When starting out as a podcaster, one of the most common issues new producers confront is how to write a podcast script.
If you want to learn how to write a perfect podcast script, keep reading!
What is a podcast script?
In podcasting, you might think of a movie script— where all words are planned. So why don’t podcasts have an open conversational tone? Does reading the pages sound stilted or monotonous? No way.
A podcast script does not require a transcript. Unlike stage and TV scripts, podcast scripts can play from simple to detailed in the same way you want to.
For every podcaster, a script is unique. You can decide to write everything you intend to say or simply write the bullet points.
Why is a podcast script important?
The perfect podcast episode has structure, direction, and succinctness because of a well-written script.
Having a show outline and a written direction can help you relax and focus on the present rather than worrying about how to fill the next 30-45 minutes of recording time.
It may also help you avoid making mistakes, which can save a lot of time when it comes to editing. When you include an outline in the equation, writing an outline may save you time in the long run.
Moreover, a podcast script is a great tool because:
- it allows you to get creative.
- It frees the mind and reduces recording anxiety.
- It prevents tangents, rambling or extended pauses.
- A podcast script allows collaboration and guidance throughout the production process.
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Types of podcast scripts
There are several podcast scripts, and each will suit a different podcaster and a different show. So you can customize it to fit the needs of your show and your preferences.
A word-for-word podcast script
It’s a simple idea – the host will say what’s written down in the script. Many podcasters like a word-for-word script because it’s ideal for new hosts who don’t feel comfortable ad-libbing.
Additionally, a word-for-word script allows you a lot of control. If you cover complex subjects or sensitive subject matter, narrative storytelling can benefit from being heavily scripted.
You need to be mindful of how you speak if you want to be deliberate and talk from a place of correctness. Creating a word-for-word script could be the way to go.
A word-for-word script:
- guarantees you’ll cover everything you wanted
- ensures fewer mistakes
- helps map out how much time gets spent with each guest and subject.
- Gives you a lot of control.
- ideal if you cover a topic that is sensitive or technical and if you want to be deliberate
However, reading from a script is a difficult talent to master. The challenge is not to sound robotic and lack emotion.
Listeners want to interact with their podcast hosts, and a monotone voiceover can severely deter them.
That’s why when creating a podcast script, write as you speak. You will sound more conversational.
A planned podcast script
A planned podcast script may assist podcasters in forming an episode without having to write down every word. It’s like a script, but it doesn’t include all the details of the actual recording.
You’re laying out your initial concepts before adding a more developed structure when you make a podcast outline. As a result, a planned podcast script is less detailed and more organized.
A planned podcast script template
This section should tease a bit of what the listeners will hear in the episode or provide a bit of a summary. It’s good not to give everything away – a little mystery can keep the listener engaged.
The first section of your podcast script should include the basics of the topic you will cover. You can ask your guest some warm-up questions if you’re conducting an interview.
The second part of your script should reflect the middle of your story. In this part, you should elaborate on the topic further or go deeper in the interview with your guest.
In the third section of your script, you should go towards ending your show. You can take the talking points from the beginning and summarize what you already said. Then, if you’re interviewing a guest, you can ask some concluding questions.
In this section, you should thank your guest and the listeners. If you are working on a series of episodes, this might tease what the listener will hear in the next episode.
This will help hosts navigate the episode and ensure that they cover all of the major talking points.
This form of structure is ideal for conversational podcasts since it allows improvisation.
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A flexible podcast script
An ad-libbed script or a flexible script is the opposite of a word-for-word script.
However, ad-libbing is not being unprepared. It’s just a different kind of preparation.
Every podcast episode requires structure; a beginning, middle, and end. As long as you’re not thrilled by the prospect of writing a complete-detailed script, at least put up some tent poles.
Use headers to categorize episodes within themes or subjects. Then, follow them up with bullet points. These may be used as prompts and reminders of where you’re heading.
Ad-libbed podcasts aren’t for everyone, but they’re ideal for producing interesting material, especially if you’re familiar with your topic.
They’re perfect if you’ve got the personality, energy, and innate ability to deliver things engagingly.
What kind of podcast script will work for you?
What kind of script will be right for your show will depend on its format. The format holds the show’s structure together and is frequently the driving force for all other creative decisions regarding podcast content.
Understanding your podcast’s format might have a big impact on approaching a script.
Say you’re recording an interview podcast. You won’t be using pre-written scripts, most likely. Instead, you may have the flexibility to debate any topic pulled from a bullet-pointed list with your guest.
However, if you’re creating a marketing podcast that utilizes a lot of sound design and requires the input of numerous speakers and interviews, having a well-written script is critical.
While we aren’t in the business of pigeonholing things, several common podcast formats require various degrees of scripting:
A podcast interview is a format where hosts or co-hosts interview a guest. Interview style podcasts typically use a light script, with the host using headers, questions, and bullet points as guides. However, podcast intro, outro, and sponsor messages are usually fully scripted.
Scripted fiction podcasts are audio theatrical productions. As you might guess, this type of program is generally a fully scripted production with minimal opportunity for improvisation. As a result, the drafting process may be time-consuming and heavily production-focused.
Typically, individuals who excel at a certain topic use this structure; narrative storytellers, comedians, news reporters, and anchors are examples. Monologues are almost always completely pre-prepared or at the very least have well-written scripted parts or given questions.
