464. How I make episodes of the podcast (Part 1)

Talking about the creative side of making podcast episodes, including some thoughts on how to come up with ideas and how to speak in front of an audience.

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Today I’m talking all about how I make episodes of this podcast including details about the technical side (all the gear I use and how I use it) and the creative side (how I come up with ideas and make them into episodes).

I’ve also decided to make sure there’s plenty of language content in this one too. Obviously it’s all English – these are all words, you know.

But what I mean is that later I’m going to highlight certain bits of vocabulary that will come up in my descriptions, including;

  • vocabulary for talking about technical stuff like recording audio
  • some uses of the word “get”, which is one of the most commonly occurring verbs in the English language
  • and also just some other fixed expressions and bits of language I think are worth pointing out to you.

As you listen to this, you can watch out for vocabulary and try to predict which bits you think I will be explaining later.

So, even if you’re not completely married to the subject matter of this episode, you can just try to get through the bits about how I make the podcast, try to spot some vocab and then hold on until the end when you’ll hear me going through that language for you which should help you to get your head around it all.

In fact, did you notice that I’ve already used ‘get’ several times. I said ‘try to get through the bits I say about recording equipment [how I make the podcast]’ and also ‘help you get your head around it all’.

To get through something = to finish it, or pass from one end to the other. “I’ve just got to get through this work.” or “I’ve got a lot of emails to get through” or “I know it’s hard when you have depression, but don’t give up, you’ll get through it.”

To get your head around something = to understand it. It’s often used in the negative form. “I just can’t get my head around all this recording equipment.” or “I can’t get my head around this tax return. It’s a nightmare.”

So, watch out for that kind of thing – other uses of ‘get’ and more expressions, I’ll be highlighting and explaining it later.

Let’s get back to the topic of this episode: How I make episodes of Luke’s English Podcast.

Message from Carlos in Barcelona

Just to explain why I’ve chosen to do this episode, here’s a message I got not long ago from a LEPster in Spain.

Hello Luke,

My name is Carlos and I’m a listener of your Podcast. I’m from Barcelona.

First of all, I’d like to congratulate you, your podcast is excellent. It helps me to improve my English and it’s also fun. Hence, I think it’s a way of learning English without realizing that I’m actually studying it.

In addition, I’d like to suggest a topic to be talked in one of your programmes. It would be great if you told us how you record a podcast, like how you prepare it and record it and what software and hardware you use.

Well, it would be fun to know what the podcast is like. Sometimes, I wonder about the insides of it.

I hope you like my suggestion.

Yours sincerely,
J.Carlos Mena

I do get quite a lot of messages like that, from people asking me either about the technical side of the podcast making process – like what kind of gear I use, or the creative side – like, where I get the inspiration for episodes, how I come up with ideas.

I’ve been meaning to do this episode for a while now and so finally I’m glad to have actually got round to doing it at last.

OK, so let’s talk about what goes into the making of episodes of this podcast – the whole process from me starting from scratch to you listening to the podcast and, if I’m doing it correctly, you learning some English and maybe even getting the giggles on a bus somewhere while people give you weird looks, if I have managed to amuse you at all.

Listen to the episode for all the details… the expressions with ‘get’ will be explained later.

Music created at www.jukedeck.com/

  • gregfalcon

    Speaking about ideas. I’ve got an idea!.. More like a question though. Luke, don’t you think that that would be great to bring some history into the podcast? I myself love history in all kinds and shapes. Obviously that’s a huge bank of material and of course one should be very careful choosing historical themes because some of them might be simply boring or provocative or even useless. And surely a theme of this kind has to appeal to the main purpose of the podcast – learning of English.
    Certainly there’s no place at the podcast for such massive theme as though World War One for example. Nooo. But some little sweet pieces of history might be not only interesting for the audience, but useful as well. An instance: The Wright brothers. What the hell these two fellows did, ha? Interesting? Utterly. Or the history of suffrage movement in London at the first half of 20th century. Or where English language came from? Or who was the first man stepped on Antarctica and how for Christ sake did he appear there? Too far from home, isn’t it?
    You got the idea. Just think about it Luke, think about it people. It might be not the worst proposed idea here…

  • Orion team (Antonio)
  • Daggi0107

    Hi Luke first of all thank you for another great episode!! Every time when I ‘m telling my friends about my English learning experiences and my progress I recommend your podcast to all of them…and today I decided to come around with a comment here.
    You were asking us to tell you in which situations we were listening to your podcast. Thanks to my Bluetooth ear phones I am able to listen to your podcast while I’m riding my bike. All people who came across would have thought that I am a very jolly person, but they haven’t seen my earphones under my helmet… Actually I am a friendly and funny person, but I am not always running around, grinning all the time… sometimes during my bike-ride I had to laugh out loud, and then it got quite dangerous, I’d rather had to concentrate on the traffic, and on the cars passing by…But nothing serious happened and I returned home uninjured and satisfied about my physical and mental workout. Thanks Luke! Keep on teaching and entertaining the LEP-land!

