Hey, future podcasting star! You want to learn how to host a podcast so you can build and engage your audience, right?

There are tons of podcasts out there, so how will you make yours stand out? It's all about your knowledge, your personality, and how unique your show is!

When people listen to a podcast they're often looking for an escape from their own lives. They have you in their ears -- it's a very intimate experience. Here's how to host a podcast that people will keep returning to:

- Come to your show prepared. Before you start recording an episode, do as much research as necessary so you can talk about all of your topics like a pro.

- Come to your show happy and focused. People are giving you their attention for the full episode. They're listening intently -- don't let them down by being aloof or sounding bored. You want to make them feel happy and educated!

- Know when it's time to move on from a topic. This is one of the most important skills for a podcast host to have. Do not talk for too long, do not start going in circles, and do not talk with a flat tone. You don't want your listeners growing bored or tired of hearing your voice. Have a co-host or two who you bounce off of! And on a related note...

- Don't let one person overpower the show. It's important to have a panel of hosts who can make their respective points and let others get equal air time. Hearing one person talk way more than the others is boring and frustrating.

- Listen for your filler words! We all have a word or phrase ('uhh,' 'you know,' 'I mean,' etc.) that we subconsciously fall back on when we're trying to think out loud or fill dead air. The problem with these is that we sometimes end up using them a LOT, and we don't even realize it. It's a problem because once a listener notices, they can't un-hear how often you use them.

It's impossible to completely stop ourselves from using them, but if you're at least aware of what your filler word is, you may be able to drastically reduce how often you use it.

- Vary the tone of your voice. Don't drone on and on with the same tone -- you can come off boring and listeners will tune out. Keep the listener's ears and minds engaged with varying tones.

- Don't be afraid to go on the occasional tangent. People enjoy the loose structure that podcasts can provide. The beauty of podcasting is that there are no TV or radio bosses breathing down your neck, telling you to only talk about certain things. Take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere.

- Surprise listeners! This can be achieved in ways like saying things they might not expect you to (Be a little inappropriate from time to time... we're all adults!), getting personal, and shaking up the show's structure

- Have GREAT audio quality! You're competing with a ton of other podcasts out there. Make sure your podcast sounds as good as the rest of them. Don't lose listeners because you're lazy with recording/editing!

Ready to become a podcasting pro?

Hire Andrew to receive the help you're looking for. He's been podcasting since 2005, and will listen to your show and offer tips. If you don't have a podcast yet, he'll train you and get your production up and running. Editing services are also available. Let him take all the hard work out of podcasting!