Joseph Nathan Cohen

Department of Sociology, CUNY Queens College, New York, NY

Building a Successful Podcast with Jay Acunzo (Unthinkable Media)

This livestream was produced as part of the QPL Learning Series project.

Original Video Description

Join the Queens Podcast Lab‘s Learning Seminar for a discussion with Jay Acunzo, podcaster and showrunner with Unthinkable Media. Jay currently hosts Unthinkable with Jay Acunzo, a show about creative production. He is also the former host of 3 Clips by Castos, an excellence show on podcast marketing and enterprise development. This seminar offers an excellent opportunity to hear from a first-rate mind in podcast strategy and marketing who has interviewed many of the medium’s great creators. Planned topics include: What are the ties that bind great podcasts? Where to start when developing a podcast? Where to get show ideas? Hosting well. Sound editing. Developing audiences. / jayacunzo AUTHOR, SHOW HOST, AND CONTENT CONSIGLIERE FOR CREATIVE B2B BRANDS Before my current work as an independent creator, coach, and consultant, I worked in marketing roles at Google, HubSpot, ESPN, and one of tech’s top early-stage VC firms, NextView. I’ve launched dozens of digital side projects, appeared in the New York Times and Washington Post, delivered speeches to everyone from 60 CEOs to 6,000 content marketers, and my stories have been heard by over a million people worldwide. My rally cry to others is simple but urgent: “Keep making what matters.” To help, I teach B2B creators and marketers to question best practices, unleash their creative best, and build brands according to their values.

Transcription (Auto-Generated)

okay all right we’re going live now guys okay we are live welcome everybody to the queen’s podcast lab learning seminar my name is joseph cohen i’m a professor in the sociology department here at queen’s college in the city university of new york and co-director of the queen’s podcast lab this learning series connects content creators with acclaimed or aspiring content creators with the claim creators and researchers who have expertise related to content creation and today we have a very interesting guest who’s kind of a mix of both uh i am joined by uh jaya kunzo of unthinkable media and host of the podcast uh unthinkable uh he’s not working in the academy though we were talking a little bit about how he should he’s he’s a he’s an independent creator but his content is a really interesting blend of uh what i i describe as management theory meets the kind of creation and production related theories that they engage over in media studies in english and a lot of great sort of personal management uh content too jay how would you describe the kind of work that you do with the kind of content that you make yeah you know it’s funny at the cocktail party it become a nightmare like what do you do i actually just say i’m a writer and either people’s eyes glaze over or they’ll say what do you write about and i’ll explain it but honestly it all comes back to the same mission which is i want to help other people other professionals make what matters most to their careers or their companies or their communities there’s a lot of copycat or repurposed thinking and work out there there’s a lot of folks just trying to get famous quick there’s a lot of people repurposing other ideas as their own there’s all these problems and some of it is well-meaning i’m trying really hard but i feel like i have this other gear to get to creatively and i can’t and being a pure creator as i am and then having worked in the business world in many different capacities i just see the marriage and how harmonious it can be when you build a business according to your values and use your creativity to do so to serve your audience not just yourself um and so i’m trying to help people do that through all the work that i’m doing which we can get into yeah totally it’s like you have a very interesting body of work that engages the kinds of questions that we see students and aspiring creators grappling with when they’re trying to develop a new podcast or any type of new creative enterprise they’re like what do i do how do i become good and how do i succeed and i see you as having created a body of work that sort of engages those basic questions from multiple angles like through the podcasting medium uh i became i first became uh uh uh familiar with jay’s work through uh podcast that was sponsored by castos it’s like a a podcast hosting company that we use here at the uh lab and it was called three clips uh by castos that hit on all these aspects and now he’s working on unthinkable and i think it all it all involves this marketing or this management theory this entrepreneurship type of stuff is that a fair characterization yeah you know what i really am fascinated by studying if that’s the mission help others make what matters then there’s a lot of that’s the why there’s a lot of house right like you know the first foray into that mission was um probably 2015 i was working in a venture capital firm in boston that and new york that invest in seed stage early stage tech companies um and that was my last in-house job previously i’d worked in marketing and media roles for places like google and hubspot before they went public and a tiny little startup no one’s ever heard of that was a profound learning experience for me too and so i was in marketing and media roles having come out of school wanting to be a sports journalist so i’d written columns for my student paper i became a sports editor i interned at different publications in my home state of connecticut you know and such a such a learning experience to have to walk up to random strangers who are decades older than you and stick a recorder in their face and ask good questions and write a piece and meet a deadline and all these things i just am so grateful for the journalistic experience but i like sports because i liked the human interest stories the feature pieces the columnists who would make you feel something big or think something important in a way that the daily slog didn’t seem to allow for whether you’re a student or you’re a professional and so when i got into business i was a little sort of begrudging about it i didn’t love the idea of working in marketing i worked in sales and account management at google consulting their advertisers who would run ads through google’s products and it was like just not the job for me i was supposed to love it i was that a-type student who got the grades joined the club become the leader of the club joined the sports become the captain of the team i was sold this career path that was in this nice neat box labeled career that did not match who i am or maybe even the era that i live in and i was miserable i was like wait i’m at google i should love this why am i so unhappy well it’s because i wasn’t living the career or building the career that’s uniquely suited for me and my skills and so what i’ve found is since moving through all these in-house jobs and discovering kind of who i am and what i want i value not certainty but i value control which i think those are sort of inversely proportional the more certainty you have the less control because you’re working in a giant organization that gives you everything the more control you have you probably just started a business on your own if you want total control you obviously have less certainty and you trade these things off against each other i value control more than certainty and so being an in-house individual just wasn’t for me i like to say i’m bad at bosses i just think i’m just i like having control over what i’m building and so my first foray into doing that kind of work was in 2016 leaving that venture capital firm to run my podcast unthinkable and uh basically have a a paid public speaking business on the side that was my engine that drove revenue to grow my show and a funny thing happened along the way which was people had heard unthinkable or the the venture capital firm i worked for i had also done a show for them they heard these two shows they sounded different both occupying a saturated space lots of vcs have shows even back then and i was talking about creativity in business that’s also a saturated niche with my show where you might say creativity and marketing even and people were like but this is different there’s something about these shows that feels different than the average brand making a show to promote themselves or just to talk to a laundry list of experts with no real differentiation to the approach could you make a show for us jay and i’d never thought of doing that but the opportunities came inbound because i was always this published happy person with side blogs all the time about sports and business side blogs about you know anything i wanted to write about and that engine that muscle to create on the side led me to create podcasts maybe more confidently maybe i’m like a little self-delusional but i think that’s useful in some ways so now i got all these opportunities of brands coming to me wanting to make a show for them and now that’s a big core of what i do which is i make shows for brands as a big driver of revenue in addition to my own projects which are these teaching vehicles to help inspire greater creativity