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Plan a Podcast: Good Ideas to Great Episodes

Jeff Emtman

Plan a Podcast: Good Ideas to Great Episodes

Jeff Emtman

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Class Description

There’s a big difference between a great idea and a great podcast. Just ask Jeff Emtman, who founded the successful documentary podcast “Here Be Monsters.” Before he ever picks up the microphone, Jeff has an elaborate preparation ritual, a process involving bathtubs, strategic forgetfulness, and good old-fashioned journaling.

Jeff will show you how to zoom in on the important parts of a story and forget the fluff, conceptualize sound and a story’s “dream tape,” and use self-doubt and existential dread as a creative tool. You’ll come away with real-world techniques for preparing for your podcast so that you can make your best work.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Get over your fears of actually starting work on an episode and take the first leap.
  • Compartmentalize and benefit from pre-production jitters.
  • Focus on research at the beginning, not story structure.
  • Prepare for the interview, both practically and conceptually.
  • Use sound to deepen the impact of an episode.
  • Doubt your story so you can find its flaws and improve it.
  • Experiment with and subvert conventional structures.

Ratings and Reviews


This class has a lot of really interesting insights and ideas. It is definitely focused more on narrative/interview/experimental style podcasts, but I think anyone interested in any aspect of podcasting would enjoy listening to Jeff speak on the subject. He's a really unique person with a really neat perspective on the medium, and sound in general.

Angelo Salazar

Jeff definitely communicates the ideas very well and he is a compelling storyteller. The course offers many useful concepts. However, in my opinion, these little nuggets of insight are strewn about in layers that will have to be discovered as one gains more experience and spends more time honing their craft. I feel, for example, that while I picked up a lot on the techniques, many more aha moments will come about as I keep at it and encounter moments that I will connect back to these lessons. Then I would have peeled away another layer and deepened my understanding. This is a course that will continue to hold value long after you've completed it.

Student Work