16 Nov How To Put Audio on Your Website
Need some technical help putting audio on your site or blog? Jane Heaton of Jane Heaton Associates helps you navigate how to add audio on your website.
I’m nervous about video, but considering audio on my website. How can I make it sound as professional as possible and have you got any technical tips for putting it on my site?
Audio’s a good choice because you only have one ‘performance’ dimension to manage – your voice and how you sound. And you can rehearse – recording and playing back – until you get comfortable with the process and used to achieving a standard of performance – intonation, pace, and so on – you are happy with.
Standing up while you record will raise your energy level, help your breathing, and inject life into your delivery.
Planning and preparation
Putting performance to one side, ensure you plan your piece properly – just as you would if you were giving a talk in person. When we hear professionals or listen to accomplished speakers we might be forgiven for thinking that it’s all happening off the cuff. But usually they have prepared well and the thing that they have in common is that they keep to the point. It’s easy to ramble or repeat things unnecessarily when you are talking.
So create a little structure of bullet points to guide you or a loose script. If you’re not used to giving talks of any sort, then I’d start by reading something already pre-written – experiment with a few of your blog posts and practice reading them out loud in as natural a style as possible.
Other good formats for beginners are Q&A format where you answer a small number of specific, commonly asked questions or short ‘in conversation’ style interviews.
Recording and sound quality
Sound quality is also important. While it’s OK to use your phone for practicing, make sure whatever you use to create your audio file (usually an MP3) produces an acceptable quality of output. You don’t have to hire a studio, you can record from your desk using your laptop computer and using a reasonable quality headset / microphone and a free programme such as Audacity [http://audacity.sourceforge.net/] which also allows you to easily do some basic editing and add intro and exit music for an added touch of professionalism (but make sure you stay legal – just Google ‘royalty free podcast music’ or similar).
If you want to record two-way conversations either do this face-to-face using a good digital recorder or by recording a call over Skype or by using an inexpensive call recorder that connects to your telephone and digital recorder. However you record, make sure the microphone picks up no extraneous noises – from ringing telephones to spinning washing machines, passing voices or traffic … create as sound proof a zone as possible!
Most up-to-date websites these days have some sort of content management system (CMS) and embedding an audio file / audio player on a web page or uploading an MP3 file for download is as easy as inserting an image or uploading a PDF. If you’re unsure about how to do this on your site, talk to your web developer or contact your web hosting service or look at the help within your website builder package. If audio was not part of the plan when you launched your website, it may be a simple matter for your web developer to give you a little extra user functionality or show you how to do it – especially if you want to use audio within your blog.
One thing to watch out for is that audio files are quite big. Some systems/hosts have limits on upload file sizes. If so, you’ll need to work out what your optimum audio play time is and keep within it.
Jane Heaton is the founder of http://www.janeheatonassociates.com
If you’ve got any questions for Jane, please do leave them in the comments below…