There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to deciding if you should script your podcast episodes or not. Some podcasters are die-hard fans of having a script, others prefer to completely negate a script, and others (like me!) like to go for a halfway house of having a bullet-pointed list of topics or talking points to follow.
Often, those new to podcasting can feel more comfortable with a script. Equally, if you’re covering technical information in your podcast, or a topic with a lot of facts that are important to get correct, a podcast script can be useful.
And let’s not forget to mention that from a repurposing point of view, you can then use your script and turn it into a blog post that is cross-linked with your podcast episode.
But where do you begin with writing a script for your next podcast episode?
In this guide, we’ll cover everything from brainstorming ideas to refining your final draft. Whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or just starting out, this guide will provide you with the tools and tips you need to create a script that will engage and captivate your audience.
Understanding your target audience
Before you start writing your podcast script, it’s important to understand who your target audience is. Knowing your audience will help you to tailor your script to their wants and needs, making it more engaging and interesting for them.
Think about who your ideal listener is, what their interests are, and what they hope to gain from listening to your podcast.
Consider their age, gender, and occupation, as well as any other relevant demographic information. This information will help you to create a script that speaks directly to your audience and keeps them engaged.
Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can start brainstorming ideas for your podcast episode.
Determining the purpose of your podcast episode
The next step in creating a podcast script is to determine the purpose of your podcast episode.
- Are you trying to educate your audience on a particular topic?
- Are you trying to entertain them with funny stories or interviews?
- Are you trying to inspire them with motivational speeches?
Whatever the purpose of your podcast episode, it’s important to keep this purpose in mind as you write your script. This will help you to stay focused and on-topic throughout the episode. If you feel yourself starting to go off on too much of a tangent, you might want to consider if you’ve got more than one episode idea and park the tangent as content for another episode.
It’s also important to keep in mind the length of your podcast. Most podcasts range from 20 to 60 minutes, so you’ll need to plan your script accordingly (we’ll cover this a little more further down).
Researching and outlining your podcast episode
Now that you have a clear understanding of your target audience and the purpose of your podcast episode, it’s time to start researching and outlining your episode.
Start by brainstorming ideas for your episode:
- What topics do you want to cover?
- What questions do you want to answer?
- What stories do you want to tell?
The answers that you come up with for these questions will help you to start researching your episode topic(s) and gather more information that you might need for your script.
Once you have your research, it’s time to start outlining your episode. This involves organising your ideas into a logical sequence that will keep your listeners engaged from beginning to end.
Your outline should include an introduction, body, and conclusion:
- The introduction should grab your audience’s attention and give them a reason to keep listening.
- The body should include your main ideas, stories, and interviews.
- The conclusion should summarise your main points and leave your audience with something to think about.
Structuring your podcast script
Now that you have your outline, it’s time to start structuring your podcast script. This involves taking your outline and turning it into a cohesive and engaging script.
Start by writing your introduction. This should be a hook that grabs your audience’s attention and gives them a reason to keep listening. You could start with a story, a joke, a quote, or a question. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s relevant to your topic and sets the tone for the rest of your episode.
Next, move on to the body of your script. This should include your main ideas, stories, and interviews. Make sure you organise your ideas in a logical sequence that keeps your audience engaged. Use transitions and signposts to guide your listeners from one idea to the next.
Finally, write your conclusion. This should summarise your main points and leave your audience with something to think about. You could end with a call to action, a question for your audience, or a teaser for your next episode.
Writing your podcast script
Now that you have your structure, it’s time to start writing your podcast script. Use your outline and structure as a guide, but don’t be afraid to deviate from it if necessary.
When writing your script, remember to use language that is conversational and engaging. Imagine that you’re having a conversation with your audience, rather than reading from a script.
Also, remember to keep your target audience in mind. Use language and examples that will resonate with them and keep them engaged.
Editing and refining your podcast script
Once you’ve written your script, it’s time to edit and refine it. Read through your script several times to make sure it flows well and makes sense. Look for any typos or grammatical errors and fix them.
You should also practice reading your script out loud. This will help you to identify any areas that are awkward or difficult to read. Make edits as needed to ensure that your script is easy to read and engaging.
Recording your podcast episode
Now that you have your final script, it’s time to record your podcast episode! Make sure you have a quiet space to record in and use a high-quality microphone to ensure that your audio is clear.
