Writing a script or coming up with a presentation outline for your podcast episodes can help you prepare for your live recording sessions better. Having an outline or script to refer to whenever need be can take some things off of your mind and allow you to effectively and confidently communicate with guests or co-hosts, or to your listeners.
You would not have to worry about forgetting to mention key information regarding your show sponsors, risking getting your co-hosts' or guests' names wrong off of memory, or get carried away and end up taking too long for a section of your episode with a script in hand.
Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash
Podcast Script Templates
Podcast templates can be used as bedrocks for you to build upon; as a guide for you to develop a structure that is best suited for your podcast type. Whether you're presenting a news or informational podcast, conducting an interview on air, or having a round-table discussion or hybrid podcast, JotterPad's Podcast templates can give you the kickstart that you need to write your very own script.
The templates available on JotterPad include the following :
1. Podcast News Script
Many people tune into podcasts while on the move, or have it play in the background while they go about their day and to-do list, to listen for news and current affairs updates conveniently. Effective and engaging news podcasts requires a fair amount of organizing talking points well, to prepare for recording. The nature of the information being communicated, often technical and heavy, requires for a good amount of preparation.
JotterPad's news podcast template can help by highlighting essential elements like the introduction, intro music, closing remarks and others that make a good outline for you work around, and to create your own news podcast script that is organized and informational.
2. Podcast Interview Script
Engaging and lively podcast interviews can be a perk on a mundane day. Interviews that are insightful and interactive can hold listeners' attention for the entirety of podcasts.
JotterPad's Podcast interview script template can serve as a guide for you to introduce your guest well, get through questions, give you cues for into and outro music, and other podcast elements that may be a hassle to remember. Keep the script-writing to a minimal, and the talking as most of your job with this guide.
3. Podcast Co-Host / Hybrid Script
Candid and open conversation on topics listeners are interested in between hosts can be a treat to listen to on podcasts. Listening to insight on current affairs, social issues, pop culture, and other engaging topics amongst a few hosts given listeners access to multiple opinions at a time.
JotterPad's cohost podcast template can help ensure you and your co-hosts do not talk over each, forget key points, and makes sure you're on the same page about what's coming next. With music cues, estimated duration for topics, and reminders to recap, you're on your way to becoming a host with this template!
How Can Podcast Scripts Help?
If you are new to podcasting and have yet to gain enough experience to feel confident with your free-flowing conversational skills, having a script or outline as a reference can help you sound as casual as possible with more technical, or bigger chunks of information already written out for yourself.
Apart from easing on-air jitters, a script would be an easy referral in a situation where your memory fails you or your mind goes blank. With this as a safety net, you can instead expend energy into allowing your creativity to flourish, take pressure off of your memory, and put time into preparing other things for your podcast, reducing any possible excessive rambling or pauses.
How your script looks like depends on whether you feel you would need to prepare a more nuanced, word-for-word script for you to read or a a more sparse, bullet-point outline that has space for you to improvise and ad-lib.
Key Elements of Podcasts
There are multiple kinds of podcasts you can write or tune in to. These include news, interview, audio-drama, and roundtable podcasts, amongst others. While the nature of, and the topics that would be covered in these podcasts can vary, the script structure and the way in which they are presented share some essential elements across the board. These elements include :
1. Opening Jingle or Music
The opening jingle or music sequence is a short 7 to 10 second piece of music that first plays when someone tunes into your podcast. This opening music usually accompanies your introduction as well.
It may not seem like it, but the opening jingle or music to your podcast is foundational to its success. They are an important quality of a successful podcast as it plays a key role in helping you build an audience, and retaining it. The 7 to 10 seconds you have for an opening music would ideally need to hook listeners fast and retain their attention long enough to want to continue listening.
Photo by Namroud Gorguis / Unsplash
Podcasts are unique in the sense that people will click and listen to 7-10 seconds to hear if they "feel" the show, and then decide if they would like to continue listening. This makes every second of the podcast, including your opening jingle and intro, count.
2. Opening Introduction
Podcast intros establish and give your episode character and personality. They have the potential of raising the entire production value of your show and give you an edge compared to other podcasts.
Your intros allow you flexibility; they can be anything you want them to be. But in general, podcast introductions include a short voiceover over background music. They last about 30 seconds and can go up to a maximum of 1 minute. They introduce the podcast’s name, give a brief explanation of the show and the host. Other things that your introduction should have include your podcast name, the episode title, the episode number, and the hosts' names.
The elements of your introduction segment could be arranged like this :
[OPENING MUSIC JINGLE AND SOUND EFFECTS]
HOST : Welcome to [podcast name], the show that [brief podcast pitch or tagline]. I’m [host name] and today we’re talking about [episode topic] with our very special guest, [guest name]. (Pause) We also have a surprise guest for you at the end of the show, so make sure you listen all the way through!
