Just the Tip from Your Podcast Performance Coach

047 How to Use SFX to Make Your Podcast Better

Jan. 23, 2018

Whoop, whoop, re-er, re-er, re-er… sound effects in your podcast can be annoying or effective. It all depends on whether you’re doing it right.

SFX can be fun but they can also derail a podcast, piss off your listener or just sound cheesy (which might be fine, if it’s intentional or ironic). There is a right way and wrong way to use sound effects in your podcast. Do it right and you’ll enhance your listener’s experience AND create better engagement and get more conversions.

So, what am I talking about? You’ve likely heard them in other podcasts. Bells, short music stingers, applause and even the famous Homer Simpson WOO HOO! Done right, they communicate a mood, tell your listener where you are in the show, or, in some cases, bring the listener’s attention back. If you’re not using sound effects, you might want to consider it. But - be warned… it’s a slippery slope. It starts out fun and before you know it, you’ve gone too far and it’s suddenly annoying!

In this episode, I tell you how to navigate that slippery slope. I share why and how you to use sound effects to enhance your show - no matter the format of your podcast.

I remember my algebra teacher in high school. Whenever he lost a student’s interest, he would whip out short piece of chalk from his pocket. (Weird right, I know, but this teacher would carry around pockets of chalk butts. I’m sure he went into the other classrooms and stole them from other teachers.)  Anyway, he use to throw them us, I mean kids who weren’t paying attention, to say “Wake up!” Trust me, it captured everyone’s attention. Heck, even if the teacher missed, we all perked up. I’m pretty sure teachers aren’t aloud to do that anymore, and as podcasters, well there’s the whole ‘laws of physics’ thing that makes it impossible for us to throw chalk stubs but the next best thing is sound effects or audio “earmarks” (and it’s a lot less mean!)

When done right, sound effects can bring your listener’s attention back to you, signify a certain part of the show, or even create an emotion that can help draw your listener in deeper, creating a better connection and memorable moments.

Click play and find out how you can improve listener engagement and enjoyment with SFX. Don’t make me throw this chalk at you!

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