Workbench: Help me with the introduction to the companion podcast

This topic is the information, and discussion topic, for a #public:workbench session.

I want to keep the post-production as minimal as possible for this community’s companion podcast. (See #public:listen ) This enables me to press stop and publish the episode a few minutes later.

1. opening

I’ve done a few episodes now and I’ve settled into some opening text, like…

Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.

Welcome to the companion podcast for the Podcaster Community where I talk with our community members about . . .

blah blah — it needs word-smithing, as I keep trying to do it impromptu. So that’s the first bit of text I want to work out in this workbench session.

2. guest introduction

I’m an adamant advocate for introducing one’s guests.

But to do that well, I need to pre-write those introductions, and that requires some additional before-recording coordination with the guest. (I believe in showing the guests the intro I’m going to use.) And I don’t want to commit any more time in pre-production than is absolutely necessary.

In the current episodes, I’ve been just saying the guest’s name, and not explaining who they are. Sometimes I’ve mentioned their podcast show, sometimes not… so far I’m all over the map.

I’d like to discuss taking this even farther into anonymity: Just introducing the guest by first name…

I’m talking with Jane today.
Hi Jane, how are you?

Great! So today I think I’d like to start by asking you…


reminder of how things work

Be sure you’ve seen #public:workbench and note that I will MOVE this entire topic into a public area after we have the call. That way I can also post the recording, BUT random people can’t join our call (which they could I started this topic as public.)

This happens today 2p Eastern (that’s your 2021-07-12T18:00:00Z)


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I might be late but will try and join @craig .

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Aside: Mark and I kept this pretty short and quick. It's going to be a bit until I get the video posted here, in this topic. (I want to spin up a Vimeo account for this podcaster community's use. In the future, any workbench sessions can be thrown into the vimeo account—versus us having to keep them in our dropboxes or personal storage, etc.)

my takeaways

My “thing” thrown on the workbench for this session was my question/current-topic-top-of-mind about how to structure the opening part of the companion podcast, (see #public:listen .)

I’m going to keep the openings as thin as I can. While it’s important to give some introduction of the guest, I don’t want to do any more prep work than is necessary. I also don’t want to do any post-production; so that precludes recording a full introduction and episode summary in post.

In practice this will look something like…

“Hello I’m Craig.”
“Hello I’m Jane Doe.”
“Jane is the host of Poddy McShow and today we want to talk about Intriguing Topic.”
…and we’re off to the races.

Hey there friends! Remember: This workbench session was as much an experiment, as it was my wanting my peers' input on a question I had. I think it was a success—I feel like I've confidence to go forward after having talked with Mark.

I encourage you to start your own workbench session, with whatever (related to podcasting, of course) you want to get feedback on. See, #public:workbench for more details.)

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@craig - if you don’t spend the time on the guest bio pre-conversation, will you still be spending it post?
Who’s the opening for and what is its purpose?

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I won’t be recording anything post. This show needs to be as low-effort as possible. Thus, no post-recorded intro nor outro. And my whole point here of how far can one strip down the recorded-live-with-the-guest introduction.

It’s for you [the members of this community].

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I listened to two of your episodes (one in its entirety and another piecemeal) and my observation/reflection is that the intro is not as vital as I once thought. In fact, the “street cred,” and the value of the guest’s message (and the guest-host exchanges) is found in the conversation, without regard to the number of degrees or credentials of the speaker(s). That info can be unearthed, if it’s important to the listener, either in the Show Notes or online. The most important thing is that the listener leaves with insights, changed thinking or new wondering, and on occasion, a commitment to following up on a call to action (which doesn’t have to be some huge shift in practice or direction). So, all of that being said, I think that jumping right into the interview may actually work AND what will also work (maybe for you or maybe for other podcasts) is a “traditional” introduction. Like so much (virtually all?) of the decisions podcasters make, this one is contextual, nuanced, and may morph over time, or even situationally. That’s my palaver for the day!


:love_you_gesture: David! So many things in there I agree with so much.

As I was listening to some of these (the #public:listen episodes of the companion show) I also realized that the “credentials” of the guests sometimes come up organically in the conversation. Such details, I believe, are easier to remember too, since they are “connected” to something else that was being said.

If I open with…

Jane Doe is the create of Foo McShow, and the author Cheesy McBook!

I believe people don’t remember that just from hearing it once. But if she says

…oh, I totally agree Craig! When I was researching Cheesy McBook I had that all wrong initially. It was a real eye opener to learn that.

Then the book title is “connected” in listeners’ minds to Jane’s experience. Those two things, together, are more likely to “stick” in the mind.

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Agreed, and it goes back to the responsibility of the listener. Sure, as host we have a responsibility to create access to some level of this type of info but we can’t be all things to all people or have a plan that addresses every contingency, so it’s fine to go either route. And I strongly agree with the idea of embedding, intentionally if not a force fit, or organically (if it surfaces) references to the guest’s credentials, projects, experiences, etc., as the conversation unfolds.

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Here’s the recording of this workbench session with myself and @Hoagie

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