What To Expect the First Time You Hit Record

Recording for the first time?

You finally set up all your equipment and lighting. Maybe you had to wrestle with some wires and adapters. And it’s time to record for the first time. This could be for a:

  • Podcast episode
  • YouTube video
  • Instagram Reel
  • TikTok video
  • Snapchat
  • and so forth

You have a 70% chance of sound like a robot the first time you hit record. Even the highest level conversation ninjas get blocked with fear the second that red light comes on.

What sucks is when you think “This isn’t going to capture me at my best. What was I thinking?”

I had a client who spent 2 hours trying to record a 30 second intro / trailer video. I could relate to this because I’ve been there.

The most important thing to realize is that multiple ‘takes’ and repetitions are essential when you first start recording content of any kind.

Do you know how long it takes to capture just one scene out of your favorite movie?

Actors, directors, and everyone on set spend hours saying the same thing over and over to capture JUST the right tone.

So you’re not alone.

The question is how do you replace this robot with the real you?

I remember a client saying that every time she recorded her intro, she would say something different. It was like whack-a-mole. You got this part right, but don’t like how you sound over here.

I wanted to suggest that we use a loose script. Usually one that has a few bullet points.

But this client was someone who would get too tied to the words. And it would throw off her natural rhythm.

So I encouraged her to just enjoy taking the reps instead of writing it all down.

that’s the tradeoff with outlines/scripts. If you want to free flow and riff as you go, just be more patient with getting the exact product you’re seeking.

Why does it take so many tries to record just one piece of content?!

Just by resetting your expectations, you can change the entire experience of your recording session. Instead of, “I’m gonna nail this on the first 3 tries.”

Let’s shift to, “I’m going to take as many reps as I need to find how I would actually talk to one person.”

It took my client two hours because the first 110 minutes were spent:

  • judging/critiquing while recording (always wait until after)
  • talking to everyone instead of someone
  • and just getting comfortable with the idea of being observed

No one likes to hear the sound of their voice. We all cringe a little. The more ‘takes’ you have under your belt, the quicker you can jump into how you actually talk.

It takes a painter time to set up their canvas, paintbrushes, and anything else needed to actually capture the right stroke. Enjoy the ‘takes’ that get deleted because it’s necessary for the one that makes the cut.


Bite-sized action items to go from dreaming to streaming your podcast.

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