Podcasting for Kids: The next big thing

Deprived of peer connection during the COVID-19 pandemic, Aanya Zaveri, a class 7 student at Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai, launched her own podcast called ‘The Story of You’. The podcast is already at number 18 on Apple Podcasts under the All-India Kids and Family category. For Aanya, her podcast is a way of storytelling, learning and staying connected in a boundary-less world that is always on the go. Cecilia D’Souza spoke to her to know more about her journey.

September 16, 2021

When and how did you start podcasting?
I was always exposed to the world of podcasts because my mother, Mansi Zaveri, runs a podcast on Kidsstoppress.com, which ranks in the top-50 podcasts in the Kids and Family category in India; it’s called ‘I’m Not Bored’. Both my parents are avid podcast listeners and from the age of six, I was aware of what podcasts are and what they do. I would listen to them as a child when my mom would play a few interesting ones, so somewhere podcasts were always in the background. They emerged in the foreground during the pandemic when I saw many of my friends doing so many interesting things. And then with online schooling, when I realised the power of the internet, I wanted to have my own podcast. I love videos too, but somewhere they create a bias and steal the focus of the conversation and the message because of the visual impact. Also for me, I wanted my stories and conversations to be the centre; and not me. I learnt a lot about podcasts through the internet but both my parents helped me brainstorm through the ideas, concepts and guestlist. My mom did guide me through setting it up to ensure all digital security checks were and are in place. Also, to anyone starting out, create a bank of episodes before you hit publish on episode one.

What interested you about podcasting?
I found that podcasts are a great way to open up conversations with peers around the world. I was amazed to see that there are 1.2 billion teens that I could learn from, but there were only a handful of podcasts catering to teens and young adults and I wanted to take the opportunity of building that platform to drive stories. Having banked eight episodes and premiered on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, my podcast features young adults from across the country including entrepreneurs, sportspeople, artists and many others.

RobinAge Cover Story - Podcasting

How do you intend to get better at creating podcasts?
Every episode is a learning experience. I remember, the first few guests I reached out to didn’t reply; some declined, some agreed but cancelled last minute and some sounded great on Instagram but could not articulate their thoughts as well. So, each episode taught me to respond better, be a better listener and ask specific questions that would excite other young adults like me. I’ve been learning on the job with each episode and listening to a lot of other podcasters to learn how to keep the audience engaged. Also, I realised that sharing and distribution are very important; without sharing it and asking people to share it, a podcast doesn’t get enough attention.

What are the benefits of making a podcast?

  • It focuses on the conversation, so you are focusing on the content.
  • For students like us, it helps us share more easily.
  • It helps to focus on listening as a skill.
  • It’s on the go, so one can listen to it while doing their own thing.
  • It’s slowly building a community for likeminded young adults who are doing so many things.

Aanya recommends five top podcasts for our young readers:

  • Science Friday: bit.ly/ScienceFridayPC
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class: bit.ly/SYMIHC
  • Ted Talks Daily: bit.ly/TTDpodcast
  • I’m Not Bored: bit.ly/ImNotBored
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: bit.ly/GNSFRebelGirls
RobinAge Cover Story - Podcasting


RobinAge Cover Story - Podcasting

Equipment needed:
I started with my laptop, a MacBook Air. I recorded the episodes on Zoom, ensuring there was complete silence, and edited them on iMovie. I have now learnt, after a good eight episodes, that it is better to use an external microphone to record. I use the Yeti Blue.

How to create a podcast:

  • Identify what you want to share.
  • Hunt down your guests. Like my mom always says, “Just ask. A no is not always bad.”
  • Be specific about what you want to know from the guest.
  • Be prepared and do your research.
  • Pick a quiet time slot.
  • Edit on the same day as you record.
  • Be yourself during the recording.
  • Share it.

To be a good podcast host, you need to:

  • Let your guest speak.
  • Don’t judge anyone.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Know that everyone has a story in them.
  • Be specific.
  • Do not use too many words like ‘yeah’ or ‘hmmm’. It sounds funny.

A podcast is an audio talk series that listeners can tune into whenever they have the time, unlike radio where audio programmes are aired as per a set schedule. Podcasts are available on apps like Apple Podcasts or Spotify as well as on various websites and users can download and listen to episodes on their digital devices.

REFLECTION: Podcaster for a Day

Imagine you had your own podcast. Name any 3 people you would invite to interview and explain why.

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