Podcast Script: How to Write One [With Free Templates & Examples]

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Last updated:
May 25, 2021
Write a podcast script

What Is a Podcast Script, and Why Use One? 

When you think of a podcast script, you might think of a play or movie script—where every word is planned out in advance. You might be hesitant to adopt a script for this reason; won’t scripting your podcast essentially rob it of its casual, free-flowing, and conversational feel? Won’t reading off of a page make you sound stilted and monotone?

Not necessarily.

For one thing, a podcast script doesn’t need to be a word-for-word transcript of your show. Podcast scripts, unlike stage or television scripts, can run the gambit from bare-bones to detailed, as long as they give you an outline and general idea of what should take place in your audio recording. 

A podcast script is basically a roadmap for your episode—and you can decide how many details you need to make it from point A to Z.

A well-done script gives structure, direction, and conciseness to your podcast episode. Having an outline and a written direction for your show can help you feel more at ease and focus on the here and now, rather than being stressed about how you’re going to fill the next 30-45 minutes of recording time. 

It can also reduce mistakes, which can cut editing time significantly. When taking the editing time you’ll save into account, writing an outline might actually save you time in the end.

How Long Is a Podcast Script?

The length and detail of your podcast script will vary based on your style. Some podcasters choose to write out every word that they plan to say, while others jot down a few bullet points to keep themselves on track while they freewheel the recording.


How to Write a Podcast Script

It’s a good idea to use a podcast script template that stays consistent from episode to episode. It might have some flexibility to accommodate each episode’s needs, but the basics will stay the same. That way, your audience will know what to expect. 

Let’s break down the main components of a good podcast script below.

1. Podcast Intro (Including Music)

If you’ve listened to many podcasts, you know that most of them have the same introduction each time. A good intro will be short, welcoming, and include some type of theme music or jingle.

The simplest intro template looks like this:

“Welcome to [podcast name], where we discuss [podcast topic or tagline]. I’m [host name], and with me is [co-host name]. Today, we’ll be talking about [episode topic] with our special guest, [guest name]. Let’s get started!”

Your audience will appreciate a simple outline of what to expect in the episode. 

2. Welcome / Guest Introduction

Next, if your podcast interviews guests, you’ll need to introduce them. It’s important not to forget this step, since your guest is likely expecting to be shown the respect of a proper and correct introduction. That’s yet another reason why having a script is a good idea.

Write out your guest’s information so that you’re sure you get it right. And be sure to include any contextual information about your guest that will help your audience understand why they should care what your guest thinks. This can be as simple as stating their profession, or as in-depth as giving a little backstory demonstrating their credibility.

Your guest introduction can look something like:

“Today on the show, we’re excited to have [guest name], [insert their profession, role, or title]. She/he/they are going to share [their expertise on ____, their story, some advice about ____, etc.]. Hi, [guest first name], and welcome to [podcast name]!”

3. Message from a Sponsor

Some podcast sponsors send word-for-word scripts that you simply need to read, then insert into your podcast episode. Other sponsors simply give you a set of talking points that you and your co-host are expected to discuss in a way that matches your show’s style.

Either way, it’s a good idea to make a plan for what you’re going to say and how you’ll make the ad sound natural (rather than a hostage video) so that your audience will trust your advice, purchase the products, and your sponsors continue to… well, sponsor you.

A good basic sponsor message might sound something like:

“[Podcast name] is brought to you by [sponsor name]. [Sponsor] is [explain the product being sold, why it’s beneficial, and your positive personal experience with it. Explain why your audience should consider trying the product, and include your podcast’s discount or promo code, if applicable].”

4. Segue

Since your episode will likely have several different components, it’s important to plan out your transitions to make the podcast flow naturally and cohesively. 

You can approach these transitions (or segues) in several ways, including with a jingle, sound effect, or a spoken phrase. You might even choose to use a short clip of your podcast’s theme music. Whatever matches your podcast’s tone and your personal preferences!

5. Outro and Call to Action

The outro is the conclusion of your podcast. Think of it as a way to summarize or recap what was discussed and how it might help your listeners. Make sure to thank your guests for joining you, as well as your audience for listening. 

It’s at this point that you can give your audience a teaser for future episodes or announce upcoming events. Many podcasters also mention that resources related to what was discussed in the episode are available in the show notes.

The end of your episode is also a great place to include some kind of call to action (CTA). Is there something you want your audience to do? Ask them! Common CTAs include:

  • Rate and review on Apple Podcasts
  • Join the podcast’s Facebook group
  • Call-in/get in touch with questions or feedback
  • Sign up for your weekly newsletter

And finally, it’s a good idea to include credits at the very end of your outro. Anyone who had a hand in the production of the episode should be credited.

Here’s a basic example of an outro script template:

“That brings us to the end of this episode! Thanks to [guest name] for joining us during that [adjective] discussion of [topic(s)]. We hope [the value brought to your audience by the episode] was beneficial to you. As always, thanks for listening to [podcast name]. 

“If you enjoy our show, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts—and be sure to come back next week for a discussion of [next episode’s topic]. Until then, this is [host name], and don’t forget: [podcast slogan/catchphrase]!

[Over outro music]: “This podcast was created by [name]. It was produced and recorded by [name], researched by [name], and edited by [name]. [Podcast name] is a product of [studio name].”


Podcast Script Examples

Now that you know the basic components of a podcast script, it’s time to consider which type of template will work best for you. We’ve included five script examples differentiated by whether you’re a minimalist, have a solo show, run an interview or conversational podcast, or want a word-for-word script.

