When you're passionate about the art of discussion and conversation, opportunities that come your way that draw on your inherent communicativeness may seem almost impossible to resist.
If you're like me, you're the kind of person who would LIVE in the studio if you could. You couldn't get there fast enough and no one could get you out quick enough. The studio, the microphone, the idea of reaching innumerable amounts of people instantly is too much of a beacon for you to ignore. However, it's this very fervor that may you to take on a role that, despite its innate resonance with you as a person, is not the role that you should actually fill.
Since the introduction of podcasting, numerous businesses have turned to the art form as a way of cultivating a conversation regarding their work or the general industry they operate. A lot of times, those companies will have their own team member be the voice and the face of that show. Allowing the conversation to come from someone with a deep knowledge and passion of the topics introduced. That being said...Some businesses approach it differently.
Some businesses may instead choose to outsource the voice of the podcast to someone who has more of a "radio voice". Someone whose natural inflections, pacing, timbre, and vocal placement cater more favorably to the podcasting world. This may be where YOU come in. The question is, "Should you?"
Recent experience has shown me that, even though my voice may cater well to podcasting with its "radio" qualities, it is the mind behind the voice that causes me to rethink my involvement. Now, to clarify, neither the premise, the topics, the format, nor the mission of the podcast in question were at all dishonorable, ambiguous, or at all distasteful. On the contrary, the show on the whole was a good concept and it lent itself as a good conversational extension to the operations of the company that cultivated it.
But even with all of that in mind, I ultimately found myself at a point where I was DREADING the very recording sessions I was setting up for this show. Now, based on the kind of person discussed earlier and the fact that I am that kind of "studio-loving" person, that just didn't make sense to me. Whenever my Google Calendar would give me a reminder, I didn't want to attend the session. I didn't want to be on the mic. I didn't want to produce. What was wrong with me?
After some reflection, I had a revelation that seems SUPER obvious now but wasn't before this moment. THIS WASN'T MY SHOW! Prior to this moment, I always looked for the opportunity to lend my voice to a story or a conversation. But I never saw myself placing my voice as the soul narrator for someone else's conversation. Positioning myself in this way forced me to eventually come to terms with the fact that without the "Why?" of the show, you should be the voice or the face of the show.
Despite the topic and overall mission of the show being something that I'd usually happily lend my voice to, I lacked a belief that the conversation needed to happen. Not that the conversation itself should NEVER be had. Moreover, I PERSONALLY didn't have an internal need to bring that conversation to life. It wasn't a topic that I came up with. So naturally, I didn't truly have the drive to make it a long-term content stream.
When voicing this revelation to the business owner who had seen the first few episodes I had accomplished, they voiced that it didn't sound as though I had any issues with it. On the contrary, they thought I sounded like I really enjoyed it. Honestly, that's just the talent for talking. But despite how well I can conduct a show at the moment, the fact that each moment before a recording session was filling me with anxiety was all the information I needed to decide if this was the right move for me.
With the official decision to put the show on hold, I'm finding that my overall anxiety has been elated. Now this may seem like some unusual dramatization of the situation. But ask yourself this question...If you found yourself suddenly responsible for an entire brand's existence because it was thrust on you and you know inherently that it was not going to be viable as a long-term brand through you, wouldn't you begin questioning your involvement?
It's a learning experience that I am quite happy to have received. Especially before I became way too invested in it by association. The important takeaway here is that you must ensure that the voice behind the mic is connected to the brain and the heart with the passion for what is going to be spoken. Otherwise, the work is dead. And YOU as the voice, will find yourself exhausted, but more importantly, unfulfilled. Podcasting is meant to be a cultivation of conversations based on someone's passion. It's my personal opinion that it can't thrive through a ghost voice the way a magazine article can survive through a ghostwriter.
But what are your thoughts? Do you think this is an overreaction? Do you agree that a podcast needs to be voiced by someone who has the proper passion for it? Let me know in the comments below.