Sander de Heer was a familiar voice on the radio for many years. Was producer and sidekick with Ruud de Wild on 538 and 3FM, got himself a radio show on 3FM and Radio1, and did the morning show on NPO Radio2 for years. After some time behind the scenes, he crept back behind the microphone at Sublime FM, where he is now part-time station station manager.
For two years he has been making the podcast The Forties, together with Jet Sol, Manuel Venderbos and Wytske Kenemans. He also helps organisations and entrepreneurs develop a podcast. "I give a lot of workshops, especially to people who have never done anything with audio before," De Heer says in the first episode of Masters Of Podcasting.
"Organisations or communications teams that in recent years have only been concerned with video, with online, newsletters, print, storytelling in written or video. But have never been concerned with the question, 'how can you entertain a listener?' Or: 'how can you penetrate a listener's imagination?' I really enjoy telling about that."
Rediscovering the medium
Communications departments that know a lot about content creation, but have never dealt with audio before, in particular, are a grateful audience for De Heer. "Radio was also there 100 years ago, as were radio plays. So it's a kind of rediscovery of the medium."
De Heer creates many podcasts for organisations himself. And that almost always starts with the same question: "what is a podcast anyway?" And there's always someone who doesn't yet know exactly what a podcast is. Or where you can find podcasts." It is also such a general term, according to De Heer. "Anything that goes into your ears on demand is still called podcast.
Making a podcast according to Sander de Heer
In Masters Of Podcasting Sander de Heer talks in detail about his work as a podcast expert and how he approaches it. Do you read along?
- Phase 1: the exploration
In this phase, I engage with the client (e.g. communication teams of a large organisation, or an entrepreneur who wants to put his brand in the spotlight) explore. I ask questions like:
- what is a podcast?
- what can a podcast do for your organisation?
- what story does the organisation want to tell and to whom?
Especially while answering that last question, friction sometimes arises. Sometimes a client has already figured out the whole way to do it. But that is not always the best way to get the story across.
- Phase 2: establishing the shape
In this phase, I look at implementation with the client. In doing so, a number of questions are important:
- What is the form (format) of the podcast?
- Who is the host?
The podcast has become a lot more professional in recent years. Organisations no longer get away with the standard 'chatcast', such as a conversation between the CEO and a manager.
By continuing to excite organisations in this, I can help them create an engaging podcast. As a result, I like to be involved in the recording and editing process myself. And that brings me to the final stage:
- Phase 3: implementation
At this stage, the podcast is recorded and edited. Here, as I said, I like to be involved myself. Especially when the podcast is scripted, it is important to stay sharp.
Sometimes it is better to say: away with that script. Tell what you have to say in your own words. That often comes across more than if you read something up from paper."
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20 business podcast ideas and formats
The ideal podcast length
Never make a podcast longer than half an hour. At least that is De Heer's professional opinion. "Because if you have a listener's attention for half an hour, you are already doing very well. Remember: that listener is deliberately pressing your podcast, so then you have to deliver. You want your listener to come back for another episode."
Podcast makers should therefore always ask themselves what they expect from their listeners. How can you keep that listener interested?
De Heer: "Make sure you add enough tension elements in that half-hour. Think about your opening, make a good intro with tune." It helps to listen to other podcasts a lot. "How do others make sure to hold that tension? That's how I learned it too: by listening a lot to other podcasters."
The future of podcasting
The Lord somewhere has always believed that radio, that audio, that talking to each other and engaging with each other and the images you conjure up in someone's imagination, cannot be easily replaced.
"Netflix tries that, because there are big studios behind it that approach this fantasy with cool images and sounds. But social media, of course, is totally different, just like YouTube. I see your background, your expressions, the crappy shots you take."
With audio, you come up with those images yourself. "With audio, I can take you to a tropical island, or to a slum on the other side of the world. Just by using a few sounds. Your imagination goes with that and creates images. That is how we are set up.
"And I think a lot more can be done with that, because we are no longer really stimulated. Today's youth are scrolling through their phones and nothing is left to the imagination. I think that love for audio will always remain or can only get bigger."
Masters Of Podcasting
About 'The Forties'
"We are making this podcast because we feel that the group of forty-somethings is very underexposed. There is a lot of focus on millennials, on twentysomethings and thirtysomethings. Fiftysomethings have their own party, their own broadcaster. And those forty-somethings are a bit in between. There really are still some issues among forty-somethings. Your children are older, you have built a career of your own, a mortgage to maintain. How do you deal with that?
We talk about parenting, love & sex, hobbies, going out. Can you still hang in the lights when you're past 40? Can you still do that at all? And is it bad when you can't (anymore)? It really is a podcast with a laugh and a tear. We have a lot of fun together. But we are also serious: how are our parents doing? What's that like, dealing with the topic of getting older?
The Forties started as a hobby project; in the middle of the crisis, in corona time. I am very proud of the fact that we found the right team. We are all different; in age, but also in how we think about things. I am very proud that we now have quite a professional podcast.
I think we have plenty to talk about now, but at some point we will turn 50. I am scared to death of turning fifty. The other three don't have that at all. So I think there is still enough to eventually change the name to 'The Fifties' and philosophise about that in our podcast."
About Masters Of Podcasting
Masters Of Podcasting is Springcast's brand new podcast. In this show, we engage with experts in the field of podcasting. These can be professionals who guide organisations through the podcasting process, as well as entrepreneurs and organisations who have started successful podcasts themselves in recent years.
The first season of Masters Of Podcasting is a series of ten episodes. A new episode will be published every Tuesday. You can watch these here find. Want to know more about this podcast? Then keep an eye on our socials or subscribe to the show in your favourite podcast app.