Live Podcasting is Terrifying

Yesterday I did a short interview about Sweet Meats with Emily and Kyle of The Meat Show. They’re excellent hosts and interviewers and I was particularly excited to be a part of their  “Meat Inventions” episode but I was also very unprepared.

They called at noon to confirm a 3pm broadcast (unnerving in and of itself) but our phone connection was not great and our conversation sounded weird and stilted.  Was this how the interview would sound?  I gave them my home studio number to minimize connection problems for the actual show.

For an hour before they called I felt like I would throw up.  I’ve done plenty of live performance and even some on-camera interviews, but radio is different, especially when you’re not in-studio.  There are no visuals to help fill in for awkward pauses or inarticulate phrasing.  And it’s LIVE.  And unedited.  I’m not entirely comfortable with my verbal communication skills (this blog is heavily edited) and the thought of having to be informative and entertaining for ten minutes straight was terrifying.

When they called at 3:20, I said “hello?” into the phone but no one replied.  Instead, I heard Kyle and Emily finishing up their last segment.  Oh crap!  Did someone just hear my confused greeting in the middle of the broadcast?  No, you idiot.  This is how radio works.  They don’t turn on your phone connection until they’re ready for you.  How would I know when I should start talking?!  When they say “Hi, Lauren.  Thanks for being on the show.  How are you?”, apparently.

Luckily, The Meat Show feels extremely fast-paced for a guest, more so than you would think just listening to it.  Kyle and Emily never allow for dead air and always have great comments and questions at the ready (they really do their homework).  Everything is friendly and slightly rushed, so you don’t have the time or inclination to worry about how you’re doing.

In the end I think the segment went pretty well and I actually left wishing I had gotten to be on longer.  It turns out that if you have great hosts you can have a great show, even if your guests are peeing their pants.