Podcasting Basics for Students

Student Podcasting Projects (Basics)

We have put together the following to help students get started and work efficiently if they are participating in a podcasting based assignment.

We’ve broken it up into the steps that can make this as efficient as possible, including planning, recording, and editing.

NPR provides some excellent resources that we strongly recommend you take a look at this prior to starting.


Against the Rules with Michael Lewis.

This bonus episode has a great discussion on why the podcast medium is perhaps better than traditional publication methods for certain topics and approaches.



  • Script it! (Storyboard,outline, etc.).

See https://training.npr.org/audio/what-does-a-radio-script-look-like/

  • Prepare your questions. Share them in advance with the interviewees if you can.

  • Stay on topic.

  • Identify what other sounds, music, recordings you need, etc.. Collect them beforehand if possible.

See https://training.npr.org/audio/active-sound-how-to-find-it-record-it-and-use-it/

  • For narration, practice check your pace against your planned time, paragraph by paragraph.


  • GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).

  • Always get the best quality you can.

  • It's easier to boost volume through editing than it is to reduce it (distortion).

  • Be aware of your speech (pace, enunciation, etc.).

  • Leave time before and after all recordings for editing (at least a couple of seconds).

  • Record extra sound of the room. This will allow you to eliminate ambient noise in post production if you want.

  • Find a place that’s quiet(ish).

  • Get comfortable with your equipment.

  • Practice - one minute interviews.

  • When recording narration, leave a slight pause 2-3 seconds between paragraphs. Check off each as you go. If you make a mistake on one, just continue. You can go back and easily cut the bad one out, an re-record a new one.

  • Available for use - our PIPPIN podcast cart, that seats up to four participants.


Checklist For Field Recording

(Courtesy of NPR)

Before you head out for an interview or sounds for your podcast, make sure you’ve got everything you need. That should include:

❏ A phone or recording device

❏ If you’re using a microphone that requires batteries, bring extras.

❏ If you’re recording sounds on your phone, bring a charger.

❏ Headphones (You’ll want to be wearing these as you record.)

❏ Interview questions

❏ List of sounds to record (It’s okay if you don’t get all of these sounds and great if you get even more. This list should help guide you.)

❏ Notebook and writing utensil (You or a teammate should quietly take brief notes during an interview or while recording sound, to remember specific moments or points you’d like to return to later.)

❏ Contact information for your interviewee (If you’re interviewing someone, make sure you bring their phone number to your meeting place. You should be able to contact them if just in case something comes up.)