055 The Pros and Cons of Different Podcast Show Formats

The beauty of podcasting is that there are no hard and fast rules. In principle, you can create your podcast any way you want. In practice, it is worth considering the best format to share your knowledge and have conversations that matter. So let’s have a look at the kinds of episodes you could create.

5 Podcast Show Formats:

1. Solo Show

There are pros and cons to a solo show. You’re not reliant on anybody booking into your diary and you don’t have to research and reach out to connect with guests. You don’t even have to worry about someone else’s audio quality. You just have your knowledge, the microphone and your own schedule. You can create podcast episodes whenever you please. There is considerable freedom and flexibility in this set-up style.

The down side is that you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off. The content is dependent on you, your insights and experience. And when you are in flow, a solo show is easy to create…but what about those days when you simply aren’t in the mood to record? Or when personal matters take over? Your listeners still expect to hear from you. Without guests, you don’t have the same opportunities to benefit from other people’s audiences and followers.

So what about a mix? It may be that alternating styles is an option for you.

2. Interviews

This is perhaps the easiest to create and gives you opportunities to grow your listenership as your guest will most likely promote the episode to their own audience. On the upside, you only have to do basic research and planning as the best interviews are natural in conversation. Having in-depth, intimate conversations brings joy, personal connection and purpose. The downside is constantly having to source new guests and mutually convenient times to record.

With any interview show, think about how your guests will be of benefit to you, to build your profile and connections and get you in front of a larger network, whilst at the same time providing value to your audience. Even if you are fortunate enough to have high-profile guests, the value, content, takeaway, education and learning from that show need to be clear from the outset.

Something else to consider is hosting a show where you are completing a physical activity with your guest whilst speaking with them. Your job here is to paint a visual of what’s going on whilst you hold a conversation. This can be challenging from an audio perspective, although lots of fun for your listeners.

3. Co-hosting

If you’re thinking of co-hosting, consider if you will each take responsibility for leading alternate shows or if you will always host together. It takes a little while to build those on-mic relationships, to know when to interrupt and when to sit back and let the other host lead. It takes increased co-ordination to sync your diaries and plan your episodes. Will you do it remotely or will you be in the same room? What will happen if one of you is unwell? Who owns the intellectual property? How will you future-proof for what happens when your working relationship comes to an end, even if that seems impossible or unlikely?

My advice would be to submit your show into Apple Podcasts under a business-specific email address rather than a personal iTunes account, as it will not be possible to transfer at a later date. Co-hosting can be a great deal of fun, however it’s important to protect both parties from the worst possible eventual outcome should relationships break down. Whatever decisions you make, get them down in writing with signatures from both parties. Trust me, you’ll be glad you actioned this advice.

4. Round Table

This is self-explanatory. A number of people sit around a table, perhaps even using a single microphone, and discuss a given subject. More than four people becomes challenging to manage and to ensure each person gets a chance to speak, although it can be an enjoyable way to bring content to your listeners. Remember to introduce each voice early on in so that the listener can follow who is who. There are no set rules beyond ensuring you don’t talk over each other too much – uncomfortable for the listener experience and a challenge in the editing suite. You may want some non-verbal cues to indicate who wants to interject next and you may want to nominate one individual to chair the conversation.

Podcast hosting enables you to grow your business – not just in terms of awareness of what you do and who you are as a key person of influence. If done well, it can make a difference in the quality and quantity of potential clients who join your mailing list, your community, who want to work with you, become your clients, buy your services, buy your products.

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With us, your podcast is in safe hands for success. If you’re serious about elevating your brand, it’s time to take action! Let’s work together to produce a premium quality podcast that positions you powerfully.

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