Podcasting Tips

How to Write a Podcast Script

Starting a podcast can be easy, but excelling at podcasting is more difficult than you might imagine. Shows that seem effortless are everything but that. Podcasters pour a great deal of effort into crafting their shows for the best listening experience. Part of creating a good listening experience is creating a script for your episodes. We’ll explore the many reasons to create a script and how to go about making one (even if you’ve never done it before!)

Why even have a script?

The most obvious reason to create a script is to have something to reference when you’re recording your episode. Scripts help to keep your thoughts organized so you don’t end up on a 20-minute long ramble on the inner workings of your topic (unless that’s what you’re going for!)

Scripts also allow you to remember key information to share during your episode. This is especially helpful if you’re inviting a guest to the show or running a branded episode. Creating a script that highlights these important details helps you to not forget them when you’re in the middle of recording. It can also help to cut down on the number of filler words like “um”, “uh”, “like”, etc. which ultimately creates a more natural-sounding episode.

Writing out your scripts also helps you to easily transcribe your episode for your listeners. We talked at length about the importance of transcripts in our last blog post, so save yourself some time and upload a clean version of your script as a transcript!

The basics of a script

While writing a script can sound intimidating, it’s a lot easier than you might think! There are a few basic elements that you should keep in mind when crafting your script:

  • The Intro: Introduce yourself, the theme of the episode, and whatever else you’ll be talking about.
  • Guest Spots: Give your guest (or co-host) some love! Make sure to allow them ample time to introduce themselves and plug any important information.
  • Main Discussion: This is the central theme of your episode and where you’ll most likely spend the majority of your time.
  • Summary: A recap on everything that you covered in your episode. Here’s where you want to essentially spell out the key takeaways for your audience.
  • Call to Actions: Anything you want your audience to take action on after listening to your episode. This could be visiting a website, checking out a video, or even purchasing a product from a Host-Read ad.

Of course, scripts can be as diverse as the shows they represent. How you structure your script depends heavily on the type of show you’re hosting.

  • Solo Podcast: One host, and one host only. These types of shows are relatively easy to create a script for as you’re going to be the only one speaking. Focus mostly on the main points of your episode and be sure to share the key highlights you want your audience to take away after listening.
  • Interview Style: There may be only one host but there are plenty of speakers! A helpful tip for these shows is to write out your main questions beforehand, but be sure to leave room for further discussion. Allowing room for discussion after an answer can lead to truly authentic and interesting interviews. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper into an answer, even if it’s off-script!
  • Co-Hosting: When you share a podcast with a person you may end up talking over each other out of sheer excitement. Creating a script together allows for all hosts to have an equal amount of speaking time during the episode. Just like with interview-style shows, though, be sure to leave some room for ad-libbing. You’ll never know where an intriguing conversation will take you!

Finally, a tip that applies to all types of shows, is to try and keep your script and tone conversational. Scripts are great at helping to organize an episode and ensure everyone gets equal time, but you don’t want to sound like you’re reading off of a teleprompter!

Tips for your script

These tips apply to all podcasts, no matter the type you have!

1) Brainstorm!

Brainstorming is a fantastic way to sort through your ideas and find a true winner. Don’t be afraid to jot all your thoughts down as that’s the best way to get inspired.

2) Annotate!

Annotations, or small notes, are great at helping you stay organized and keep your podcast sounding natural. If you’re recording a more narrative-forward episode, then placing annotations for pauses or deeper explanations can help create a more sonically interesting show. Annotations can help to keep you on topic and help you to not stray too far into a tangent.

3) Timestamps!

Making note of the time in your script can help keep your episodes at a specific length. This is especially helpful if you’re aiming to keep all of your episodes uniform. It also helps with ensuring your guests, or co-hosts, have enough time to share their own thoughts and CTAs.

Writing a script for your podcast might seem intimidating, but it’s simply just collecting your thoughts for your show! You’ve got all that good content in your head. A script just helps to streamline the process!

Ready to elevate your podcast? Try RedCircle free for 7 days!