What “entertaining” DOESN’T mean

Something I’ve heard over and over and over from people who’ve forgotten more about running a podcast than I’ll ever learn is this:

Be entertaining. If your show is not entertaining, no one is going to listen to it.

Truer words were never spoken.

But it’s easy to take that advice out of context.

When I hear the word “entertaining” I think of sitcoms, circus monkeys, basically things with no real substance to pass the time. And I hear podcasters all the time thinking they need to use silly jokes in order to be “entertaining” so that people will suffer through the real substance of their show.

The truth is that the driest topic on earth can be “entertaining” if used in the right way.

When it comes to podcasting, this is where finding the right niche is so important.

Let’s say a gem and mineral expert wants to do a podcast. Now let’s say they target other gem and mineral enthusiasts with their show. I can sit through a show on the Discovery channel about gems and minerals, but beyond that I’m not that interested in it. So although someone like me would be bored listening to it rather quickly, others would find it fascinating to hear a legit expert talk about something that interests them.

In this case, trying to insert a joke every 30 seconds to keep them engaged would insult the intelligence of folks listening in to the show. Those are the folks who, pre-podcasting, suffered through a 60 minute show so they could watch a 5-minute feature on their favorite topic; or would wait until 8 pm on a Tuesday to watch a program on PBS.

Now they can listen at their leisure, and don’t have to wade through the muck and mire of what studio execs think passes for “entertainment”.

At any rate, this is something I go into in more depth in my free course titled Podcasting Principles. It’s going through a bit of an update with the text – in fact, this email will likely be used in the update – but you can snag it for free and consume it (at your leisure) on my Learnistic-hosted mobile app.

To access the app and the course, click this link and follow the instructions. Shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds to download the app with a decent internet speed.