I had a bad thing happen to me recently. I tried to hide this from you. To shelter you from this. But it's going to come out. You're going to hear it. I'm not sure how it happened, as I take great pains to ensure that things like this do not happen. I'm embarrassed, but it did happen.
During the recording of another podcast (not this show), my audio was bad.
I know. The horror!
It's not so bad that you can't clearly hear what I'm saying. But it's markedly worse than the way I strive to sound when I'm behind the mic. It doesn't matter if it's a show of mine or if I'm guesting on another podcast, I want me to sound great!.
The bad audio isn't bad enough for us to scrap the entire episode, though I've done that before. But it is bad enough that we're placing a disclaimer at the top of the episode that basically says, yes, we know Evo's audio sucks. Sorry.
And I hate that!
This is the part where people brand new are thinking I'm yet another audio prima donna who refuses to accept anything except perfection. While that statement is directionally true, it's rather superlative. And it doesn't really describe how I feel about the content I produce.
In reality, I don't care all that much about perfection. But I won't settle for anything that isn't quality.
To me, quality means doing the best you can with what you have to work with.
And what do you have to work with? Your environment. Your equipment. Your voice. Your experience. Your level of comfort. All of those things are part of your overall "working with" toolset. And all of them can be made better, all the way to a point where they all work together nicely and allow you to nail it every time.
Perfect is an imaginary destination. It's a goal we strive toward but can never quite achieve. But quality? Quality is something you can commit to on every single piece of content you produce starting right now.
A commitment to quality as I've outlined it—again, doing the best you can with what you have to work with—is why you won't hear me giving a lot of how-to advice on this podcast. Do I want you to make better podcasts? Absolutely! But I can't tell you how to do it.
Every bit of the key phrase is unique to every podcaster. It's your best your striving to achieve. Not everyone else's best. It's what you personally have to work with. Which has very little in common with what everyone else has to work with.
Approaching quality this way means you can stop chasing the perfect microphone. You're not wasting time looking for the perfect recording solution. Nor are you agonizing over the perfect format for your episodes.
Heck, you're don't even need to concern yourself with the latest "best of" or even "top-rated" for any of those things, because those things are just things! They're just objects. Objects that will perform differently under your hands, just like they'll perform differently under my hands. And just like they'll perform differently under someone else's hands.
It's the you that brings the your best to the party. Owning the best objects doesn't mean damned a thing if I'm being totally honest.
But making a personal commitment to quality does mean a damn thing. It means you care. It means you care about the listeners of your own podcast. It means you care about the listeners of the other shows that you appear on as a guest. And most of all, it means you, like so many of us, care about the craft of podcasting.
It also means you're committing to quality in all the podcast-y things you do. Every single time you're interviewed on another podcast. Every episode of your podcast. Every presentation you give at a conference. Every single time you accept an offer to participate in the broader podcasting world. For all those things and more, you're making your personal commitment to quality.
But remember; a commitment to quality does not mean a refusal to accept anything less than perfect. And having a personal commitment to quality doesn't mean you can't act like a goofball from time to time. I mean, have you met me?
A personal commitment to quality simply means that you are confident that you are doing the best you can with what you have today. And if you can get to better tomorrow, then you will.
I shall be back directly with yet another Podcast Pontifications.
Podcast Pontifications is written and narrated by Evo Terra. He’s on a mission to make podcasting better. Allie Press proofed the copy, corrected the transcript, and edited the video. Podcast Pontifications is a production of Simpler Media.