Thanks to 18Sixty for this guest blog on how as tech sector experts we can utilise a business podcast for effective storytelling.

Forgive this post for starting with a humble brag but we recently happened to win a gold at the British Podcast Awards in the Business Podcasts category. It was for a podcast we make called The Third Angle for industrial software company, PTC and it somehow managed to beat off competition from the BBC, The FT and the Economist?! I’m mentioning it because I think it’s not just a win for us at 18Sixty; but a win for the tech sector too. Why? Because it highlights the potential of podcasting in this innovative field and how you don’t need to follow a particular format, in what is let’s face it, a pretty busy space.

I wanted to share a bit about how we make it in the hope that it inspires different ways of thinking about what a tech podcast can be.

Innovative Approaches To Tech Podcasting

The Third Angle goes beyond the typical format of a technical discussion or the ‘A interviews B’ format; it’s an immersive exploration into the lives and stories behind groundbreaking technologies. The challenge was to move past the conventional and overdone. We didn’t want just another podcast of industry experts conversing over Zoom; the risk is that it would have been purely self-serving. We want to make a podcast that new audiences would actually love listening to. 

Out of any business sector, those working in tech have a natural advantage for creating great podcast content

This meant taking our listeners directly to the locations where PTC technology is used, that might mean a lab in Italy who are launching satellites, a factory floor in Boston using the latest digital printing methods, or a science park in Paris where a company is developing haptic vests for gaming. By meeting the users of PTC’s technology around the world, The Third Angle doesn’t just talk about tech; it shows its impact, we often hear products demo’d and we get to hear the passion of its users.

Leaning Into Storytelling

We’re at an advantage of course in the fact that we’re a bunch of experienced audio producers and we’ve made thousands of hours of podcasts. I’m not suggesting that everyone should start creating immersive storytelling podcasts but thinking about how you tell your stories in a podcast, and who you might want to feature to bring them to life is definitely a doable takeaway.  

Out of any business sector, those working in tech have a natural advantage for creating great podcast content. I think the creation of a podcast has a lot in common with developing a new product which many readers are going to be familiar with. It requires in-depth planning, a real understanding of the audience, and delivering the content in a way that really engages them on multiple levels. 

The Importance Of Planning And Research 

It’s one thing scoping out the right guests for your podcast but you need to make sure you know how to get the best out of those 45 minutes or so you get with them. For each episode, we spend a big chunk of time fact-finding (and fact-checking) about the guests, tried and tested methods for great podcasts and great journalism.

As we don’t rely on traditional interviews we need to make sure that the producers we use to capture the audio on location know exactly what they’re doing – what questions to ask and what sounds to record.

So, for each episode we carry out a pre-interview where we scope out their background, what drives them, but also details about the product, and importantly where we can go on location, who we can talk to, and what we can see, and if possible demo! These interviews not only help shape the questions we ask, it also ensures the guests know what we’re after and what to expect on the day. 

Even for more traditional interview podcasts, good research can’t be overlooked!

Embrace Your Podcast’s Identity 

A big thing that sets The Third Angle apart is its identity – we’ve tried to create a mini-brand. Every aspect, from the custom artwork, sound design, and music is tailored to appeal to the tech community. We have fun with sound design, whether it be hearing the purr of an electric motorbike, or the whirr of a robotic arm as the guests are telling us about it, or even layering other sounds from the products we feature (like the sounds from inside a game), later in the edit. After all, audio has the power to spark the imagination, use that to your advantage!

Thinking about how your podcast should sound is crucial in the busy tech podcasting space, listeners expect content that is polished these days, it’s a commitment for someone to listen, and podcasters can’t afford to give them a reason to turn off.

In the tech sector, where innovation and forward-thinking are the norms, your business podcast should be a reflection of these values. A podcast is more than just a marketing or comms tool; it’s a platform to tell the stories behind, or the impact of, the technology. You have an opportunity to create something memorable that your listeners are going to talk about.

If you’re contemplating a foray into podcasting, looking to enhance an existing one, or just have a question about audio, feel free to drop me a DM.

The images in this blog post were taken whilst recording an episode of The Third Angle podcast for industrial software company PTC. The company featured is PTC customer, Dynisma, an advanced driving simulator company based just outside Bristol, you can hear their episode here.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.