When you first start making your podcast, how to write a podcast script might be one of the first questions that comes into your head. As we wrote about in our "how to start a podcast" post, preparation in podcasting is essential and a key part of that is having some kind of script for your show.
A podcast script is not a script in the traditional sense meaning it won't always be a word-for-word copy of what you'll say in your show. Think of it as more of a guide or outline. Some sections, such as a sponsor slot, can be fully scripted but the main meat of your show should feel like a natural conversation making talking points are more useful here. We'll break down the components of a podcast script, then give you 4 templates you can use for your own show.
How to make a podcast script
There are a few ingredients that make a good podcast script. This will enable your conversation to flow while also keeping some structure and hitting all the right points. Here's an example of the components that are usually put in an interview podcast script (but can apply to other types of show).
- Episode intro - a word-for-word outline of the upcoming episode
- Guest intro - a word-for-word introduction to who the guest is
- Sponsor slot - a word-for-word description for the episode's sponsor
- Talking points - a loose outline of the points to cover in the episode
- Segue / segments - a different section of your show designed to stand out
- Outro - a loosely scripted call-to-action
Your intro can be the most scripted part, as it's arguably the most important section of your show. The first few minutes can be when your listener decides to commit to the whole episode or switch to another podcast. It's got to be engaging, give a clear outline of what is going to be talked about on the podcast and leave the listener wanting more. Sometimes shows like to use a "hook" which contains a particularly interesting segment from further on in the episode.
[Enter hook ~ 15-20 seconds]
Hello and welcome to Indie Bites, the podcast where I bring you stories from fellow indie hackers in 15 minutes or less.
In this episode I speak to Andy about how he finds new ideas, how to find users and scale MRR, then the process of selling your small business for the first time.
Obviously, this only applies if you have a guest on your show. Often in these shows, the host will ask the guest to "tell the audience a little about yourself" or "can you talk us through your backstory" - try to avoid this if you can. You'll find that some guests aren't that great at talking through their own story, or might make it too long or short, so it's best to intro the guest for them. This can be as brief or as long as you like, but try to keep the intros consistent from episode to episode.
Andy Cloke is the founder of Data Fetcher, a platform for running API requests in Airtable, which is currently doing around $3k MRR. Andy has started many projects in the past, his most recent one, Influence Grid, was sold for $55k back in mid-2020, having only started it 7 months before.
Another optional section of your script which depends on if you have sponsors or not and your agreement with them. Some like to have the same ad slot for every episode, in which case you'll only have to script it once. Where others like to break up the monotony of a sponsor slot and get creative with it for each episode. It's up to you which approach you choose. I like to land somewhere in the middle.
Thank you to today's sponsor, VEED.io, who are hiring developers, designers, product people and more. So if you're looking to join a growing bootstrapper-friendly business, reach out to their CEO, Sabba (email@example.com), or take a look at their published roles here.
This is usually the main section of your show. Often this can go on for over an hour, so there is no need to script this. Unless, of course, you have a narrative show or tightly produced episodes that require a narrative structure. But for most podcasts they'll only need talking points or questions. Depending on your episode format you can split up the talking points as you prefer. They can be long, scripted questions that have a ton of research, or they can be a few bullet points and you'll let the conversation flow naturally. Generally with podcasts the more natural it sounds the better.
- What is Veed?
- Where did you come up with the idea?
- What is your current revenue?
- Had you started and failed with anything before?
On growth and marketing
- Veed has grown super quickly, but how did you get your first 100 users?
- Then how did you convert them to paying customers?
- Your marketing strategy. What did you do at the start for your growth?
Segue / Segment
This is not essential by any means, but some shows like to have some kind of segue into another component of the show that is used to break up a long interview. This could be a series of questions that are asked in the middle of every episode, or an interesting fact or anecdote interjected at a certain point. Often these segue's will be introduced by a jingle, sound effect or just the host introducing the segment.
At the end of every episode I ask guests for 3 recommendations, which book has inspired you the most, what your favourite podcast is and an entrepreneur that's worth following or you admire.