Minimalist

Many podcasters simply create a bullet-point outline for their episodes. They may have years of experience under their belt, or they may just be really good at talking eloquently off-the-cuff. Either way, minimalist hosts may need a template as simple as this one:

  • Intro: _____ (Duration: _____ )
  • [Sponsor message]
  • [Theme music]
  • Topic 1: _______ (Duration: ____ )
  • Notes
  • Topic 2: _______ (Duration: ____ )
  • Notes
  • Segue
  • Topic 3: _______ (Duration: ____ )
  • Notes
  • Outro: _____ (Duration: ____ )
  • [Closing theme music]

Solo Show

If you’re the sole host of your podcast, you may find it comforting to have a thoroughly thought-out script and outline for each episode. Since you’ll be talking the entire time, you won’t have time to gather your thoughts while another person is speaking.

You can either organize your thoughts into a full script (in which case, try to keep your wording conversational and casual) or a detailed outline with the topics, supporting points, and any quotes or stories you want to mention.

  • Intro: Brief summary of the episode’s contents. Introduce yourself, your podcast, and any guests. (Duration: _____ )
  • [Sponsor message]
  • [Theme music]
  • Topic 1: _______________ (Duration: ___ )
  • Main point
  • Supporting points
  • Data, quotes, or other information 
  • Topic 2:  _______________ (Duration: ___ )
  • Main point
  • Supporting points
  • Data, quotes, or other information
  • Segue
  • Topic 3: _______________ (Duration: ___ )
  • Main point
  • Supporting points
  • Data, quotes, or other information
  • Outro: _____ (Duration: ____ )
  • Recap
  • Call to action
  • [Closing theme music]

Conversation/Interview Show 

The most popular podcast format is the conversational/interview show. Audiences love the easy-going nature of conversations, where listeners feel that they’re simply sitting in on a talk between friends (whether the content is comedic, educational, or simply friendly banter).

These types of podcasts work best with a loose structure that supports the conversational element. It’s key to give the hosts space to speak normally and let the conversation flow as it wills while providing the right amount of structure to keep it from going off the rails.

Interview: 

  • Intro: Brief summary of the episode’s contents. Introduce yourself, your podcast, and any guests. (Duration: _____ )
  • [Sponsor message]
  • [Theme music]
  • Guest introduction: include a guest bio, including their title, experience, and any relevant accomplishments. Thank them for joining the podcast. 
  • Question 1 (Duration: ____ )
  • Question 2 (Duration: ____ )
  • [Sponsor message]
  • Question 3 (Duration: ____ )
  • Outro: _____ (Duration: ____ )
  • Recap
  • Call to action
  • [Closing theme music]

Conversation with co-host:

  • Intro: Brief summary of the episode’s contents. Introduce yourself, your podcast, and any guests. (Duration: _____ )
  • [Sponsor message]
  • [Theme music]
  • Topic 1: ________ (Duration: ___ )
  • [Segue] (sound effect, short musical clip, or phrase) 
  • Topic 2: ________ (Duration: ___ )
  • [Segue] 
  • Topic 3: ________ (Duration: ___ )
  • [Segue] 
  • Outro: (Duration: ___ ) 
  • Recap 
  • Call to action 
  • [Sponsor message] 
  • [Closing music jingle/sound effects]

Word-for-Word Script 

This type of script works best for newbies or hosts of highly informational podcasts. If you’re inexperienced or need to get a lot of educational info into your episode, you probably need to write out exactly what you’re going to say. Use this outline to fill in your entire podcast, from intro to outro:

  • Intro: Brief summary of the episode’s contents. Introduce yourself, your podcast, and any guests. (Duration: _____ )
  • [Sponsor message]
  • [Theme music]
  • Topic 1: _______________ (Duration: ___ )
  • Main point
  • Supporting points
  • Data, quotes, or other information
  • Segue (can be a sound effect, short musical clip, or a phrase)
  • Topic 2: _______________ (Duration: ___ )
  • Main point
  • Supporting points
  • Data, quotes, or other information
  • [Sponsor message]
  • Topic 3: _______________ (Duration: ___ )
  • Main point
  • Supporting points
  • Data, quotes, or other information
  • Outro: _____ (Duration: ____ )
  • Recap
  • Call to action
  • [Closing theme music]

Bonus: Advanced Tips to Nail Your Podcast Script

To get the most out of your podcast scripting journey, consider the following tips:

  • Dictate your script. Many podcasters choose to use dictation software to get a natural phrasing and delivery for their script. That way, reading from it sounds more conversational and intuitive.
  • Annotate your script. Once you have your script ready, don’t be afraid to print and annotate it with delivery notes. These types of notes indicate dramatic effects such as pauses, laughs, and emphasis. Underline words that you’d like to emphasize, and write a vertical line to indicate a pause. These types of details help your podcast feel more natural, even if you’re reading a word-for-word script.  
  • Be as minimal as possible. Keep your script as simple as you can while still delivering high-quality performance. Staying concise and simple in your written script gives you room for flexibility and natural delivery. 
  • Practice before recording the episode. Regardless of if you’ve written a detailed script or a loose podcast outline, it’s a good idea to rehearse your podcast episode before recording it. This helps you get the recording as close to perfect as possible on the first take, which avoids a long editing stage. 

Let Your Podcast Script Take You to New Heights

While creating a podcast script can have a varying process depending on your format and preferred style, the fact remains: a script will help you create an organized, structured, and efficient podcast recording. 

If you’re looking for a way to level up your remote podcasting game, consider writing podcasting scripts for your upcoming episodes. Whether you’re a minimalist, a maximalist, a solo recorder, or a co-host, you’ll find that your production will benefit in endless ways from a podcast script.

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