Chris Webster Productions :: Information for Guests
Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on a podcast! Chris Webster is the producer and he has a few things for you to consider prior to the recording. Your host will tell you what method we are using for the recording (Zencastr, Skype, or something else).
Most people connect via WiFi, but, if you can please use an ethernet connection. There is a reduced chance of dropped calls and degraded signals when using a hardline connection.
We record almost all remote interviews with Zencastr. This allows us to do two things - record your audio locally AND download your files in the background. Zencastr will record your side of the conversation, without all the hiccups in the internet connection, and automatically send those files to our servers. You don't have to do anything.
What you will need:
Google Chrome (make sure you are updated to the latest version!) OR Firefox. The Zencastr link will not work otherwise.
A laptop or desktop computer. Zencastr will not work in a phone or tablet browser.
The chat interface will be with Zencastr as well.
If the internet connection is bad we can actually just use Zencastr to record the interview. We would use a phone call or some other means to actually speak to each other. All this will be explained on the call.
Finally, DO NOT click on the Zencastr link until about 5 min before the scheduled time, unless your host has asked you to click in at a certain time. Our show hosts will often be in the "room" doing sound checks and recording the introduction or ad spots and there is no "waiting" room.
When the host clicks "stop recording" the system will upload your file. Do not close your computer or browser until you get the message and click on "OK, Got It."
Most of our interviews are conducted via Skype Audio. That means we'll turn off the video right away if it happens to start. To ensure we start on time:
Turn on and log into Skype the day before the interview. This allows for any updates that need to happen.
Restart your computer at least 1 hour before the interview so updates can work and the memory can be cleared out.
Log into Skype 15 minutes before our scheduled interview. Use the Preferences or Options tab to check your audio settings. If you're using a microphone, be sure it's selected in the audio preferences. Also, make sure you're wearing headphones.
If your microphone is an inline microphone on your headphones, you might have to hold the mic away from your clothing to reduce the noise that the rubbing creates.
We'll use the Skype Chat to organize the call in the background during the interview. Feel free to interact with the hosts, but, it's not necessary.
If you have to type, please mute your microphone so the keyboard sounds are not heard on the mic.
Most people do not own a microphone, however, there are ways to make your audio sound better. If you do have a microphone, make sure it's plugged in, turned on, the sensitivity is set, and it works prior to the interview. If you don't have a microphone:
Use the inline microphone that comes on most smartphone headphones. Be sure to hold the mic away from your clothing to minimize intrusive sounds.
Connect via Skype on your phone. When connecting with Skype on your phone you can hold it to your ear just like a phone call, but, the quality is better.
If those won't work, or, you don't have a data connection for Skype we can always call your phone directly. The quality isn't as good, but, the connection is usually secure.
As a worst-case scenario you can just talk into the microphone on your computer or tablet. But, please still wear headphones.
Check the output levels on your computer to make sure you know how to find them, and, that the output is high enough for the recording.
If you must use a boom mic on a headset, make sure it's adjustable so we can reduce or remove breath sounds.
If using a microphone, be sure to speak loudly and stay close to the microphone.
Your recording environment is almost as important as your microphone. Make sure you're in a quiet place for the recording. Here are some other things to consider:
Put a sign on the door to alert others that you're recording.
Turn off any fans or air conditioners.
Close open outside windows.
Don't do the interview from a room with uncarpeted floors.
If the room has a lot of echo you might want to put a jacket or blanket over your head and computer for the interview. Trust me, you wouldn't be the first one to do that :)
The interview is, of course, the most important part of the interview. First, don't be nervous! You're the expert and we are not. So, it's just like having a conversation in a relaxing environment like a bar or coffee shop.
If you make a mistake, or, want to start a comment over then just let us know you're doing it and go ahead. This isn't live, so, we have a lot of flexibility.
If you don't understand a question or don't want to answer a question just let us know and we'll start over.
Sometimes segments are timed, so, you might see some time queues in the chat when nearing the end of a segment. Don't worry about it. We won't cut you off.
If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to call or email your host.