in the workplace so so like i want to talk about being special in a second but i just want to touch on this backstory because i think a lot of students will sympathize with this so when you were in college you sort of wanted to be expressive in your work or do a creative type of work but like a lot of young people you were like well i guess i have to grow up and get like the good job yeah and eventually though you you found that you like you figured out a way to go back to that passion of being an expressive or a creative and you sort of merged it with your business knowledge and found a new way to pursue that passion right a more viable space type of thing is that am i getting that right yeah you know i’m i love the marvel movies and people who like marvel will know the character winter soldier and i like to say i’m like winter soldier so this is a character who was just a guy at one point he’s a friend of captain americas and uh he gets abducted by the bad guys and they give him super soldier serum so now he’s super powered they give him a metal arm all these things he didn’t ask for or seek out he was given and now that he’s awake again he’s a superhero for the good side and i kind of feel like that’s my story it’s like i don’t you know the people i worked with weren’t evil or anything in marketing and sales but i learned the language of business i learned the operations of how do you grow an audience for a brand how do you develop a business that actually sells products and services not ad space which is a crumbling very weak business model today how do you speak the language of people who might hire you who want something from your creativity and you can show them how not diluting the creative not doing it to the lowest common denominator is actually really good for business so i’ve kind of become this translator for folks looking to do that on their own and i’m able to do that in my business you know speaking the language i feel is now fluent which is marketing and sales and brand building and business and marrying that to the the behavior that i’m i’m sort of most comfortable in which is creating maybe a higher caliber story or narrative or experience because a lot of people in business you know their tendency is what’s the cheapest possible route to do this let’s water it down what’s everyone else doing let’s copy them you know the cliche for years and years was like we want design like apple right we want virality like facebook like people aren’t necessarily seeing clearly when they approach creative projects so in the podcast space specifically what this leads to especially business brands brand selling to other businesses they sell software to other businesses for example is everyone looks the same you could white label every podcast remove the name that it actually has and replace it with the same name across the board and it would still make sense talking topics with experts i’m going to interview i sell tools for sales people i’m going to interview sales experts i sell tools for marketers i’m going to interview marketing experts and on down the line and it’s just i just get personally frustrated with the lack of care for craft with the lack with the gaze that most marketers and business people have being lowered to that lowest common denominator creatively because sometimes they think that works often times they just haven’t seen what they can do creatively even with a restricted budget even when they’re not like a media company so that to me has been an unexpected and definitely like not something i sought out superpower which is having worked in marketing and in sales and around a lot of founders in vc having seen the machinations of a good business or many good businesses i know now know how to thrive professionally through creativity and help others do the same yeah and it’s inspiring too because i think a lot of people think that learning creative skills is a waste if you don’t become an actor or a writer uh but what your story suggests is those skills are gonna be useful even if they are not in the title of your first job you’ll use them right at some point to me all crates yeah creativity gets a bad rap or it’s misconstrued i think is more like more accurate you know it’s misconstrued as you got to go big creativity means big i disagree i think it’s just the sum total of lots of little choices that anybody can make and route to finalizing a project people think creativity means oh a big spike in the numbers tons of audience tons of sales tons of acclaim whatever i think actually creativity is how you approach the work all the time right if you have five hours and five hundred dollars it’s not about getting more time and budget it’s about how you use your five hours and five hundred dollars it’s how you see the world and execute accordingly so there’s all these myths it’s the muse i was you know it’s innates in who i am ultimately when you boil it down it’s a practice you know you make a thing then you do it again you do it again you do it and you keep improving all the while and so on the side i’ve always had a writing practice now i have a writing and a podcasting practice and all of that practice all the junk quite frankly that i’ve created over the years gets me to the point where someone like you who has taste and and can discern people from each other says can you come and talk to us like the only reason i’m here is because i’m sitting atop a body of work most of which is bad that’s it and that’s any creator if an alien species visited our world and we’re to look at folks who create media for professionally and actually analyze somehow with their alien technology every single thing that person or group created the only conclusion they could make is you’re all really bad at this yeah like you have these outlier successes but the problem is all we see are the outlier successes all you see are the shows that i continue because they’re working you don’t see all the pilots that fail you don’t see all the drafts i delete you don’t see you know the versions of the draft before the thing becomes good this is just the practice and it’s about constant improvement that’s true of an overall career it’s true of the creative craft it’s also really difficult for businesses to get on board with because they think every attempt has to work right and so the trick is to show them what they want their goals are better served with what you can bring as a creative it is not you’re doing it wrong business world do it my way and so that’s kind of that translated work that i do but it’s built on top of a lot of bad work that i’ve done well it’s also you know i feel like if you can reward a listener once even over several episodes the listener will appreciate it because good insights are are hard to come by and like all you have to do is is give somebody a reward once in a while and you’ll take many kicks at the net you’ll miss usually but if you can land a few goals then they like you um so i but the other thing that uh uh came up in your response was you know how how people think about being good and i think a lot of people pee in on things like equipment or uh you know marketing or or paying for promotion only because that aspect of the business is obvious and doable and a lot of people when they start off like they want to be special they want to be good but what does that even mean like they don’t you know they’re you don’t even know where to start it’s simple to say this microphone is great and i’ve tested it and it works but where does you know what does somebody do when they first approach the craft and the business of being a podcaster and they’re like well i want to be good but i don’t know what that is even yeah what is it like in your experience like what makes a podcast special or so i grew up playing basketball i mentioned sports before i grew up playing it in high school and played a ton just for fun and extracurriculars in college and um that was my sport there’s this very familiar phenomenon if you play basketball especially pick up basketball like at the park or at a local gym this familiar thing you’ll notice as a player you’ll walk into uh you know people are shooting around you haven’t picked teams yet and you’ll see this person like i always saw this this one guy down the end of the court and he just looked like an awesome player you know he had the compression sleeve on his arm and you know unbelievable gear he looked great with all the things he bought for the you know whatever shorts he was wearing the brand new lebron james shoes or whatever popular shoe it was at the moment in time the guy would look the part of an incredible player and then a funny thing would happen when the ball would go up that person could not play yeah that to me describes a lot of people creating online today they want to look the part of a creator whether that’s in-house as a marketer or self-expression with a fun project that maybe you hope leads to an audience or a business someday a lot of people want to look the part and so i’ll talk to lots of folks or maybe appear on their shows and it’s like wow your studio setup is unbelievable like you’ve just you’ve clearly spent a ton of time and money in doing that i know a software company that is a giant company