How to Write a Script for a Podcast

How to Write a Script for a Podcast cover

Hey! Look who’s decided to join the podcast brigade! Want to learn how to write a script for a podcast so you can nail your episodes and leave your listeners all antsy for the next one?

Well, mate, you've landed in just the right corner of the internet.

Time to explore the subtle art of piecing together a podcast script that's not just any old flannel but a proper belter.

And let me be clear, I'm not here to give you some bland "follow this formula to the letter" jargon. We're on about tapping into that bonkers creative brain of yours.

Podcaster writing a script for a podcast episode
Photographer: Kenny Eliason | Source: Unsplash

Why a Proper Podcast Script Matters

Alright, so how to write a podcast script? Well, think of it as your ‘North Star’. Only not a crappy guru type of ‘North Star’. It's guiding you, attempting to keep you from going off on a mad tangent. It’s not yelling at you like Tony Robbins, just because you didn’t take an ice bath at 5am and create an epic audio drama by lunchtime.

You read that right. I’m not talking about sitting there, reading like you’re auditioning for a part in a rubbish school play. Nah, it’s about hitting that sweet spot – where you’re prepped but still keeping it fresh and real.

Choosing Your Scripting Vibe

Hey, that’s just my approach. There are other approaches on writing a podcast script that other podcast experts will share with you. So let’s talk about all of them before I point you out in the direction I think best serves you.

Photographer: Gregory Cole | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Gregory Cole | Source: Unsplash

Full-on scripting

Some of us need that safety net of a fully scripted podcast episode.

We want every word, every pause mapped out.

Perfect if you’re prone to waffling or tackling a topic that’s a proper ‘brainful’.

Just remember, keep it chatty. No one's here for a lecture.

Photographer: blocks | Source: Unsplash

Detailed episode blueprint

A good middle ground for any podcast scripting approach, this.

Know your headlines but leave room to wiggle and wander.

It's like having a sat nav that occasionally lets you take a scenic detour.

Full disclosure, this is my preferred style of prep, and it’s because it’s the way I learned to do it during my radio career. Morning shows require something of a direction mapped out, but with spaces to adlib and react to co hosts and listener calls etc.

With a bit of practice you’ll likely find this is a great style for efficient recording.

Podcaster writing a script for her podcast episode

Flying by the seat of your trousers

A few quick bullet points and you're off, freestyling it.

Just be careful you don't lose the plot.

It's all fun and games until you’re ten minutes into a tangent about your neighbour's cat.

I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have the kind of patient editor that every podcaster dreams of.

Photographer: Mihail Tregubov | Source: Unsplash

How to write a script for your podcast

You’ve decided on your style.

I’m hoping it’s the middle one.

Now it’s time for the graft!

Your purpose and your peeps

Before scribbling away, who's it for and what's the message?

Also, what’s your why? What’s the mission of the podcast and how are you going to achieve that through the scripts.

Nail that down first.

Get your detective hat on

Photographer: Ali Hajian | Source: UnsplashPhotographer: Ali Hajian | Source: Unsplash

Knowledge is power, and Google’s your best mate here. But make sure you use due diligence. Believe it or not, on the internet, some people just enjoy ‘making stuff up’. You’ll know this if you’ve spent any time at all on Tik Tok and YouTube.

Get stuck into your topic, and know your onions, but exercise cautionary wonder.

Make a game plan

Get those thoughts in order.

Kick things off with a ‘bang’ using a catchy hook, then stroll through the main bits, weaving in your stories and wit to fill in the blanks.

Chuck in a lot of you

This might actually be the most underrated bit of advice anyone can give you when it comes to creating a successful podcast.

Photographer: Maureen De Wit | Source: Unsplash

No matter how you write your script for your podcast, have your own beautiful self sitting dead centre at the heart of it. We need your unique take and voice. Not just a reading from a Wikipedia article.

Let’s have less robot, more rock star.

And please do let those quirks shine. If you have a tendency to talk wildly around a topic, do so. This is where the value of a decent editor comes in to keep you honest, but on point!

Natter with your listeners

Paint pictures, ask 'em questions, make 'em ponder.

No one's here for a one-man show.

Basically, talk to them, not at them!

Photographer: Misho Tektumanidze | Source: Unsplash

Keep it smooth

From one bit to the next, make it flow.

Like a good 90s rave mixtape, let one track lead to the next.

Insure you include instructions to get them to do stuff (a call-to-action)

Throw in a cheeky ask – a subscribe or follow here, a share there.

Get 'em involved and make them feel like they’re enjoying a bit of community.

Rehearse, but not like you’re Christian Bale

Familiarise yourself, but don’t overdo it.

When you're writing your podcast script you don't have to go method
Photographer: Serge Kutuzov | Source: Unsplash

Keep that spontaneity alive!

Nobody needs to be listening to the podcaster who drops 50 kilos before a conversation with a dietician.

Stay curious as well as informed.

A podcast script example

I get it, it’s easy to read this and still not have a clue where to start. So below is a podcast script example using my earlier suggested middle framework, “Detailed Episode Blueprint”…

More importantly, have fun and experiment!

Podcasting ain't just about following the rulebook to the letter. Where the hell is the fun in that??!

It’s about your vibe, your spin on things. You've got the skills and knowledge; you just gotta trust yourself a bit. Remember, it's all a bit of fun with a dash of purpose. So grab that mic, and give it some welly!

And if you're sitting there thinking, "This all sounds great, but I still can’t get my head around whether I have this right!", then you're in luck.

If you’re already underway, get yourself booked in for a podcast audit, and we'll get you on the right track. Just head over to this cheeky link and let’s get you moving in the right direction.

If you’ve not yet started but want to, let’s have a conversation about your launch strategy.

You can also learn more about getting going with launching a podcast for a brand or hobby in my other articles here:

Or by following me on LinkedIn

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