I’ve listened to a number of podcasts from several companies in the last week and I’ve come up with 10 things that tick me off as a listener. If you do a podcast, you’d be well advised to avoid these tactics, which, unfortunately, seem to be the norm rather than the exception.

  1. Long, boring introductions of the speaker. Just give me one bit of info that proves your expert’s authority. You never see a late night TV show host reading 10 minutes of bio. You shouldn’t either. I usually zoom the slider ahead by 5 minutes to avoid the boring bios.
  2. Long, boring pitches from the presenter. Yes, I know you want to sell, but 10 minutes is about 9 minutes and 30 seconds too long. If you are good, I’ll want to check you out. If you aren’t, you can’t bore me into buying from you.
  3. Cliched conversations.
  4. Beginner 101 information.
  5. “Why” we need to do something instead of “how” we can do something.
  6. The same info from different presenters over several episodes. Do we really need to know the 5 mistakes authors make when writing their books when they are the same 5 mistakes several other presenters offered in earlier podcasts? Hosts should warn their guests of possible overlapping info. Not doing so will bore your regular listeners.
  7. Long files. It might be me, but I think that asking people to spend 60 minutes (or longer) with you is too much to expect in today’s crazy busy world. I’d rather have a good 20 minutes than a bloated 60 minutes. In fact, with many people listening on their commute to work or their workout in the gym or running, 20-30 minutes is a great length.
  8. Interviews that are disguised sales pitches.
  9. Interviews that are blatant sales pitches.
  10. Bad audio. Three statics bleeps and I’m gone! It’s torture.

In today’s attention snap-decision-making world, you need to grab someone’s attention and never give them a reason to turn you off.

In direct marketing, there’s a saying that “the headline’s job is to get the reader to read the next sentence.”

The same is true for podcasters. The job of the interviewer and the guest is to be so engaging, enthralling and entertaining that the listener never wants to leave.

What’s your pet peeve with podcasts?

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