3. Sponsor message
A podcast sponsor, or advertiser, could approach you and offer payment to promote their goods or services over your podcast episodes. These sponsor partnerships are a powerful advertising tool for companies and brands. At the same time, they are also a very effective monetization strategy for podcasters.
Photo by Julian Hochgesang / Unsplash
Podcasters have the freedom to pick what brands or companies they want to feature and endorse on their show. This would require some careful consideration, as you would want partners with products or services that you genuinely love and believe in while you monetize your podcast. This would help you maintain an authentic and genuine connection with your listeners. The way in which you choose to feature your partnerships is up to you; you can get as creative as you want. Generally, hosts run ads radio-style or by host-reading.
An example of a sponsor message would be as follow :
" Today's episode of [Your podcast name] is sponsored by [insert brand/company name]. [Sponsor] is a company that [talk about company values and their products/services, as well as their relevance to your audience and what you genuinely feel about them, their benefits, and why your audience should consider their products/services]."
Segues serve the function of making your podcast flow between various topics you may be discussing, or between segments. Segues can be a phrase that you say, a short sound effect, or a musical jingle that you place in appropriate places that help you transition smoothly.
5. Outro and Closing Remarks
Outros are a short, and succinct section that you incorporate to express your thanks to your listeners for tuning in to your podcast. This is usually a thank you message, that is then followed with instructions on where they can click to follow and subscribe to your content.
Your closing remarks can be a simple and effective wrap-up for your listeners, to help them consolidate whatever you've presented in your podcast episode. You can reiterate the main things you covered in that episode, and even let them in on what they can expect and you would be talking about in the next episode
Here's an example of an outro you could use :
"That's the end of today's episode on [podcast name]. Don't forget to join as at 8am tomorrow where we'll be discussing [next topic of discussion] and updating your further on what's happening in [place, topic, niche]."
If you have guests or co-hosts on the show, your outro could look something like this :
"Well, that’s all for today’s episode of [podcast name]. Thanks for listening, and thank you to [name of host/guest #1] & [name of host/guest #2] for joining me today for sharing their thoughts on [episode topic]. Thanks again to [sponsor name] for sponsoring this show. Join us again next week for [episode topic]!"
6. Call to Action
An effective call to action is a quick and clear announcement that you make that requires action from your listeners. Your call to action and what it contains will change, according to the guests you have on your show, the episode's content, and the sponsors you may engage.
Photo by Katya Ross / Unsplash
An example of a short and sweet call to action would be as follows :
"If you're curious to find out more about [discussion topic/guest/product/service], click the link in the show notes, or simply send your question over in a voicemail or short note to [e-mail]!"
These elements, together with other elements that you may want to include depending on your podcast type, can make your show professional, engaging, and well-planned. Together with incorporating these elements, take some time to come up with a catchy and memorable podcast title, the "personality" of your podcast, and how you want your audience to feel after listening to your episodes. These will help your podcast stand out from the pool of podcasts that are out there.
Types of Podcast Formats
1. Fully Scripted or Audio-Drama Podcast
Audio-Drama podcasts are fully-scripted plays that are presented to listeners. Once known as the classic radio plays that many tuned in to during the early 1900s, audio-dramas involve actors who play fictional characters in scripted stories.
Photo by Michal Czyz / Unsplash
The episodes on this podcast format can take listeners through a dramatic story; fictional or based on an actual event. This can be tough to manage considering the preparation and co-ordination that goes into making them, but can be a treat to listeners.
Here's an example of what the beginning of an audio-drama script can look like:
Play - AMBIENT music of a a quiet room, completely void of sound beside the ticking of a clock.
Play - SOUND FX of the door opening and someone taking a few steps into the room and then stopping abruptly.
David : "There you are. I did not think you were going to turn up today, quite a surprise."
Alex : "I suppose I had to. But I’m not thrilled to be here."
David : "I mean, it’s a funeral, you’re not supposed to be happy about it.
Alex : "On today of all days...I didn't think she would do..."
David : "I don’t think she planned what day she was going to die, you know."
2. News Podcast
News podcasts are informational podcasts that keep listeners informed of either local, national, or global news and current affairs. Some news podcasts have more focused episodes, where they discuss a topic such as Climate Change, Water Safety, Food Safety, etc. and zoom in on different angles of their chosen topic for each episode, while others cover news and current affairs across the board in a more general fashion.
Photo by Chase Chappell / Unsplash
News podcasts take on a more formal tone, considering the style that news is usually presented in. The structure of such podcasts varies accordingly as well, to accommodate a lot more information. For example, the host could open the podcast as such:
Introduction (3 mins)
Play SOUND : OPENING MUSIC JINGLE AND SOUND EFFECTS
HOST : Welcome your listeners to your podcast by stating the name of your podcast, what you do on the show every week by introducing it's place, topic and niche. Follow this by introducing yourself.
