As you start sharing stories with your audience, it’s only natural that you will become all too comfortable with the details you’re spilling onto the microphone.
But, at some point you have to ask yourself – are you getting too personal on your podcast?
Consider the Subject
Simply put, there are just some things you should keep to yourself and off your podcast. Case in point – anything that is not your story to tell.
While it might be funny to tell your audience a silly tale about your children doing something comical, there are some subjects you’re better left not sharing. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Secrets told to you in confidence – yes, even if you change the names to protect the innocent/guilty
- Stories bashing current sponsors or companies that turned down sponsorship requests
- Pretty much all things related to your family – even things that you think are positive. Some people don’t want to be in the spotlight
- Topics that you’re discussing merely for shock value, or to intentionally stir up controversy (unless that is your entire schtick for your podcast)
If It Could Get You Sued, It Might Be Too Personal
If you’re telling tales that are libelous or slanderous in nature, be prepared to receive a cease and desist letter at a minimum.
Libel – defined by Merriam Webster as “a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression” (Read – not true)
Slander – per Legal Zoom, slander is “an untrue defamatory statement that is spoken orally.”
But, what if it’s true? It still might be too personal for your podcast. In this case, if you really want to talk about it on your podcast, sit with the idea for a while, and consider the fallout that could occur before recording it.
It’s better to think about things and make sure you’re recording your episodes while level-headed, than it is to risk hurting someone’s reputation, or making yourself look bad.
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If It Could Get You Fired, It Might Be Too Personal
One thing a podcaster can easily forget, is the fact their show can be heard by anyone. This includes your family, your friends, and your boss. If you are not prepared for your employer to hear something you want to say, it’s best kept off your podcast.
Unlike a Facebook page that can be made private, your podcast’s RSS feed is public, and the words you say on it can be held against you. In other words, if you wouldn’t publicly share something at work where others can hear it, keep it off your show.
If It Could Result in a Break up, It Might Be Too Personal
We’ve all seen the light-hearted posts on Facebook and Instagram of things like:
“Settle an argument – Star Wars or Star Trek?”
“Who’s right? – Xbox is better than Playstation”
“Is my boyfriend right – does DC beat Marvel in a fight?”
These types of statements are probably harmless. In other words, they aren’t likely to end in a serious altercation, let alone a break up or divorce.
However, if you are sharing something serious with your audience, you need to ask yourself if it could cause your partner, family, or someone close to you serious emotional harm?
Just because drama can lead to more podcast downloads, doesn’t mean you won’t regret it down the road.
If You're Getting a Lot of Complaints, It Might Be Too Personal
If your reviews say things like this, you might be getting too personal on your podcast:
- “The host overshares. I hope his boss hears this and fires him!”
- “Whoa! TMI on that last episode bro!”
- “What does your wife think about you airing the family’s dirty laundry?
- “I don’t think you should have shared that story about your blind date”
- “The details of your messy divorce just made me unsubscribe! Didn’t need to know all of that.”
We admit that these types of reviews can also draw in more listeners, but at what cost?
We’ve seen from reality television that shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians, and Big Brother get big ratings because of their drama – but is it worth it for you?
These are the types of things you need to seriously consider before getting too personal on your podcast. We hope this post has inspired you to really think about the subjects you are sharing on your show.
If you think you are getting too personal, you probably are. But, if that’s okay with you, who are we to stop you? We just hope you realize what you’re getting yourself into, and that depending on what you’re sharing you have a lawyer to help you if any of it comes back to bite you.