We have recently updated our podcasting guidelines. You can find it here: PSR podcasting guidelines – Political Studies Review: our blog (brunel.ac.uk), as well as in the summary below.
In the era of widespread and often unverified information, science can start to be considered as just another voice in the room. Given that our mission is to provide high-quality scientific analysis for a wider audience in an easy to understand manner, podcasts can be an invaluable way of getting the key findings from your article across to the broader public.
A great example of how engaging and professional talks raised a topic’s or person’s profile is professor Brene Brown’s TED talk has been viewed over 41 million times and made her a global superstar. Or writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “We Should All Be Feminists” has become a worldwide bestseller after her talk.1
Our idea is much more humble. We aim to start a series of short podcasts with a duration of up to 140s (however, due to technical reasons your recording should be no longer than 135 sec). The key point is to explain the major idea of the PSR publication by its author. You can create a podcast that is a short digital audio recording of your talk, or a video podcast.
You can also include any interesting visual content connected with your article (video, pictures, graphs, charts, etc).
Once you decide to participate, here’s what we recommend:
#1 TRY TO INSPIRE
Get your audience interested. Show them the topic in the wider context and why it’s important in the first couple of sentences. Try to connect major points of your podcast with key political or social challenges. Don’t make your talk too abstract. Show the importance of your research and why are you so passionate about it. Be aware that some of your viewers/ listeners may need some description to help them understand why the topic matters.
#2 BE PRECISE
Try and keep your podcast brief – no more than 135 seconds or even shorter. Ensure that your talk gets straight to the point, keep things simple and tie every element in your presentation to the theme. Remember about a clear structure.
#3 AVOID USING UNNECESSARILY COMPLICATED LANGUAGE
You are probably going to communicate with people who don’t know the topic on which you are an expert. Avoid academic jargon and if it’s necessary to do so, try to explain complex terms. Using words no one understands will confuse listeners. The real challenge is to talk about complex concepts in an easy to understand way, not the other way round.
#4 SOUND LIKE YOU
What you want to say needs to be you. Although you might choose to prepare a written script, do use words you would normally use, in regular conversations.
#5 FINISH STRONGLY
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou Leave your listeners with a sparkling thought – something to be remembered by.
CHECK YOUR SCRIPT ONCE AGAIN CONSIDERING tHE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
• Have you decided on words that express your meaning correctly?
• Could you be less abstract?
• Have you got things in the best order?
• Is your argument coherent?
• Are your facts right?
• Is the tone of voice right?
A FEW TECHNICAL TIPS
- Choose a comfortable place.
- Minimize distractions: choose a quiet place, and – in the case of a video recording – a calm background with good light).
- When you start recording wait about 3s before you start speaking.
- Similarly, when you finish speaking wait before switching off the camera.
- Send us your script – it will help us to prepare subtitles.
- If you prefer to speak in your native language – do so.
- Just prepare a precise translation to be transformed into subtitles.
- You can also attach any interesting visual content you want to use to explain your point (videos, pictures, graphs, charts, etc) – we’ll use it in your podcast.
Sources and inspirations:
(1) M. Aarons-Mele The Myth Of The TED Talk, “Forbes”, 12.01.2018
(2) K. Roman, “Writing that works”