“Rosebud” – Citizen Kane
Have you ever watched another show, heard something or saw the host do something that you said “That was cool”? One step further, have you ever been in a store or gas station and heard something or saw a person do something that connected you back to the show and that host? Our brains work in weird ways. A sound, smell or touch can re-ignite a memory. Since a podcast has no scent or feel, we have to rely on the other senses.
Creating some uniqueness in your podcast is not difficult to do and really can put your show in people’s minds. Let’s take a look at how we would do that.
Do You Have a Catch Phrase in Your Podcast?
Here is what I say at the beginning of each podcast:
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, geeks of all ages…
It’s a play on the old P.T. Barnum greeting. Of course, Geek Smack! is the show I say that in – although it’s leaked out to some other stuff I do. I like the phrase because I am intrigued on Barnum’s style and how he got people to pay and see things like the “Flea Circus”. Imagination is a powerful thing…
Getting a catch phrase is really not that difficult. It’s like Robin Leach saying “Champagne riches and caviar dreams” or even a brand saying “Got Milk?” or “Just Do It” . These are words you may have heard on a daily basis – now someone is saying it in a show.
Even movies have great catch phrases. One of the most famous words in movie history starts off this post. “You can’t handle the truth” is another famous line. Some lines are written in for that reason, others just happen to become catchy simply in the way it was delivered – like “No Way” and “Totally gnarly, dude!” gets associated with Bill and Ted.
Maybe a Hand Gesture in Your Podcast?
“Geek Out” is another phrase I cultivate. I do it at the end of every show. It has a double meaning – one to be a geek and the other to say “I’m outta here for now”. However, I added a simple hand gesture – my right hand signed the “G” and the left signed the “O” (which looks odd to me because its O-G, but the audience sees G-O).
If you were a pro wrestling fan, you know that Stone Cold Steve Austin raised a middle finger (hand turned palm-up so if the TV crew didn’t bleep it out the WWE wouldn’t get in trouble). I’m from Wisconsin – lately the newest hand gesture is a “W” created by extending both index fingers, then touching the thumbs together.
And who cannot forget Spock – who had not only catch phrases in “That is illogical” but also a hand gesture known world-wide.
Audio Podcasters – Here is How to add a hand gesture to your show
There are two ways –
1. In your show notes, take a couple pictures of the gesture. Post them every now and then.
2. Create your cover art with those gestures. If they cannot see you do it on the show, they can see you do it in iTunes or Google Play.
You can even describe your gestures to an audio audience. Have fun with it.
How Much of an Impact Can Being Unique Accomplish?
I just watched Steve Ballmer jumping around and going crazy on a YouTube video. I then saw a Taylor Swift Trouble meme with Steve Ballmer doing the same thing.
You don’t have to go crazy in your show. This is just another angle that people have done. If you want to get more controversial, try the Howard Stern approach. If you want to get more thought provocative – then hit the library and read up on your subject. If you want comedy, wear a red nose.
Have you seen my goatee lately? It measures over a foot. I rarely hear “You should cut that off…” – OK. My girlfriend says that, but everyone else says “Hell yeah! Keep it!”. More to the point, this last week I went to SXSW and people came up to me because they could recognize me from the beard. Pretty unique, eh?
What’s in Your Background?
Everything in your studio can be an indicator back to your show. Take a look at Leo Laporte – His office has knick-knacks all over the place. He uses Heil microphones – which you see throughout the Brickhouse. Even the gear clocks can be attributed back to the old screensavers show and Leo.
Local news always has that “News Set” desktop. It tells you its time to watch the news. When they change that set, you notice (just like if they change the anchor).
Until we can add touch and smell to a podcast, doing catchphrases and hand gestures will have to be the dominant practice. Give it a try and see if the audience reacts.