I’ve done lots of podcasts. Jay Acunzo’s “Unthinkable” stands out. It’s a good example of how structure and some extra work make stories better, whether that’s in words or in recorded sound.
The typical podcast I do is an interview. I get on the phone or Skype with somebody, they ask questions, and I respond. They record the whole thing and put it on the Web. And if the questions are good and the quality is fine, some people listen to it.
Acunzo goes to another level of quality. He asks good questions, like the other podcasters. The focus of his podcast “Unthinkable” is on marketing — and on people who followed their creative North Star until it became profitable.
But what sets his efforts apart is the pursuit of a story. His podcasts have a story framework — he directs his questions to fill in parts of that framework and flesh out the story. I empathize with this technique, because it’s the same way I do an interview to build a case study. Like Acunzo, I’m seeking bits that I can include in the final result that will move the narrative along, catch the reader’s interest, and prove my points. The difference is, he’s seeking sound.
Have a listen to the result. I think you’ll see how it stands out, even in just six minutes. And if you’re podcasting, ask yourself: What would I do to get to this level of quality?
(Note: for a few minutes, it appears this embedded link isn’t working. If it isn’t working for you, you can also listen to the podcast here.)
One response to “An Unthinkable podcast — clarity in audio storytelling”
This reminds me of the Freakonomics podcast format. Very similar in structure, though Freakonomics goes longer and more in depth on topics. The format gets points and learning across in a much more concise way for both narrator and interviewee, rather than recording the Q&A in real time. And we know we’re all about concise here.