Issue 18. What to edit out of a podcast

Dec 10, 2021

Editing a podcast can be a laborious and time-consuming exercise, it’s not that difficult, it just takes time.

One of the questions I get asked a lot during podcast training sessions is, what do you edit out? What should you keep?

So here’s a quick list of what I try to chop out.

Podcast Microphone

Mistakes

Don’t keep your bloopers in!

If you make any big mistakes like calling your interview guest by the wrong name (done that), dropping the microphone (done that – get a stand!) or sneezing (done that as well) then chop them out.

Sometimes you may say something that’s pointless or makes you sound silly so either keep it in for the entertainment value or chop it out.

Um’s and Arr’s

You want your podcast to sound natural so don’t edit out all of the um’s and arr’s but be very conscious about how many you leave in.

If you or a co-host are umming and arring so much that it becomes irritating then edit most of them out.

You want your podcast to flow but at the same time sound natural. Its a fine balance but if you’ve ummed a lot them edit some out.

Pauses

I recorded an interview a few months ago where the guest left a 3 – 5 second pause before answering any questions. The answers he gave were great but the pauses really stood out.

I chopped out the lot which tightened up the whole sound of the episode and made it flow much better.

I’ve also interviewed folks who leave pauses in the middle of sentences and have edited these out as well.

Just remember to keep the sound flowing as naturally as possible. Big gaps can really stand out.

Crutches

Everyone has a crutch. My is “so…” before I ask a question!

Some folks say “That’s a great question” or “Right… well”… it’s the same as a pause and it gives your brain a split-second to think about what you’re going to say.

It’s OK to leave a few crutches in as they can sound natural but if every single time you start a sentence you say “so…”, edit it out. It will be irritating to the listener.

I wrote an article a few weeks ago about crutches and how to fix them.

Most of the edits you need to make for a podcast fit into the categories above but let me know if you edit out anything else.