AskPat 797 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody. Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 797 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week. We have a great question today from Andres, but before we get to his question, I do want to thank today's sponsor, a brand new sponsor here on the show, which is BambooHR.
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All right, and now here's today's question from Andres.
Andres: Hi, Pat. This is Andres. I'm starting a podcast and would like to ask, what will be the best exercise for improving my speaking in front of my microphone? Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey, Andres. Thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate it. The exercises that you can do for improving your speaking in front of a microphone. I love this question because I have been very conscious about improving my speaking skills on stage, on the podcast, and wherever I'm at, even in person in a conversation. I try my best to always work on the skills of communication because that's how we get our ideas across and how we can build trust with people and how we can actually make a difference. So I really appreciate this question, Andres.
So the first suggestion I would have for you is an obvious one, and that is to practice. Now there are different ways to practice and I'll get into those in just a minute, but for anybody else out there starting a podcast or starting to speak on stage, or even starting a blog or YouTube channel or whatever, you got to practice. And the only way to get better is to do it. You could read all about it, you can listen to podcasts all about it, you can watch YouTube videos all you want about these things that you want to do, but the best way to improve is to just practice. Practice, practice, practice.
Now, in the realm of podcasting there's a few things that you could do to practice. The first thing I would do is before you record your first episode, is to just record small episodes that will never go live. But you want to approach them as if they were real episodes. Have them be five to ten minutes in length, and just practice. And that will get you familiar with what it's like to speak in front of nobody because you're in a room by yourself talking on a microphone. It's kind of weird at first. I will admit.
Secondly, you're able to understand what should the volume be like, how far should your mouth be from the microphone, what are the levels like, and actually record and listen back to it. It's gonna be completely awkward. You're not going to like the sound of your own voice. I still don't like the sound of my own voice, but don't let that stop you. I record and then I listen to my own voice every once in awhile, even now, because I want to make sure that it sounds fine in terms of the levels, that it's not crackly, or it's coming through correctly. I don't pay attention to the tone of my voice anymore. I also pay attention to rhythm. How is my speaking? Is it actually something that is kind of hard to listen to because of the rhythm, because it’s. . . broken. . . up and it . . .would sound. . . see, that sounds weird if I did that. So you don't necessarily know what it's going to sound like until you listen to it.
If you wanted to take that a step further, share those mini recordings with just a few people who you trust, people in mastermind groups, people who are friends of yours, who can then leave you positive feedback or constructive feedback based on what you've done. I think that's going to be really helpful for you. So a few small quick recordings will just get those weird feelings out and to help you understand what it's going to be like just to start.
Secondly, I would say go live on Facebook. Going live on Facebook, or perhaps you prefer Periscope, even Instagram, they have the capability for you to go live and just practice being in front of an audience and talking to them. And that's always going to help you. I found that whenever I do a live stream and then I go record podcasts—just immediately, because I have a little bit of energy, because I have some practice just immediately before speaking to real people—that will always translate into the podcast. Actually that might be a great exercise for everybody who's podcasting out there. Go live on Facebook right before because you're going to be able to connect with your audience and keep them in mind when you go into a podcast situation and then you're just recording on your own. So that's a great thing that you could do. I think in any opportunity you have to speak, especially for serving another audience, is going to help you with your podcasting and your communication skills.
And then finally, the last thing I want to say is just go. Just do it. If you go back, Andres, and listen to my first episodes of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, they are terrible. I actually recorded my first episode three times because I was so scared of what it was going to be like and how people were going to react to it, and on the third time I just said, “You know what, I'm just going to put it out there. I know it's going to be bad, but it will get better each and every time.” And it has. It's gotten better slowly at first, and then over time you can start to see the quality improve and even now I'm still improving. I'm still saying “um,” I still stumble on words like this every once in awhile. But that's okay, because people, as long as you're giving them information that's helpful and as long as you're just being yourself, and you're being honest and authentic, how you speak doesn't really matter, as long as they can understand you.
And Andres, your English was just fine. And I think if you at any point ever feel like you are at a disadvantage because you have this second language, just remember, not everybody has a second language under their belt in a way that they can communicate. That is so cool of you. It makes you much smarter than many other people out there who have tried to learn a second language, and here it is: you're about to create a podcast in a different language. That is amazing. So never put yourself down for having English as a second language. You are awesome.
So Andres, to finish up, just keep going, practice, and the last thing I want to mention is if you want to really get serious about podcasting, if you do this and you want to maybe get on stage some day, one thing I would recommend is actually singing lessons. This is something that has helped me massively. In 2014, I took singing lessons by a woman named Kerri Ho. We actually took it together on Skype. So she was actually in Australia, I'm in San Diego here in California, and I hired her. Her handle on Twitter is @KerriHo, for anybody else who is interested in working with her. But singing lessons completely changed my breathing, my intonation, my stamina, which has been really, really helpful for recording a lot of these episodes, especially a large batch of them in one single day. And of course, speaking on stage, it's allowed me to project even better.
And finally, at these conferences that I go to, one thing that often happens is we get into a situation after the conference where many people will have lost their voice because they've used it so much talking to a lot of people, communicating, networking. Especially at the parties where there's a lot of loud music and a lot of people talking, so you're trying to talk over everybody else, and a lot of people end up losing their voice, which is the last thing you want to happen if you're a podcaster or if you're a communicator. So, singing lessons, it's completely helped me with my endurance with my voice. And that's another thing I would recommend if you want to take it up to the next level.
So Andres, thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you. I want to send you an “AskPat” t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show and I want to wish you all the best of luck. And for everybody else out there, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to www.AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thanks so much. I appreciate you. And here is a quote to finish off the day by Tim Gunn. He says, “Would you ever say about anything, ‘It can't be better?' I don't think so. Whatever it is, it can be better.” Perfect quote.
Thanks guys. Take care, and I'll see you in the next episode. Bye.
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