Building a Successful Podcast

Using style and substance to stick out in a crowded field

by Dr. Rod Berger

Gabriel Carrillo has been listening to podcasts for a long time. Between comedy, sports, professional development, and food podcasts, he’s a fan of diverse subjects and genres. But as an educator as well as an edtech specialist and guru, he’s always found consistently good and knowledgeable podcasts about education technology to be few and far between. After pondering his options for far too long, with his wife’s encouragement, he decided to plunge into the world of podcasting. But, his wife first asked the all-important question: “What’s different about you? What’s YOUR spin?”

“Well,” he told her, “I’ve always loved edtech and food.” And thus, the EdTech Bites Podcast was born. As a self-professed foodie and fan of the Jerry Seinfeld Netflix series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” Gabriel wanted to sit with an interesting person over a great dinner and discuss interesting subjects. “We all know that some of the best conversations happen across the table over a good meal,” Gabriel smiles. And to him, that’s the basic secret of a good entertaining podcast; a conversation, not an interview. “When you use the word ‘interview’ it can be somewhat intimidating,” Gabriel says. “It’s not pumping someone for information. It’s an organic conversation between peers who know what they’re talking about, a discussion where everyone has a voice. It should be funny, entertaining and informative because no one wants to hear robots talking.”

Gabriel will be talking about the steps and strategies he used to build a successful podcast, among other topics, in his presentations at the 2019 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) from January 27-30 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. He says that like anything else in life, the style and substance of a podcast follows the same rules as form versus function; the podcast has to serve a function and be aesthetically pleasing to the listener.

“The topic of the podcast is non-negotiable,” Gabriel says. “Stick to the topic, but your style is everything around that substance. How you ask the questions, how you steer the discussion, how you react and follow up with your conversation partner.” Gabriel warns that your listeners will let you know if you’re on the right or wrong track. “They’re your best feedback, for better or worse,” Gabriel says. “Listen to them and adjust accordingly.”

To be successful, you need to be topical, informative, and entertaining - whether it’s in the classroom or performing a podcast.

About Gabriel Carrillo

Gabriel Carrillo is an Educational Technology Specialist. He currently supports teachers with all of their EdTech needs in the classroom including troubleshooting, planning lessons/units with teachers, modeling lessons for teachers, and providing professional development. He's presented at various AZTEA conferences in Arizona as well as FETC in 2016. In addition to this, he also is the creator and host of the EdTech Bites Podcast where he has blended his two passions, Educational Technology and food. Follow Gabriel Carrillo on Twitter.

FETC January 27 - 30, 2019

Gabriel Carrillo will be presenting two sessions at the 2019 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) from January 27th-30th in Orlando, Florida. The conference will bring together thousands of educators and technology leaders for an intensive, highly collaborative exploration of new technologies, best practices, and pressing issues. Registration is now open.

Gabriel will be presenting at the following sessions:

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