AskPat 495 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 495 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.
All right. Here's today's question from Glen.
Glen: Hi Pat. My name's Glen. I have another question for you today about podcasting and specifically regarding scripting for podcasts. From what I understand there's three different methods that a lot of people use for their podcasts: scripting, ad lib, and creating a basic outline and following the outline. I was wondering if you've used any or all three of these methods and if so, which ones have worked most effectively for you? I find sometimes I stumble over my words, so I'm kind of leaning towards scripting currently or at least creating an outline, but I also don't want it to sound like I'm reading off a script. I don't want it to sound manufactured and fake, so I'm wondering if you use any of these methods, and if so, which one you like the best and why? Thanks a lot. Love everything you do. Keep it up.
Pat Flynn: Hey Glen, what's up? Thank you so much for the question today. First of all, your mic sounds great. So, you're getting into podcasting, great job. You sound great. Now let's work on the actual stuff that you're going to say during your show and I think you have the right mindset in terms of just making sure that you are approaching this in the right way. Now, when I started podcasting, I didn't really get any advice in terms of how to approach recording my show. I got some advice eventually, in order of how to put it all together, but actually recording my voice was a big struggle for me. My very first episode in July of 2010 was recorded three different times and actually, which outlined these three different ways.
The first time I did it, I tried to do it on my own, completely ad lib and it was just totally, it was totally bonkers. I just didn't know what to say, I stumbled a lot and it just sounded terrible, very slow, not confident at all. The second time around because of that first experience, the second time I recorded that very first episode again, I'm just re-recording the same episode, I scripted the entire thing. It was just a 24, 25-minute episode, but I had written about 20 pages worth of stuff that I was going to say word-for-word and I recorded that and I listened to it and it sounded, like you said, very robotic, very, just there's no character there was no emotion in it. So, I re-recorded it again and I said, “You know what, I can't believe I'm doing this three times, but let me just write an outline, bullet points of just things I want to cover and I will just go, and no matter what happens, I'm just going to go with it because there's no way I'm going to get any episodes out there if I keep re-recording this darn first episode.”
So, I just went with it and it wasn't that good, but it was good enough because it got my ideas across—I do what I had wanted to cover and I did stumble. I said “um” a lot and if you go back to that first episode, episode one of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, I can't even listen to it now because it's so terrible. But the thing is, I've learned over time how to trust myself with what I'm going to say. So, I outline, but I ad lib based on my outline and my outlines are very, very, very basic, just one or two words that tell me the main transformation I want my audience to have with that particular episode, any sort of questions I want to make sure I ask or topics that I cover if I'm doing an interview or if I'm doing a solo show, just points I want to make sure I cover and any supporting details, data, stories, case studies that go along with them and that's it.
I've learned and I learned this through a lot of public speaking, too, because I did the same thing. I got so scared about what I was going to say that I scripted everything I was going to say on stage my first time on stage, which was in October of 2011 in Chicago for the Financial Blogger Conference. I scripted the whole thing because I was even more nervous than when I started my podcast. I did okay at making it sound sort of natural, but I did script the whole thing and when I eventually got serious about public speaking, I hired a coach and that coach asked me, “Well, how did you prepare for your first presentation?” and I told him, I scripted the whole thing and he said, “What, are you serious?” He couldn't believe that I scripted a 25-minute presentation word for word and I literally memorized every single word on those 20-plus pages. It was just like that first podcast.
He eventually said something that stuck with me ever since. He said, “By scripting it, I'm not so much worried about you sounding robotic. I'm more worried about you not giving yourself an opportunity to tell stories, to be creative, to use that part of your brain that you use when you're having a normal conversation with somebody, that allows it to be just so much more meaningful, so much more deep in a conversation. When you go and have a conversation with a friend, for example, you don't go into that conversation with a script. You go into it and maybe you're having a conversation and there are talking points that you have that you want to talk about, or stories that you want to tell, but then you just tell that story and it becomes so much more connected because you're telling it from the heart, you're not just telling it from the brain.”
When I heard that, I eventually learned the method of outlining the points I want to cover, with the most important thing being, “What is that transformation I want my audience to have?” especially on stage, but on a podcast, too. What's that transformation you want your audience to have? Now it's just a fancy way of saying “What's the point of the talk?” or “What's the point of the podcast?” But I like thinking of it as the transformation, because the center of your thinking and creating that piece of content is your audience. It's not just, “Well, how can I make this best for me?” It's, “How can I make sure this actually does something for who I'm speaking to or who's on the other end listening?”
You approach it that way and you kind of work backwards from that transformation, outlining the points, the stories, the case studies, the supporting anything data that help you make that transformation happen. This helps you outline everything, this helps you with everything from blog posts to podcast episodes to videos to public speaking and then you just have to trust yourself. In the beginning you're not going to trust yourself. You're going to stumble, but that's a part of the process and the more you do this, the more you hit the record button and just start talking, looking at your outline of course, the better you'll become.
I feel like I've made a ton of progress since 2011. Now I've done four different podcasts. This one I do five days a week. The other one now switched from twice a week to once a week. Then I have SPI TV and the FoodTruckr School Podcast—that and a lot of practice. Because of that I feel like I've gotten so much better at communicating, not just on a microphone, not just on stage, but with other people in person, too, and that's an amazing byproduct of actually putting yourself out there and starting a podcast.
If you are looking to start a podcast—not you Glen because you're obviously already looking to start a podcast or have done so already—but for those of you listening, if you want to start a podcast, head on over to PodcastingTutorial.com. That's my free tutorials. Six complete videos to help you step by step create a podcast. There's absolutely no paywall. There's no e-mail required in order to get access to that. Again, podcastingtutorial.com. You'll see it right there. I don't ask you for anything except to commit. You'll see that right at the beginning, that's the only thing that I ask you to do, is to commit and then you can go through those videos.
So, Glen, I hope this helps you. Again, just to sum it up, outline, but think about the transformation. Create the outline based off of that and the supporting points to help you get there and help your audience get there when they're listening to and then just trust yourself. It's not even ad libbing, you're just having a conversation and speaking from the heart. So, Glen, thank you so much for the question. We're going to send you and AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show and for those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Here's a quote to finish off the day by Seth Godin. He said, “You are not your resume. You are your work.” Check it out and look forward to tomorrow's episode. I hope you'll be there to listen because I have a special announcement related to the book that I'm coming out with and I hope you all excited about that as much as I am because I am so excited to share it with you. Anyway, more on that tomorrow. Thank you so much. I appreciate you and have a good one. Take care. Bye.