Great storytellers have one thing in common: they have found their own unique voices.
The way they use language, craft their narrative and share their stories creates a unique experience for listeners. For fans and audiences, it’s what keeps them coming back time and again.
The same is true for podcasting.
Finding your voice will help you stand out from other podcasts and create a connection with your listeners. It’s the key to connecting with listeners, ultimately driving people to your show.
Polished or raw, candid or theatrical, your voice is your most powerful tool. So take some time to hone in on what makes it unique. Think about your tone, words, and how they create an atmosphere for listeners — is it something that will leave them craving more?
Let’s take a look at how you can develop and find your podcasting voice.
Why You Need to Establish Your Voice for A Better Podcast Experience
When we talk about voice, we’re not talking about the pitch and timbre of the sound.
While there are some things you can do to control those elements, your podcasting voice is more about your identity as a host. It’s what makes people recognize and remember you, and it’s something that will evolve over time as you grow and develop in your storytelling.
Your podcast experience should be like a conversation between two or more people, one with clear boundaries but dynamic enough to keep listeners engaged.
Compliment Your Story
First, think about the story you’re telling and why it matters.
Ask yourself these four questions:
- What emotions are associated with your story?
- How does it make people feel?
- What kind of language should you use?
- What tone should you use to convey the message?
Once you have answered these questions, practice speaking in the voice that best compliments your story. Think about how to bring it to life with words and phrases.
For storytelling, you must paint a vivid picture of the world you’re trying to create. People need to feel like they’re right there beside you as you tell your story. The intimacy of podcasts (your voice is being piped into their ears directly) means your approach needs to be different than if you were performing on stage.
Explore Different Styles
When you’re exploring different styles, it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong. You can be professional and slick, fun and goofy, serious and intense – the choice is yours.
Often, the logical choice might not be the best.
For example, you can use a conversational, matter-of-fact voice for educational content. Or, if you’re talking about something more serious and emotional, you could keep it light and airy. Your choice should feel comfortable and natural to you and your audience.
This brings us to our next point…
Your podcasting voice should be authentic and reflect who you are as a person. Think of it as the soundtrack to your story — it should be unique to you.
Start by being yourself and stay in that space.
Your listener will appreciate it, and so will you! The best podcast hosts are able to talk as if they’re having a conversation with their audience rather than preaching or lecturing them. Even a scripted show can benefit from a more natural, conversational tone.
And that means you need to be personable.
As an independent creator, building a sense of community is the quickest way to grow your listener count and viewership. This can be done with the effective use of language and tone.
Be the voice that sparks a connection between you and your listeners. People need to be able to relate to your story, so show them who you are and share your message clearly.
Art is Imitation
Not sure where to start?
Start by listening.
Make a list of your favorite podcasts and pay attention to how they sound and the topics they discuss. Are there similarities or common motif throughout your list? Do the hosts have unique styles? Take note of the elements you like and use them as inspiration.
Remember, art is imitation, so don’t be afraid to borrow ideas and techniques from others. Not only will it help you establish your voice faster, but it can also help you develop a style that stands out from the rest.
With practice, you will find a voice that resonates with your audience and brings out the best in your content. And remember – it’s okay if it takes some time to get there. Just keep telling your story and creating the best possible version of your podcast persona.
Great Storytelling is All About the Listener
A final word about podcasting: it’s all about the listener.
When crafting your podcast, always remember that the goal is to make sure that your audience feels connected to you and your story. Often, new podcast hosts are eager to flex their creative muscles and can forget the importance of engaging their listeners.
Great storytelling is all about delivering content that people can relate to, so use your podcasting voice to ensure it doesn’t get lost in translation.
Art requires practice and refinement, whether in a podcast or any other form. As you refine your voice and gain more experience in this field, you will understand what works best for you and your audience.
By following these tips, you will be well on your way to developing a unique podcasting voice and building an audience that can’t wait to hear more of what you have to say.