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If you’ve ever recorded a podcast episode with a guest, you know how frustrating it can be to get the audio back only to find that the guest’s mic wasn’t on or that there were other issues with the recording. To save yourself from that heartache in the future, follow a preflight checklist before recording any episode.

Here’s a 20-point checklist to ensure that you’re ready to record a remote episode with a guest, whether you’re using Zoom, Riverside, StreamYard, or in-person.

✅ Is your mic turned on and working?

It sounds obvious, but sometimes things can go wrong, and you might realise that your mic isn’t on when it’s too late.

✅ Are your headphones plugged in and working?

Make sure that you’re using headphones to prevent your mic from picking up sounds from your computer.

✅ Can you hear yourself through your headphones?

Check that you can hear your voice through your headphones, which will help you determine the right distance from your mic.

✅ Do you have a glass of water?

Have a drink of water before starting to ensure that you’re not dry, especially if you’re going to be speaking for a while.

✅ Are you comfortable and relaxed?

If you’re interviewing someone, it’s important to make sure that you’re relaxed and your diaphragm is open to avoid sounding pinched or nervous.

✅ Have you told anyone nearby that you’re going to be recording?

Make sure that you won’t be interrupted during the recording.

✅ Is your recording environment treated the way you normally treat it?

Make sure that there are no noises or distractions in your environment that could affect the recording quality.

✅ Are you a fist’s distance from your mic?

Stay a consistent distance from your mic to ensure that you sound great throughout the recording.

✅ Is your phone on Do Not Disturb?

Silence all notifications on your phone and other devices to prevent interruptions during the recording.

✅ Have you quit any apps on your computer that you don’t need running?

This step will prevent fan noise and other computer-related issues that could affect the recording quality.

✅ Have you stopped your computer from making noises when you get a new message?

Disable all notifications to make sure that there are no interruptions during the recording.

✅ Do you know your guest’s preferred gender pronouns?

Don’t assume anything, and ask your guest to confirm their preferred pronouns.

✅ Do you know how to pronounce your guest’s name?

Make sure that you know how to pronounce your guest’s name properly before starting the recording.

✅ Does your guest know what to expect from the conversation?

Let your guest know what to expect from the conversation to make them feel more comfortable.

✅ Can you hear your guest clearly?

Make sure that you can hear your guest clearly to ensure that the recording quality is good.

✅ Is your guest using the right microphone?

Check that your guest is using the correct microphone and that it’s working properly.

✅ Can your guest hear you clearly?

Make sure that your guest can hear you properly to ensure that the conversation flows smoothly.

✅ Have you tested the lag on your call?

Know the lag time to set expectations and avoid any issues during the recording.

✅ Have you pinpointed any problematic noises during your pre-recording chat?

Identify any issues that could affect the recording, such as background noise, before starting the recording.

✅ Have you pressed record?

Make sure that you’ve pressed the record button to avoid losing the recording entirely.

Wrapping up

By following this preflight checklist, you can ensure that your podcast recordings sound great. You can duplicate this checklist in Notion or use a to-do app to keep track of your progress. Feel free to add or remove items from this list based on your needs, but remember to stick to your checklist to avoid any issues during the recording.

Mark Steadman's avatar

Mark Steadman

Helping seasoned, soulful entrepreneurs use their podcast to build trust and create long-lasting, rewarding relationships with their listeners.

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