A popular podcast format is a narrative style. This podcast format often includes a lot of sound design, including scripted voiceover, sound effects, and music.
A single or a pair of hosts engage in interesting or instructive discussions on a certain topic. A script might be as simple as a document with a few notes or headers for prompts.
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Tips on how to write your own podcast script
It is advisable to use a podcast script template that you would apply to all of your podcast episodes. Of course, there’s still room for flexibility to suit each episode topic, but the basics will stay the same. Your audience will like a simple outline, and they will know what to expect in the episode.
Let’s look at the major parts of a good podcast script:
Most podcasts have the same beginning every time, which is why you’ve undoubtedly heard them before. A decent introduction should be brief, warmly welcoming, and include music or a jingle of some sort.
An intro template could look like this:
“Welcome to [podcast name]! On this show, we discuss [podcast topic]. I’m [host’s name], and today, we’ll be talking about [episode topic] with our special guest, [guest name]. Let’s get started!”
Next, in a podcast interview, you’ll need to introduce your guests. It’s critical not to overlook this step since your visitor is likely expecting to be treated with respect and formality due to a proper and decent introduction. That’s another incentive to write a podcast script.
Make a copy of your guest’s information for future reference. And be sure to include any relevant contextual data about your visit that will help your audience understand why they should care what he or she has to say.
You may let them know what you do or tell them a little about yourself to demonstrate your trustworthiness. It does not have to be complicated.
Your guest introduction can look something like this:
“Today, we’re excited to have on the show [guest name], [their profession or role]. They are going to tell us more about [their niche that links to podcast topic]. Hi, [guest first name], and welcome to [podcast name]!”
When it comes to a sponsor message, some sponsors send a word-for-word script. You can simply read them, then insert the message into your podcast episode. Other sponsors simply provide you with a set of talking points that you should discuss in a way that fits with your show’s style.
No matter what, it’s a good idea to make a strategy for what you’ll say and how you’ll make the ad seem natural. It’s critical that your audience will trust your recommendations, buy the products, and your sponsors will continue to work with you.
A sponsor message could sound like this:
“This episode is brought to you by [insert sponsor name]. [Sponsor name] is [explain the product or service, add your positive personal experience with it. Explain why your listeners would be interested in trying the product and include your podcast’s discount or promo code].”
Because your episode will most likely include a variety of elements, it’s critical to plan out your transitions in order for the podcast to flow naturally and together.
The transitions can be implemented in a variety of ways, including with a jingle, sound effect, or spoken word. You could also use a short clip of your podcast’s theme music to create a lovely tribute. Whatever matches your podcast’s tone and personal style.
The conclusion of your podcast is known as the outro. Consider it a way to sum up, or recap what was discussed and how it may be beneficial to your listeners. Make sure to thank your guests for participating, as well as yourself and your listeners for listening.
At this stage, you may offer your audience a sneak peek at future episodes or an announcement about upcoming events. Many podcasters recommend that interested parties visit the show notes for additional information on what was discussed in the episode.
Finally, at the conclusion of your outro, it’s a good idea to include credits. Anyone who had a part in the episode’s production should be acknowledged.
At the end of your podcast, you can also remind your listeners about the sponsor message.
Here’s an example of a podcast outro:
“That brings us to the end of today’s episode! Thanks to [guest name] for joining us today. We hope our discussion was beneficial to you. Thanks for listening to [podcast name].
Call to action
The conclusion of each episode is also a fantastic location to include a call to action (CTA). If there’s anything you want your listeners to do, ask them! Common CTAs include:
- Rate and review on
- Join the podcast’s Facebook group
- Answer questions or leave feedback
- Sign up for your podcast’s newsletter
Here’s an example of a call-to-action script:
“If you liked the show, don’t forget to rate and review us on [the directories you use]. Subscribe so you won’t miss the next week’s episode. On the next [podcast name], we will discuss [next episode’s topic].
Additional tips to help you create a podcast script
If you’re already familiar with creating a podcast script, we have some polishing tips for you to consider:
Voice record your script
Many podcasters choose to use a voice recorder to ensure sounding natural and the right delivery. That way, your show will appear more conversational and intuitive.
Once you’ve finished writing your script, don’t be afraid to print it out and scribble all over it with delivery notes. These sorts of notes indicate significant changes, such as silences, guffaws, and emphasis.
Use the Underline option to make text stand out. To indicate a pause, write a vertical line over the underlined words. Even if you’re reading a word-for-word script, these features add depth to your podcast.
Be as minimal as possible.
Keep your script as brief as possible while still providing high-quality performance. Your written script should allow you plenty of options and natural delivery because it’s concise and simple.
Practice before recording the episode
No matter what type of podcast script you choose, if you wrote a detailed script or only bullet points, it’s a good idea to practice your podcast episode before recording it.
Because of this, you can quickly and effectively finish podcast production without the need for extensive editing.
Now that you know all about the different types of podcast scripts, it’s time to start writing your own! The tips we’ve provided will help make the process a little easier and ensure that your episodes are high quality.
Remember to keep your script concise and practice before recording. Most importantly, have fun with it and let your personality shine through. Thanks for reading!