    • Thanks Daggi – please be careful when riding your bike!

  • gazod

    Could you explain the “where is the hat” joke , Luke?

    • ptholome/Antonio

      It is not a joke, It is the only sentence he says he learnt during the first year he study spanish because he was always away from the class because, he said, the teacher was not good. I think.
      So, he likes to say: ¿Dónde están los sombreros? Where are the hats?

  • Cristina Campos Álvarez

    Hi Luke and Lepsters!
    I hope you’re all well.

    After listening to this episode I kept thinking about slugs… poor slugs! :(
    it turns out that I’ve always been drawn to bugs… I just love looking at them. When I was a child I used to just sit in our small garden for hours looking for some insect to come out. The thing is that I remember being tought to cover slugs with salt whenever I’d see one and so I would wait anxiously for a slug to appear and have some type of interaction with it (and by interaction I mean covering it with salt). What I didn’t realize back then was that I was actually killing the poor slug :( I was so innocent I believed that that was the right thing to do with slugs… now whenever I see a slug I imagine myself putting salt on it and the poor thing screaming something like: pleaseeeee don’t burn me alive!!!!!!

    I’ve asked a lot of people about this and it seems that this is what we’re tought here in Chile… that if we see a slug we have to kill it because in that way you prevent it from eating all the leaves in your garden.

    So Luke’s mentioning a podcast about slugs made me wonder…
    – what do you do when you see a slug in your country?
    – how do you call slugs in your language?
    – does your language have a word similar to ‘sluggish’? (In Spanish we say ‘baboso’ which literally means someone who slobbers a lot, but in Chile we use it to describe a guy who is stupidly in love with a girl… I picture a nerd staring at a beautiful girl with his mouth open and hearts in his eyes.)
    -are slugs sort of cousins with snails?? I’m not sure.

    I’d love to read some answers to these questions!!! :)

    Ps: Thanks Luke for your wonderful podcast!!! Really useful and entertaining!

    • Cristina Campos Álvarez

      Correction: I meant tAught not tOught.

  • Daniel

    Hey Luke,
    Hi Lepsters,

    Thx a lot for having mentioned my fluent podcast. Means a lot to me.

    I just wanted to say that if anyone is interested in podcasting and needs a hand, I can help…

    If you want to publish a recording for example (without directly paying for a podcast hoster etc.)I could upload your content under my fluent podcast feed. (maybe with an additional foreword by me)I’ve got plenty of webspace/podcast space left.

    The only thing to consider:

    The topic should be language (learning) related.

    Or get in touch with me if you want to get interviewed by me. :)
    if by any chance you may have an interesting language journey…

  • Thanks Euoamo, I’m very glad to hear that! Have a great Sunday evening ;)

  • Agnes

    Hi Luke!

    I couldn’t help listening to this episode despite that I promised myself to relax and rest from English for a while one week ago. So as you see I really am an addict to this podcast, sitting here and seeing everyone being asleep, looking through the window on a beautiful seaview and listening to you.
    From my point of view your ideas you come up to make this podcast entertaining are just great. You are right that not every episode might be a cup of tea for everyone but I think that everyone can find something.
    I am always impressed that you really never get bored with it and remember practice makes perfect and now you are a master of podcasting comparing to the old episodes in which you sounded a bit less natural. Now you can surely say that this is your piece of masterwork. I appreciate everything what you do for Us!
    Have a Great Sunday

    • Hi Agnes,
      Yes, you really are addicted! I expect that during August I’ll upload a bit less because I’ll be on holiday so everyone can have a bit of a break then too.
      Thanks for the feedback and for the observations about the progress I’ve made. Hopefully we’re all making progress as this project continues. Have a great Sunday too!

      • Agnes

        Hi Luke

        Thanks for the message! We are making the huge progress greatfully because of you!


    • gazod

      Don’t worry, it will pass. Eventually you will find out that Luke’s stuff is not that good and stop listening to it.

  • Cat

    Luke, it was very interesting to listen to how you get your ideas. I didn’t know that you love to use Google docs and that you already have about 100 draft episodes. That’s a huge number! :))
    I love your reminder on not being satisfied and all snug with current successes. There is always a room for improvement. And also that each praise and each criticism should be taken with a bit of a salt. Thank you, wise Luke! :)

    ps: hopefully Carlos turns up any time soon… With all the hats for you. :)

  • Cat

    Slugs reminded me of this scene, of course.
    I’m a huge HP fan. :))


    • Nick