There is so much that goes in to preparing to launch a podcast. Name selection is certainly on everyone's mind, but what about the style your podcast takes on? Hosting is a skill, and knowing how to correctly host these four formats is equally as important.
This list is a break down of the 4 primary podcast styles and some of the reasons you might (or might not) choose them.
The One To Many
The One-To-Many style, or "Broadcaster," is a simple format in which the host presents themselves as the sole entertainer. There are typically no other voices (unless they are guests that present questions for the host) and no interview. The One-To-Many is a great platform to stage yourself or your brand as a subject matter expert. It lends itself to shorter quick hit podcasts (5 - 10 minutes) as well as longer 30 minute shows. Some hosts free-style the show while others come in with a script in-hand and have the format drafted out each time. While it may seem like the easiest to edit, it can be busy when hosts try to record all in one take and then have to clean up spots or record in segments and need to clean up each clip before mixing.
Probably one of the most common and most understood styles is The Interview. In this scenario, a host has a dialogue with a guest(s). Within The Interview are two sub-styles:
The Q&A: The Q&A has a well-thought-out beginning, middle, and end, and is typically presented in a flow of "Host asks a question, guest answers the question, host asks another question, guest answers that question, and so on." The host may or may not choose to provide the questions to the guest prior to the interview.
The Conversationalist: The Conversationalist still has a beginning, middle, and end goal in mind, but uses a conversational style to guide the guest along. In this style, hosts practice more active listening and looking at points throughout where they might be able to take a deeper dive into something, or use something the guest has said as a way to move the conversation along to the next area they want to go.
The Story Board
The Story Board brings a completely different dynamic and feel to a podcast. It may consist of one or more hosts to narrate the story of one or more guests. In this style, interviews are prerecorded and are intentionally designed to help the guest tell their story in a way that can be brought into the producer's vision of the episode. Much like the narrator in a book might fill in the details of what happens to a character in a story, the host or narrator is there to be the thread that weaves the guest's story together. This style requires that anyone involved in the production of the podcast be brought into the vision for the final episode, what the story will look and sound like, how the listener will be taken on a journey throughout, and ultimately what the experience and outcome will be at the end. It requires heavier editing and mixing than the previous two styles and often involves sound effects and surround sound or immersive audio to really pull listeners in.
The Investigative Journalist
Imagine the mystery of an unknown or untold story. The Investigative Journalist style takes that story or mystery and follows the thread of truth, carefully weaving together a coherent narrative and storyline. This style of podcasting might involve fact checking, interviewing the people involved as well as subject matter experts. It involves real people and the nail-biting elements that can keep you glued to your headphones for the entire story. These podcasts typically release on a bi-weekly or monthly basis unless they are powered by a strong production team that can increase the episode frequency.