Don’t dismiss the power of the pen as a podcast tool
When we talk about tools to make you a better podcaster, you probably think about mics and mixers. Well, there’s one tool you want to have in your tool kit and it’s one that I never podcast without. The mighty pen.
I know, I know, nobody uses a pen anymore because we’re always typing and texting. Well, there are three good reasons for you to go old-school and embrace the pen as an essential podcaster tool.
(Kids, a pen is a device that us old people used to use to communicate. We would use it to write words on paper so we could pass notes around the classroom. It looked kind of like a stylus but with ink in it.)
Three ways to use a pen if you’re a podcaster:
- Shape up that lazy, sloppy mouth of yours. If your diction is slipping (or you’re podcasting after a tequila bender again) this trick will help you form your words perfectly. This trick is a great way to ensure you start your podcast strong.
- Tappity Tap. Make sure you are actually recording with the right mic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard great podcasts that sound like shit because they were recorded using the integrated mic instead of that big, gorgeous podcaster mic. Tap it before you hit record and make sure you see the tell-tale spike. And, while you’re at it, get your guest to tap theirs (especially if they sound like they’re talking to you through a couch cushion).
- Like a pen. Ah, good old pen and paper. I use a pen when I’m recording to mark up my script (I might underline words I want to emphasize or put some lines between sentences where I need a dramatic pause). But, I also use it to stay in the moment during interviews. If your guest says something you want to come back to and you don’t have a pen to note it down, you’re going to have to store it in your brain. Now you’re thinking about your next question instead of listening to your guest! (ahem, that’s bad). So, note it down, stay in the conversation and come back to your note when the time is right.
A pen may not be fun and sexy like a new swinging mic arm or a sweet mixer, but it’s still an essential tool in my podcast toolkit. Ever since my broadcast days, I won’t turn on a mic without one.
Oh, and you are wondering if you can use a pencil instead. The answer is NO! Gross! Also, pencils are too audible when you make notes so just throw that thing in the trash.
It’s true. These are the kinds of tips you’ll only hear from me and if you want more of them, make sure you are signed up to receive my twice monthly Podcaster Tipsletter emails.