How to write a podcast script? Check out my outline with real examples.
A podcast script is designed to keep your podcast flowing, while also touching on all the points you want to cover. Some elements might be fully scripted, such as an intro or sponsor slot, while others will need to be more bulleted and open to discussion. 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. Creating talking points should be more useful here. I will break down the components of a podcast script, then give you real examples that you can repurpose for your own show. ### My outline: - Episode intro - Guest intro - Sponsor slot - Talking points - Segment - Outro Btw I also use this podcast template (https://www.getwelder.com/podcas...) to write everything down and have it in one simple doc. Tried a lot of different tools in the past but Notion is my favourite. ### Episode intro 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. *Example: Hello and welcome to XYZ 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.* ### Guest intro 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 do it for them. This can be as brief or as long as you like, but try to keep the intros consistent from episode to episode. *Example: Andy 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.* ### Sponsor slot Another optional section of your script 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. *Example: Thank you to today's sponsor, VEED*, 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, or take a look at their published roles here.* ### Talking points 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. ### 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. *Example: At the end of every episode I ask guests for 3 recommendations, which book has inspired you the most, what's your favourite podcast and an indie hacker that's worth following or you admire the most.* ### Outro 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. *Example: Thank you for listening to this episode with Sabba, 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. See you next week!* ### Recap So that's an outline of the components of a podcast script along with some real examples 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. If you want any help in helping craft your script or talking points for your show, let me know! Hope this was helpful.