There are four parts to a mobile-friendly message.
On the technical side there is technology (what you use) and technique (how you use it).
Technology and technique are NOT equal in importance, which is why there is Rule 6 in podcasting.
Similarly, on the communication side, there is content and presentation.
- Content is what you say.
- Presentation is how you say it.
I believe content and presentation are equally important, especially when making your message mobile with a podcast.
Rule 7 in podcasting is
Presentation is just as important as content
Therefore, it’s time to topple this old cliché.
Content is not king
I wrote an article at OnTheGo.FM awhile back about content not being the king as most people believe.
I still stand by that article even though my understanding of it has grown.
One of the key points in that article and Rule 7 is this:
You’re in the communication business
As a podcaster, that is the thing that connects you with all other podcasters.
The thing all 600,000+ podcasts have in common is they want to communicate something. Some want to
- make people think
- enable people to make changes
- help people learn something
- make people laugh at something
- persuade people to buy something
- excite them about a movie, book, tv show, or concert
- have people simply listen and interact with them
No matter the reason, all podcasters are in the communication business.
And that leads to a crucial question:
What is more important: What you say or how you say it?
Content is what you say
Content includes the details of an event or some new thing you gotta try.
It’s information about how to do something—how to do that something better.
Content is very important.
It should be true. In most cases, sources should be cited.
But if content is king, then all you have to do is simply dump all that content on people.
But most people don’t like being dumped on.
That’s where presentation comes in.
Presentation is how you say it
After all the facts are gathered, they are organized.
The facts are pieced together in a way that will make sense to someone who has never heard what you are about to tell them.
So when you speak, people will be able to follow you from start to finish and understand clearly what you’re trying to say.
Generally, you want listeners to do something or become something after listening to you.
You want to
- persuade people to follow your lead
- motivate people to take action
- inspire to believe change is possible
- move people in some direction
For example, a political group might say it just wants to inform you about a political issue. But they are not simply interested in information transfer.
Instead, they want to stir your emotions so you’ll go sign a petition, go protest, go donate, or go vote their way.
The content (information) you want to deliver is important, but it’s the way you deliver that content that makes the difference.
I believe what you say is equal to how you say it.
That is, you need both accurate content and effective presentation.
However, as I wrote in my previous article at OnTheGo.FM,
It’s possible for a dynamic communicator to stir emotions and move listeners to act a certain way—even with weak, inconsistent, or inaccurate content.
You have to caution yourself when you feel persuaded by an emotional speech.
Some people are incredibly skilled in presentation even when they don’t have facts on their side.
You have to be able to sort through their message to find out if what they’re saying is really true.
Sometimes people genuinely want to help, but they misunderstand an issue or some nuance of it. Others are not genuine and want to lead you astray.
The flip side has problems too.
…poor presentation can ruin even the best content. Exciting information spoken in mumbling monotone is boring to most listeners.
When content is presented ineffectively, that content becomes noise to your listener.
Speak truth. Be engaging!
As I concluded the previous article,
If your message is important enough to talk about, then work hard on both your content and your delivery. Get better at both to cut through the noise and become a great communicator.
As with all skills, this takes practice.
I know I could spend several hours writing this blog post. But I also know I might could fail to publish if I didn’t stop here.
Keep writing. Keep speaking. But start to apply Rule 7 in podcasting. Little by little your words and delivery will improve over time.
Rule 7 in podcasting:
Presentation is just as important as content
My Rules for Podcasting