Before recording an episode of the Department of Bad Ideas, run through these preflight checks.
Check that you have…
Given the guest everything they needed to know
They should have had a welcome email and the online guest guides sent to them ahead of time.
Turned on the recording softwares and devices
Make sure Zencastr is set up properly so it saves the audio.
Make sure that you have your microphone plugged into the laptop for the Zencastr recording, and that the Zoom recorder is working for primary audio source.
Have set up the script and scoresheet for this episode
Use the standard spreadsheet for each guest.
Have chosen the quick fire questions
You should have at least 4 questions ready for the In the Thick of It round.
Check that the guest…
Prepared for the Impossible Implementation round.
They will have been given a policy problem to solve ahead of time. The solution to this problem must be impossible to implement but very electorally attractive. Check they have prepared a solution for this round and that it meets the criteria.
Prepared for the Unsaleable Policy round.
They will have been given another policy problem to solve ahead of time. The solution to their problem must be workable but politically unattractive. Check they have prepared a solution for this round and that it meets the criteria.
Prepared their Big Idea.
They should have picked any policy problem they wanted, and prepared a 5 minute pitch to solve the problem. The solution must be the biggest, boldest, best solution they could come up with. Check they have prepared a solution for this round and that it meets the criteria.
Is using a macOS or Windows 10 device with a modern web browser
The online recording tool, Zencastr, only works in the desktop versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox. Check they are using one of these web browsers.
Knows not to shut the browser
The recording tool will make a local copy of the audio file and upload it to my Google Drive. Remind the guest not to close their browser until it says the upload is complete; this will be a few minutes after the podcast recording finishes.
Is using headphones and a microphone.
Guests should wear earphones or headphones to they don’t get feedback on their recording.
Knows not minimise background noise
Remind the guest to avoid shuffling papers or fiddling with the microphone during recording.