It's good at the end of every episode to finish off with an outro, instead of the conversation finishing abruptly. This could contain a summary of the episode with key takeaways and a call to action telling people where they can find out more about what was discussed in the episode. Maybe you want to ask people to subscribe to the show or check out an offer from your sponsor? There are lots of options for an outro, but here's one you might typically see.
Thank you for listening to this episode with Sabba Keynejad, the growth story with VEED is truly inspiring, and don't forget, build something people search for. I think that's going to stick with me for a long time. As ever, to find out more about anything discussed in this episode, you'll find that in the show notes at bites.fm. See you next week for our conversation with Johan Cutych, CEO at Welder.
Podcast script templates
So now you know the key components of a podcast script, along with some examples, here are some podcast script templates you can use for your show.
The most popular format and what was discussed above, here is how you could structure your interview podcast script.
- [Branded music / jingle]
- Hello and welcome to [podcast name] and in this episode we'll be talking to [guest name] who is [enter guest bio]. Today we'll be discussing [enter talking points 1, 2 and 3]. Let's get into the episode.
- Sponsor slot if needed
- Bulleted questions and talking points
- Thank you for listening to this episode of [podcast name] with [guest name]. Leave a review if you enjoyed the show and check out the show notes to find out more about the podcast. See you next episode.
A podcast recorded on your own that is likely to be either a scripted talking through of a topic, a narrative driven story or a loose collection of thoughts (that allow you to expand on your expertise).
- [Branded music / jingle]
- Hello and welcome to this episode of [podcast name] with me [your name], the show where we talk about [enter a short description of what your show is about]. In today's episode I wanted to talk about [the discussion point or points for this podcast]. This thought came into my mind because [enter anecdote or reason as to why this is relevant for listeners].
- [Your main section can either be a completely scripted post if you like, or a reading of a blog you've written. You might want to add interjections throughout to add more context].
- Talking point 1
- Talking point 2
- Thank you for listening to the show, I hope you learned a thing or two about [topic]. You can find more details in the show notes at [enter URL].
A common format where 2 or more co-hosts talk through particular topics in their niche. This could be certain news stories from the week (more of that shortly) or interesting topics the co-hosts would like to dive deeper on. Very rarely are these types of shows scripted as the conversation should be free-flowing and engaging.
- [Branded music / jingle]
- Hi! Welcome to the [enter show name] where we talk about everything [enter topic or niche]. As always we're joined by [host 1], [host 2] and [host 3] (etc etc). Today's episode we'll be discussing [enter topics].
- Discussion point 1
- Discussion point 2
- Discussion point 3
- That wraps up our episode on [enter topics], we hope you enjoyed it. Join [host 1, 2, 3] next month where we discuss [enter topics].
A news podcast can take a number of different forms. It can be completely scripted, it can be documentary style, or it can have co-hosts. For this script, we'll do a news show that is designed to be informative, yet entertaining.
- [Branded music / jingle]
- Welcome back to the [podcast name], your daily briefing on everything going on in the world of [enter place, topic, niche]. Today there have been developments in [story 1], we find out more about [story 2] and you might be surprised about what we uncovered in [story 3].
- We'll kick off with [story 1]. [Details about story 1] and I think you're going to be surprised by what's happened. We spoke to [relevant person] to give us more details.
- Interview segment with [relevant person].
- Some truly surprising revelations in [story 1], what do you make of this [co-host]?
- Repeat with [story 2] [story 3].
- That's the end of the [podcast name] for today. Don't forget to join as at 8am tomorrow where we'll be updating your further on what's happening in [place, topic, niche].
So that's an outline of the components of a podcast script along with some templates to get you started. A podcast script is not what you might traditionally think a script to be, more a guide to keep the episodes on track. You can mix and match different components which will be different depending on your unique format. Feel free to take inspiration from the above examples and create one of your own.
If you want any help in helping craft your script or talking points for your show, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll jump on a call to help you out.