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FSEM 159 - Machismo: Race and Masculinity in Latinx Culture

Prof. Barreto's Fall 2020 class

General Guidelines

  • In writing and presenting your script, aim for sounding like you're telling a story to a friend. You want your writing to be conversational, informal (as appropriate to the topic), and spontaneous. 
    • Practice your script so that you're not just reading off a page, but actually telling the story.
  • Write for the ear, not for the eye. Build a picture with your words, but keep things simple. The listener shouldn't have to listen to what you're saying over and over again in order to understand it.
  • When doing an interview-style podcast, script only the introduction, closing and the questions. Use bullet points or loose notes rather than a full script for an answer, so the interview doesn't come off as stilted or false. 
    • Regularly address the other person, so it's clear who is speaking.
  • Build a connection with the audience by using inclusive language, such as "we" and "our." 
  • Pay attention to rhythm of your words. Be careful about varying the length of sentences, so you don't become monotonous. 
  • Structure your podcast with a beginning, middle and end. Think of a pyramid; start with the most important, salient point, and then get broader as you build your argument. 
    • Start with a story that illuminates the problem.
    • Then add hard facts, including references. 
      • Don't read out an entire citation, but conversationalize the reference with "As John Blank said in his 2014 book..." 
    • Explain what's being done or should be done to correct the problem.
    • Tie it all together in the end.
      • Try not to make the ending sound like your opinion. Use phrases as "To summarize...", "So what's the takeaway message for our listeners?", "Research in the next few years will tell us..."
      • Include actions that the listener can take, so they feel some agency.

Tips for a better podcast

Tip 1: Consider your audience

  • How much does your audience know about your subject?
  • What style of reporting will connect with them? 
  • The more you put yourself in your listeners' shoes, the better you will be able to speak directly to them.

Tip 2: Be attention grabbing

  • Tell a specific story that you will use to illuminate the rest of your information.
  • Find a story that's honest yet surprising.
  • Speak in the first-person.
  • Don't be afraid to show your emotion or passion for the subject, let the reader know why they should care!

Tip 3: Write like a speaker

  • Identify acronyms.
  • Don't use jargon.
  • Use contractions because it's more conversational.
  • A sentence shouldn't take more than one breath to say.
  • Use the active voice. It's more direct, so it gives your statements more authority.

Tip 4: Make the script slip-proof

  • Spell out symbols and abbreviations.
  • Write out URLs as they should be read. For example, w-w-w-dot-c-d-c-dot-g-o-v.
  • Spell out long numbers and dates.
  • Spell out unusual words phonetically, with stress. 

Tip 5. Read your script out loud and have someone else read it out loud

  • Do you/they stumble?
  • Does it flow well?
  • Does it make sense?

Tip 6: Don't stress the recording

  • You will be editing the audio later.
  • If you make a mistake, STOP, wait 5 seconds (this makes it easier to edit), then start at the beginning of the sentence. Never just keep talking.
  • If one section seems awkward just leave 5 seconds of silence, and then start over.

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