How to Start a Podcast Series

Ultimate Guide: How to Plan a Podcast

By 15/04/2020 May 31st, 2020 No Comments
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Let’s take the Stress out of Planning a Podcast

Podcasts are a relatively new part of the media landscape and more people are listening to podcasts than ever before. In 2019, Roy Morgan research found that 1.6 million Australians are streaming, downloading, and listening to podcasts and its audience-base is on a 70% steady growth track over the last four years.

Podcasts are soaring in popularity, technology is easily available, and there’s a lot of opportunities for new podcasters. Get ready to emerge as a masterpiece as this article will give you a definitive guide in getting started with your very own podcast.

Get started

Many podcasts sound like free-flowing and unconstrained conversations between the host and the guest but reality is that both follow a script and a structured outline that keeps them from digressing from the topic of conversation.

In order to sound conversational and natural in your podcasts, you need a great podcast script template to follow.

Write a podcast outline

Rambling is one of the most common mistakes new podcasters make, and the best way to overcome this is by writing your podcast outline. You don’t have to jot down everything that you want to say at this stage, a list of topics aligned to your subject will make a huge difference to the content.

If you are working with a cohost, share the outline with them and exchange thoughts and work together in writing more meaningful content. With a podcast outline, you’ll be able to prevent your conversation from going down a rabbit hole.

Write a podcast script

Do not be disillusioned by the word “script”, it doesn’t necessarily mean stilted word-for-word reading, your own podcast script can be as structured or casual as you decide.

Think of it as a customisable skeleton of your show and a styling tool that helps create the overall feel of your show, as well as keep it flowing, natural-sounding, and free of excessive rambling or pauses.

If the thought of ad-libbing petrifies you, or you want to create a feeling of more control to your show, you can create your outline accordingly.

No matter your show’s style or format, a podcast script allows creativity to thrive by keeping show hosts focused, and it frees up brain space so you can deliver your message more effectively. This way, you don’t have to worry about how, or when, to communicate your next thought.

              Podcast Script (Template)

  1. Opening: a quick musical jingle

  2. Introduction: give your audience a glimpse of what will be discussed during the show and who will be sharing their thoughts on the subject.

  3. Segue: sound effect or continuation of your musical jingle from the opening

  4. Topic 1: 3 minute talk

  5. Vocal Segue: Transition to another topic

  6. Topic 2: 3 minute talk

  7. Sponsor/podcast advertisement

  8. Segue: musical or vocal

  9. Topic 3: 3 minute talk

  10. Closing remarks and a preview of the next episode

  11. Closing musical jingle

The key in keeping your listeners engaged is to keep topics moving.

Use guests to break up conversation, pace, and tone of your shows. Ease in from one topic to another by using segues. Sound effects are helpful in emphasizing certain thoughts, so it comes out naturally and is not too bland to your listeners. This will also give them time to digest the content that you have just presented.

Structure your podcast segments

Keeping your audience engaged is crucial to your show’s success. As you prepare for your show, research all components and topics so you can deliver relevant material to your audience. Keep the conversation flowing and avoid using too much technical language or jargon so your listeners can relate regardless of their background.

Show Launch

Your show’s first segment should be the most interesting one to catch your audience’s attention. The success of your podcast will build your audience base so make sure that it goes smoothly. Use broad content that resonates with a majority of your target audience.

Subsequent segments

All subsequent segments can tackle a more targeted and specific focal point. Depending on the quality of content, limit your paragraphs to 4 or less.

Podcast Introduction Script

Now that you know what a segment in a podcast script look like, we’ll take you through the nitty-gritty details of each part of the podcast script.

What to include in your intro

In the introduction segment of your podcast, you want to take this time to introduce yourself as the host and the title of the show. Make sure to keep it short and sweet to encourage retention. If you have any co-hosts or guests, this is the perfect time to introduce them to your listeners.

During your introduction, you can give your audience a glimpse of what they can expect to hear on the show. Brush on exciting topics that will encourage them to listen all the way through. This will also give them the option to skip to ahead to the segment that most interests them.

Do not forget to play your jingle at this point.

Podcast Intro Script Sample

              If you’d like a Sample Intro Script, send us an email, [email protected] and our friendly staff can share different types of scripts to match you’re your personality.  

Outro Podcast Script

Your outro script should wrap up your episode. Highlight key messages and thank your audience for listening. At this stage, you want to acknowledge your guests, co-host, or sponsors if any, and invite everyone to subscribe and listen to your next podcast. A little background on what to look forward in your next episode won’t hurt.

And of course, your outro music.

Podcast Interview Format

If you have guests on your podcast, you need to consider the flow of questions that you will ask them. Include this in your planning and podcast script. At this stage, jot down all the questions that you want to ask and group them according to the topic of your segment. Share these questions with your guests before hand so they have ample time to prepare.

Keep in mind that when doing an interview, although you have a predefined set of questions, you need to keep the conversation flowing and sound as natural as possible. You can achieve this by listening to the guests’ responses to the interview questions and seeking clarification or adding follow up questions into the mix.

Podcast Interview Sheet Sample

              If you’d like a Podcast Interview Sheet, send us an email, [email protected] and our friendly staff can share different types of scripts to match you’re your personality.  

Other Podcast Script Elements to Consider

Choose between a polished and a freestyle podcast script before you start recording.

A Polished Podcasting Script is similar to what you hear from newscasts or documentaries. The script is written out and rehearsed before it is recorded. Depending on your style and content quality, some podcast topics will demand a more structured approach.

Establish and maintain an emotional connection with your audience. As you go through your script, employ a conversational tone of voice – as if you are speaking directly to your audience.

Freestyle Podcasting Scripts on the other hand, are more similar to live radio shows. Free-styling equals ad-libbing and thinking-on-your-feet style. This is ideally used when you have more than one guest on your podcast. It will put your dialogue skills to test.

You can get best results when you combine these two strategies. Once you have established your audience-base, ask them for feedback about your show and use that to refine your current style – your audience will be the best source of constructive criticism that will help you emerge as a masterpiece.

Happy Podcasting from ThePodHub!