If you’re a new podcaster, you may not have much experience speaking into a microphone. The good news is a little practice goes a long way when it comes to using your mic. Practice recording your podcast so you can get comfortable on the mic, avoid the dreaded “Announcer Voice,” and work on your mic technique. Here’s why it helps to practice recording into your podcast mic.
Practice Makes Podcast Perfect
One of the most important steps in your podcasting journey is buying your mic. You can do all the research, prep, and planning you want, but your podcast won’t start to feel real until you have that mic. My personal favorite microphone is the ATR2100x-USB mic. It’s by far the best bang for your buck, has quality similar to mics 3-4x its cost, works directly into your laptop (via USB cable) or into a recorder or mixer (via XLR cable), and is recommended and used by the best of the best, including Tim Ferriss and Pat Flynn.
Once you have your mic, the fun begins! You’ll be tempted to start interviewing people for your podcast right away. But hooooooold your horses. This is the moment that makes the difference between average podcasters and exceptional podcasters. Take some time to practice using your mic. I’m talking recording a bunch of test episodes – anywhere from 3 minutes to half an hour long.
After you’ve recorded each test episode, listen back to it. Yes, you will cringe. Yes, you hate the sound of your own voice. Yes, you really are that awkward (kidding! Except on my part). But something beautiful happens the more and more you practice recording: you become more comfortable. And being comfortable is everything when it comes to speaking into your podcast mic.
The Dreaded Announcer Voice
Now, there’s one big thing you’ll want to avoid when recording into your mic: what I call the “Announcer Voice.” You know when you’re watching a major sporting event, and the announcer yells, “HOLY COW, TOM, WHAT A GAME WE HAVE HERE!” There’s a certain tone and inflection that naturally makes sense for sportscasters and newscasters. As a podcaster, you’ll be tempted to take this same approach – you are projecting something into the world, after all. But you want to avoid this at all costs.
Podcast listeners relate best to your natural voice. Think about it – do you want to hear your favorite podcasters talk in forced, fake, overexcited voices all the time? Do what you can to be your natural self on the mic. Keep the conversational tone, and relax on that baby. The more you practice with this in mind, the more you’ll be yourself on the mic.
Practice Proper Mic Technique
There are a few other things to keep in mind as you practice recording into your mic, and they relate back to proper mic technique. These do vary a little depending on which mic you go with, so make sure to test and fine-tune:
- Follow the 4-Finger Rule: Speak about 4 fingers width away from the mic, if you’re holding your hand up flat between your mouth and your mic. This ensures your mic picks up your natural voice without it sounding like you’re across the room.
- Speak a little “past” the mic or to its side, not directly into it. Mics pick up the sound around them – the sound doesn’t need to be shoved down their throat.
- Use a pop filter, shock mount, and boom stand to properly hold your mic. The pop filter (windscreen) cuts out popping noises and clicking sounds, the shock mount isolates the mic from other noise, and the boom stand is an adjustable arm that can suspend the mic in midair from the side of your desk.
Practice Using Your Mic
Like anything in life, the more you practice using your mic, the better and more comfortable you’ll be. Practicing recording is all about getting comfortable on the mic, getting back to your natural voice (not the “Announcer Voice”), and fine-tuning your mic technique. It all starts with buying that microphone, and it might only take 3-5 short test episodes before you’re feeling comfortable and confident enough to start recording your podcast for real. Practice before you podcast, and take these mic fundamentals to heart.
If you’re excited to launch your podcast and would like some help with the more time-consuming parts of podcasting, you can always reach me at . If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also appreciate my blog post on “How Do You Become a Better Podcast Interviewer?” and the wild tips from entrepreneurs in any of the 130+ episodes of the Wild Business Growth Podcast. Thank you for your time. Pod on.