As you record, remember to speak slowly and clearly. Don’t rush through your script, and pause for emphasis when needed.
If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it. Just pause, take a deep breath, and start again. You can always edit out any mistakes later.
Tips for delivering your podcast script
Once you’ve recorded your episode, it’s time to deliver it to your audience. Here are a few tips to help you deliver your podcast script effectively:
- Be confident: Speak with confidence and authority, even if you’re nervous.
- Use inflection: Vary your tone, pitch, and intonation to keep your audience engaged.
- Pause for emphasis: Pause briefly before and after important points to give them more impact. But, don’t pause for so long that your audience is wondering if the podcast episode has just stopped.
- Keep it conversational: Remember to speak to your audience as if you’re having a conversation with them.
How to use ChatGPT to write a podcast script
If you’re wanting some help with writing your podcast script, you’ve probably already thought if ChatGPT could help you in some way or another. You might have even already tried ChatGPT but been disappointed with what you were given.
Using ChatGPT in your podcast scriptwriting process can help speed up your script-writing process and help you find more content ideas you might not have thought of. But there is a way to use it properly and most effectively to get what you need from it.
To begin, start a conversation with ChatGPT, treating it as a writing assistant. Introduce your podcast topic and provide a brief overview. Where I’ve seen people say that ChatGPT ‘doesn’t work’ is because they either haven’t included this information or summarised it too much. ChatGPT is designed to understand context, making it easy for you to convey your ideas, so you need to be specific with what you want it to give you.
Once you’ve initiated the conversation, feel free to ask ChatGPT for ideas, insights, or specific questions to address in your podcast. Embrace your creativity and see what ChatGPT suggests. Should you encounter any need for more accurate results, provide additional details or be more specific in your requests.
Remember, while ChatGPT is an AI language model, it’s your unique expertise and creativity that truly make your podcast stand out. It’s so important that you add your personal touch, including insights, anecdotes, or clever remarks, to make the script your own and not something generated by a robot.
ChatGPT prompts to help write your podcast episode script
- “Can you provide an engaging introduction for my podcast episode on [topic]?”
- “What are some key talking points or subtopics I should cover in my podcast episode about [topic]?”
- “Could you help me brainstorm interesting anecdotes or stories related to [topic] that I can include in my podcast?”
- “What are some thought-provoking questions I can ask my guest during the interview segment of my podcast episode?”
- “Can you suggest some compelling statistics or research findings that I can include to support my discussion in the podcast episode?”
- “I’d like to add a segment on practical tips or advice related to [topic]. Could you provide some valuable insights for my listeners?”
- “What are some unique or lesser-known aspects of [topic] that I can explore in my podcast episode?”
- “Can you help me create a captivating closing segment that leaves a lasting impression on my listeners?”
- “Could you provide me with some captivating storytelling techniques that I can incorporate into my podcast episode?”
- “I want to inject some humour into my podcast. Can you suggest some light-hearted jokes or witty remarks related to [topic]?”
Remember to be specific and provide any necessary context to get the most relevant and helpful responses from ChatGPT!
How many words is a 30-minute podcast script?
According to Podcast Rocket, a 30-minute podcast episode will have around 4,500 words in its script. This is based on most people speaking at a rate of 125-150 words per minute.
How long is the script for a 5-minute podcast?
Based on the above average, a script for a 5-minute podcast episode would be approximately 625 words long.
How long should a script be for a podcast?
The average podcast episode is between 20-40 minutes in length, however, when you’re writing your podcast episode script you need to remember this: You need your episode to be as long as it needs to be to cover the content, but not too long that it bores your audience.
Basically, if you can cover your episode content in 15 minutes then go for that time. If, however, you need an hour to cover the content, that is also fine.
You might want to play around with different episode and script lengths to decide what works best for you and for your audience.
How long does it take to write a 30-minute podcast?
Using the above averages, a script for a 30-minutes podcast episode would be approximately 3,750 words long.
Writing a podcast script can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the more scripts you write, the more you will fall into your own process which will gradually become quicker for you to complete. By following these steps, you can create a compelling and engaging script that will captivate your audience from start to finish.
Remember to understand your target audience, determine the purpose of your podcast, research and outline your episode, structure your script, write your script, edit and refine your script, record your episode, and deliver your script effectively. Happy scriptwriting!