Rip a Podcast you like or dislike apart and learn

This post is based on one of our Twitter Tip of The Day posts – follow us @radio_skills: Task – take a podcast you’ve heard and dislike, rip it apart and rebuild it to a Podcast you’d like it to be. Learn from it.

Have you ever heard the on the job critique.   It is that person who cannot leave the job at home.   Whenever they connect with something that is in their field of work they’re off – criticising.

To critique and to criticise has its subtle differences.  One is negative and the other can be positive.

How does this relate to podcasting? Do bear with me on this…

One of my friends does ‘on the job critique’ He runs a series of pubs, bars and clubs. If we go on a night out it takes him seconds to start commenting on how the bar is managed and can be improved. He’ll look at the optics rack up behind the bar. It doesn’t take long to say things like “80% of that is wrong, how do they ever make any money?”


Sometimes he tells the manager where to move a product and how it could make him more money.  Perhaps, the preserve of the anal-retentive and also the professional who really cares about what they do.

I do a similar thing with audio, speech content and radio / audio in general.  My partner sometimes gets frustrated if we go anywhere where there is music.  If it is programmed badly, or if I hear speech content that is clearly poorly planned – I get a bit like my friend.

Although, unlike my friend with the optics in the bar, I’m not that anal – I feel I’m always learning and I don’t always launch into how to improve.  In order to learn I often listen to content and question why they are doing it the way they are.

I strip down great audio and understand what makes it great, but also I do the opposite.  I think how it could be improved upon and sometimes I purposely tune in to something I don’t like, I listen and strip it down to understand what they are trying to achieve.

I rebuild the same programme to see how I would have done it, perhaps better or differently – hey perhaps not.   Either way I feel I learn from it.  It’s how I got a job once. I critiqued a show, sent it to the boss of the station and was invited in for an interview.

The lesson for Podcasters is if you want to improve what you do?  Listen around, strip or rip things apart and understand why the Podcast or audio has been created the way it has – The good and bad. It will serve you well in the long run.

Happy casting!