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How to Write a Podcast Script

Introduction


In a previous post, I discussed how to write a TV Pilot. As the adage goes, "Writing is re-writing." There is a lot of re-rewriting in perfecting television scripts. This post, however, will dive into how to write a podcast script.


Launching a podcast can feel daunting. In fact, the script is considered one of the most intimidating aspects when you first start. Veteran podcasters know that recording a podcast without a script is compared to starting a road trip without directions. If you know where you want to go but don't necessarily know how to get there, it can lead to problems.


This post will dive into what a podcast script is and why it's crucial. We will also explain how to write a script based on your unique style.


If you love to write, start a blog. If you love to talk, start a podcast. If you love to solve problems, start a business. If you love freedom, do what you love. ― Maxime Lagacé

Prerequisites


When writing a podcast script, starting with a bird's-eye view of your show is essential. Preparing an outline prior to writing the script gives you a guide that keeps your show on track. Well-written scripts from an outline ensure that your show hits the intended points.


Warm-Up


Customize the sample outline below to fit your needs. Your outline can be longer or shorter than this one as long as it serves the needs of your show. If your podcast is an interview, just replace each topic with a question.


Outline Sample

  1. Sponsor

  2. Intro

  3. Theme song/music

  4. Overview of the Show

  5. Topic 1

    1. Main Point

    2. Supporting points

    3. Data

    4. Quote

  6. Segue

  7. Topic 2

    1. Main Point

    2. Supporting points

    3. Data

    4. Quote

  8. Sponsor

  9. Topic 3

    1. Main Point

    2. Supporting points

    3. Data

    4. Quote

  10. Segue

  11. Outro

  12. Call to Action

  13. Sponsor

  14. Theme song/music


Source: https://castos.com/podcast-script/















Don’t bore people. Don’t worry too much about replicating someone else’s formula. Be original with the way you podcast. — James Schramko

Tips for Writing Your First Podcast Script


By writing a podcast script correctly, you can unite different media and engage a larger demographic. Although most successful podcasts are off the cuff, they are prepared beforehand and follow a script. By having a script, you will feel more confident while recording. More confidence will result in reduced mistakes that will shorten editing time, and save you time, energy, and money in the long run.


Have a Good Introduction

A good introduction is a short welcome over some theme music. Podcast intros provide an overview of the episode and preview what's coming up for the listeners.


Introduce Your Guest(s)


If your podcast is an interview show, introduce your guest(s). Prepare guest(s) introductions by providing the necessary information about the background and profession of the individual and why they’ve been brought onto the podcast.


Sponsor Message


Monetizable podcasts often have sponsorships. Sometimes podcast sponsors provide a script for the host to read out loud during the show. It's essential to plan your sponsor messages when outlining your show.


Fluent Summaries and Segues


As the topics change, it’s vital to have seamless transitions so that the show flows naturally and consistently. The host can simply tell the listeners and the interviewee (if applicable) that they’re “moving into another topic.” This is a cue for listeners who want to follow along without getting confused.


You can use sound effects, jingles, phrases, or a short video clip as a segue from segment to segment. After that, you can make a recap summary of the critical points of your episode as a conclusion. Listeners appreciate it when the hosts highlight key takeaways.


Call to Action and Outro


By having a podcast script ready, you can prepare this section and have a closing jingle. It's worth mentioning to ask listeners to subscribe, rate, and review in a Call to Action (CTA).




Podcast Script Examples


Scripts can vary depending on your style and show. Make sure to adjust your script for each type of podcast:


Freestyle

Ad-libbers only need a basic list of questions. It doesn't take much time to write this script.


Cohost


If you record with one cohost or multiple hosts, having a script ensures that you, your guests, and listeners don't get confused about who’s leading the conversation.


Word for Word

Having a full script is great for solo shows and some audio dramas. However, it takes practice to learn how to read a script naturally. To avoid stilted speech, write in laughter, pauses, and off-script comments.


Solo-Host


Solo podcasters find that having a detailed outline saves time and energy. If you opt to use an outline only, include anecdotes, supporting data, and relevant key points. By having this, you will have enough structure to make recording easier. You can also allow for verbal slipups in your speaking.


Interview


Good podcast interviews go through preparation. Having a script can help you keep a conversational tone with your guest(s). You can also email them questions and/or topics in advance so they know what to expect in the interview.


Tutorial


Tutorial podcasts have multiple steps with important information that you don’t want to forget. As you outline a tutorial podcast, be sure to have a strong understanding of what it is you’re trying to demonstrate. Doing so will help get your message across to your listeners.


Write As You Talk


Write scripted segments that match your natural way of speaking. To avoid sounding unnatural, you can reread your script or record a first draft. Then, edit the document to home in on a specific topic and tighten the dialogue. Podcasters may also find it helpful to think of your segments like a speech. After all, it's still you talking, just not in a relaxed state.

I like the freedom of podcasting. With podcasting, you can really mess around with the form and the format. You can do as much time as you want without having to pause for commercials. — Adam Carolla


Conclusion


Writing a podcast that is easy to read and that the audience can understand requires a script. However, scripted carries different meanings in every situation.


You can write your script word-for-word or use bullet points to focus on your thoughts. Every podcaster is different, and everyone uses something that works for them. It’s important to do your research beforehand and provide yourself with a resource to help guide you through the show.


No matter the show, each podcast carries the same fundamental elements, and all hosts can benefit from understanding them.


If you would like to learn more about how to write a podcast script or have any follow-up questions, please feel free to comment below. We’re happy to help you learn more.






Resources


Podcast Script: How to Write One – The Riverside.fm team breaks down how to write a podcast script.


How to Write a Podcast Script – Castos explains how to write a podcast outline.


6 Useful Tips for Writing a Podcast Script – Podcastle explains tips to create the best podcast script possible.


How to Start a Podcast: Complete Step-by-Step Guide – Buzzsprout explains the ins and outs of starting a podcast.


How to Write a Podcast Script: Step-by-Step Guide (2023) – Rob Scheerbarth breaks down the process of writing a podcast script.



Kevin Petrochko has worked with clients in multiple industries, writing content for websites and blogs. As a former journalist, Kevin has contributed sports writing to various publications. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and through email.


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