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Last year I had an episode go sideways and did not realize it until the editing phase. The interview went smoothly and everything looked fine . . . until three weeks later when I opened the files to edit.

Yes, prior planning prevents poor performance. I did not originate this phrase, but I firmly believe it to be true, especially with podcasting. Preparation helps to eliminate issues before they happen and set the episode up for success.

It makes problems less probable, yet they are still possible. (This blog is brought to you by the letter "P"🤣. Forgive me, I am on an alliteration bent today.)

What Happened?

My side of the recording sounded scratchy. In fact, it sounded like I recorded remotely on a bad signal. I could understand my words, but it was unpleasant listening to it. I still don't know the cause, though I think my microphone was going bad because I had connectivity issues after that episode. I replaced it a few weeks later and have not had any issues since then. Of course, this sent me into a panic.

Why a Panic?

I had asked a guest for their time and energy for a conversation (thank you Mike Phillips!). It's not like I could replace the product--it was a conversation. I couldn't give a refund--nothing was bought or sold. Having to go back and say the recording failed would be a humbling experience, one I wanted to avoid if possible.


The transcript saved me. During the recording, the software generated a transcript that was quite readable. I then went back and recorded me saying what I said in the transcript (or nearly what I said). Next I spliced it into a recording with Mike's answers and responses so the dialog sounded normal. I can tell a slight difference because I know the cadence and rhythm of my voice. Mike listened to it and didn't realize there had been any problem.

How Does This Affect Me (the Reader)?

You might be thinking, "Eric, so what? How does this affect me (the reader)?" Having different contingency plans can save you time and grief should technology fail. I have a back up microphone (a headset) which I have used a couple of times in the past. I have a primary means of recording and then a fallback secondary if need be. In the above example, a transcript helped to fill in a gap and solve a problem. The only contingency plan I don't have yet is if the internet/wifi goes down. For me, that means rescheduling. I am looking at options to record via phone, but haven't landed on one yet.

As a guest, these might not be quite as important (though a backup microphone might be a consideration if you are a frequent podcast guest). As a host, these are things to consider. Are they requirements? No. They can help if a problem occurs.

Now What?

Make your plans yet hold onto them loosely. Situations occur which cannot always be anticipated. Think through back up options just in case. 😁

You can listen to this episode with Mike Phillips here: You trade in trust before you deal in dollars - Mike Phillips

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