Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, One of the essential aspects that can affect the success of podcast is its script. If you have the best microphone in the world, a huge marketing budget, a great audio editor, but a lousy script, then you’re setting your podcast and yourself to failure.
But how does one write a podcast script? There is not a single correct way to write a podcast; however, you shouldn’t write your podcast script the same way you used to write your school essays! Yes, we want the podcast to be informative, but the tone you use and how you deliver your message hugely affect how your script turns out to be.
I have done some research, and I am going to thoroughly explain a couple of different methods that you can use to write a podcast script that is going to help you improve the quality of the content that you are producing and releasing to the world.
How to write a podcast script
They say patience is a virtue, which is true. However, that motivational sentence is usually said to people who have amazingly crafted work that is still isn’t receiving the recognition it deserves. Before we reach that level, though, we need to be releasing episodes that are concise an engaging!
To do that, our content does not only have to be informative, but it also should be structured and spoken in a tone that is very engaging to the audience that listening to our podcast. But how can that be achieved? Could writing a good podcast script be the answer to all of that?
If that is true, then how does one write an engaging podcast script. First of all, yes. The quality of our content is always mightier than any fancy equipment to use. For example, imagine being a YouTuber who has the best camera, a great editor, and a huge platform to post their videos on.
Would they become successful if they speak in a monotone voice about informative topics, or will people get bored and click away?
Most likely, the audience will click away from the video. The same thing applies to audio content and podcasts.
If we sound boring, very repetitive, or are very all over the place when it comes to delivering informative content, then people are most likely to not listen to our next episodes.
That is why good podcast scripts are the new virtue! We should adequately prepare for our podcast episodes before we sit down and hit that record button. This is going to allow us to gather all of our thought regarding the topics that we have researched and chosen to discuss.
A script is also great because it helps us reduce the amount of editing that needs to get done to the audio.
It will also significantly reduce ( if not eliminate) the amount of awkwardness or dead air moments that we might have while interviewing a guest. So
Writing that down either in terms of either an outline or a word for word script is going to help us stay on track while we are recording our podcast. There is not just one way to do that, so read about those two examples and see what suits you and your personality best.
The first way of writing a podcast script to is to have a word for word templates that holds every single aspect of the conversation a podcaster is going to cover during an episode.
The second way of writing a podcast script are just loosely outlined to give you room to add in ideas that hit you out of nowhere while you are recording the episode. This adds to your episode an element of surprise and garnishes with some excellent spice.
The third way of writing a podcast script is similar to the second one. It is mind mapping your episode. If you don’t know what mind mapping is, then welcome to my secret obsession of chaos-based organization, efficiency, and the usage of vibrant colors.
A mind map is basically a creative method to brainstorm your ideas without fussing about how you are going to structure or order your thoughts on paper. This way, you get to create a visually structured diagram that is going to help you remember and quickly analyze the ideas that you have written.
I will talk about mind maps in more details later on in this blog post, but for now, let us start with some scriptwriting tips.
Scriptwriting tips to keep in mind
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind if you plan on writing a word for word script for your episodes.
Write your script the way you speak
Try to make your script sound natural when spoken out loud, so make sure you write your script the way you usually talk. Scripts that are written to be read typically sound monotone. Instead, write it the way you speak.
This means that you are going to write your script in a way that is a bit more casual and a bit less formal.
Why, because we tend to read more formally and speak more casually! That is why you should infuse the words of your scripts with your voice and personality. That way, when you read it, is easier for you to speak casually and allow someone emerging thoughts to flow out as well very smoothly.
I bolded the word personality because it is one of the essential elements that your writing should be characterized with. Have you ever scrolled down your twitter feed, read a tweet, and knew who wrote it before looking at that person’s twitter handle or profile picture?
That is how your script should be! You are the script, and the script is you!
Try to make it brief and easy
Concise script writing skills are going to take your podcast to a whole new level.
Why? Well, if you keep your sentences brief, easy to understand, and straight to the point, then you will be able to expand more about the topic while you are recording. It will help you tap into your creative side and allow you to improvise a part of that podcast.
This will help reduce the number of time you will have to read from your scrip, and thus reduce the monotone sound of just reading and not speaking.
I think that it is undeniable how this tip bluntly favors the outlining and mind mapping forms of scriptwriting.
However, it can still be implemented in a word for word script as a way of mixing up the varying scriptwriting techniques a bit if you are uncomfortable with relying on those two methods instead.
Whatever writing method you choose to write your podcast, please ensure that your sentences are concise. Don’t add fluff to your episode, instead, focus on sending your message to your audience directly and clearly.
Make your explanations visual
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the content format we’re using is only words, so we have to work a little bit harder to make up for that gap of effectivity.
However, never underestimate the power of words, for they on their own can sometimes paint sceneries that no eye is capable of seeing. We may not be able to use visuals, but we can make our words visual.
This doesn’t give you a free pass to visualize and explain everything in details throughout the entire episode! But, having a few parts of your script where you are encouraging your audience to visualize and engage with your episode thanks to your storytelling skills!
Visual words = making it easier on people to picture what you are saying equal = a highly engaged audience!