that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars building an in-house studio for themselves before they’d launched a single episode so here’s the thing when you go play basketball the gear and all that stuff that’s not what basketball is playing basketball is what basketball is everything else is incremental right playing the basketball is what playing the sport is what basketball is say same with podcasting being on a microphone connecting with your audience having a really important premise develop well the idea driving your entire show having a very gripping episode format that gets people to the end the way you format and structure your episode even if it’s an interview the plan you take to that interview and then you the talent the ability to connect with your personality and bring forth that personality not as you would over coffee or on a stage but through this device here that is playing that is the game that’s that’s developing a great podcast as for the the the way you look that’s incremental that can come later like you would listen to it to a gripping incredible storyteller with a worse microphone yeah than someone with unbelievable audio and a crisp clear video of themselves who fumbles who can’t grip you who can’t tell a story so most people want to be that player with all the gear i i am very much in favor and this fits people’s budgets better by the way of using what’s between your ears not what’s in your wallet to stand out today creatively but what happens like for example uh when an aspiring podcaster says okay i’m sold i i want to learn the how to and i’m going to do it on my phone but what do i do concretely then if i’m not buying equipment then how do i get started what do i need to do to be special to not just be another one of these also reds awesome let’s talk about show development because that’s what you’re talking about you how do you develop a show you know you hear this like mythology you might hear an interview with somebody who’s a show runner in la or they’ve you know hollywood scripts and all this stuff and it’s like it is this like black box and very simply a show is the combination of three distinct things it’s the premise the format and the talent and i mentioned those quickly before the premise is the concept driving the entire show it’s not just the topics you explore because that’s not differentiated you know if you’re talking about marketing today you’re not going to own the idea of marketing you’re also not going to own the idea of b2b content marketing for small businesses in toronto no matter how niche that sounds like the topics what you explore is not differentiated but how you explore it might be and when you combine what and how you give the audience a reason why they’d care so with a premise what you’re looking for and this is something that is very useful for someone like me who you know i’m sicilian so i’m very animated very passionate and when you’re born sicilian you get you automatically you’re born with like a chip on your shoulder so useful for me but i think practice for others and useful for them too start with frustration so who do you want to serve what is broken about what they’re doing you know with unthinkable i’m exploring this concept of creative resonance everyone is exploring reach you know more audience more followers top line numbers more more and more growth growth growth well what actually does the work of getting you results what actually sparks action in others whether the result is a sale or a subscriber or you know evangelizing a cause in the world and improving the world we need action from other people the resonance does that not the reach like being visible is not what marketing actually is it’s ensuring they care and so we assume if more people knew about us they love us let’s focus on the love us part really and the reach tends to take care of itself because if you have passionate fans they will go tell others for you for free so there’s my business case translation coming out right essentially what i just did was make a smart sounding case i hope for me saying to a marketer hey you know that show you’re making you should make it good but i can’t say that i have to say it in the terms i just said so anyways back to this idea of the premise the premise provides motivation to subscribe it’s what you’re saying and how it has the hook so a great example of a premise comes from a software company called lessonly lessonly sells tools for you if you’re running a sales team to train your sales people right like they can practice they can look at scripts they can learn the product if you’re a new salesperson at a new company you might be using less than these tools purchased by your boss to train you well everyone around lessonly i think they have 80 competitors in north america alone they all look the same they all sound the same in their marketing they’re talking about sales excellence tips and tricks to be great at sales along comes leslie and says you know what our best customers understand that sales is not about the gift of gab sales is not about interrupting other people and pushing your agenda sales is not about a script that you read and it’s magical and somehow works for every person sales is a practice so they see sales the way i see creativity sales is a practice so they launched a show that had a premise that i love called practice first practice first exploring how world-class practicers execute their practice so we can execute ours better as salespeople and do better work so maybe they talked to a sales executive once in a while but they also talked to olympians and sommeliers and all these people that the normal sales business would not feature in their marketing or on their show because they have a very specific premise so when you encounter a show or more specifically the premise like practice first one of two things happen you either go oh my god you’re speaking of my soul that’s so for me thank you or you’re going i disagree nope i feel pride in the gift of gab this was given to me at birth my entire story as an individual is that it is innate in me to be a great salesperson this is not a practice get out of here with that right right so you stand for something and you want to change something for the better for people they want more sales people to practice better to do better work but that’s an example of a premise that’s where you start what do you bro what’s broken among the community you want to serve go ahead can i interject just uh uh uh just a a a a point on something you just said yeah sure you got me on my soapbox i’m all fired up oh no no i i’m actually loving this stuff but uh i think a lot of young people uh when they start off they’re thinking about developing premises or or or you know show ideas that will appeal to everybody and what i gather from you you’re saying no you don’t have to like be the the mainstream thing that everybody loves now you just got to find a pocket where you can get 10 000 people or 15 000 people who are into your specific space and you’ve got something that’s viable is that am i interpreting it correctly well let’s talk about why the number of listeners matters right i think you’re on the right path there but it’s like okay so are you trying to monetize with advertising you know are you trying to throw a bunch of ads from a mattress company or a soda company onto your show well then yeah you’re going to try and play to the masses it’s incredibly difficult and i would say not as rewarding it’s very difficult to stand out trying to play to the masses because everyone else is also playing that game and the world doesn’t need yet another chat cast featuring smart funny people yucking it up like guess who’s better at that everybody who’s at the top of the charts right the world however might need you to do the show that only you can create what is your unique point of view your perspective and when we bring forth our best our full selves our perspectives on something we will naturally appeal deeply to a smaller group of people that’s how all these brands that we admire today you know they’re not building png in coca-cola and pepsico they’re very very passionate followers supporting these companies and the lifetime value of every one of those followers is huge because they’re so passionate about the brand that they will refer others to that brand and quite frankly the brand can unlock more revenue from those individuals because they can sell anything i mean they could sell more things that seem like the existing product or they could do something that seems bizarre sell tickets to an event or some tangential product that has nothing to do with you know the sneakers they sell or the software for productivity that they usually offer because you’re so irrationally biased towards that brand so the punchline to all this is we’re not trying to make the biggest show we’re not trying to be the best at this what the goal actually is is to make their favorite show and favorite doesn’t mean great in any academic or objective sense favorite is someone’s personal preferred pick for a specific purpose they make emotional decisions everyone does we’re human beings and they pick you and if someone came to them and said why are you listening to that show about x because all these other shows about x exist or famousperson123 just launched a show about x2 why don’t you listen to their show they go i don’t care because that one’s my favorite you know my favorite sports team the new york knicks historically not awesome not awesome sometimes the worst think about that the worst in the cohort is my favorite i give them my time and my attention and my dollars so it’s not about being objectively the best or higher ranked or larger it’s about having this irrational bias this relationship that is almost protected against any competitor and that only forms when you can somehow reach out and tap the emotional reason they care about whatever it is you’re talking about oscar you wanted to uh you wanted to make a comment that’s on chat one of our uh interns oscar awesome rosario oscar uh go ahead what’s your comment uh i was just gonna say in this regard you’re talking about how you should probably invest in doing something that’s unique as opposed to just being the atypical popular smart guys yucking it up uh that has a lot of that has a lot of word in like the youtube space where you see a lot of content creators that are popular because of their specific niche like for instance somebody could get popular making speed runs of a single game i know a popular youtuber that has their entire career based off playing mario kart wii and nothing but so in some ways it’s a valuable experience to just focus solely on your specific interests 100 and you know there’s a lot of examples we can point you that says well jay you’re wrong because they don’t have a premise like like a common one in the business world is npr has a show how i built this with guy roz people go well all he does is he takes famous entrepreneurs and creative people and tells the story of their their success and forget for a moment they do it exceptionally well with a laundry list of professional audio producers and storytellers by the way that’s what i tell a lot of clients i’m like okay you want to make a show like that do me a favor skip to the end of the next episode listen to the credits okay just are we are we staffing 20 people on the show so let’s pump the brakes you know um joe rogan bill simmons doc shepard whatever big podcaster you want to name that’s sort of like a big personality-led show you can argue well they don’t have a hook they don’t have some kind of unique angle or conceit it’s a general show about sports and pop culture bill simmons business success guy roz the hook is that famous person has a show [Laughter] so if you’re already famous like i’m pretty sure taylor swift could read the dictionary on youtube and get a million subscribers right so most of us are better off accepting that as mere mortals who don’t have an incredible amount of fame most people want us to do something that serves them not ourselves because most people aren’t excited about sort of the voyeurism of watching a celebrity do something they’re much more excited about saying well something’s going to be different when i finish this experience what you know working in the business category as i do people want their careers to be better their careers be more fulfilling their businesses to grow etc there’s very specific permutations of that all the tiny little versions of that in your specific category of business people are arriving thinking what’s different when i’m done and most people don’t answer that most people have a very flat approach there’s not much of a thrust or story or emotional through line to their show they don’t pick a specific topical niche to oscar’s point they also aren’t willing to use any kind of point of view um or even gamification there’s a popular show on youtube called hot ones there’s a million celebrity interview series on youtube only hot ones ask the celebrities they interview to eat progressively spicier wings as they ask better and better questions i saw a marketing company do hot ones for marketing executives where they interviewed all these marketing experts and asked them to eat progressively spicier wings why did that one fall flat and why does hot ones make sense well because hot ones is on a channel about the intersection of food and pop culture totally makes sense they’d marry the two in their premise this software company sells tools to be better on social media if you’re a brand where do the hot ones come in so they miss an opportunity to say something that matters to their audience that is the role of a premise it’s not just narrowly picking a niche or a topic it’s the first opportunity to say something that matters to your audience unthinkable we explore resonance not reach we challenge the conventional wisdom of more and more more growth growth growth that is for a few people who love it dearly and not for everyone else practice first from lessonly that is a certain mentality you need when you arrive so the idea that it’s about topics and getting narrower is a good start but you also want to add in some kind of point of view or hook that by the way maps to what you’re trying to say as a business or as an individual that’s your first attempt i want to say something that matters that’s your premise and the rest gets a lot easier to produce as a result so you know the idea of a hot one’s for marketing executives i like that the payoff also doesn’t make sense for celebrities you want to throw them off their game to get a candid moment but when you’re bringing in a marketing expert you’re bringing them in for technical knowledge and like your takes are probably worse when you’re throwing off your game if you bring in a marketer you probably want the person to be dedicating their full mental faculties right right you know that’s that’s where the idea of like having a personal practice matters as a creative like if i hadn’t made a lot of shows and studied a lot of shows myself i wouldn’t be able to i’d be able to say to the customer even without making my own shows we’re going to develop a premise a format and talent and hopefully that in and of itself that heuristic is useful to a client i’m working with but because i’ve also made a lot of shows and and watched and studied a lot i can say something a little bit more in the weeds and a little more kind of tailored to that exact scenario what i would say is exactly right so the reason they’re doing the hot ones thing as i just explained is it makes sense for their brand but forget the strategic part what if you just love the gimmick and you’re a marketing tools company well yeah are you going to have the best performers in your space who can kind of ad lib and riff and react in funny ways because what you might just get are a bunch of horrified people that are not horrified in very entertaining ways the way an actor or a comedian or you know professional athlete who’s been in the media a lot might be on hot ones so there’s these like tiny little nuances that are really not considered by a lot of brands that you know are making shows all the way up to the big ideas of like this is a strategy here are the three parts we’re developing and so all of it connects but there’s just a lack of i’d say care for craft or you know more so knowledge it’s just so new like there are fewer podcasts than blogs and newsletters and youtube channels and videos overall and everyone’s going oh we’re late to podcasting no you’re profoundly early and also if there are problems to still be solved for your audience there’s a need for yet another podcast no one bats an eye on writing more articles online or launching that next newsletter and people are balking at the fact that there’s a lot of podcasts there’s a lot of bad podcasts but yours might not exist and it still needs to so let’s let’s talk about format now so we spoke about premise which is sort of one of the three pillars that you talked about creating a great podcast and i’m understanding that to be sort of the con the content ideas like what are you going to be talking about uh basically what you’re going to be talking about the phone that’s the thesis you’re interrogating throughout the show or the lens or point of view or the premise is the angle that you’re taking throughout the show it’s the purpose of the show so let’s start and then you’re saying that you want to negotiate a premise and a format what’s your format and what do you do with that format is what happens once they hit play because in podcasting you only have one job which is make sure they don’t hit stop in other words the golden rule of what we do as storytellers is get them to the end you know podcasting fits a very specific need in the overall sort of media consumption or portfolio of media you might create it’s not great for net new reach podcasts don’t rank on search to be found through google very easily podcasts don’t get shared on social it’s pretty clunky to do that the stuff that ranks on search or gets shared on social is the content created around the show the landing page on your website the social media graphics and clips and quotes that kind of stuff that does the growth what the show itself does is it cements the relationship it’s like a relationship accelerant because you want people to have that intimacy with you that that feeling like oh you’re for me my favorite show and i’m gonna go refer this to five friends so it’s great for residents it’s really bad for reach it’s hard to grow a big show without an injection of audience coming from somewhere else as if joining a network for example so as you start to develop the show the entire goal is to keep them there and that is the work done by the format the format is about structuring the experience in such a way that they get to the end there are two types of formats they might call this a rundown in production parlance one is visible the other option is invisible so a visible rundown people probably know these if you watch a sports you know talking head show on tv they might show it visibly along the side here are the topics here’s the timer they’re like now it’s time for the mail bag right so it should be a nail bag yeah so you can make a visible run down other shows like the ringers binge mode does this well where they’ll introduce segments they’ll actually tell you next up is this or they’ll play a little musical sting you the audience know there is a format there is a structure there’s a rundown that’s a visible rundown the invisible side of it is i’m a storyteller i’m an interviewer to you it feels like one coherent awesome experience but you never want to leave that experience why because i have a plan i understand how to format it and so once you understand that even the things that don’t have overt segmentation have a plan under it the world is your oyster like i sat down with my favorite travel show my favorite show period anthony bourdain’s parts unknown from cnn the late great anthony bourdain he’s my storytelling hero and i in 2016 was trying to make a storytelling podcast and i needed a format and there’s storytelling heuristics out there like joseph campbell’s hero’s journey or dan harmon who created rick and morty and and other shows he has um a community he has the story circle which is a modification of joseph campbell’s hero’s journey so there’s formats that exist for how to tell a great story and structure it but i wanted to know what my hero was doing so i took a notebook and i sat down and i watched his episode in mexico and i went minute this to minute this this is what was achieved for me the audience this is what they did to achieve it right this is the next block this is the next block this so i what i made up a term for this i call it an extraction extract the underlying structure of your favorite storytellers and even if they don’t know the plan is there because it’s so natural to them you’re better off starting with those guardrails and goal posts and then inserting your own point of view and style and voice and content into those blocks so you’re not trying to be anthony bourdain you’re trying to structure your work as he did and when you realize that all these stories exist that are so gripping that gets you to the end and you can ask a simple question why why did they grip me now it’s like it’s like a veil is removed from your eyes and where you see the code of the matrix like everyone else gets the whole you see that they had an underlying plan and if you listen closely to great interviewers sometimes they’ll hint at this i love when this happens i’ll listen to a journalist like kara swisher of the new york times interviews somebody who’s been interviewed everywhere she has a plan to make hers unique and to also structure in a way that is a good flow for the listener so she might say someone might answer a question and then go on a tangent she goes we’re going to get to that in a little bit oh she’s got a plan right yeah so you get the whole and it feels like one cohesive flow one cohesive whole but they had an underlying plan and even if they couldn’t tell you what it is we are better off stealing it borrowing it modifying it for our own purposes so that’s the power of an episode format you get them to the end okay that’s fantastic so if i’m understanding this it’s almost like the premise is the actual content that will be presented and format is like it’s the presentation template or the storytelling template because i know even as a podcast host like you will develop a structure a generic structure because you can’t come up with that you can’t come up reinvent the wheel everything no and you and by the way it’s easier to reinvent things or invent things so let me rephrase it’s easier to reinvent than invent yeah right it’s start with something and then rip it apart change it etc and you know you do that five or six episodes or 500 episodes later it’s completely unoriginal right yeah so it’s it’s not like i’m gonna go and wander and gaze at my navel and like out pops a beautiful new idea it’s far better building off of the the things that you love that you’re like i wish this existed like i wish anthony bourdain parts unknown existed about business or about creativity in business right that was kind of my first attempt fast forward 170 something episodes now with unthinkable and you might catch some of the same vibes but it’s it’s definitely its own thing it’s like the structure has changed over the years you know i remember one of the best pieces of writing advice that i ever got was from one of my professors his name is paul starr he’s a pulitzer prize winner and i you know i was like well how do i become a good writer and he said it’s very simple imitate writers who you like and the profound thing about that advice is that it forces you to look at what the people who you like are doing like how they do it because sometimes we just passively consume it and we like we jump in it without really focusing on method right right i i do feel like you know there’s a great book by author austin cleon called uh steel like an artist i do feel like we over invest or again it’s the myth of creativity creativity means big and all this stuff we believe that it’s like popped out of nowhere is this beautiful new thing well that new thing is an amalgam of a lot of experiences and influences that that person has you can’t help but be influenced by things you love and what are we doing as creative people if not translating our experience of the world or a specific topic they’re in through our own experience of life out into the world and actually bourdain has a wonderful quote about that to think that you can publish the book that they’d pick up or that they’d stay past the commercial break and come back to watch that is not reasonable thinking there’s something a bit monstrous he says about a creative person saying i can create something they appreciate stick with despite all the other stuff out there like we need what author aj jacobs calls useful self-delusion yeah useful self-delusion i’m going to convince myself that yes i can create something like my heroes and i think i am privileged rapping privilege i was born when i was born to wonderful family i am white straight male northeast of the united states you know the door was ajar when i was born and i had loving parents saying that’s the door here’s how to push go push like some people are born and there’s a padlock on the door some people are born and there’s sex padlocks and barbed wire and a tank of sharks between them right i am so beyond privileged and i just want to use that as a caveat um but the hard work that we do as creators is honestly in our own minds is to convince ourselves i should proceed i i have this useful self delusion that yes i should make this thing even though everybody would probably advise me against it because who needs another podcast or book or what do you uniquely have to say and i think that’s built it’s not found it’s just about doing it a lot and finding it but even that starting point even if you’re like i know this is going to be bad just getting over that barrier takes a lot of you know i think sort of mental jujitsu you got to play on yourself to just make stuff yeah you know when young people come to me with you know reservations about that i tell them you know it’s a lot like dating yet there comes a point when you’re a teenager where you’re like well maybe somebody would like to go on a date with me and you have to believe that before you can ever go out on a date and i always i i find with young people the biggest fear they’re even newcomers uh one of the biggest fears they have is negative feedback and uh i think people tend to magnify the the negative that they see instead of realizing their people like them well there’s a couple reasons for that one is you know as tribal species that are ultimately basically field-dwelling monkeys trying to live in a society that’s outgrown our species like really our our uh hardware here has not really grown as much as our worlds um any little bit of ostrich being ostracized or being critiqued is you getting pushed to the edge of the tribe and getting picked off by a saber-toothed tiger any unknown any fear any rustle in the bushes like it’s hard to convince your lizard brain that you’re not gonna get picked off by a tiger at night so we have these impulses that are really hard to ignore based in biology but societally and intellectually and philosophically we don’t know what to do with negative feedback i get this all the time where it’s like ah they don’t get it ah screw them or oh no like i feel hurt like the best way to ruin my day is critique me on twitter i’m on twitter all the time i should be able to handle one critique i still can’t um and i’m up like doing public work i think that the way to use negative feedback is to first ask a question which is okay is this work ultimately for that type of person or not so for example i serve b2b business of business creators and marketers in other words the work published by my audience speaks about career and business things just as i do so if i see somebody who is um i don’t know teaching gardening critiquing my latest podcast episode i might say i wish they liked it but i’m actually not focused on that audience i’m not focused on serving them my work is not for you and you should be able to say my work is not for these types of people high five handshake hugs i’m not for you but the second tier down is oh i actually am trying to serve that person and this is a wonderful bit of data because they didn’t like something and maybe they didn’t offer it maybe they were like this sucked end of tweet and that’s hard to parse but you can still say well am i getting that maybe they’re having a bad day but if i get that a couple times like two data points makes a trend what can i do with this information and this data i can say oh in my head this made total sense that they would love it but they didn’t i need to work on how i articulate my ideas to meet people where they’re at and their understanding of what i’m saying then march them every step of the way to where i want to be right so if i get on a stage and give a speech and i’ve worked on this idea of why you should make their favorite thing forget about being the best be their favorite i can’t just say that when i start the speech i have to think well who’s in the room it’s a group of marketers what do they want in their jobs they want to grow their audience they want to drive leads or sales for their business their marketers so i need to start by saying that so now i’m shoulder to shoulder with them and i’m saying you know that goal you want okay hear me out i think i have a great way to get it and now they’re open to learning but if i had just walked on stage and say forget being bigger growing your brand bigger who cares be their favorite they’re not really ready to hear that so they could critique me and rather than say they don’t get it in that critique i could say what is this critique trying to tell me it might be trying to tell me that i’m not positioning myself correctly or articulating my ideas correctly and so i think there’s there’s some selfishness in saying negative feedback equals bad i think it does take a lot of sort of swallowing your pride but we can use that as data to improve again if it comes from the people that we’ve chosen to serve all right now let’s close this tripartite uh you know the three leg the third leg of the stool and talk about talent yeah so you have a premise you what to talk about you have a format your storytelling or engagement sort of method your plan for keep bringing in and keeping the audience what’s talent the third part if the premise provides motivation to subscribe like i’m in i’m aligned with that premise i love it i’m in and the format provides motivation to stay it’s like get them to the end everything is is ordered correctly such that it feels gripping all the way through then the talent you provide motivation to act you are where the relationship forms you know you’ll see this a lot from brands they’ll hire a celebrity to host their branded podcast they own the podcast they’re not sponsoring it they’re building it they own the content they’re distributing it on their social media through their newsletter etc but they’ve hired a celebrity the problem with that is while the celebrity’s going to get a lot of play they’re getting a lot of attention now it’s them that the person listening trusts it’s the relationships form with the celebrity not say an executive or just an individual who works at the company as a proxy for why you should like and trust that brand so the brand is now paying production costs for sponsorship benefits they’re better off going to a celebrity saying you have a great show can we sponsor it because it’s the same benefits so you the host the voice are the source of that intimate connection which is a human voice you are the source of all kinds of personality quirks and and you know my refrain to people who are holding back is let your quirks out from where they’re hiding be fully you on the microphone and learn how to harness that over time don’t be someone else you might start out by doing an imitation of someone else i get it but the more you practice it the more you’re listening back i do this all the time i listen twice to my shows after they’re published once is a little celebratory mental dance that i’m doing it’s you know hundreds of episodes later it’s still so cool for me to have my show appear in the feeds alongside all my other favorite shows so i’ll go and listen to it just to enjoy it because i wanted this story to exist and there it is but the second is like a producer and a news anchor reviewing footage of that night’s show or an athlete reviewing game tape with a coach now i’m looking for ways to improve now i’m looking for where did i feel bored of my own work where did i feel most excited ooh that bad dad joke i thought i delivered well actually i delivered it poorly and it was a bad bad joke so extra poorly yeah right like now you’re trying to get better and so as talent you have an opportunity to not be a podcast host but to be you somehow translated through this device right here which again is practiced and i think you can kind of stack the evolution of somebody’s kind of talent or hosting process on something i call the style spectrum where at the bottom of the spectrum you blend in you’re just like everyone else and you’re not really serving your audience that well and at the top of the spectrum you are fully present you’re not forgettable you are yourself and the four pieces of that spectrum at the bottom is reported facts so you have some hosts it’s like you’re more of an announcer really i don’t know who you are i don’t have a relationship with you it’s like the voice from god intros you might hear from some shows right before you meet the actual host that person is basically who you’re acting like if all you do is curate a bunch of facts and present them it’s important you want to be factually correct when you tell stories or opine or whatever but that is the most commodified thing today is the what what happened a step up from that is you can analyze those facts you can be that pundit or that person that connects and contextualizes facts it’s like last week in the marketing community mailchimp did this okay that’s not very useful you’re not separating you’re the announcer voice i don’t need a relationship with you to understand that fact and what we’re seeing from mailchimp matches what salesforce and google did last year which is similar to what we might see from all these smaller brands in the same space so if you’re following this trend expect to see more of x y or z okay now you’re connecting facts you’re now not just a reporter you’re an analyst yeah right that’s super useful you’re not providing a deeper service for someone the layer up from that is you opine right so if this is what happened and this is what it could mean now you’re saying this is what should happen or what it should mean you’re giving an opinion your i think mailchimp is doomed they just got bought by a bigger tech company and this cool playful brand you know it’s tear it’s going to be torn down by the corporate overlords that they just sold their business to and this change to their product is just further proof of that now i’m ranting you don’t have to give an opinion like that you don’t have to be these like jokesters on on these like business shows that you see or wherever you don’t have to be the talking heads from espn shouting about the nfl but you want to start giving your opinion your point of view and all the way at the top kind of a very specific type of inspiration exists which is you’re now just you’re not just saying here’s what happened and here’s the context of it or here’s what it should mean you’re now saying i’m going to give you a little push to move forward from this show because remember your premise is about helping the audience in some way i want to help you understand something i’m dissecting marvel movies i think we can appreciate marvel in this way and no one else is talking about it like that and i just want to remind you that’s what we do here so remember the next movie you see the next episode of hawkeye you watch x y or z from this episode could apply there’s some inspiration there you know and obviously a little more overt with business advice or career advice you can inspire in other words you can challenge your audience and push them to somehow leave the experience improved and that is i think when you’re at the height of your powers so i think i’m understanding this you’re the the talent aspect is you’re saying all right it resides in the relationship between the performers or the hosts and the audience and you’re asking there’s a relationship in there what are you delivering to the audience through that relationship is that sort of what you’re getting at yeah how do you make the audience better do you just curate a bunch of facts that could get anywhere you’re kind of not that useful do you connect the facts you’re a little more useful i can still get that with a quick google search though are you giving your opinion in point of view a lot of people are very popular because they have good opinions or strong opinions and a very few number of show hosts leave you feeling something after you experience their content and again that applies to entertainment content that applies to fun you know jokey shows all the way through shows that feel more apt or appropriate for inspiration like improving your career or societal change or something yeah that’s funny you know i remember we randomly sample uh listening charts to just get a sense of like stuff that we wouldn’t see and i remember there was one podcast that i came across that was like ai voiced it was basically conveyance of facts but what they did is it was hyper local so it was like the covid count in your town today is 14 000. yeah and i guess you would put it in your morning playlist or something like that they do they do it with weather reports yeah there’s two types of shows like if you’re going to a show to get some kind of value as anyone would there’s only two types of values there’s something called excuse me transactional value or transformational value transactional value the value of the show is having listened in the past it’s like i just want to download this quickly to my brain it’s like what happened in the pandemic or what happened last week in my industry or whatever so news shows are very transactional typically and i just want the information the experience to get it needs to be shorter and quicker because when you transact you want to finish the transaction you don’t want to like have a good time in line at the grocery store you want to move quicker through the grocery store line so there’s a lot of shows who are doing that and so that having listened is the value then there’s another type of show where it’s transformational the listening the experience is part of the value transactional shows very hard to stand out transactional shows can help you but it almost doesn’t matter the source it’s like a commodity it’s like i’m gonna get my my white rice somewhere i don’t really care about the brand this is a commodity i’ll get it anywhere cheaper faster quicker the transformational shows unlike transactional which helps you these change you these like you’re like i feel so profoundly excited or warm or better or inspired or whatever like my favorite binge mode was my favorite show about nerd culture it’s like i just felt like some kind of way you know what i mean for lack of a better term more specific term listening to binge mode versus every other people all these other people analyze on youtube marvel movies and that applies in every category transformational shows much more about that emotional connection and the feeling like oh i’m part of something bigger than myself here and listening to the show is why i seek it out not the download to the brain so you might have the shows you listen to on 2x speed those are transactional shows it shows you’re like i want more i want to be in that show more those are a rare breed indeed that’s the kind i love creating because it’s rarer i think you have a better more passionate fan base as a result like the listening experience is rewarding in and of itself oh my gosh the way and it doesn’t mean fancy post-production right it doesn’t mean music scoring and narration and in the field reporting it can just mean some positioning the premise matters the format the talent like the use of those things it can be very lean and stripped down and still have that effect so it’s not about how fancy it is but it does it does matter how you approach this work right it’s show development it’s why they call it you are developing it over time to be a certain way just walk in intentional about what that way should be well i enjoy so sure okay i enjoyed that on show development and uh we went super long because it was quite good so we’re gonna have to compress i guess the the the i wanted to just go through the creation process sure i was that was very that was very nice i enjoyed that and i will be stealing that for my uh i’ll be reusing it in my lectures uh with proper citation of course but like let’s talk now about the experience or the job of recording individual episodes so you have your show concept developed now let’s talk about conceiving of individual episodes preparing and recording what’s your method and what advice would you give to aspiring podcasters on the creation of the individual episodes pre-production sure so not talking about post-production sure sure um it’s a very overlooked piece of this which is bizarre which is you know when i’m trying to sell something into a brand or i have sold shows proactively for brands to purchase from me or they come to me or you’re trying if you’re working in-house on a marketing team or a network you know or you’re just doing your own show there’s a tendency to go i’m trying to sell you or convince you of making the show professionals make pilots and pilots serve two purposes one is it gets an easier yes out of whatever stakeholders need to say yes two it’s a profoundly useful creative step because you get to test it out you get to see try it on for size like that it’s really hard to get all the parts and pieces in theory in a document you got to make something first and then do it better and better and better you can hold up the pilot first to be this representation of what the show could be if you get enough rounds of reviews or pressure test it with a cohort of your audience or just vips or stakeholders or friends the pilot is a really important step in this process just as it would be in network tv or is in network tv and so the pilot to me is the first step and what you want to do in the pilot is two things establish the stakes of the whole show why should anyone care where is this going what is the premise tell me about it it should be feel irresistible to me and then start to explore it in the most obvious way possible so an easy example is unthinkable which is my show about creativity at work the most common refrain you hear from professionals about creativity is quality versus quantity which should we publish what’s the relationship i’m on a deadline i got to publish weekly i can’t be too quality okay if i’m going to do a show about creativity at work i have to address the biggest gorilla in the room it’s quality versus quantity so of course i’m going to start there i’m working on another show about these emergent technologies you might hear described as web 3 blockchain crypto dows et cetera i’m working on a client show right now about that well the first episode is a pilot the pilot is talking to the client about their perspective and then going to one of the most obvious large-scale changes we’re seeing as a result of these technologies in a very popular niche a lot of people will understand so the pilot happens first but then as you plan out episodes you want two types of episodes you want the ones that are like the the obvious i don’t want to say run-of-the-mill they’re important but sort of down the fairway typical episodes it’s like we’re going to talk to a variety and diversity and that’s incredibly important in all senses of the word diversity uh of subjects or themes or topics there’s only two ways to do this either you pick a theme and go find a story or a guest that helps you explore that theme or you start with the subject or guest name and you find it you tease out a purpose as to why you’re talking to them because it’s not just about their name right there’s some kind of lesson that you want to explore so the theme can lead and you find a you retrofit a guest or story or the guest or story can lead and then you’ve got to figure out what is the theme or angle of this episode right that’s how you do these typical episodes but then you want a second type which are all your reinventions what are your special episodes your mini series which is like going deeper into one specific thing or a story you found that you want to explore through five episodes radio lab is one of the best in the business at doing this radio they explore science and societal topics and really cool things well they found a story at guantanamo bay that required them to do a whole mini-series because of all the reporting that had to go into it couldn’t be one hour-long episode so you have miniseries you have playing with the format can be one way to do this let’s do some behind the scenes episodes with me and the producer um you know instead of talking about i don’t know the story of how they did it we’re gonna interview an analyst and view the story from the side or something like that there’s all these ways to play with the format and i call that the well it’s like it’s gonna be hard to continue the consistency of the main type of episode so dip into the well if and when you need it to make things easier on you and to remix the experience and sort of refresh it for the audience and so plan those out don’t go crazy because the pilot’s going to determine a lot of that but have you know 15 to 20 ideas on a document somewhere if you can’t come up with those