Podcasts are an audio-based genre. As someone who works with gesture, and often talks about gesture on podcasts, I’m acutely aware of the lack of visuals in podcasting. Audio-only communication is a radical departure from the way humans have communicated for most of human history, and while it is possible to communicate just using speech, this doesn’t mean that gestures are not contributing; people podcasting, doing radio or speaking on the phone will still gesticulate as they speak.
Occasionally I’ll notice that gestures ‘break through’, and will be explicitly mentioned as the person is talking. I’ve given three examples that I’ve noticed in podcasts, but I’m sure there are many more. I also have a hunch that gestures that are specifically mentioned during a podcast are of a specific kind, in that they’re important enough in the mind of the speaker to be worthy of comment. My guess is that these are gestures that are particularly illustrative, or they’re backchanneling gestures done by the other participants in the conversation.
If you also hear examples of people speaking about gesture in a podcast, let me know! I’ve set up a very short google form to collect examples: https://forms.gle/f1LbWEAWUTcX9uFq5
One of the biggest challenges of collecting examples of this is the fact that many podcasts still don’t make transcripts available, so it’s hard to pull together a large corpus to search. I hope to eventually do something with this, but if you’d like to use this as a research project, please get in touch!
Example 1: The Culture
Episode: The Kardashians: Saying goodbye to America’s Royal Family (July 2nd 2021)
Brodie Lancaster, while talking about the mutual rise of the Kardashian family and the popularity of Kimye: "I'm making a motion of like braiding something together" (timecode: 28:54) [no transcript]
Listening to this episode of The Culture on a long walk, it was this example that made me realise this was a thing I’d been thinking about long enough that it was time to turn it into a post.
Example 2: The Vocal Fries
Episode: Between Iraq and a Hard Place Transcript (12th December 2019)
Zach Jaggers: “We also see cases where there’s a loanword from another language used in a borrowing language where it’s not because there was some kind of, quote – hand quotes. Sorry, I gesture a lot. [Laughs]” [transcript]
In this episode there’s a string of examples where Jaggers uses tone of voice to indicate quotation, but also overtly marks that he’s doing handquotes as well. I like the reflexivity of acknowledging the limits of podcasting in this example.
Example 3: Lingthusiasm
Episode: Why spelling is hard — but also hard to change (June 20th 2019)
Gretchen McCulloch: “This is what the primary function of the French accent circonflexe, which is the one that looks like a little hat – I’m making the little hat sign with my hands as I say this because that was how we always talked about it in school is you have to make the hat sign with your hands” [transcript]
Gretchen and I gesture all the time while we’re recording Lingthusiasm, but here Gretchen felt particularly compelled to share her gesture with everyone, because it’s so much a part of the story of the circonflexe for her.
Thoughts for now
Each of these examples shows the person who is speaking feels compelled to draw attention to what their gestures are contributing to the content of what they are saying. I’m sure there are other ways in which gestures manifest themselves in the final product of a podcast. There are also other features of face-to-face communication that have the potential to make themselves known in podcasts and other voice-only media. Liveshow audiences are something that particularly come to mind, especially since there has been so little opportunity for live recordings in the last 18 months.
Cite this blog post
All original content on Superlinguo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If this post has inspired you to think and write about gestures in podcasts, please let me know! You can also cite this blog post:
Gawne, Lauren. 2021. Gestures in podcasting. Superlinguo. https://www.superlinguo.com/post/659622302480318464/gestures-in-podcasting Accessed DATE.
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Episode one of the Mayday Podcast is finally here!
Listen now to our first episode (of 2) covering explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his fatal expedition to Antarctica ❄️
Join us to find out the best colour for horses in cold places, how Peter Pan fits into Antarctic exploration, and hear some 100 year old naval drama all while we have a sneaky sip of a polar whiskey named after one of Scott’s peers/rivals.
Find the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor, or your platform of choice. Follow us on instagram for fun history facts & check out our website for episode transcripts, links, and more!
leave (positive!) reviews wherever you listen- this makes other people more likely to listen too
share their posts on social media so more people can see them
recommend them to friends, especially those you think will enjoy them- give a reason why they in particular might like it (ie a certain genre, representation, etc)
react to them! whether you tweet after an episode, write a tumblr post, make a playlist, write fanfic, make fanart- this not only means your followers will see how much you love the show, but will also make the creators feel appreciated
hey everyone, i’m starting a podcast! it’s called They Made It Out of Clay.
tmiooc is all about how judaism has inspired some of your favorite sci-fi and fantasy works, from superheroes to good omens (and also some less obvious ones, but you’ll have to listen to find out what).
the first episode features the very lovely @koshercosplay, but it’s not out just yet, so in the meantime, listen to the brand new trailer here or wherever you listen to podcasts!
