An Ear Back to My Early Podcast Days

Post Title:  An Ear Back to My Early Podcast Days.

Podcasting is a medium to connect two people, who live in separate geographical regions (sometimes even different countries), via the Internet.  In the early days, the host typically interviewed through Skype. When iPhones made their debut, they largely replaced Skype. For me, it all happened on Blogtalk Radio.

After my first book came out, I participated in a handful of podcast interviews. I wanted to share my message of hope to others experiencing the same fears I had before embracing my cane. But in order to impact others, they needed to know my book, Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith, existed.

So I braced myself to take on this medium—out of my comfort zone. I didn’t feel I had a natural gift of gab and hearing my laughter over the airwaves made me self-conscious. But my worst fear revolved around not hearing the questions properly.

I prayed about it, asked others to pray for me, and yet, still agonized over the issue. My unpredictable hearing never gave me a break. One day I inquired into a special talk-to-text telephone.

In my first interview, I misheard the key question, “Why did you write your book?” I thought the podcaster asked me why I reached out for help. Those words don’t even sound alike.

A friend tasked himself to listen and let me know how the interview went. I couldn’t bear to listen to myself. He didn’t pull any punches. “The audience never learned about your book and you never gave any links.”

I groaned at my oversight. He laughed.

But the audience did learn other inconsequential aspects I didn’t intend them to—what a marathon runner did to prepare for a race. “Eat lots of vegetables.” I had never run a marathon, but I loved running. My sister was healthy. She ate lots of vegetables and drank carrot juice. I thought it was a good answer to his unexpected question.

The audience also learned about my marital status. Suddenly the interviewer became an interrogator. As I tried to dodge this question, he rephrased it several ways. I felt like I was on The Dating Game!

Not a single book sale followed. Was anyone hearing my message?

Just like everything else in life, this interview later became fodder for jokes and laughter. My friend only had to say, “How do sell a book in a podcast?” Or “Tell me again how to prepare for a marathon.” His references kept me “real.” It felt good to laugh.

Even though my first podcast wasn’t a stellar experience, I persevered with others. In truth, each one had its positive points. Each interviewer tried to engage me. I ignored the times I only heard half their question.  My inexperience, lack of confidence in managing this medium plus my fears of not hearing properly sent me into a tizzy.

I tried to problem-solve to minimize or control the variables. Could the podcaster give me the questions beforehand or allow me to write my own?

I developed a bank of 25 questions on notecards, complete with the answers typed out underneath. Some questions took up three notecards! Of course, the interviewer didn’t ask more than five or six.  But I had my answers ready. I just had to search out the right card and make sure I said it all! A church friend sat nearby and pointed out the proper card if I didn’t spot it quickly enough. Clever.

Not a single book sale.

Some personalities were born to speak authoritatively and anecdotally. Off the cuff. Their messages sounded important. Mine just sounded, well, like a mess. After each time, I begged God for confirmation I was doing the right thing.

I finally gave an interview on a show called “Never, Ever Give Up.” I didn’t end it feeling quite so bruised or battered.

“What did you think?” I asked my friend.

He couldn’t find anything wrong. Or nothing major.

He said, “That interviewer had a lot of skill and polish. She made you look good. That’s what you need.” He emphasized, “someone who can draw your story out.”

I didn’t make any sales, but I didn’t make any mistakes. I decided the trade-off was worth it.

That seemed to be a good point to stop.

Besides. I had more books to write.

You have just read, “An Ear Back to My Early Podcasts” by Amy L. Bovaird. © March 19, 2019.   No part of this can be used or reproduced in any form without permission from the writer.

In the comments below, please share an activity you’ve tried outside your comfort zone.   How well did you succeed?   What did you learn from the experience?