There are tons of great podcasts out there. But, what makes those podcasts great is not only what happens behind the mic. Instead, what sets those podcasts apart is the planning that happens before the recording even begins.
Great podcasts start with good scripts. Scripts can help ensure consistency, structure, and direction in each episode. They better prepare you for each recording session and help you stay focused on the topics you wish to share with your listeners. Plus, writing a good script is one of the best ways to reduce rambling, pauses, and awkward silences that have to be edited later.
A common misconception about podcast scripts is that they must be a word-for-word transcript of your show. This is totally not the case! There are many types of scripts you can make, including your own version that works best for you.
How To Write A Good Podcast Script
Decide on the type of script you prefer.
There are a couple different types of podcast scripts to choose from. These include a talking points script, a bullet point script, a full word-for-word script, or a variation of the three. Most podcasters find the talking points script to be almost too vague, while at the same time, they find the word-for-word to be too scripted. Bullet points tend to work best. But really, it’s all up to the individual podcaster and works best for them and their podcast format.
Maintain a conversational tone.
When recording, it’s important to maintain a conversational tone. Start by maintaining that conversational tone in your script. Write your topics, bullet points, or word-for-word script just as you would say it in a recording – as if you were speaking to a friend. This will help maintain flow in your episode.
Use bullet points.
Even if you’re not using a bullet point script, bullet points are a great way to organize your talking points. As you list your topics in bullet point form, remember to put them in the order in which you would like to speak about them. Then, don’t be afraid to go back and add even more supporting points or information under each bullet point. The more information you add now, the easier it will be to record later.
Include your unique intro & outro.
When making your script, remember to add in your intro and outro. Go ahead and plan out how you will welcome the audience to your show and how you’ll wrap things up at the end. You might also want to include time for your guest introductions, your sponsor message, or to talk about upcoming episodes. Making a full, comprehensive script will make your episode seem much more seamless and professional and thus, increase your podcast’s overall quality.
Use delivery notes.
Podcasting is all about the delivery of information. To help you deliver information to your audience in the best way possible, add notes along your script where you want to remember to show emphasis, to elaborate on a specific point, to show an image or video, to play a musical jingle or sound effect, and so on. These delivery notes will serve as little reminders throughout your recording and help your episode maintain a good flow.
Leave room for flexibility.
Ad libbing, humor, stories, and interesting conversations with guests can happen at any time during recording. And sometimes, those are the parts that listeners enjoy the most. So, leave room for flexibility. It’s not necessary to script every single second of your podcast episode. If you’re hosting a guest, a great way to promote flexibility is to have a list of questions nearby. Then, if there’s a pause, you’re already prepared with the next topic.
Be descriptive/Set the scene.
Don’t be afraid to set the scene and really spell it out for your listeners. The better you can set the scene, the more involved your listeners will feel. Practice using descriptive language, especially in your script, to make sure your listeners feel like they are right there with you.
Be your natural self.
When it comes to writing a script, the more authentic you are now, the more your true personality will shine through in your recording. Always remember to try to sound natural, to sound like yourself – that’s what listeners love the most.
Include your call-to-action(s).
A call-to-action is one of the best ways to maintain your listener’s attention and increase audience engagement. And making sure to add them to your script is the best way to remember to say them while recording. These will usually be used in your intro or outro, but can also be sprinkled throughout your podcast episode as well. Not sure what call-to-action to use? Consider calling upon your listeners to use your affiliate links, to purchase your merch, or to subscribe to your podcast website or newsletter.
Learn from your past episodes.
One of the best ways to improve your future podcast scripts is to learn and reflect on your previous podcast episodes and episode topics. Which episodes performed better? How can you improve your flow? Are there things you can write down to make sure there are less pauses in the future? Which topics interested your listeners the most? Ask yourself these questions and then use the answers to better formulate your scripts.
A great podcast starts with a great script.
Writing a good podcast script can be the difference between making a good episode and a great episode. Great episodes are what make your podcast stand out in the sea of podcasts being released each and every day.
There are many ways you can structure a podcast script. But, to help you get started, we’ve created a general guide you can follow until you perfect your process. For more on the ins and outs of podcasting, head on over to the Dear Media Blog. And, if you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to drop them below!
Podcast Script Template
Your intro might include music intro, your sponsor message, unique sound effects, and so on.
Your episode introduction is a great time to introduce yourself to new listeners, introduce your guests, and introduce the topics you’ll be discussing in your episode.
Here, you will list your topics in bullet point form. Under each bullet, you can list supporting information like statistics, data, a story, or a quote.
Recap and closing remarks:
In this section, quickly paraphrase your main points and the key takeaways of your episode.
Like your intro, your outro may contain music, your sponsor message, and unique sound effects. It might also include a call-to-action, answering listener questions, or any other unique way of closing out your episode and leaving those listeners wanting more.