Audio dramas/fiction podcasts deserve so much love please listen to them the different genres, the cool innovative techniques used to tell the story, the humor, the plots themselves like these stories really were meant solely for this medium they're accessible and so wonderful and the representation within the stories among the characters makes me emotional there isn't another medium that has hooked me in the way audio dramas have please check them out these stories range from space epics, paranormal institutes, village funeral homes, AU victorian detectives + journalists, therapists for superheroes, time-traveling scientists stuck in the 1940s, isolated research stations in the tundra like???? They're better written, better produced, better acted/directed than so many high-budget TV shows/movies out today
Next week Boys n Ghouls Film Review Podcast reviews Descendants Film Franchise in honour of Cameron Boyce memory. RIP Cameron and condolence to his family and friends out there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAA7yBSjAt0
All the content from patchworkfairytales.wordpress.com has been migrated to laurasimons.com!
This new website gives me much more freedom, so now I can offer you full transcripts for every episode and episode streaming on the website. The summary overview and tag navigation from the old website are of course still available, also new and improved. You can find everything here:
Transcripts. Full transcripts of every episode are available as blog posts on this website, alongside a download and streaming link. All these posts are collected here.
Summaries. Short descriptions of every episode, including links to their transcript. You can see the full overview here.
Episode Themes. Every transcript is tagged with themed tags that will help you find types of stories, characters, or relationships. A full list of these tags can be found here.
And if you just want to stream or download all the episodes in order, you can find them all neatly in a row on patchworkfairytales.libsyn.com! (Which now has a direct link to the correct transcript in every episode description.)
I hope this will make the podcast more accessible and easier to navigate!
If you run into any bugs or problems, please let me know 💜
I wrote a post for the RED team at La Trobe with some general advice for podcasting, but I’ve found there are some recurring questions that I get about setting up a podcast. This post is here to answer those questions.
If you’re not interested in starting a podcast, but want to listen to more linguistics podcasts, I’ve got a list for you!
I last updated this post in June 2021 - if you find this post a few years after this you might want to search for some more up to date specs. I’ll continue to update this from time to time as new questions (or answers) come up.
Picture your audience
Before you make any decisions about your show, know who it is for. Your topic might be incredibly niche and have an audience in the hundreds, which is very different to a potentially larger but less engaged audience. See the classic blog post from Kevin Kelly on the power of 1000 true fans. Knowing your potential audience, where they hang out online, and how they’re likely to support you, will help your decision making. I have a self-guided slide set for refining your project before you start working on it. It’s also ok to know who you don’t want as your audience, and make choices that don’t actively include them. Do this early and clearly so people aren’t disappointed. For example, having a show with clearly noted explicit language selects away from young kids and their parents.
The length and format of your show are a product of your aims
I personally like shows in the 25-35 minute range. But, having said that, I love Shortwave, which regularly clocks in at 10 minutes, and I’m disappointed when an episode of You’re Wrong About is less than an hour.
Know your audience and the level of depth you want to explore a topic in. The frequency of episodes and the amount of time you have to prepare and edit will also affect how long episode end up. Record a few episodes first and share them with people you trust will give you good feedback.
The best interviews are conversations
Good interviews are just conversations that are intentionally lopsided, and good interviewers make the conversation feel like it’s not lopsided. Do your homework, write out some questions, and then take a step back and actually listen to the person you’re interviewing.
Anyone who has done even a few interviews has already faced most of the questions you first think of. There are some fixes for this: push through your initial brainstorming, think about the specific angles on their topic that are most relevant to your audience and (again) listen to what the person is telling you. Like many podcasting skills, good interviewing takes practice, and you can practice by staying curious about humans you interact with in any area of your life, not just your podcast guests.
