As audio enthusiasts, we’d like welcome you to the dark side of audio.
If you already have a video course then most of the hard stuff is already done.
You already have your course topic, outlined milestones, and wrote your course material.
Now, all you need to do is make a few tweaks to adapt your material for audio.
The Superpowers of Audio
Audio is great for:
- Human connection
- Before-and-after transformation
Audio is not great for:
- Long lists of facts
- Numerical data
- Complicated statistics
- Visuals (duh!)
Because you can’t show listeners what you’re talking about, you’ll have to describe things instead. This doesn’t mean you need to give a detailed description of everything you say, but it’s something to keep in mind if you rely on visual aids in your course.
Remember: You can include visual aids in your downloadable resources. When necessary, you can refer to these in your audio, and students can access them directly from the Avocado app.
Step 1: Listen to your video course
You can probably reuse a lot of your existing audio, but you’ll likely need to adapt a few things to work for audio.
Here’s a checklist of what to listen for.
Does your existing audio hold your attention?
Now that the focus is on your voice, you may need to focus more on your delivery. Varying your inflection, pacing, and tone can help listeners follow the material and stay engaged.
How’s the audio quality?
Maybe you recorded in a room that provided a great visual backdrop but made for a poor soundscape. If the audio alone doesn’t sound great, then you might choose to re-record.
Often this is the case for older video recordings.
Do any of your jokes fall flat without the visual?
Some of your jokes may depend on a facial expression or gesture. They get lost in translation.
Can you easily follow your lesson without visual transitions?
If you feel a bit lost between sections, you might try adding verbal signposts.
Do you repeat key takeaways?
Unlike video, audio courses are often consumed while multi-tasking so repetition will help them catch anything they missed and reinforce the most important points.
Do you give your listener a call to action at the end of lessons?
As with video, you want to encourage your students to learn by doing — not just by listening or watching. Do you have an exercise they can try after completing the lesson or course?
Step 2: Make your audio course shine
Because your students can’t see your facial expressions or gestures, you’ll need to rely on your voice to engage them. Here are a few vocal techniques you can use to hold your students’ attention.
As with video, you want your students to understand you the first time around. So don’t rush, and slow down when explaining something critical. Your listeners will take note.
Your volume will remain fairly even throughout, but you might choose to change it to set a thought apart and perk your listeners' ears up. For example, if you reveal a personal detail, you might lower your voice to convey intimacy — like you’re letting the listener in on a secret. On the other hand, you might raise your voice when using a transition word like “so” or “anyways” to signal a new train of thought.
A monotone voice is the kiss of death in audio. Remember to vary your inflection throughout the lesson, just like you would when talking to a friend. Think of inflection like italics; it’s a great way to emphasize certain words or phrases.
Pause for a few seconds after a key point to signal its importance. You might also pause when transitioning between segments in a lesson or items in a list.
Above all: do what feels natural. Sounding authentic is more important than having pitch-perfect delivery.
You probably used this tool in your video course, but it’s especially important in audio. Because you can’t use visual transitions, you’ll need to mark those transitions verbally. You can do this by summarizing the previous segment and then introducing the next one.
The most basic example: “Now that we’ve discussed [x] , let’s look at [y].”
Listeners need a few seconds to shift mentally to a new voice or topic, and those transitional phrases help them get there.
Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.
Repetition is an essential tool for learning. When interviewing guests, you might ask them to repeat a particular phrase for the listener — who will then know to pay attention. You might also repeat key points at the end of each segment, or all at once in the lesson wrap-up. You could even do a combination of both: repeating points at the end of each segment andrecalling them in a less detailed way in the takeaways section.
However you do it, repetition will help your listeners recall the material again when they need it.