HOST : Briefly touch on what will be discussed today on the episode (2-3 lines)
Commence News Reporting for the first topic of the day (15 mins)
Play SOUND : SPONSOR MESSAGE
Short commercial break (30 seconds)
Effective and engaging news podcasts requires organizing talking points, like the above example, to prepare for recording. JotterPad's News Podcast template can help by highlighting essential elements like the introduction, intro music, closing remarks and others that make a good outline for you to create your own podcast script.
3. Solo Host or Monologue Podcast
In podcasts where there is a single host, the podcaster speaks and takes charge for the entirety of episodes. These podcasts can be hosted an expert in a given field, entertainers, journalists, or comedians. Listeners tune in to listen to their favorite entertainers, or experts to learn about a specific topic and get informed opinion.
This style of podcast can be applied to any topic, as long as the host can sustain an entire episode.
While the podcaster need not co-ordinate with another host or liase with guests for this format of podcasting, it would still require preparation and research.
If you're planning to launch a solo host podcast, you have a little more flexibility in the structure of your show. Here's an example of how the episode can run :
- Opening musical jingle/sound effects
- Introduction (Followed by a slightly longer explanation of what’s in store for this episode)
- Sponsor message
- Topic 1
- Main point
- Supporting point, data
- Topic 2/3/4
- Main point
- Supporting points, data
- Sponsor message
- Call to action
- Musical jingle
You could shift these segments around, and even intersperse your sponsor messages wherever you feel appropriate. What is key is that you make seamless transitions between talking points and different segments with segues and open and close your podcast with jingles and proper intros and outros.
4. Interview Podcast
An interview podcast can involve a single or two hosts who converse with one or more guests on an episode. Guests who are invited would ideally share some unique expertise or perspective on a chosen topic or discussion theme.
Photo by Austin Distel / Unsplash
Expert interviews, where the host or interviewer focuses on a specific topic, and brings an interviewee who is considered an expert in the field to discuss this topic with. Many people tune into expert interview podcasts to gain valuable insight on and learn more about an industry or subject-matter. Others may tune in to more entertainment-style podcasts, where guests share interesting stories and have conversation that is more light-hearted.
Interview-style podcasts can would need a little more time and research to prepare for, considering that you would need to find experts or entertainers to invite, and prepare questions thereafter. If you go ahead with this format for your podcast, it would be a great way provide your listeners with a range of opinions and perspectives.
After the introduction, intro and playing a sponsor message, you could ease into the interview as such :
HOST - Introduce guest, their name, short background, why they're on the podcast
Interview commences (15 mins)
HOST - Question 1
HOST - Question 2
HOST - Announce a short break
PLAY SPONSOR MESSAGE
HOST - Welcome listeners back to the show, mention podcast name again, tagline and episode title. Re-introduce your guest, their name, mention what you were conversing about, continue interview
Interviews that are insightful interactive can hold your listeners' attention for the entirety of your podcast. JotterPad's Interview Podcast script template can serve as a guide for you to properly introduce your guest, get through questions, give you cues for into and outro music, and other podcast elements that may be a hassle to remember.
5. Co-Host Podcast
Co-Host podcasts are usually made of entertaining, lively, and back-and-forth conversations about specific topics between hosts. Podcasters would discuss trending topics or current events and present insightful and even funny commentary at times.
Photo by Marty O’Neill / Unsplash
This type of podcast requires a high level of comfort and familiarity between the hosts. If the hosts do not have good chemistry, listeners will be able to pick up on it. Scripting a free-flowing conversation is hard. Embarking on this podcast format would be best for people who can carry through a good conversation and improvise on the spot.
But if you're looking for a general structure or understanding of the back-and-forth nature of a co-host podcast, here's an example of how it can flow :
HOST #1 - "Let's just take a quick moment to kind of introduce ourselves a little bit to the audience.
(Pause) [Name of host #2]. Why don't you kick things off and tell us a little bit about what are you up to these days?
HOST #2 - [Give a quick introduction about yourself]
HOST #1 - [Name of host #3] , what have you been up to recently?
HOST #3 - [Give a quick introduction about yourself]
HOST #2 - How about you [Name of Host 1]? What do you up to? What you've been doing lately?
HOST #1 [Give a quick introduction about yourself]
HOST #1 - So for our main topic for this episode, we want to [purpose of this podcast].
HOST #1 - [Enter topic 1, about 10mins]
HOST #1, HOST #2, HOST #3 - [Discuss topic 1]
HOST #1 - [Announces a short break]
PLAY SPONSOR MESSAGE
Candid conversation and back-and-forth insight on topics your listeners are interested in between hosts can be a treat to listen to on podcasts. To help with this, JotterPad's Cohost Podcast template can ensure you and your co-host do not talk over each, forget key points, and makes sure you're on the same page about what's coming next.
With music cues, estimated duration for topics, and reminders to recap, you can prepare your next podcast episode efficiently with this template.