have them briefed up to their eyeballs before the first question was asked!

Aside from that first answer dodge - Theresa May does pretty well here. She maintains eye contact and answers (most of) the questions well. She stumbles a couple of times but, seeing as she does this quite a bit, I'm inclined to think that this is more her own speech pattern, rather than any genuine show of nerves.

One final point to make about this excerpt - is when she admits that there will be disruption. This is another nice media technique. However, like anything, if you use it too much - it starts to show, and then it becomes useless.

Theresa May says 'short-term' disruption. Now, this isn't a term that many other commentators are making, and this brings me to the title of this article.

What the Prime Minister has done is acknowledge what a lot of her opponents are saying  - that there is going to be disruption with a 'no deal' Brexit - but added in her own truth, by calling it 'short-term' disruption. The idea behind this is to concede one point - but to also refute it at the same time. To be fair, that's quite a Politician's Answer too.

If you're someone who wants to know more about media training, we've got our Essentials Checklist here

If you want to talk to us about how we can help you avoid the worst, whilst sounding your best, click here

The One Thing To Bear In Mind When Marketing Your Podcast

We do a lot here at MonkeyPants Productions - including podcast production.

However, at the moment, we don't offer the option to market your podcast too.

Couple of reasons for that - first of all, we just don't have the manpower to commit to working on marketing. Second of all I think, certainly in the beginning, that it's beneficial for the client to do their own marketing.

The only problem with this, of course, is that people can get it wrong.

So - I thought that I would write this piece to help out anyone that is currently starting their podcast, or thinking of starting a podcast.

After 30 years in the radio industry I've picked up a couple of things about promoting your show/station - and a lot of the same principles apply to podcasts.

No -I'm not saying that you should give away a car or a foreign holiday to get people to listen to your podcast (but, if you can - you should!), I'm saying that you need to think about the people you're engaging with.

Too often, I've seen people post about how fantastic their podcast is, what a great guest they have on the next episode, and how we should all listen - but not give us the chance! True, the post might tell us that the podcast can be found on iTunes, but nothing more than that.

This just isn't enough.

In this current climate of on-demand, instant entertainment and gratification it's not enough to tell us where to look - you have to lead us there too.

So, if you're posting about your great podcast, and how we should all listen to it - make sure you post a link too. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that you should never post about your podcast without including a link of some kind.

Whether it's the link to the episode itself (which is preferable) you should at least be posting a link to iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify.

For the truly lazy consumer, though, the links to the place where we can find your podcast just isn't enough. The link to the audio itself is the best bet. That way - they click and start listening.

As well as including the link - here's a bonus bit of podcast marketing advice. With your post - make the text appealing too. Don't just say 'here's my podcast - listen to it'. Think about why we should listen to it - what reason can you give us to click that link? Tease us, bring us in.

If all this podcasting nonsense is confusing, get hold of our Essential Podcast Checklist here

Or you can get in touch with us to talk more about how we can help you with podcast production here

He’s Not Standing For That!

Anthony is a lovely guy, very amenable, very likeable.

However, he can come across as a little hesitant in his answers - and I think that this is down to the fact that he is quite shy, and not someone who is used to talking about his sport. He prefers to let the boxing speak for him.

The interview starts off with quite a forthright question; there’s no gentle introduction to this - straight in with a tough one. He handles it well, if a little falteringly. Again, I think that’s his natural style, as opposed to any uncomfortableness that he feels.

One of the things that struck me whilst watching it, though, is his pose. Sitting on the side of the ring (which is the right thing to do - the size difference when standing between him and the reporter could have come across as comical), but with one leg raised. It looks little unnatural - and uncomfortable. 

I realise that he wants to look relaxed and fully at home in his surroundings, and with the interview - but it’s something I really bumped up against. 

The only other reason I can think of is that if he’d sat on the side of the ring, with his legs hanging down, that puts his body facing away from the reporter - and that could have looked a little rude.

If you’re ever doing an interview, or a video for your company - spend some time thinking about the area you’re going to record it. What can you see in the background? How do the colours around you make you look on camera? Washed out? Flushed?

Also - like in this interview - think about your pose. Are you standing or sitting? How much of will be visible? Can you comfortable face the camera/interviewer? If not, ask about changing the placing of the camera.The last thing you want is for attention to be anywhere other than on what you’re saying.

This was a nice interview for Anthony Joshua. He spoke well about the sport, and clearly has a real passion. He’s also clearly had some media training, because he answered some of the more difficult questions in such a democratic way, it’s hard to think that he’s not been taught that!

He kept good eye contact throughout, which is a great thing and something that carries more power than so many people realise.

All in all, this was a lovely interview that showed Anthony off in a good way - him and his media team should be pleased with it!

If you’d like to find out more about our Media Training, why not book a call here

Or, check out our Essentials Media Training Checklist here!