One of the biggest questions that new podcasters are stuck with is how to write a podcast episode script, which is easy to follow and entertaining. The best podcast episodes that seem casual and conversational to you are a result of hours of preparation, hard work, and experience.
If you want to learn to write podcast episodes, here are some structural tools and script tips for you. They require no experience and can be applied by all the podcasters.
Podcast script template
If you ever made a presentation slides, you probably know that it is helpful to have a bird’ eye view of your speech. The purpose of having an outline on your hand ensures that you are on track and cover all the important points you planned in advance. Also, when you know what you are going to say next, you make smoother transitions.
Let’s see the essential elements in a simple podcast script template.
You can always start your podcast with the pre-recorded opening sound or catchphrase. This is a part of the brand features of your podcast. Try to make it authentic and iconic because for an audio show having a signature sound is an important brand element.
It can be from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Keep it simple, unique, and short.
Sharing a sponsored message is not a fixed step in a podcast episode. Ads can be inserted in different parts of an episode, but the most common approach is introducing them in the beginning.
The majority of listeners don’t like long ads. That’s why ad-free subscriptions are so popular. The point here is to keep your ads as short as possible. In cases of popular podcasts with hour-long episodes, 5-minute ads might be OK. But, if your episodes are
10-15 minutes, you don’t really want to fill 30% of it with ads.
There are two main types of podcast ads: podcaster-read or radio-style.
Usually, a third party prepares Radio-style ads. Further, all you have to do is to turn it on. If you choose to advertise it yourself, you can adjust the ad script to the voice of your overall content.
A welcome message is a short introductory opening made by a host(s). During it, you can tell the overall agenda of the podcast, introduce the main topics you will cover, any guests you have for the episode, etc. Let your audience know what you have in stock and what they should expect.
You can either have it written or just go through your podcast outline and make the impromptu opening message based on it.
Topic and segue
Here when the actual discussion on the episode’s topic happens. The format entirely depends on your choice. You can tell your message in a storytelling format if you choose fiction or an informational topic. It can also be an interview if you have a guest. You can also choose to do a self-interview by answering the questions of your audience.
This is the main element of a podcast episode. So, it is strongly recommended to be well prepared and have at least an outline of your speech in front of you. In case of the interview formats, get the key questions you want to ask.
Depending on your overall episode duration, discussing a topic can be from 5 to 20 minutes.
If you plan to discuss more than one topic in an episode, this element will be repeated.
When you finish the topic, say goodbye to your guest or conclude your message and move to the next one. It is essential to keep these transitions smooth to ensure an uninterrupted flow of ideas.
Sign-off and outro
After the main topic is discussed, you should summarize the overall episode about the key takeaways. What do you want your listeners to gain, and what should they expect from the next episode? After the sign-off message, the episode should be finalized with a sound or catchphrase to inform a listener about the end of their experience. Keep the stylistic and tonal similarity between the opening and closing parts.
Podcast script tips
Some experienced podcasters like improvisation and chose to record an episode without initially writing a script or outline. But it is recommended to podcasting newbies to have some kind of podcast script ready and do some practice before starting the recording. Smooth, intelligent, and clear speech is extremely important in podcasting, and it is also challenging, especially without prior rehearsal.
Here are some tips that you can follow to create an engaging script for your podcast.
Keep a conversational tone.
You definitely don’t want your audience to feel like they are in a boring lecture. So, you should really aim to avoid flat and monotone delivery of your script.
Keep your podcast script conversational. You can make rehearsal recordings of yourself to assess the tone and smoothness of your speech. During a rehearsal, you can use a speech-to-text tool to turn your speech into a text and work on it. Later, you can use that adjusted script for your final recording.
Use delivery notes.
If you ever watched a comedy sitcom, you should know those laughs and claps inserted in funny moments or “awww” sounds in dramatic parts. Those are delivery notes, which are fun and emotional details that give life to your podcast. You can also do that yourself. Just make sure to sound genuine.
Describe the scene.
You are using an audio medium, so remember that your listeners don’t see anything. Every time you refer to an image or video, describe it so that your audience can form a picture in their minds. Make it vibrant and reasonably detailed. You don’t want to give them literally EVERY detail.
This might not be an easy skill, but you will master it with practice.
The authentic personality of a host is one of the critical elements for a podcast’s success. Don’t try to be someone else because you won’t sound genuine and natural. You can take lessons from experts but don’t directly imitate them.
Set your voice and style and follow it. You are unique the way you are.
To sum up
Focus on quality content and authentic voice when developing a podcast. You will master other technicalities with time and practice.