This tip is related to the first one I have mentioned, which is ” write your script the way you speak.” We have talked about how we should write our scripts that way we speak, but it is okay to have a few formal sentences included in your script as well.
If there a specific news title that you want to mention and discuss, then please say what you want to say and don’t be shy of a little bit of formality.
It is important to recognize and establish a balance that is going to create the tone of your show. Always aim to be informative, but not dull and timid.
Also, feel free to research different titles and coverages of the same news and titles to help you find the perfect wording of phrases that are going to give you some flexibility while discussing them with your audience.
This flexibility is yet another feature that is going to give your spodcast a little something special. Flexibility is going to allow you to find that perfect balance of being efficient, yet free to add your own twist on the previously written script.
Make it unique; make it your own
We are all different in one way or another, which is why it is easy for us to have a unique, distinctive voice and message that distinguishes us from the rest. That why I am pro outlining and mind mapping, but not that much of an advocate when it comes writing a podcast script word for word.
However, which type of scriptwriting you choose should be based on how comfortable you are to speak and record your episodes without any notes. It is okay if your first start with the word for word scriptwriting style, and it is fantastic if that is how your podcast shines best.
Just be careful while doing so because newbies tend to get carried away and end up just reading the script, which could be a bit boring for the audience to listen to.
Also, you might always have to incorporate different scriptwriting into your episode, but different segments call for different writing techniques.
Sometimes, you might end up writing the majority of your episode word for word, but there will be other segments that require you to improvise, answering a guest’s question, for example.
It is the same thing if you are used to outlining the majority of your episode. There will be segments that will need to be written word for word.
For example, if you are getting sponsored, the sponsor might tell you that you should say certain things precisely as they have mentioned in the email that they have sent you. Things like a call to action and introductions are also usually written word for word.
The uniqueness factor might not all be in your hands when you have guests over, but that will just add an element of surprise for your audience every time you interview someone new on your podcast.
But if you feel a bit anxious, you can always prepare for the episode by writing your questions and sending them to your guest so they could be prepared as well.
Also, some podcasters have a co-host who is running the show with them. In that case, communication is key! If both of you organize and coordinate the script and episode flow together, you are going to avoid awkward moments where you both keep on interrupting each other.
To sum it up
No matter what format you prefer to write your podcast script with, make sure that it is concise, unique, casually written, visual, has a right tone and gives you enough room to improvise in certain areas.
Pro tip: It is often recommended that you put your call to action segments in the beginning and end of a podcast’s episode, and not in the middle of it. I guess that makes sense because that way, people won’t have to do anything while listening to the podcast.
People who listen to podcasts are often multi-tasking, so it makes sense to keep the call to action segment at the end of the podcast.
How to write an outline for a podcast script?
When you outline a podcast script, I want you to look at this blog post. Do you see the bolded sentences that are larger than the other text? These are my key points. That’s what I outlined on a piece of paper while researching today’s topic.
They gave me a vision and a direction on where this post is going, and it kept me in line while writing it, guiding me back to where I should be when I began straying away from the topic.
That’s what you should do while outline; provide yourself with a guide that is going to help you deliver your message correctly.
After you do that, create greatly indented bullet points under each topic you are going to discuss, and write subheadings that will give you even more hints about what you are going to discuss.
You can then create some arrows that come out of these subheadings and write specific stories or new titles or give examples if applicable.
Make sure that write in when there is going to be music breaks or sponsorships as well to make the recording and editing processes easier on you.
That is basically outlining in a nutshell. It is like creating flashcards for your presenting. You are giving your brain hints about what you already know, triggering your memory to present something uniquely.
How to mind map for your podcast script?
Mind mapping your podcast script is very similar to outlining it, but it is more beneficial to those who are a bit more visual. Before I explain how, let us recall what mind mapping is.
Mind mapping is the process of creating diagrams the represent ideas, concepts, words, etc. These ideas are usually arranged in a way the connects them in a certain way that is in a linear form.
This enables the mind mapper to have a visual diagram of a specific topic or concept that is going to help them recall information more naturally.
Mind maps are usually informative, colorful, and easy to remember.
To create a mind map for your podcast, you can simply follow the same formula used in outlining a podcast, but instead of listing them, you are going to put the main headings in circles ( for example) that go all around the page.
In the center, you will write the episode’s title then connect it to each circle. Each circle will have rectangles coming out of them, in which the subheading will be written. Then from those rectangles, arrows will emerge with examples, doodles, etc.
Color coding your mind map isn’t necessary, but it is really recommended!
That’s it for today’s blog post. You should now know how important it is to write a script for your podcast. You also know three different ways that you can use to write your script before you start recording your podcast.
Out of the three methods ( Word for word episode writing, Outlining your episode, or mind mapping your episode)? I am always team mind mapping and outlining and content I create, so I bet that would be my go-to when I start podcasting as well.
If you have any questions regarding how to write a script for your podcast, then feel free to email me at email@example.com.
- How to Plan Your Podcast Episodes the Right Way
- How to Write a Podcast Script
- How to Have an Effective Podcast Intro/Opening
- How to Write a Podcast Script and Structure Your Episodes (+Template)
- How to Write a Podcast Script
- What is a Mind Map?
Till next time,