Where to Begin?

Whether it is for a course, work, or just for fun, podcasts can seem like a daunting challenge for a beginner, especially if you just signed up for a writing class required for your major. Creating a podcast is probably the last thing you thought you would end up doing. Honestly, it probably wasn't even a thought (but hey, no exam right?)

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Just picking a topic to talk about, for tons of strangers to listen to, can seem rather overwhelming. Luckily, it is not as hard as it seems, plus I have some tips that could just prove useful to you when picking a topic:

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1. Do not procrastinate.

For your own sanity, do not do it. Not only did I slightly procrastinate on writing this blog post. I also procrastinated on picking a topic, doing my pitch, and my episode proposal. Do not do it. It is not worth it. Trust me. You have to give yourself time because finding a topic takes time and effort. It is not something you can do in just five or ten minutes. You need to schedule off about an hour out of your busy schedule to make sure you have a solid topic

2. Pick a topic you are interested in

Not what Tom, Sarah, Billy, and Josephine are interested in, but a topic YOU are interested in. This is for a couple of reasons:

a) You are not them. You might get bored researching it and speaking on it. No one wants to listen to somebody talk about something that they themselves are not interested in.

b) If you like your topic there are going to be other people that like your topic.

c) When you are interested in what you are speaking about, you are going to be more genuine and enthusiastic. People want to listen to a person that is excited and charismatic.

3. Keep an open mind.

Just because you have a topic it does not mean it is set in stone and that you cannot change it. If you find something that draws your attention more or has more research and people talking about it than your current topic, by all means change it. That is unless the podcast is being done for a course because then you should probably talk to your professor first.

4. See if people are talking about it.

As I said in point number 3, see if academics and the media are talking about it. Do not freak out if you cannot find anyone who is. You might not be searching up the right keywords. If you can only find a few people talking about it do not be discouraged. Ask why people are not talking about it. The likelihood is that you will either have more popular sources than academic sources or vice versa. Discuss why you think that is in your podcast.

5. Narrow your topic.

You have a time limit for your podcast. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, no one is going to listen to you forever. You have your topic, so now you have to figure out which angle you’re coming from. Is it an ethical, psychological, societal, political, or economic angle? You have to make sure people can relate and connect to whichever angle you’re coming from. Then form a question you want to explore and pick a side. No matter which side you choose people are going to disagree with you, but that is life.

I hope that you are a little bit more prepared now when it comes to choosing a topic. Do not freak out about it. You will just make the task more difficult. If you find yourself getting frustrated leave it for an hour or two, go make some tea, watch some YouTube videos, or listen to music. When you are de-stressed and ready come back to it. Podcasts may require some effort and time, but overall they are rather entertaining to create.