Editing can be a sticky subject for some podcasters. There are those who say editing destroys the authenticity of a show, and there are those who say editing is a necessary component of almost any successful recording of any kind. I definitely fall in the latter camp, and I’d like to tell you why.

In my opinion, the biggest reason to edit audio is that it is audio, and is therefore about listening. When someone is listening to your podcast, all they have to hold their attention is the sound. They can’t see your expressions or gestures, and they can’t interact with you in real time. You may be an enthralling an dynamic speaker, but your listeners are only getting a small fraction of your actual performance coming through their headphones. As someone whose job is to be an enthralling and dynamic speaker and who has also produced well over one hundred audio pieces, I can say that I certainly need all the help I can get! This is similar to what I said when discussing podcasting lectures: too much is lost in translation for most people to pull off a good recording without help.

Of course, I don’t advocate using editing to completely change what was said. What I do think should be done is more of a “clean-up” job. If someone rambles on for too long, try to remove part of the comment without changing the meaning too much. Removing some ums, uhhs, and stumbles can go a long way to making someone sound interesting. As many of my guests tell me, editing “makes them sound smart.”

If you edit a segment respectfully and skillfully, you can improve the listening experience without changing the speaker’s meaning or manner of speech. To demonstrate this, please listen to the two samples at the end of this post. Your task when listening isn’t to figure out what I edited out or why, but to compare the clarity and feel of the first clip to the second.

If this were you talking, which would you rather have the world hear?

icon for podpress  Sample of Unedited Speech [0:37m]: Download
icon for podpress  Sample of Edited Speech: Download
 

SGM-2X

Here’s a sample and review/explanation recorded with the Azden SGM-2X Shotgun microphone in a noisy environment. You can see the bike handgrip I added in the picture. It cuts down on noise due to holding the mic, and it makes it more comfortable, too!

 
icon for podpress  Azden SGM-2X Sample File [3:33m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
 

If you listen to many podcasts, you’ll hear a lot of people asking you to call and leave a message on their comment line. The weird thing is, every one of these people seems to have a phone in Seattle.

Of course, Seattle isn’t the hub of the podcasting world, it is just the home of k7.net. k7 will give you a free phone number, voicemail service, and fax inbox. According to their site, k7:

… channels your free voicemail and fax messages directly to your e-mail. K7 Unified Messaging provides you with a free phone number. This number enables you to have your voicemail messages and faxes delivered directly to your computer. You also have the option to view and listen to your messages right here on the K7 Web site.

Oh and, in case you were wondering, k7 is a service of International Telcom Ltd. that seems to exist to promote the larger company — that’s why it’s free.

Here’s a sample message:

icon for podpress  k7 Sample: Download
 
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© 2010 Adam Weiss: Podcast Consultant