Should You Script Your Podcast?

Dear future/ up and coming podcasters, some people are wondering whether if it is better to script their podcasts or if they are better off freestyling it.

So, should you script your podcast?

Podcast scripting is a great way for podcasting newbies to start out. However, the most efficient way to prepare for a podcast is to outline your episodes. Outling is less time-consuming and prevents you from sounding monotone when you record your episodes.

Today, I am going to talk about whether or not you should script your podcast and what other options you could use to help structure your thoughts for an episode. So, if you are interested in reading about any of the following topics, then continue reading this blog post.

Should you script your podcast?

Scripting your podcast means writing down your episode word for word and reading it verbatim. The reason why some people do not like scripting their episodes is that it makes the episode sound a bit robotic and stiff.

Should You Script Your Podcast- To script or to not script on a balance

Podcasters who use this method either higher voice actors to read these scripts because mostly only people who have had a lot of experience in the voice acting career can bring a script to life.

That is why tv shows and movies are scripted, and it works. Actors are capable of transforming written words into something more vibrant and full of life.

Do you know who else uses scripts? News reporters! They are essential to the message clearly to listeners and the viewers, but the news is typically read in a very mundane way.

The news reporters really react or give any emotions to their spoken words, no matter how horrific or exciting the news they are telling is.

Some podcasters and even YouTubers start their platforms by scripting their episodes because they are not used to the idea of sharing their ideas with the world. But, the majority of them then switch to other methods, which I am going to discuss later on in this blog post.

How to write a podcast script?

There are four important tips that I would like to share with you that you should consider if you plan on scripting your episodes. I won’t discuss them in detail because you can do that by reading my How to Write A Podcast Script blog post.

How to write a podcast script

The five important podcast scripting tips are the following:

  1. Always write the scripts the way you speak to avoid sounding robotic and mundane.
  2. Aim to make your script concise; aka, keep it simple and brief.
  3. Use visual words to explain specific ideas.
  4. Make your script unique by adding a bit of your personality to it.

Now that I have mentioned podcast scripting tips, let us move on to discussing the alternative methods that you can use for podcasting.

What are some alternatives to scripting a podcast?

There are two major alternatives to scripting your episodes. These are:

  1. The Ad-lib method
  2. The Outlining method

What is the Ad-lib method?

The Ad-lib method is when the podcaster just presses the record button and talk freely without any sort of guidance or restrictions.

As you can see, this is the polar opposite of scripting episodes. It gives the podcaster more freedom to take the episode in any direction they want, which is why some people love it while overs really dislike it.

Highly organized people who like to have a sense of direction and know everything that they are going to discuss, and when they are going to discuss it will mostly refrain from ever using this method.

However, for those who like this sense of freedom and they are good at avoiding rabbit holes that are going to leave the audience confuses, then this is a good way of expressing their personality in every episode they record.

What is the outlining method?

If you think that scripting and ad-libbing are two extremes and you would rather have something in the middle, then we are on the same. That middle ground would be to outline your episodes!

This is perfect because it combines the best of both worlds. You get to have a sense of direction because you have already outlined what you are interested in discussing, but you also have the room to share an interesting thought that comes to your mind while you are recording your episodes.

What’s even great about this is that you can do it in different ways. You can outline the traditional way, or you can mind map your episodes!

I personally love mind mapping so much; it is my favorite way of outlining and brainstorming for almost anything and everything.

But, what is mind mapping?

mind mapping

I often explain mind mapping as a creative way to brainstorm your ideas a bit chaotically because you do not really have to fuss about how you are going to structure your thoughts on paper.

This allows you to get to outline your ideas in a visually structured diagram. Visuals aid a lot when it comes to helping people quickly and efficiently remember the points that they wanted to discuss. I want to stress on the term “quickly” because it fastens the analysis process. 

However, I can not mention mind mapping without mentioning the king of mind mapping, Tony Buzan. So here how Tony Buzan describes mind mapping:

Mind Mapping is a two-dimensional note-taking technique with which a mind map is made using all the relevant knowledge about a specific subject.

Alternatives to scripting podcast episodes

Download the high-quality version of the “Alternatives to Scripting Podcast Episodes” poster!

Other questions related to should you script your podcast

What is the ideal length for a podcast?

There is not really a specific length that stands out when it comes to podcasting. Unlike YouTube, there is not an algorithm that favors a particular episode length. The ideal length is going to depend on who you want to target. Do you want people to listen to you while making your podcast, then 4-6 minutes is your ideal length. 

A longer episode length would be better for people who listen to podcasts while walking their dogs or commuting, so 30-45 minutes would be a good length for that.

Check out my How Long Should A Podcast Be in 2019 blog post to learn all about that!

How to Write An Effective Podcast Intro?

Writing a good intro for your episodes is crucial because it is what the audience uses to decide whether they are going to continue listening to your podcast or stop listening to it. You should include the name of the podcast, explain today’s topic, and introduce yourself and any other co-hosts in an interesting yet brief way.

You can learn how you can write an effective podcast intro by clicking here.

What are some of the best podcasting practices?

 There are many practices that the best podcasters do, here are seven of these practices : 

  1. Preparing for episodes by researching, outlining, and discussing ideas with the co-host (if applicable)
  2. Creating good content that informative and fluff-free or entertaining
  3. Always keeping the audience’s experience in mind while creating these episodes
  4. Being consistent with the upload schedule and the quality of the content
  5. Editing the audio of an episode before uploading it. 
  6. Using a podcasting host service like Buzzsprout or Libsyn 
  7. Optimizing the podcast ( to reach more people!)

You can learn more about these practices by reading my post on them here.

That’s it for today’s post. You should now have a feeling on whether podcast scripting is for you or not. I say “feeling” because I think you should give every method a try ( scripting, ad-libbing, and outline) before deciding which way suits you best.

There really is not a wrong or right way to prepare for a podcast when it comes to which method you should use because it all depends on what works best for you!

If you still have any questions related to whether or not you should script your podcast’s episodes, then feel free to email me at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com.

If you already run your own podcast, let us know whether you script, ad-lip, or outline your podcast by emailing at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com for a shout out in one of my upcoming blog posts.

My Sources

Till next time,

Ayah

Ayah Assem

I am a creator and a consumer of many forms of artistic content. With podcasting leaving its mark and declaring its significance in the current content world, I have decided to learn everything related to how to create a podcast. Who knows, maybe in the near future I will start uploading and sharing my creative work in the audio format. Join me on my journey of understanding the podcasting world, as I will be sharing with you all of the information that I am going to learn. Feel free to share with me your podcasting journey at podcastingdiaries@gmail.com and keep an eye on all of the music, books, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and YouTube channels that I always reference.

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