When Podcasters Lose Their Voice

This may seem like a strange thing to talk about.

For most people, losing their voice isn’t really a big deal. Annoying perhaps. But most people can still do their job if their voice isn’t at full capacity. But not podcasters… or for parents for that matter (try breaking up squabling siblings with no voice).

For us, losing our voice can quickly become a nightmare.

That’s what happened to me this week. In fact, as I’m typing this I’m still recuperating from a week-long bout with the flu that literally left me speechless. It came out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks. So, there’s no video this week- however, I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned.

What do you do when you need to record and you have no voice- or your voice isn’t what it should be?

Should you….

A.    Push forward no matter what because the show must go on. Your listeners will appreciate you being “real”.
B.    Cancel. You must always give your audience your absolute best, and well, you’re not at your best.

I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times, and I always pressed forward with recording those episodes- mainly because many people were involved. If it were just me and a guest, rescheduling the interview is probably a smarter option. And that’s certainly easier than recording the episode and revoicing all your comments later- although I have done that as well.

But my experience this time was different. I wasn’t recording an episode, I was recording a host-read commercial spot that had to be released on a specific day.

My flu symptoms started three days before the commercial was due. I wrote the spot and decided to voice it first thing in the morning. But by morning, my voice was drastically different- and a nasty cough quickly followed.

Great. Now what? Tea. Lots of tea.

But my voice was not returning anytime soon. I knew I couldn’t push the campaign back- that would look really bad.

There had to be an alternative. Perhaps pay someone else to voice the spot? Nope, that wouldn’t work. This was a HOST-READ spot, the advertiser specifically wanted the podcast host to share their experience. In fact, they even sent us samples to try!

Wait, that’s it!

This was a product for kids. My kids did the testing, not me. Why not change the script and have them share their experience, instead of me?

And that’s exactly what I did. Looking like a hot mess and smelling like Nyquil, I grabbed my 8 and 6-year-old boys and we recorded the script in our pajamas- completing it minutes before the deadline.

And guess what, the advertiser loved it! I wouldn’t be surprised if this spot has the best ROI we’ve ever had. It’s natural, it’s authentic and it’s fun! And it’s all because this podcaster got sick and lost her voice.

Take a listen.


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