In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularised the thinking that it takes over 10,000 hours of doing something to become world class at it.

The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time.

Have you got that much time?

You may not be able to spend that long practicing your presenting or editing skills but it certainly helps to practice as much as you can.

When I was 14 I really wanted to be a radio presenter and I had a couple of old record players (I’m old) and a cassette player hooked up to a cheap second hand mixer and I used to practice.

I’d record music from the radio, and pretend to have my own show.

Every single night when I got back from school I’d present my show and no one ever heard it… thank god!

When I look back now, I wasn’t just messing around in my bedroom, I was practicing for something that would later become a career.

I’d listen to other radio shows and learn from what they did. I’d try to understand how shows were put together and I’d try to do the same.

After I finished my hour long show I’d listen back to it and try and figure out which were the rubbish bits.

So, put on your headphones, start recording and practice your podcasting.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a guest or host to practice with, just pick a bunch of intro’s and outro’s or an old list of interview questions and record them all again and again.

Try to use different inflections in your voice, phrase your questions differently and then listen back to what you’ve done.

If your podcast is just a monologue then record it multiple times and try and find a rhythm that’s natural and fits your personality.

When you listen back try and identify the areas that could be improved. Be critical of yourself and try to get better.

I’ve never met a presenter, podcaster, artist or creative person who ever thinks they have done their best. They are all striving for better.

Will you become world class with all the practice? Probably not… I’m certainly not. But you will get better.

What I’m listening To

Right now I’m really enjoying British Scandal from Wondery but I must admit I didn’t at first. It kind of grated on me but after a few episodes I must admit I warmed to it and really enjoy it now.

It’s amusing (wouldn’t say funny) whilst dealing with serious subjects like Russians being poisoned by radioactive materials in London and the death of an Iraq weapons inspector.

There are two seasons available and if you like political intrigue then give it a listen.

British Scandal – Wondery – Feel The Story

In a country obsessed with gossip, the great and the good fear one thing more than any other – scandal. British scandals change the course of history. They bring down governments, overthrow the rich and cause the mighty to fall.