Podcast Guest Preparation

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The Live Show Featuring YOU

I’ve prepared the following guide to help guests prepare for their appearance, make the experience fun and ensure a quality podcast. (Special thanks to Jim Collison of TheAverageGuy.tv and Mike Howard from jpeg2RAW.com for assembling this list)

Stuff You’ll Need

Webcam – Older laptops have poor webcams, but if you’re computer is a 2013 model or newer, it likely has a built-in webcam that is plenty good enough.  It’s important that the webcam be at an angle that is mostly horizontal with your eyes. That’s ideal for most folks. You might need to put your laptop on some books or a stand for best results. That way you can get the webcam up higher so the webcam will be more parallel to your eyes.

Headset – A Headset with a mic is ideal for most people. (Here is an example: http://amzn.com/B005VAORH6)  The mic in your webcam or built into your laptop is unacceptable. They simply pick up too much noise and produce audio that is unusable for podcasting. Even with a headset mic, you will want a relatively quiet location.

Dynamic USB Microphone – Within recent years a new microphone changed the game with online audio and podcasting. It’s the Audio Technica ATR2100. You can buy it at Amazon (not an affiliate link). It’s currently under $60, but the price fluctuates. This microphone sounds like professional mics costing 5 times as much. It also has professional XLR connectivity in addition to USB (which means if you ever want to use a mixer later on, this mic will work nicely). It’s a terrific value and will be ideal for webcasting, Skype and other online communication. You will get your money’s worth if you make the investment in this mic.

Skype – I generally use Skype for interviews. Make sure you have updated to the latest version. My Skype ID is: RandyCantrell

Google+ Hangouts – I generally use Google+ Hangouts for a backup. You’ll need a Google (GMAIL) account.

Internet – You will need an adequate internet connection – Fast DSL or Cable with a 1mb up and 3mb+ down speed will be the bare minimum. It’s ideal if you can connect your computer to your router via Ethernet cable instead of using the wi-fi connection.

Contact Info – Please email Randy your Google+ name (if you will be using your own account) and your Skype name. Please send this info several days before the pre-show at a minimum.

Lighting – Almost all webcams are horrible in low light. It’s important to have lots of front facing light. You want light that shines toward your face. You want to avoid light that is behind your head.  More light is better than less.

A Few Things You Need To Do Before The Recording Happens

• You should have a pre-show interview with the host no less than 3 days before the show. This pre-show interview will help answer any questions you might have and allow us to perform an audio/video check.

• If the host has invited you to a shared show notes document, check that document and add your content WITH links. You don’t need to get detailed, just brief bullet points with links are good enough. We normally do not worry the guest with sharing the show notes unless they ask to see them and want to add something of their own. Double check the links to make sure they’re right. We don’t want to send the audience to broken or inaccurate links.

• Announce your appearance on the podcast in your social circles (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc). be sure to include the date and time of the LIVE show, including the time zone, this is a global podcast. In your announcement, be sure to also include the name of the podcast and a link to the live show web page (ask Randy if you need this). The show will be broadcast at BulaNetwork.com/live

• Ask your fans to LIKE our Facebook page. This way they will receive updates about the podcast.  Find it at Facebook.com/BulaNetwork

• Go to iTunes and leave a comment. This helps move the podcast up in the rankings therefore increasing the chance the podcast will be seen or heard.

• Check your video quality. Is the camera focusing properly? Does the color look correct? Do you have enough light?

Things You Need To Do ONE (1) Hour Before The Show

• Make another announcement in your social circles. Encourage people to come see you LIVE!  Send them to BulaNetwork.com/live

• If you are on a PC, reboot your computer and keep the number of programs you open to the minimum needed for the podcast (Skype, web browser, etc). Rebooting helps the computer be at it’s peek performance. If you’re on a Mac, close any unnecessary programs and relaunch your web browser. Close your email programs.

• Check that nobody is doing any bandwidth intensive work on your Internet connection. For example, is anyone watching Netflix, uploading large files or watching online videos? If you have lots of bandwidth, this may not be an issue, but if you don’t, these things may use up so much bandwidth you can’t properly transmit video or even audio.

• Reduce the noise in your location. Close the door and windows. Turn off your cell phone and landline.

• Check Skype or Google+ Hangout, which ever is being used for the show, and make sure the audio is coming from the correct device. Sometimes, Skype or Google+ will change the mic source back to your webcam instead of your headset (if you are using a headset). Go go into “preferences” to make sure your microphone is recognized and working properly.

• Go into your Skype settings/options and select the “Sounds” tab. Then click the “Mute all sounds” button. This will stop all the Skype sounds from coming across the podcast. Once the show is over, don’t forget to go back and turn this back on if you want the sounds. This prevents those annoying notification sounds from coming into the show while we’re live and recording.

• Do a last minute check of the show notes, make any corrections/additions needed (if you are using the shared notes).

It’s Show Time!

• Randy will generally start music in the live stream 30 minutes to 1 hour before show start. The shows web address is http://BulaNetwork.com/live

• Chat starts about 30 minutes before show starts. You can join chat then and start “talking” with the audience or just wait for the show start.

• If using Skype for the podcast, be ready for host to call about 15 minutes before the show starts.

• If using Google+ Hangout, be logged into Google+ and watch for the Hangout invite. Once you receive it, join the hangout. If you don’t see the invite, send the host a Skype message. That’s the quickest way to make contact.

Things To Do While You’re On The Show

• Don’t touch your mic unless you are muted.

• Mute your mic if there is going to be noise in the room, including you moving around, typing on your keyboard,scratching your face, etc.

• YOU are the guest. We’re interested in hearing what you have to say.

• Log into the live chat. You may not be able to keep up with the conversation in chat, but it’s there if you need it.

• The hour will go by MUCH faster than you think and it is very likely we will not have time to cover everything we wanted to talk about. That’s OK, it gives us a reason to invite you back!

• Enjoy yourself. Have fun!

Things To Do After The Show

• I usually post the show a few days after the live event. Once it’s published, Randy will make an announcement letting everyone know it is now available. I’ll send you an email letting you know.

• We want the show, and your specific appearance, to be viewed as much as possible. Please post it in your social circles asking people to share it as much as possible. The blog post or show notes will have links to:

• Encourage people to listen to or watch your episode.

• Ask them to subscribe to the podcast.

• Encourage your social circles to visit the show on iTunes and leave a comment. In addition, encourage them to subscribe to the podcast using the iTunes or Stitcher links at the website, BulaNetwork.com

Thank you for being on the show! 

Randy