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Hi, I'm Krystal.
Welcome to The Proffitt Podcast - where we teach you how to create  content with confidence.

Episode 168

Recorded a Terrible Podcast Episode? Do This…

Let’s Talk About Mistakes

Have you ever hit Send on an email and immediately thought, “Oh, crap, I misspelled 15 different things. I put the wrong link in there. And I didn’t even include the main thing I wanted to tell my people!”

You’ve done that too. Right?

Right? That’s not just me. Okay. Okay, good. Now that we’re on the same page, I want to talk about having that same reaction after you’ve recorded one of your podcast episodes because I’ve had people say, “I just finished recording, and I feel like this episode was total crap. It wasn’t good. And I don’t know what to do.”

Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Recorded a Terrible Podcast Episode? 

Have you done this too? I hope you’re nodding your head “yes” right now. Maybe you’ve also sent out an email that you immediately thought, “Oh my gosh, I wish I could hit cancel, delete, make it all go away.” I’ve done that many, many times.

If you’re on my email list, you’ve probably seen some that you’re like, “Well, Krystal screwed the pooch on this one today.”

But today, I’m talking about your podcast episodes.

This is a question that I saw recently in a podcast community that says,

“Have you ever had a podcast episode where you feel like it wasn’t one of your better ones? Do you still put it out anyway?”

And I thought, “Oh, that’s such a good question to ask but also a great topic for us to discuss as podcasters.”

We always share our wins.

You get your first thousand downloads, and you celebrate and shout them out from the rooftops. You get your first 100 subscribers, and you are delighted and over the moon!

But we don’t talk about those thoughts that happen by ourselves.

When it’s just us and our microphone, we feel unworthy, like we have no idea what we’re doing, and question whether or not this will impact anybody.

Today, I’m not speaking from the perspective of being a podcast coach who’s had clients, customers, and community members say this to me. I’m talking about myself.

We need to talk more about this type of mindset. Is it normal?  

Yes, it is. 100% normal!

I’ve recorded an entire episode (several times, actually) and thought, “This sounds like total garbage!”

If I’m being sincere…

I feel like I record an episode almost every single time.

Being the podcast expert here, I probably shouldn’t say that. “You shouldn’t talk about being anything less than perfect when recording your audio sessions!”

Well, my friends, I can tell you I’m imperfect every week regarding this podcast! But I think that that’s why you’re here. I believe you tune in for that reason…because you don’t have to be perfect, either. I hope you are celebrating that I still make mistakes, and you will, too.

And that’s okay.

So, let’s talk about your options if you find yourself recording a terrible podcast episode.

1. Publish it Anyway!

So, we’re talking about what to do if you record a terrible podcast episode and don’t love it. What do you do? There are a few options.

The first one will probably be obvious if you’ve been here for a while.

You publish it anyway.

You think it’s total garbage when, in reality, it’s probably a fantastic piece of content. And maybe it’s just your own hang-ups about your piece of content. Right?

Maybe you said something weird or pronounced something funky and thought to yourself, “Oh my god, What an idiot! I can’t believe I said it that way.”

Here’s a personal example: While editing a recent YouTube video, I realized how badly I messed up. I said a word wrong.

During my editing session, I remember thinking, “Well, that stinks. But I’m just going to put it out there anyway.”

Because I believe that done is better than perfect!

You would not be consuming episode 168 of this podcast if I believed you had to have something perfect before it could enter the world.

My first piece of advice is to ask yourself, “Is this really that bad? Or am I just getting in my way?”

Recorded a Terrible Podcast Episode

2. Delete Some Parts…

If you’ve recorded a terrible podcast episode and are not 100% happy with it, you can delete some.

I’ll never tell you that you have to record and immediately hit publish on whatever you’re creating. But it would be best if you evaluated why you need to delete something, which takes us back to option one.

If it’s all in your head, leave it.
You’re probably just standing in your way.

But if there is a portion of it where you’re just like, “Man…I don’t even know what I’m talking about here. And I’m the one that said it! My audience is going to be super confused!”…

Then, I suggest going in and deleting those chunks of audio that don’t make sense. If you found yourself rambling or stumbled a lot through your thoughts—that’s actually happened to me a few times! I’ve had multiple episodes where I start recording, and I go down a trail. And I am just like, “Yes, this is so good, right?”

At least that’s what I’m telling myself in my head while I’m talking, which is a terrible, terrible thing to do.

You should not talk to yourself in your head and try to talk out loud because bad things can happen!

So my default when I catch myself – rambling and talking in a circle of nonsense – is to pause simply. Yes, in the middle of the recording. Pause so you know where you’ve lost your train of thought. Or realized you didn’t want to go down that rabbit hole. When I go back to edit my episode, I see the pause on the audio track where I messed up and made it much more manageable.

Recorded a Terrible Podcast Episode

3. Start All Over

If you’ve recorded a terrible podcast episode and you find that you are not in love with your session, start all over! 

When I heard Thomas Umstadtt speak on editing podcasts at the Spark Christian Podcast Conference earlier in 2020, he said something along the lines of,

“You will waste more time going back and editing a 20-minute episode.”

Let’s assume you just bombed, right?
You screwed the whole thing up!

Let’s just assume your podcast episode is 30 minutes long. 
You recorded a 30-minute podcast episode and realized you needed to cut out a 5-minute chunk because you had no idea what you were talking about. And you see, you said your ideas are out of order – so those will need to be switched around.

And then you added up all of the fixes you’d have to make, and you landed on an additional 3-4 hours to fix everything…wouldn’t it be easier just to start over?

Just scrap the whole thing and start over!

No, it’s probably not something you would typically hear me say, but I would rather see you scrap an entire episode and re-record it in 30 minutes than spend four hours trying to edit it to sound decent.

I promise you if you’ve already said everything out loud, read through your notes once and recorded the entire thing; you’ll probably do better on the second run anyway, right? You’ll even find yourself coming up to that part where you went on that tangent and wasted five minutes of the episode. You won’t do that again! You’ll make sure to make a critical point there instead, or you’ll take your time and ensure that you don’t say something you don’t want to include in that episode. 

Don’t try to go back and fix everything.

If it’s that bad, just re-record the entire podcast episode.

I hope you feel more confident in making mistakes. They happen to all of us. And they’ll continue to happen to you as your podcast. The difference between someone who fails and someone who succeeds is their ability to dust themselves off and keep going! 

RECAP: Recorded a Terrible Podcast Episode? Do This…

  1. Publish it Anyway! 
  2. Delete Some of it! 
  3. Start All Over!

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HI, I'M Krystal Proffitt

Podcast coach, content strategist, best-selling author, lifelong cheerleader, and content marketer

Podcaster • Cheerleader • Coach •

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