The Podcast 4-Second Rule

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on July 6, 2010

The first 4 seconds of any podcast is a crucial time in terms of keeping a listener with you. If I don’t like what I hear in those 4 seconds, I’m likely to hit the stop icon and go somewhere else for my information and entertainment.

I recently listened to a podcast by a successful entrepreneur and was shocked by the voice that introduced his podcast. It was a female voice that had a thin quality and sounded like a college kid. I felt like I was about to hear an MTV special instead of a professional interview between two of the top people in the field. If I hadn’t been really motivated to hear this interview, I probably would have felt this was a pretty unprofessional podcast and left.

Spend time, and possibly money, to get a voice to introduce your podcast that meshes with you and what you will be saying. Want to hear some choices of who you might get? The web site, Voice 123, provides hundreds of voices to choose from. Another good source is http://www.voices.com/. There are many other voice over sites out there so there’s no excuse not to have the perfect voice for your podcast intro. Be sure you make those first 4 seconds pull the listener in instead of chasing the listener away!

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