reasonably easily your show doesn’t have legs right so you got to go back to the drawing board i’m i’m inferring from what you’re saying the one way to package the advice as i’m understanding it is that you shouldn’t do a show that you’re not actually interested in the topic and then if you find something where your interests are genuine then it’s just a matter of just discussing the topics that you want to discuss or meeting the people that you want to meet is that there’s a nuance there’s a nuance here i think you might even see it as a student i see it all time as a professional where there’s a premium placed on being influential and being an expert and we don’t need another expert the world does not need another person who knows the answers because the answers will change we don’t need another how-to tips and tricks you know regurgitator of existing information what we need more of in this world and what you can use to be more creative to stand out to do a show you enjoy to drive yourself forward in the harder moments we need investigators we need explorers people who say you know i have more questions and answers come with me as we explore there’s a show right now on disney plus called welcome to earth hosted by will smith that’s what he’s doing he’s exploring it’s will smith he could create a show it’s just like here’s all the stuff i know as will smith he leaves that to when he’s interviewed so don’t get on a pedestal and say i’m up here i know something i found something follow my path this like guru-ism this worship of people with big audience today is disgusting and we don’t need more of it and it also is fleeting if you want to have a lasting impact on the world or you want to express yourself in a way that feels unique to you what questions do you have ask questions google can’t simply answer and then go on a journey to investigate and when you’re creating a serialized project like a newsletter or a show that’s a lot easier because it actually forces you to do that so what’s the most obvious question episode one where does that leave you more questions more concerns new avenues to explore new ideas for episodes so the switch here is to stop acting like an expert and start acting like an investigator and if you’re a student in particular what an opportunity because you haven’t worked 25 years to harden and calcify the way you are you’re not juggling a million family and and home life things yet i hope you are able to say what am i actually curious about so the process for me is simple when you have something that frustrates you that’s the match that you’ve striked you’ve struck the match and it’s burning in your hand and if you’re on twitter and you’re tweeting about what frustrates you that’s kind of like you let the match burn all the way down and burn you because what twitter is the point of a match is not to sit there holding it is to do something with it that’s what creatives do so you light the kindling that’s your curiosity i don’t like how this exists in the world or i don’t like how we always talk about this thing this way i don’t like how every show is like this that’s the frustration why is it like that what questions do you have what’s unanswered make stuff and as you do that as the kindling lights it becomes this fire of creativity so pursue curiosity forget about expertise stop acting like an expert and start acting like an investigator tell me what are your tips for working with people with interviewees especially interviewees who you know might not be polished media professionals like how do you put them at ease how do you get their a material from them yeah i think about the three factors that go into a great conversation or interview and we tend to over index on two of them that’s the prep and the research and the questions we ask now forgetting for a moment that the leading question is less important than your follow-ups right again the curiosity you’re pursuing as an investigator let’s set aside research and questions you prep it’s really about the environment you create and the environment starts with your first outreach and all the way through the moment you hit record so i’ll do things like i won’t make the moment i hit record a moment i’ll just be like oh let me hit record get it out of the way and then i’ll just keep chatting with them and i’ll cut out that fat where someone is someone’s really stiff maybe i notice i interview a lot of executives so they might be really stiff they’re not performers or they have their sound bites or they’ve been coached by a pr person sometimes in the room during the interview which is crazy someone in their ear during the interview it’s like we’re not lawyers here what’s going on um i’ll i’ll drop the script or i’ll drop my plan anyway and i’ll ask a random question on left field and so questions i like to ask are like do you have any pets and people start joking do you have any kids and people relax and laugh well i got three pets it’s kind of like having kids ah that’s the funniest thing ever let’s keep going what’s your last meal on earth if you had to pick what will be your last meal on earth and people go and they act like you want them to act and i like to say to people i just want to engineer your levels because they don’t necessarily know audio i want to engineer your levels so i’m going to ask you this question take it out what’s your last meal on earth and they laugh and they relax and i say to them i’m engineering your levels but i’m not i’m engineering them i’m engineering the environment conducive to a great interview so they will reflect the way you feel throughout the process they will also need your cue it’s like a dance sometimes you want to lead them gently sometimes very overtly you don’t know where they’re going to go necessarily you just want to make sure at all times you’re in control you’re leading the dance and the environment is a big big part of that that’s great now let’s talk about once the session the recording session is done you got your audio the job isn’t done because we still have post-production oh yeah what what advice can you offer us in terms of tackling that part of the creative process the episode format having a rundown is so paramount because you want to go shopping for good ingredients during the interview that’s what you do whether you’re telling a story or you’re just publishing an intent interview when you’re talking to the person during production you’re shopping for ingredients so that later you can cook a good meal and so if you leave the store with terrible ingredients there’s only so much you can do in post so to speak to fix it so what you want to do is have that plan heading in right the research the questions the environment you know also the rundown of every type of episode you can typically publish that’s really important too so when i go to post for a narrative show like unthinkable i get to start slotting things into this rundown almost like i’m filling out a template and i had an idea of the story heading in and maybe it changes and i jot that down like oh this changes i’m going to jot it down because joseph just said this and i can tweak that later so i’m kind of thinking like an editor throughout and then later in post i can move things around um but what you’re doing is to have good ears i think is to pay attention to your own experience with the audio if you’re bored your audience is going to be bored if you’re lost the audience is going to be lost if you’re like uh i like this moment but it doesn’t fit the overall story we’re trying to tell remove it even if it’s great in production they call that killing your darlings yeah take out the stuff that you’re you’re precious about it it’s your darling but if you had an editor they’d say this doesn’t actually fit the story or the thesis or it’s out of bounds for the premise we’re exploring just take it out you know if you want to advertise it as bonus material for a subscription or something great but mostly just get rid of it and so having the rundown dictate so there’s two things the premise the rundown dictates your edit if you have neither it’s chaos it’s total chaos and even then it’s it’s really really difficult uh the creative radio lab likes to say that sometimes the edit is like wandering through the jungle and you’re never sure how you’re going to get out and then you do and you look back and you’re like i’m glad that’s over and then you get back into a jungle the next episode so even the biggest pros a lot of it is trial and error for everything that’s awesome all right now we are in uh we’re we’re almost uh finished our free hour uh which is like the period of time when this is recorded and i i have i have a hard stop at 1 30 so i it oh good okay so then just you know what uh so you know what let’s let’s wrap it up there just so we can uh just so i can thank you offline and all that so uh jay before we go uh for anybody who is watching uh the video and wants to look more at what you do can you just tell tell people where to find you yeah just and uh the most popular place i interact is through my newsletter or on twitter but links to all my projects jayakunzo from unthinkable media it was a real pleasure uh thank you very much uh we’re going to end the live stream in a moment all right okay the live