Have you ever listened to a podcast and thought:
OMG! This is sooo long!
Are they ever going to get to the point?
Are they ever going to get to today's topic?
Sheesh! I may need to fast forward because this isn't interesting.
These are reactions that take place due to the podcaster forgetting about a very important element to their show - YOU. Instead, they got caught up in a conversation, concept or segment, and they forgot to consider how much value it brought to the listener.
The hosts should always think of a listener as the other person in the conversation. Otherwise, they might feel less like they are in the conversation and more like their eavesdropping on one. This is an important concept in podcasting that is similar to a qualifier the late Gene Siskel applied when watching a movie. He would ask himself:
"Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?"
When I was hired to improve the radio fundraising drives at the Dallas/Fort Worth Public Radio Station, I applied this principle to our live on-air breaks. Sometimes that would mean changing something as simple as saying, "Good morning". If two people open their live segment saying "good morning" to one another (which was common), without the acknowledgement of the listener, there is an immediate disconnect. It's another reason why pledge breaks can be so irritating to listeners. It sounds like two people interrupted your favorite show to beg for money. Instead, it should sound like two like-minded people that want to discuss the importance of giving with you.
It can happen on podcasts as well. The hosts are having so much fun talking, that they'll veer off topic and sound unfocused. They simply forget they're doing a show for a listener, and it becomes all about them and their fun.
The same can happen when you're forced to listen to a segment that sounds weird or unengaging. The problem is that the host thought it was brilliant, and that was enough for it to be on the podcast. They got so caught up in how great it was to them, and they forgot to determine why the listener would like it.
If you ask people why they love certain podcasts so much, you'll often hear them say it's because they love the hosts. Many times they'll go as far as to say they feel like they're hanging out with them as they laugh, learn and talk. That's how you want your listener to feel.
When you produce podcasts and remember your listener at all times, you'll find that it can improve the quality of your show.
Your audience knows when they're valued and ignored.