Launching a podcast can be a fun adventure. You’re able to bring your voice, your rant and your thoughts to the world without having to go through editors, segment producers or other filters.Although you may have great content, you may be missing the mark when it comes to adding a little pizazz to your podcast. Interviews with experts, monologues on an issue you’re passionate about and energizing music are all equally liked by listeners. However, if your podcast lacks intrigue, it will sit in a podcast directory with no downloads and very little subscribers.Because I just launched a podcast, I wanted to ensure that I’m on the right track. So, I asked some other podcasters on what makes a great podcast. While they agreed that it’s an awesome marketing tool, they disagreed on the two ingredients that could make or break the popularity of your podcast – the use of humour and the presence of personality.One podcaster, Donna Papacosta, president of a communications company in Oakville, Ontario and who hosts a podcast herself, suggests that when communicating with a business audience, leave the humour out.”For a B2B podcast, I would skip the humour. People want content that is relevant to them,” says Papacosta.However, Penny Haynes, CEO of Georgia-based company that teaches people how to create their own podcasts through a virtual course, disagrees. She doesn’t think your podcast should be dry and stiff, no matter who’s your target audience.”Everyone has their own ideas and tastes regarding programs, but I love a little humor. A little bit of someone’s personal side can add a lot to it,” says Haynes. Paige Eissinger, who hosts a computer call-in radio show in Missouri, says that she is immediately attracted to podcasts that inject a little humour.”The worst people in the world to do business with are the ones who are humorless and I sure wouldn’t listen to their podcasts,” says Eissinger.”I don’t mean that you should have a ready joke for all your B2B podcasts, just that if your message lends itself to humor, take advantage of it. Don’t pass up a witty remark just because ‘It’s business’,” says Eissinger.Being witty is one thing, but being silly can really turn off a listener. Just ask Papacosta, who’s not afraid to unsubscribe from a podcast if it turns out to be a total dud.”I’ve hit the stop button on many a podcast because of content I deemed stupid or a waste of my time,” says Papacosta.At the end of the day, it’s a podcaster’s personality that will win many fans and garner tons of downloads.”Content [of a podcast] is important, but surprise, surprise – personality wins out,” says Haynes. “When it came down to a choice between great content and great personality, personality was the winner.”Haynes recounted a podcast where she shared her thoughts and feelings about celebrating the one-year anniversary of her business. She was surprised by the response of her listeners.”They loved it, as it made me ‘real’. They felt invited and involved in my private world,” says Haynes.Eissinger can relate. One of her favourite podcasts is hosted by a man who has a southern accent. Although she learns a lot from his podcast, she’s a sucker for his accent and in her mind, this lends a lot of personality to his podcast.”His content is great and very relevant to my business, but [his Texan] accent grabs me every time,” says Eissinger.While spontaneity, humour and personality can add some sizzle to a podcast, Angelo Cerase, a Toronto-based financial advisor who has a list of podcasts he enjoys listening to, draws the line when a podcaster lacks focus in their program.”I really, really, really hate it when a podcast has the author going on and on about absolutely nothing, without a real plan or script of what he was going to say,” says Cerase.”A little ‘useless’ filler is welcomed in a podcast, it makes the person on the other end seem more human. But too much is, well, too much,” says Cerase.Having a great mic, snazzy music and earth shattering content is not enough. You need to inject a little bit of humour and personality into your podcast to really get people to subscribe to your feed week after week.Special thanks goes out to the members of the Podcaster Central Network who contributed their comments for this article. If you want to learn more about how to create, publish and host a podcast, join Podcaster Central by clicking here: http://podcastcentral-network.ryze.com.Copyright 2005 Leesa Barnes. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
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