My First 📢 Podcast: Lessons learned

The problem is I was nervous. As in almost-hurling nervous.


Liyas Thomas

3 years ago | 3 min read

I recorded my first podcast 🎙️ with Abdul Majed Raja from Atlassian recently. This is great news, because I’m trying to get word out about my new book ✨

Here’s the podcast I did. I’d love to hear what you think!

sorry for the poor audio quality - It was a phone call and I was literally walking/jumping/running/crying in my backyard while attending it 🤦‍♀️

The problem is I was nervous. As in almost-hurling nervous.

That wasn’t unexpected for me — I get stage fright every time I’m on stage or speaking. When I taught, you could practically pull me off the ceiling before the first class. Every. Single. Semester. It doesn’t get better with time, so I’ve learned to do what I can to manage the nerves.

Here are the few things that I learned to make the best out of a Podcast and to create the best conditions for a natural, easy conversation:

1. Prepare notes for answering, not scripted replies.

Bullet points will help you more than sentences. Keep points simple and short, so that as you’re talking with the host you can scan through and land on key ideas. If you sketch, use doodles to help focus you on key points you want to include. And put it on paper, so you can see it without switching screens.

Bonus — Having to be brief in order to make bullet points will prepare you be more concise on air!

Side note — Keep it to one page so you’re not flipping paper or getting lost while you talk.

2. Ask for questions in advance.

It doesn’t matter if they’re the exact ones the host will ask — it helps to have thought through a few pieces, and to have them written down in front of you while you talk. If you get lost, you can look at your notes, and work your way around to one of your points.

Bonus — If they ask if there’s anything else you’d like to add, you can see if there’s something you haven’t gotten to!

Side note — I’ve heard that some hosts don’t like to give questions. In that case, just ask if they can offer some guidance as to the topics they are most excited to talk with you about.

3. Know your host’s background.

Get to know about your host's previous episodes, genre of topics, talking style and speed. This helps you to find pace with it.

Bonus — You won’t blank out on who you’re talking to!

Side note — If you don’t have prior info, take a trial call with host to get familiar.

4. Find a quiet room and relax.

Keep mic in a safe distance. Mics pick up every extra sound. Having the mic close to your mouth will make breathing sound amplified and they’ll come across sounding extra harsh.

Bonus — It will dampen the sound of all your nervous breathing!

Side note — Check your sound before the call. Check it again before recording starts.

5. Schedule time afterward for a walk.

You’ll need to drain the nervous energy afterward. Plan for it, and schedule in time to go for a brisk walk (or if you can’t get outside, at least some jumping jacks). Finding a way to clear the adrenaline from your system will help you feel better right away and will help you be more productive for the rest of the day after the recording session!

I know it’s only a welcome, but I had lotta fun making it.
I know there's always a first and I'll improve.

And if you do one of your own, I’d love to hear about it. Good luck!


Created by

Liyas Thomas







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