Use the best mics you can, but don’t over-invest
You don’t have go and buy the fanciest tech. If you have access to a studio, great! If you don’t, then decide what your budget is. When we started Lingthusiasm, Gretchen recorded into her phone, because we were running the show on no budget and had no idea if we’d stick it out more than 6 months. When we started making money we got Gretchen a Zoom H4n to match mine. It’s still not the fanciest, but it’s rugged and adequate, especially if you make sure you’re in a closet with some blankets. Do I regret the earlier episodes of Lingthusiasm don’t sound amazing? Not as much as I would have regretted investing hundreds of dollars in a podcast that had 4 episodes.
Edit your show
Even a light edit will make the show easier for your audience to listen to, and show respect for the people you interview. I know people believe there’s an aesthetic of authenticity that comes with not editing, but all podcasting is a performance. Editing is a politeness to your audience.
Editing means a very wide range of things. You can do full production editing, including the addition of music, multiple different voice-overs and voices reading parts (e.g. getting someone else to read author quotes to bring them to life) and additional sound effects. Or you might just edit out the start and end of the recording, and any false starts and errors throughout the show. A lot of the pauses and fillers we use in conversation are designed for an audience who is in on the conversation and can reply, and can feel like they’re holding up a conversation when you’re a passive listener like a podcast audience. Many of the best conversational podcasts are given an edit to make them easier on the ears.
I use audacity to edit
Audacity is free to use. It takes a little longer to learn than something like GarageBand, but once you know how to use it, you’ll be much faster at editing. I appreciate that it has stayed pretty much the same since I started using it almost 15 years ago.
Get your levels right
Once you’ve edited your show, making sure there aren’t too many loud laughs, or your two hosts aren’t unbalanced in loudness. You’ll also need to make sure your podcast isn’t too loud or soft compared to others in people’s list. You need to regularise it. A lot of podcasts regularise to -16 LUFS. A few other numbers bounce around (-14, -18), but this is what we use and no one complains. Audacity can’t do it. You can process a certain number of hours of audio for free each month using the web-based Auphonic. It’s great.
There’s lots of great free music to use
You want to look for music that has a license that’s free to use. Even if you don’t plan to make money from your podcast, make sure the license includes commercial use so you don’t limit your future options. SoundCloud and YouTube have lots of options, as does Kevin MacLeod - who has created royalty-free music in a massive range of genres.
Web hosting is different to getting your show on iTunes
We use SoundCloud to upload and share our audio. It’s fine. I have no complaints. Once you’ve uploaded a few hours of audio you’ll have to pay annually for a pro account. Anchor seems to be a good new competitor, it’s free - I assume they make money off people choosing to run ads on their podcasts. You then generate an RSS feed, which is the thing that points all the podcast players to the place you’ve uploaded your recording. You’ll then have to add your show to major podcast platforms (Apple Podcast, Google Podcast), smaller ones will pick it up from there.
It takes a few days for your show to get picked up on all the podfeeders
Launching a podcast is a bit of a mess - it will go live on your hosting site but then you’ll have to set yourself up with iTunes, Google Podcast etc. and that can take a few days to update and populate. The sites that are popular, and the process of linking into those spaces, changes often enough that you should just google advice when you’re ready to launch, and give yourself a few days. This is part of why some podcasts launch a short ‘episode 0′ or a trailer, it gets the show set up.
Transcripts should be one of the first things you fund
Not every podcast has the time or funds to make transcripts. I do think they’re important though; for people who can’t or don’t want to listen, for discoverability and for your own record when you can’t remember when you talked about a specific story. If you have any time or money and want to be taken seriously at all, this should be one of your earliest priorities. This is even more true for educational podcasts, where a transcript ensures all students can appreciate the content of your show.
You don’t neeeeed a website, but it’s handy
You can run a show using a hosting platform and some social media. Having a website does allow you to add more information about the show and yourself. The Lingthusiasm page has grown over the years as the show has; we made a page for our liveshow events, we provide a list of episodes by topic, information about our Discord community, and our marvelous wall of supporters. The website was much more minimal when we started, but compared to just having a SoundCloud it gave the show room to grow.
You probably want socials, but be selective
You need to make your podcast discoverable by people who are likely to be your audience. Social media is one way to do this, but it’s better to be actually engaging on fewer social platforms than overextend yourself. Focus on platforms that are the intersection of where your possible fans are likely to be and where you enjoy being.
