A big question that comes up with our new clients is whether you should or shouldn’t plan your podcast script. Podcast scripts vary based on the style of show you run and your own personal preferences. Because not everyone is talented at flying by the seat of their pants.

We look at podcast scripts in a couple of different ways.

Scripted podcasts can make speech feel stiff and rehearsed. 

Podcast scripts can be the key to being confident, concise and keeping the content flowing.

I always answer that question this way. At the bare minimum, plan out your podcast episode. It’s impossible to create great content without some sort of planning. 

Even podcasts which sound ad-libbed are scripted and rehearsed to some level. 

But, don’t think that you need to write out a rigid podcast script which you follow word for word. That may be the worst thing you can do, especially if you don’t have the experience to read from a script like you are presenting a conversation-like recording. 

You can create a podcast script map, or call it an agenda, which gives you pointers and leads you through your topics. And keeps you on track. 

The power of planning is that it ensures your podcast episode hooks listeners and keeps you focused.

Create A Clear Podcast Script Summary

At the start, you need to look at what the main ideas and themes you want to cover during your podcast episode. 

Start by getting the central ideas down on paper. Use them to branch out into smaller subcategories. A great way of doing this is by mind mapping.

A mind map is a tool for the brain that captures the thinking that goes on inside your head. Mind mapping helps you think, collect knowledge, remember and create ideas. Most likely it will make you a better thinker.

A good starting point on how to mind map is found at https://simplemind.eu/how-to-mind-map/basics/

Mind mapping lets you work quickly and organically, without planning as you go. This allows you to come back later to structure your content.  

The Trello app can be a great tool to help you collect all your thoughts in one place, and collect outside graphs, photos, and links.

Write How You Talk, Not Speak

Once you have your ideas clear, get down to the writing. 

The most important factor is to write using your stream of consciousness and edit afterwards. 

Keep in mind whether you’re writing for yourself or someone else, like your co-host. Write clearly and concisely.  

This will come to you easier as you create each episode.  You will begin to learn your co-host(s) speaking patterns and presentation manners.  

Make It Your Style

While you’re reworking your script, remember that you have a very short window in which to grab listeners attention. Your intro should pack a punch and immediately deliver your podcast’s personality and style.

There is a great Medium article from Michelle Prak entitled Enough With The Chit Chat.

“Do you need your podcast host to warm things up with chit chat? Perhaps for some listeners, it seems more relatable and personable. Maybe, to do anything else would be ‘rude’ or too blunt.”

I posted this on LinkedIn, and quite a few comments followed about how this is a turnoff for most of them. 

Watch how you start your podcast. Done without the listener in mind, It could be the end of your podcast growth. 

This is part of your style of podcast.  Keep the listener in mind first. You literally have seconds to convince your audience you’re worth listening to.

Give your podcast character and individuality, but it’s about respecting the listener.  Create a bond between you and listeners; write with a friendly style and avoid anything which could cause listeners to lose interest.

Refine It and Read It Out Loud

The final step in getting your podcast ready for recording is refining it until you feel confident that it delivers with power. 

One of the best ways to be sure of this is to read your text aloud. 

Reading aloud means you’ll become more familiar with the material.  Reading it “in your mind” doesn’t allow your physical speaking, your mouth, your tongue and your breathing, the chance to encounter any rough phrases. In your mind, you thought it sounded great.  But speaking it out loud, didn’t.

This will give you more confidence. 

Great podcasts are never accidental. There is more prep in podcasts than you realize, or is discussed.