The Anatomy of a Podcast Open

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(By Traci DeForge) The old saying goes, “You get one chance to make a first impression.” What can a first impression tell us about anyone? Fifty-five percent of first impressions are made with visual impact. If you think about it, that’s only 55 percent. What makes up the other 45 percent? It’s all about the audio. It’s not what you say, but how you say it.

An audio impression means the tone of your voice, the sound of your voice, and the words that you use. When you’re thinking about your podcast open, remember it’s your first chance to make a great impression. Also, it’s important to note that the first five to eight minutes of your podcast is the most critical when grabbing and holding your listener’s attention.

Some people will tell you the main content is an essential part of your podcast. There’s no doubt your content is essential. But what if listeners never get to it? The open of your podcast can impact whether a person chooses to listen to the rest of your show. 

How do you evaluate the power of your podcast open? If you’re just launching your podcast or currently an active podcaster and want to assess your open and see how you can elevate it to the next level, ask yourself these questions.

How do I want to identify myself and my show?
Do you want to be identified by your name or your nickname? Does the title of the show need more explanation? Make sure your name, the name of your podcast, and any moniker that comes after that is communicating the focus of your podcast.

How do you want to build your podcast open?
Do you want to use your own voice when you introduce your show? Do you want a professional voice ever? How about music and/or sound effects? It’s up to you to decide how you want to set the tone of your show.

How can your podcast open be unique?
A standard podcast open usually consists of a pre-recorded voice-over introducing your show produced with or without out a music bed underneath. One example of a more creative open is to add a teaser quote about the episode or an inspirational or timely quote voiced by the host inserted before the voice over comes in. One of the most innovative opens for a podcast that I’ve heard used sizzle reel clips of the host’s media appearances. This created a dynamic, attention grabbing open while also reiterating the credibility of the host as a subject matter expert.

How do I get my podcast open produced?
If you want to make that powerful first impression, there are some affordable, cost-effective ways you can get a creative podcast open made for you. Reach out to the podcast groups you may already belong to and ask for information from the voice over talents in the group. You can also find affordable voice over talents on Upwork and Fiverr. If you want the whole open fully produced, you can hire a production company to write, record and produce the open for you. This doesn’t mean you have to have your podcast entirely produced for the life of your podcast but it will ensure your open packs a strong punch and you can take it from there.

How do I find the music for my podcast open?
When using music in your intro, always make sure that the music used is licensed. Music bought on iTunes does not count as licensed music. Music downloaded from any app or YouTube is also not licensed. It doesn’t matter if you have 100 or 100,000 downloads, you still need to use licensed music. There are several sources online for free licensed music beds and music library websites which offer you a wider selection. Search for the perfect music bed, and then pay for the license directly on the site. Pay attention to getting your music licensed before you submit to Apple Podcasts or any platform because it can keep you from having your podcast approved or taken down at some point it can also risk the chance of being fined for using unlicensed music.

When it comes to creating your podcast open, the main thing to remember is the first impression can make or break the interest of your potential listeners. Decide how you want to be remembered and what you want people to know about your podcast from the start.

Traci DeForge is the founder of Produce Your Podcast, a consultant, speaker, and creator of PODHIVE, an online community for podcasters. She can be contacted at traci@produceyourpodcast.com or 561-468-8758. Visit her websites: ProduceYourPodcast.com & PODHIVE.com 

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