Funding a podcast takes time, and takes work
There are three main revenue streams for podcasts: advertising, crowdfunding and merch. A fourth option is institutional support (through your university or business), but then you’re beholden to the funder. Whichever revenue options work for you, think about them and plan towards them early. Part of that is making sure your podcast gets in as many ears as possible. Most successful podcasts spend as much, if not more, time on marketing, audience engagement and business planning as they do podcasting (it’s just not very glamorous to admit that!).
Choose whether each episode can stand alone
Some podcasts build a narrative over multiple episodes. Others allow listeners to jump in at any point and listen in any order. Whatever you choose, make this clear to your audience. This choice is going to influence a range of choices around what information to include in the opening and closing, how topical to make the show, and how you promote your podcast.
Seasons are a great structure to keep a podcast manageable
Regardless of whether your show runs in a sequence, planning a season with a fixed number of episodes allows you to take some time off, to maybe change some things that weren’t working, or to step away from the project with a podcast that hasn’t been left hanging.
not 2 be like listen to my podcast but new ep drop this ones about DND and MAKING CONTENT and also DND PODCASTING and what makes a GOOD DND PODCAST and we talk a little about taz (even tho most of that got cut i think) so like its relevant and also our new friend ERIC SILVER from multitude productions is here and i ask him some really stupid questions its good:
How do you know you're looking for something, without ever feeling that you need it? At what point does the realization hit you, like a brick wall materializing out of thin air, that you've found what the depths of your soul has been searching for all along?
Beck isn't like the other teenagers in his town. That's a fact he's been painfully aware of his entire young adult life. Its not the harsh point of fingers, or the jabs of immature words, but rather the distance between himself and the people around him. He didn't put those barriers up- at least, he doesn't think he did. But his life has been spent in the shadows of friendships, never fully grasping onto a deeper connection.
So it's been just him and his tape recorder against the world. The trail of tapes that link together his teenage years in a bundle of short audio diaries. The tapes in which he thought he'd gotten rid of for good after the incident.
But somewhere, somewhen in the future, a young man by the name of Nicholas Webb has uncovered Beck’s story by accident. And the unraveling of Beck’s secrets may just be enough to unravel Nicholas’s mind.
The Oddities of Ælctown. Season one trailer out soon.
It’s here! Listen to @koshercosplay and I talk about the Jewish origins of American superheroes on the very first episode of They Made It Out of Clay. Search for it on your favorite podcasting platform or find it here: https://linktr.ee/outofclaypod
hi i’m working on a project for my english/creative writing class and i bit off more than i can chew. i’m working on a podcast type audio drama and i’m Lost i genuinely have no idea what i’m doing, and neither do people i’m working with, and i can’t really give up, so i thought i might as well ask for a piece of advice, especially on editing, any good free programs or things i should look out for. i mean you obviously don’t have to, but it’d be really helpful. thanks in advance !!
1) Audacity, or if you’re feeling spicy, you can get reaper for like 3 months for free. Also look up the discord bot ‘Craig’ to
2. If you can record your dialogue between your characters at the same time in the same room, or the same discord call you will save yourself a shit load of time in editing later.
3. Pick your SFX carefully, a good bit of ambience can do wonders for a scene, a well chosen piece of music can fuck up someone emotionally, ya feel?
4, On the point of music, I believe that everything on fmdrec.bandcamp.com is all free to use under attribution licences,
5. Freesound.org is your friend, make sure you check out your liscences and attribute where needed
6. any more specific advice, please ask.
"The world was fine until the Eye appeared - wasn't it? The Inquisitor wouldn't know; all they seem to do is read. Read, and learn, and try to prevent the world from getting any worse than it has already become. But there looms the ever-present threat of a new God - one with bones of asphalt and leathery flesh - who threatens to plunge the world into new chaos."
Hi, Scarlett from OAB here! It's about time we got a Tumblr.
On Asphalt Bones is an original, independent horror audio drama in the line of The Magnus Archives, Welcome to Night Vale, The Penumbra Podcast, and more!
Our first trailer, "A New Perspective", came out on the 4th of August 2021, and you can listen to it on Spotify or the podcatcher of your choice.
The show is scheduled to begin releasing weekly from the 6th of October 2021.
You can find more info about the show and others on our network, [Listless], such as The Children of Room 56 (@room56pod) and Dreamcasters (@dreamcasterspod).
That's all for now - follow us for more info! We are @onasphaltbones on everything! <3