Podcast, Guide

How to Write a Podcast Script

Preparing for your podcast before each episode is an essential step. You want to gather your thoughts, have topics prepared, as well as any other information you need, so you can remain focused as you move through your podcast episode. A great way to prepare is to create a podcast script. A script is helpful because it can save you editing time after you record and if you have a co-host or guest, it can save you if you ever lose your train of thought or run out of things to say. So, check out our best tips for writing a podcast script below.

Write Your Script for Speaking

Write your script for how you speak to keep your scripts natural-sounding. If you write your script as if you are going to be reading it, it will end up sounding stiff. We speak much more casually compared to the formality of reading and writing. So, write your script in your voice and with the flow of your mind. Read what you write out loud to check if it flows in speaking the way that you imagine. Also, be sure to incorporate your personality into your script. Your script needs to be you, so don't get caught up in using the right words, use the words that you would genuinely use.

Paint Pictures with Your Words

Setting the scene for your listeners is essential as they do not have a visual aid. Now, this doesn't mean that you need to detail every little thing that you talk about. Just be aware that your listeners may need that extra description every so often to aid them in picturing the topics, stories, news, etc. in their heads.

Keep It Concise

Keeping your script concise gives you the room for improvisation and expansion while podcasting. Reading directly from your script takes away from your natural-sounding delivery, so minimize reading by only including words and sentences that you absolutely need on your script. Ensuring that your scripts are directly to the point without unnecessary words or sentences allows you the space and time to be creative with your delivery.

Give Yourself Flexibility

This ties into writing your script as if it is going to be spoken aloud. If there are certain words that you want to use, include them on your script. Similarly, if there are certain stories, news pieces, topics, etc. that you want to talk about, include them on your script as well. However, also give yourself different options for vocabulary, stories, news, topics, etc. and the space to explore the thoughts that you have while podcasting. This flexibility can make your podcast that much more interesting. So, on your script, give yourself only what you need to allow yourself that freedom.

Make It Your Own

Everyone's needs are different. If you are podcasting by yourself, depending on your comfort level with podcasting and speaking without notes, you may need more detail or less detail in your scripts. Podcasters just starting out may want to script more of what they say, but be careful not to get caught up in reading your script to the point that you become a boring host. And, remember that different segments of your podcast may require more or less scripting. While an outline might work for the bulk of you podcast, you might want to script word for word things such as intros, a sponsor message, call to actions, plugs, etc.

Now, if you are podcasting with guests or a co-host, you might want to prepare differently than if you are podcasting by yourself. With guests, you should prepare questions and points and give that list of questions to the guest so that they can prepare if need be. As for podcasting with a co-host, preparing points and coordinating with your co-host should be a priority to avoid interruption, confusion, etc. while recording.

Regardless of your preference for script detail, you should note the podcast episode topic, theme, goal, as well as any additional information to keep you on track. Also, limit your call to actions to the beginning and end of your podcast.

As a guide, we've created our own podcast script template example. Take a look at the podcast script template example below. Keep in mind that this template is not meant to be a complete script, but rather an example that can help guide you with writing your own.

Podcast Script Template:

Intro: [Say your podcast name and topic, your name and who you are, what you’re going to talk about, and your call to action] (Duration)
Music Jingle: Repeat at beginning of each episode to help listeners easily identify your podcast (Duration)
Topic 1: [Set up your overall theme and discuss a point, topic, or segment in detail] (Duration)
Topic 2: [Discuss one point, topic, or segment in detail] (Duration)
Interlude: [Music break or sponsor ad] (Duration)
Topic 3: [Discuss one point, topic, or segment in detail] (Duration)
Topic 4: [Discuss one point, topic, or segment in detail] (Duration)
Outro: [Summarize theme, topics, and segments with conclusion] (Duration)
Closing Remarks: [Thank audience, thank guests, talk about the next episode, and do one final call to action] (Duration)
Closing Music Jingle: Repeat intro music jingle to help listeners identify the jingle with your show (Duration)

You might want to include vocal or musical segues throughout your podcast to denote when you are moving on to a new topic or segment. You can transition with a sentence or you can use a sound effect or a short clip of music for your segues.

If you want to script your podcast in more detail, you can organize it similarly to this:

  • Topic 1 Header (Duration)
    • Main Point
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
    • Supporting Data/Reference
    • Case Study/Example/Anecdote
    • Conclusion
  • Segue
  • Topic 2 Header (Duration)
    • Main Point
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
    • Supporting Data/Reference
    • Case Study/Example/Anecdote
    • Conclusion

Tip: Including the duration for each part of your script will help you stay on track with the length of your podcast episode. You can also estimate how many words comfortably fit into the length of your podcast episodes to help guide you when writing scripts.

Preparation is crucial to podcasting. Writing a script can be a great way to ensure that you are always prepared. You don't have to script what you are going to say word for word though. You largely want your script to be a guide that keeps you focused and gives you the cues that you need, but allows you the room for personality, creativity, and improvisation. It is your script for your podcast though, so include what you need and organize it in a way that works for you. So, before recording your next podcast episode, create a script to help keep you on track. Happy podcasting!

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Article Image: NeONBRAND via Unsplash.

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania