Everything.All of us tell stories, all day long. Just listen to the conversations going on around you during the course of any normal day. As human beings we LOVE stories. It’s why the movie industry and the publishing industry and the television industries are even in existence.Those are STORY industries.On this episode I want to open the door to an idea – one you likely haven’t thought of before.
YOUR podcast can be and should be full of stories tooBut most of us don’t think of ourselves as storytellers. But we are. We are podcast storytellers.For this episode I decided to chat with a friend of mine, Jonathan Messinger – a podcaster and storyteller for kids. His podcast, “The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian” is a great example of what can be done to leverage storytelling to its fullest… and not just for kids. Stick around and hear how integrating more story into your podcast could make a huge difference.
- [1:26] Who is Jonathan and why did he start a kid’s storytelling podcast?
- [4:90] Making his storytelling fit the podcasting format
- [9:16] How music plays into the impact of a fiction podcast
- [12:02] The original idea of Jonathan’s story idea and how it has morphed
- [14:01] Jonathan’s son, Griffin serves as his content editor and kid’s voice for the show
- [17:42] A taste of “The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian” (clip from the show)
- [20:44] What goes into the production of a mult-sound clip like you just heard
- [26:30] Podcast storytelling: What Jonathan has learned about the power of stories
- [33:48] How Jonathan drives audience participation and WHY he does
- [38:48] Sound effects and music: engagement tips to make your show more impacting
- [40:45] Jonathan’s tips for getting better audience feedback and interaction
- [44:05] Jonathan’s role as part of GenZ media
Other Goodies Mentioned On This Episode
BOOK: Out On A Wire: http://a.co/d/hRbk7KE
BOOK: Around The World In 80 Days: http://a.co/d/gZ3WduK
Sound Toys plugin: Little Alter Boy: https://www.soundtoys.com/product/little-alterboy/
https://PodcastFastTrack.com/HTP – How To Podcast Step By Step (the course)
BOOK SERIES: Septimus Heap: http://a.co/d/9mMEbOG
BOOK: Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus: http://a.co/d/4WbevrT
Google Forms: https://www.google.com/forms/about/
Google Voice: https://voice.google.com/
The Retirement Answer Man: https://RogerWhitney.com
GenZ Media and GenZKids: https://BestRobotEver.com
The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel: https://www.marspatel.com/
6 Questions: http://www.bestrobotever.com/six-minutes
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Every podcast episode is telling a story, even yours
The human brain thinks in terms of stories.We love the suspense, the building of drama and tension, the life and death stakes, and the resolution when the bad guy/gal gets what’s coming to them. But stories fill our lives in simpler, more common ways than just that.Listen to the people at the office, or the health club, or the grocery store. Everyone is telling their version of something that happened to them that day, or the previous week, or at some point in the past. Stories are everywhere.
I bet – I BET you tell stories on your podcast already\But you just don’t think about it that way – and because you haven’t, you’re not making the most of them.But if you did, what might happen? How might it IMPROVE your show?I think it would make your show more appealing to your listeners and more “sticky” too – so you keep the listeners you have and retain the new ones who give your show a try.Because humans love stories. Remember?
DO THIS NOW: Stop to think about the next topic you plan to address on your podcast.Can you remember the time when that topic came into focus for you?
- What was going on in your life then?
- What contributed to it being front and center?
- Were there any situations where you experienced failure or difficulty as you learned it?
- Was there any part of the process (or what you were going through at the time that made it ESPECIALLY difficult or intense?
- why stories are important
- how they engage the imagination and make learning more effective
- how Jonathan includes his son (and his audience) in crafting his stories
- how you can use stories to engage your audience in whole new ways
- creative engagement strategies that get your listeners talking to you
Podcast storytelling will magnify the impact of your showI want you to take a few minutes to do a little exercise with me. Consider this an illustration of the power of podcast storytelling.Ready? (They’re going to get harder as they go)
DO THIS NOW: Briefly finish the storyline for each of the following tales…
- A young man lives on a desert planet, longing to travel beyond the confines of his dusty existence. One day his Uncle – who is is guardian – purchases two droids from local scrap dealers…
- In a land of rolling green hills and bountiful annual harvests lives a small, unassuming creature, quite content to curl up with his books and pipe by the fireplace. He’s not at all interested in a life of adventure. One day a very tall, mysterious wizard arrives at his door announcing that a band of dwarves has been invited to dinner…
- A young man awakens to find himself in a lonely room, the sound of waves and seagulls call to him from outside. The stabbing pains in his back remind him of something he can’t quite recall. A man stands over him, his heavy French accent inquiring, “Who are you? What is your name?” The young man opens his mouth but cannot remember what he should say…
What happened the moment your mind grasped the story that was being described?Your mind started RECOUNTING the story, didn’t it? In vivid detail.THAT is the power of stories. They lodge things in our minds in a powerful way.What would happen if YOUR audience remembered YOUR episodes with the same clarity and detail that you just remembered those three tales?Now I’ve got you thinking, haven’t I?
The things you’re trying to communicate on YOUR podcast are important.
- To you
- To your listeners
- To others who are interested in the topics you cover (call these your “pre-listeners”)
To use stories effectively in your podcast, imagine you’re reading to a group of kidsOne of the points Jonathan made in this conversation was that when he first started recording his podcast, “The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian, he felt like he was kind of flat. His voice didn’t seem very expressive. It was even a little stilted.Later on, when he was reading a bedtime story to his own kids, his STYLE was totally different.
- He was animated.
- Using character voices.
- Working to get his kids engaged with the story.
DO THIS NOW: Get YOUR imagination goingWho are YOU talking to with your podcast episodes? Who is your IDEAL listener?Do you even know? If you do, imagine them sitting in a room listening to your presentation (in a magical world where you NEVER get nervous when speaking in public, of course). 🙂See them nodding. See them paying attention. See them writing notes furiously.You’ll find yourself speaking with more energy, as if you really want to help those people.If you don’t know who your ideal listener is… take some time to figure it out.
- Are they male or female?
- Why are they interested in your topics?
- What do they need to understand that they don’t?
- Why is it important that they learn what you have to share?
- What benefit will they receive from applying the information you provide?
One last thing on this topic…Don’t be afraid of expressing a little enthusiasm. Don’t be shy about expressing who you really are. That’s the person your listeners subscribed to hear.You’ll find the benefits are powerful.
Audience engagement ideas that work for kids could work for adultsOne of the coolest things about what Jonathan does with his kids podcast is that he asks the kids to be a part of the show.He does it in a handful of ways – but they are very effective.
- He’s got an ongoing schtick about his robot eating artwork – so he asks his listeners to create artwork for the robot to eat (he’s not just asking them to do something, he’s gamifying the request).
- His son (the content editor of his show) asks kids to send in their own sounds – that Jonathan then tweaks with some handy-dandy software and includes in his episodes.
- He asks kids to submit their own plot ideas – and they do.
DO THIS NOW: Think through the thing(s) you want to ask your audience to do.
- Rating and review? (boring, and perhaps not even helpful)
- Subscribe to your email list? (what’s in it for THEM?)
- Submit questions for you to answer? (Maybe they will, but most won’t)
- Sign up to be part of your Facebook community? (Why SHOULD they?)
One of the suggestions Jonathan had for doing that was communicated in these words…“Meet your audience on their level and in ways they are comfortable with.”IN OTHER WORDS: Don’t expect…
- Everyone will be comfortable sending you a voicemail to include on your show
- All your listeners will email you when you ask
- The Facebook community you create for them will be irresistible to everyone
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