Babak Nivi agreed to let us peek behind the scenes at the process for turning one free-flowing conversation into many short episodes of the Naval Podcast. Here’s how they do it:
The podcast delivers nuggets of wisdom in very short one- to four-minute episodes.
Edit an hour-long conversation into succinct, thought-provoking ideas on a single topic.
The creative concept behind the podcast series is a conversation between Naval and Nivi, where the two talk about new ideas on success, wealth creation, investing, and much more. “Our podcasts are short and information-rich, with no ads and no guests. We’re trying to make timeless material that is customer focused,” says Nivi.
“Every podcast recording session starts out with a rough outline and then we use our intuition to guide the conversation.” For one recording session, Naval’s popular tweetstorm How to Get Rich (without getting lucky) served as the outline. Using one microphone, the two usually record about an hour’s worth of discussion. Nivi says that the duo almost never has to do multiple takes.
After the recording session, Nivi and his team uses Descript to break the hour of audio into 10–15 episodes, each of them about two to three minutes long. To create the topical episodes, Nivi pulls from different parts of the interview as needed, rather than adhering to the original chronology of the conversation. “Descript makes this process pretty easy,” says Nivi.
“I couldn’t do it without Descript.” — Babak Nivi
Next, Nivi removes filler words and other irrelevant content. “Each podcast is heavily edited to keep it fast-paced and interesting,” says Nivi.
Once Naval and Nivi are happy with the episode in Descript, it’s exported to ProTools for final clean up by a sound engineer.
With the audio editing done, the team then edits the text. A copyeditor polishes the transcript, and the text interview is published in addition to the podcast. The team supporting the Naval Podcast (Jason Sanderson and Russ Rizzo) use the transcript as captions in short Twitter videos.
According to Nivi, the Naval Podcast-style of digestible concision depends on their editing approach. “Our style of podcasting and editing wouldn’t be possible without Descript,” says Nivi.