Writing Podcast Script

How to Write a Podcast Script [8 Free Script Templates]

Creating a script for your podcast episodes helps prepare you for your recording sessions and effectively communicate to your listeners.

Using a podcast script also:

  • Allows creativity to flourish
  • Frees up brain space
  • Reduces excessive rambling or pauses

In this guide, we break down the essential elements of a good outline and share template options so you can create your own podcast script!

Podcast script template example

Before you write your own script, it can be helpful to review the basic structure of a podcast episode.

In this example, each section includes a spot for your main podcast topics, segment duration, key points, and sponsor ads placed at the beginning, middle, and end of the episode.

[Sponsor message]
[Opening music jingle and sound effects]


Intro: Duration: ( ___) Set the stage for your episode. Include details that set up your episode's theme. State name of podcast show, why your show exists, who you are, etc.

Topic #1: Duration:( ___ )
1. Main point
2. Supporting point
3. Supporting data
4. Supporting quote

[Segue] (can be a sound effect, short musical clip, or a phrase)

Topic #2: Duration:( ___ )
1. Main point
2. Supporting point
3. Supporting data
4. Supporting quote

[Sponsor message]

Topic #3: Duration:( ___ )
1. Main point
2. Supporting point
3. Supporting data
4. Supporting quote

Closing remarks or recap

[Sponsor message]
[Closing music jingle or sound effect]

Now, let's review the common elements of a great podcast script so that you can create a customized outline for your own podcast.

Common podcast script elements

Scripting podcast segments is a great way to add structure to your show, even if the rest of the episode is ad-libbed.

Here are some common elements you can use to customize your own template.

Intro

Your podcast intro lets you give listeners an overview of the episode up front and helps you capture your audience's attention at the outset.

The content of this segment will change week to week, but the structure shouldn't vary much.

Example: "Hello and welcome to [podcast title], the show that [insert concept of show or tagline]. I'm [host name].

In today's episode, we will talk about [insert talking points] with [guest name]. We'll discuss the ins and outs of [episode topic] and offer listeners a special surprise at the end. Be sure to listen all the way through for the details!"

Guest intro

Jotting down some basic facts about your guest helps establish rapport and avoid getting off to a rocky start.

Example: "Our guest today is [guest name]. They are a [insert role, title, experience] with a passion for _______.

They're going to share with us [episode topic]. Hi, [guest first name]! Thanks so much for joining us!"

Sponsor message

Sometimes sponsors give podcast hosts a script to read from verbatim, and other times the host crafts their own sponsor message.

It's important to create a quality sponsor message that kicks your show off well, reflects your sponsor's brand, and sounds natural.

Example: "[Your podcast name] is sponsored by [insert brand name]. [Sponsor] is a company that [describe company values and products as well as their relevance to your audience]."

Segue

A well-placed segue can make your podcast flow between topic changes and help create a cohesive episode. Segues can be a phrase, sound effect, or a musical jingle.

Summary

A good summary recaps the main points of your episode for listeners.

Most podcasts cover a lot of information in one episode, and listeners appreciate it when hosts reiterate the key takeaways.

Outro

You can use this section to make announcements, give a teaser for your next episode, play a closing jingle, or share resources to help listeners.

Example: "Next week, we'll continue to help you frame your podcast by helping you nail down the details that will give structure to your new podcast! [Outro music]."

Call to action (CTA)

A call to action is an announcement that requires action from your listener.

The content of your CTA will change over time based on your sponsors, show content, and current merchandise.

Limit your call to action to one clear thing you'd like from your audience. More than one CTA can overwhelm listeners and keep them from acting.

Example: "Want to ask a question on a future episode of "Podcasting Q&A"? Click on the link in the show notes to record your question in a voicemail! [Outro music]."

8 Podcast script examples [with templates]

You have total creative control over your podcast script. Use these templates as a guide, and make changes to suit your podcast format.

#1. Minimalist or freestyle

If you enjoy ad-libbing, a basic list of questions might be all you need.

These scripts don't take a lot of time to make, and for some podcasters, they provide just enough structure to get an episode off the ground.

A loose episode structure also makes for easier editing since the "mistakes" naturally fit with the style of your show.

[Music intro]
[Speaking introduction]


Section I (Duration: ______)
Notes:

Section II (Duration: ______)
Notes:

Section III (Duration: ______)
Notes:

Recap

[Call to action]
[Outro or teaser for next episode]

#2. With a cohost

Detailed episode outlines are a great in-between option for hosts who want more structure but don't need a word-for-word script.

This structure suits most podcasters' needs and has all the structural elements needed for a well-executed episode.

A detailed script with a cohost can take time to draft but ensures you and your guest don't talk over each other, get confused about what's coming next, forget key points, or confuse listeners.

[Music intro]
[Sponsor message]

Intro: Set the stage for your episode. Give your listeners a brief overview of what you plan to cover and what they can expect.

