Ep. 9 - Checklists Don't Work (the Czech Police Metasode)
...and a random ramble about driving as a bonus tangent!
In this metasode (meta-episode about creating Metacast, our podcast about podcasting), Arnab and I go back to the topic we brought up in the very first episode. We talk about the importance of checklists that we ourselves consistently failed to use for our podcast. This has caused us to forgot to ask people’s names, forgot to mention where to find them, etc., etc.
Being lousy doesn’t feel good.
So from the next episode on, we agreed that we’ll take turns to be the “Czech police” (read as “check police”). The Czech police nominee is tasked with
drinking Krušovice making sure we follow our recording checklist that includes things like having guests say their name, asking them where to find them, and reminding you, our dear listeners, to give us a five-star rating on Apple Podcasts if you haven’t already.
That’s what the header of our Google Doc for the next episode looks like. Lest we forget who the Czech police is.
In case you were wondering which tangent those two dudes went on this time… We somehow got ourselves into the topic of “which side of the road do you drive on in Russia,” which resulted in me telling a bunch of stories of semi-legal car importing schemes in that side of the world.
I also shared the story of getting my first car back in 2006. It was a right-wheel drive Nissan Wingroad (see the photo below) that I used to drive on the right side of the road (the “wrong” side!) I don’t know about the utility of this story but it was fun to go back almost 20 years and experience a bit of nostalgie.
Podcasting makes you smarter. We figured out that since starting Metacaset, we got exposed to many new concepts, ideas and people that we wouldn’t have otherwise discovered!
Podcasting makes you a better listener and speaker. Interviewing people trains you to listen to people and give them space to express themselves.
Re-listening to your episodes makes you smarter and better. When you post-produce your show and listen to episodes over and over again, it helps you better digest the knowledge and discover new insights. It also tremendously helps improve your speaking if you pay close attention to your speech patterns.
To avoid interruptions raise your hands. When there are a lot of people in a remote recording session, interruptions can be annoying. Agree on an etiquette of raising hands or some other signaling to let everyone figure out who speaks next.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to people for intros. Generally, people are willing to help you get a guest or any other opportunity. But only if you ask.
To gain efficiency, speed up audio during post-production. When I used Ferrite (a DAW for the iPad) to cut the audio content, I’d listen to monologues at 2x speed, just to make sure they sound ok. I’d then slow it down back to 1x during transitions between speakers and edit more carefully because handoffs between people is where stuff goes wrong. It helped me save a lot of time at an expense of a tiny reduction in quality.
Make someone accountable for following the checklist during recording. It’s hard to keep track of everything during recording, so it makes sense to appoint one of the hosts to be the “check police.” Obviously it only works if you have a co-host or a producer.
Be aware of the context carry-over. It’s natural to have some small talk with the guest before you hit the record button. You need to make sure that you don’t carry over the context you’ve built because listeners did not hear what was said off the record.
Producing video content is 4x the effort of producing audio. Get comfortable with audio first, then go into video if you feel ambitious. Don’t try to do both at the same time.
If you run a business, take good care of your users. When we recorded the previous episode, we had some issues with SquadCast and SquadCast founders Zach and Rock helped troubleshoot it in real time. That was a great example of outstanding customer service!
Ferrite — a DAW for the iPad that works with the Apple Pencil.
SquadCast — a powerful tool for recording interviews that we use for most of our recordings. It saves high quality audio locally and uploads files to the cloud, so you can download and process them later.
Shure MV7 — a dynamic mic with a direct USB interface. It is a smaller sibling of Shure SM7b.
Links to random mentions
Get in touch
We’d love to hear from you! Arnab is a Twitter guy and I’m on Instagram. Use the method that works best for you!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (both of us get it)
Arnab’s Twitter: @or9ob
Ilya’s Instagram: @podcasthacks
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Bye for now.
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