What’s it like to do a podcast and what goes into it? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Podcasting I think has been one of the best moves I’ve ever made with regards to my career as an apologist. Podcasting has let me get my message out there and got me in touch with some of the best scholars in the field. It gives me a free education most every Saturday and allows me to read some of the best books all the while providing a service to the Christian community.
When I get a show uploaded, you hear two hours worth of an interview normally. That works great, but is that all there is to it? If only there was. Nope. There’s a lot of research that goes on behind the scenes.
To start off with, if you want to interview someone, you should seek to read their material first. (There are some exceptions. I was not going to read all of Craig Keener’s commentary on Acts first for instance.) How do you get to do that? There are a number of ways. For one thing, you can get in touch with some publishing houses. I’m on good terms with several like IVP, B&H, Eerdmans, and Zondervan.
Keep an eye out for people talking about new books that are coming out. Try and get in touch with them. This is how I managed to get an early copy of Larry Hurtado’s latest book and get to an interview with him on the book even before it came out. Many authors are fine with sharing their work. You might need a Kindle for this since many authors have sent me their books in a PDF format and I’ve had to transfer it to my Kindle to read.
Of course, before getting there, you might have to have a podcast up regularly so that the people you are contacting can know what work you have out there. After Brent Sandy sent me a pdf of the book he was working on with John Walton, I got in touch with IVP and told them and lo and behold, they’re sending me books regularly. To get started for you, you might want to go to this sacred place that is here by the grace of God called a library. Sometimes, I still use it to get some books. Make sure to take advantage also of interlibrary loan so you can get books from other libraries.
As you read the book, try to think of good questions. Your interviewee will want to know that you’re prepared. When they speak, do your best to let them finish their thought as much as you can. I try to have a few good opening questions in mind before I go and sometimes some tangents will come forward. That’s fine. I want it to sound like a real discussion when it comes out, because that’s really what it is.
You need good equipment to record. I use a basic Skype connection to get in touch with my guests. From there, I use the Roland Tri-Capture unit and a Rode microphone. I am not sure where that ranks on the high-tech area so you might want to get in touch with someone who is a technical expert. For editing the material, I use Audacity. Unless there’s some big interruption for the most part in an interview, I tend to leave it as is aside from upping the volume.
Get someone good to write a theme and closer for your show if you aren’t able to. Glenn Andrew Peoples of Right Reason did mine. If you’re musically skilled, you can do it yourself. If not, then find someone like him.
For me, the biggest thing is keeping up with my reading. It can be easy to fall behind. I keep telling people that I have the problem of having all these books to read and yet I still order more books. There is obviously only one solution to this problem. I have to learn to sleep less.
Oh. I think you should also have a neat time arrangement. I try to record the same time every week. I also have in mind how my show will go. At the first hour, I make an announcement about who will go on next week. At an hour and twenty minutes in, I make a call for donations. In closing, I ask my guest if they have a blog or a web site or a way people can get in touch with them for more information, I ask for any final thoughts, I thank them for coming on, and then I make a reminder about who will be on next week.
If you want some more inspiration, listen to podcasts that you think are successful. If you think mine is, then watch the things that I do that might be so second nature to me that I don’t notice them. One of my great inspirations in this was Justin Brierley of Unbelievable?
Podcasting is fun and worthwhile, but it is a time consumer so make sure you’re ready for it. Of course, you could do your own monologue and that would work differently, but I find it more engaging to have guests on. Still, both can be done. It’s up to you.
Hopefully, if you want to podcast, this has been helpful to you.