Do you have a personal pre-recording routine? What do you do before hitting that record button?
I don’t mean the practical stuff like checking mic levels or figuring out if there’s space on the SD card (I’ve forgotten to do that).
I mean your personal routine. The things that get you ready for recording.
Here’s mine. Some things may seem a bit strange but, you know…
Lip balm ½ hour before start
Moisten those lips!
But not too much or you’ll end up with lip smack sounds all over your podcast which is not good.
I tend to wipe off the lip balm just before recording but I like to make sure that my lips are not totally dry.
If you have dry lips you may not feel like stretching your mouth as much and I like to feel comfortable when recording.
Not too moist or you’ll sound like you’re supping soup!
You don’t know how long a recording will take. You may need to rerecord or an interview may last longer than you thought. The last thing you want is to be bursting half way through!
Back in my radio days when you heard someone playing Bohemian Rhapsody or November Rain then you knew they’d make a run for the toilet.
Clear your throat. Always have a good cough just before recording.
You don’t want to start recording and the first thing someone hears is a bit of phlegm trying to make its way towards the microphone.
If you’ve got a cold then make sure you also have a mute button for your mic so you can mute, cough and unmute.
Blow your nose
Even if I don’t feel bunged up I tend to have a quick nose blow before recording. It just clears the airways.
If you feel all bunged up then find something menthol to waft around your recording area.
If you do have a cold and sore throat then you can buy anaesthetic lozenges from the pharmacy that completely numb your throat.
Mouth exercises to relax your mouth muscles
Any actor, presenter or performer will tell you the importance of voice/mouth exercises. You look extremely daft doing them but they are really helpful.
You need your mouth to feel alive, awake and relaxed. You don’t want sluggish mouth muscles as they can hamper your diction and projection.
I do Shoo-Be-Doo’s… lots of them!
I sound utterly ridiculous but it relaxes my mouth and makes me feel ready.
The Shoo sound, when exaggerated stretches the muscles in your mouth one way.
The Bee sound, when exaggerated forces you into a huge smile and stretches those muscles
The Doo sound is similar to the Shoo.
Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo… you get the idea!
I sound utterly ridiculous but it helps loosen up my mouth muscles.
Water 2 mins before start
I don’t tend to take drinks into a recording. If you don’t mute the last thing someone wants to hear is you slurping and swallowing!
So I tend to have a big drink of water a couple of minutes before recording.
It rehydrates me and lubricates my throat.
If you need water when recording then make sure you can mute the mic, have a sip and then unmute.
Deep breaths before you start
Take a few. Really deep ones as they can help relax your airways and help you project more.
When you breath deeply listen for any wheezes, especially if you have a cold. Be aware of them as the last thing anyone wants to hear is a high pitched wheeze in the background!
That’s what I do. It sounds like a lot but it only takes a few minutes and I’m so much into the routine that I don’t really know that I’m doing it.
Have you got a routine? Let me know.
What I’m listening To
I listened to this podcast when it first came out and even now, years later, it’s the best podcast I’ve ever heard.
The story is fascinating. The storytelling from host iO Tillett Wright is just amazing and very personal.
Put this pod on your bucket list and give it a listen one day.
In the fall of 1977, Rebecca meets Billy; Model meets musician; Juliet meets Romeo, and their worlds intertwine. He shows her the mean streets of New York, how to survive, and how to make it in showbiz. They’re gonna be stars.