If you own or have access to an iPhone that’s 4s or newer (the older iPhones don’t handle larger memo files well) and are willing to use it when we talk with you, the interview you do with us will be higher in quality, and what you say will be easier for our listeners to understand. It will sound as if we are all sitting together in the same room.
You’re going to need an additional cell phone or land line phone to use to talk to us; the iPhone will be exclusively for recording your voice. Here’s how it works:
- The first thing you need to do is to confirm that you have enough disk space on your iPhone. Go to “Settings” and then “General” and then “About.” Look for the line that says “Available.” You should have at least 500 MB of disk space. A GB is 1,000 MB.
- You will be using an iPhone app called “Voice Memos,” which for most of us is hiding in a folder called “Utilities.” Click on the Utilities folder, which for most of us will open to reveal four apps: Contacts, Calculator, Compass, and Voice Memos.
- Click on the blue microphone icon to open the Voice Memos app.
- You should see a big silver microphone, and below it you should see a red record button on the left, a VU meter in the middle, and a button on the right with three horizontal black stripes. As you hold the iPhone close to your mouth and speak, you should see the VU meter respond to your voice.
- Press the red button. You will hear a soft chime, and the red dot will change to two small dots separated by a silver vertical stripe. You will also see a red bar appear at the top of the screen with the the word “Recording” and a timer. Check to make sure the timer is advancing. That’s your confirmation that you’re actually recording. Hold the phone about six inches from your mouth and speak a few sentences into the phone, and then press the black button in the lower right corner. You will hear the chime again, and the black button will return to its original look, with the three horizontal black stripes.
- Press the lower right button again, and you should see a screen with the words “Voice Memos” at the top and a list of all your Voice Memos. If this is the first time you have used this app, there will be only one on the list, the one you have just created. Click on it to listen to it. When you’re finished listening, click the blue “Share” button and select “Email.” In the “To” field, enter your own e-mail address so you can send the Voice Memo to yourself. For the subject you could say “Test” or “Voice Memo” or whatever you want. Then press the blue “Send” button in the upper right corner. That’s it! You’re done.
- Next time you open your e-mail, you should see a message from yourself with the Voice Memo as an attachment. To listen to it, just double click on it, which should open it in whatever audio player you have selected for audio files.
Step 7 will actually be just a tad more complicated when we actually record your interview, because most of our interviews run longer than the seven minutes or so permitted to be sent by e-mail. Don’t worry; we’ll talk you through it. It’s basically just a matter of breaking your interview up into two or three overlapping segments that we will stitch back together at our end to form one uninterrupted conversation.
Here are some general tips that will help you sound more professional and enhance your credibility:
- Find a place to sit during the interview that is quiet and free from distractions. It’s surprising how many interviews are compromised by the participants’ trying to respond to something on their own computer screen, so please turn off alerts about e-mails and messages during the interview.
- Have a glass of room temperature water, a box of tissue, and a tube of lip balm handy when we begin.
- There’s nothing wrong with working from notes; we do! If you write down the key points you want to cover as we talk, you’re more likely to stay focused on them. It’s even better if you share them with us before the interview. The reason we’ve asked you to feature you on the podcast is that we trust you to know what’s important to subsistence farmers, so we will be working to help you deliver the message you want to present.