Topic #1: Duration: (____)
Cohost name:

[Segue]

Topic #2: Duration: (____)
Cohost name:

[Segue]

Outro: Duration: (____)
Cohost name:

Recap

[Call to action]
[Sponsor message]

#3. Fully scripted

A word-for-word draft is an excellent option for audio dramas, solo shows, and hosts who prefer to read a script.

It takes practice to learn the art of reading a script naturally. Try to write in pauses, laughs, and off-script comments to avoid sounding stilted.

This delivery style doesn't allow for many mistakes, so it can add time to your editing in post-production.

[Music intro]
[Sponsor message]


Act I Duration: (____)
-Establish setting and introduce main characters
-Inciting incident: The problem, or question that the character-or you-is trying to solve or answer.
-Turning point: The character turns in a new direction in response to the inciting incident).

Act II Duration: (____)
-The struggle: The attempt to solve the problem or question at hand. This is the "rising action" of the plot where you can develop your narrative arc.

[Sponsor message]

Act III Duration: (____)
-Climax: Theme reaches its most intense point of conflict
-The resolution: Episode's conflict is resolved and story ends

Closing remarks and or teaser for next episode

[Call to action]
[Sponsor message]

#4. Solo-host

Many solo podcasters find it saves time and energy to make a detailed outline, especially beginners.

Under each main point, include relevant key points, supporting data, and anecdotes. If you choose this script style, stay conversational, and try not to read your notes verbatim.

This outline gives you enough structure to make recording easier but is casual enough to allow for verbal slip-ups.

[Music intro]
[Sponsor message]

Intro: Duration: (____)


Topic #1: Duration:(____)
Main point
-Supporting point
-Supporting data
-Supporting quote

[Segue]

Topic #2: Duration:(____)
Main point
-Supporting point
-Supporting data
-Supporting quote

[Sponsor message]

Topic #3: Duration:(____)
Main point
-Supporting point
-Supporting data
-Supporting quote

Closing remarks or recap

[Sponsor message]
[Closing music jingle or sound effect]

#5. Interview-style

A good podcast interview requires preparation. You don't want to book your dream guest and have the conversation suffer.

Email your guest your outline a week or so before your recording so they have plenty of time to prepare.

Even if you're comfortable thinking on your feet, your guest might not be, especially if it's their first podcast interview.

[Music intro]
[Sponsor message]


Speaking intro: Give listeners a bird's eye view of the episode to hook their interest.

Guest introduction: Include your guest's basic bio, including accomplishments, title, and experience.

Question #1 (Duration: ____)
Question #2 (Duration: ____)

[Sponsor message]

Question #3 (Duration: ____)

Episode recap and closing remarks
Sneak peek or teaser of next episode


Call to action: Give your listeners one thing to do like subscribe your show, sign up for a newsletter, or join a give away.

#6. Q&A

Q&A-styled podcasts answer listener questions and are generally fairly straightforward in their format.

You can use this guide as a general outline and customize it where you see fit.

[Music intro]
[Sponsor message]


Intro: Duration: (____)

Question #1: _______ Duration: (____)
-Main answer
-Supporting data
-Relevant examples

Question #2: _______ Duration: (____)
-Main answer
-Supporting data
-Relevant examples

Question #2: _______ Duration: (____)
-Main answer
-Supporting data
-Relevant examples

[Summary]
[Outro]

#7. Tutorial or how-to

Podcast episodes that feature tutorials involve a lot of steps with important details you don't want to forget.

Use this template as a guide whenever you teach your listeners a skill or walk them through a multi-step process.

[Music intro]
Intro: Duration: (____) Set up the problem you'll solve for your listeners and what they'll know by the end of the episode.

What listeners should know: ________ Duration: (____)
Let your listeners know what they need before committing to this project (things like time, a certain amount of knowledge, etc.)

Materials needed:________Duration: (____)
Give your listeners a comprehensive list of what they need to purchase or download. You can include a shopping list in your show notes with affiliate links to relevant products.

How to execute: __________Duration: (____)
This is where you get into the nitty-gritty. Include as many bullet points as you need to communicate your tutorial in an organized way.

[Summary]
[Outro]

#8. Roundtable

Roundtable podcasts feature three or more cohosts and can easily get off the rails if you don't have an outline to keep you on track.

This guide can help keep your episode in line through banter, listener calls, and guest interviews!

[Music intro]
[Sponsor message]


Intro: Duration: (______) Set stage for episode and introduce cohosts.

Topic #1: ___________ Duration: (____)
-Main point
-Supporting point
-Supporting data

Topic #2: ___________ Duration: (____)
-Main point
-Supporting point
-Supporting data

Topic #3: ___________ Duration: (____)
-Main point
-Supporting point
-Supporting data

Audience Q&A: Answer listener voicemails, emails, questions, or read reviews and thank supportive listeners or patrons.

[Summary]
[Outro]

Podcast script best practices

Follow these tips to optimize your script and streamline your workflow!

Do keyword research

Using a keyword research tool is a powerful way to get inside your listeners' minds. You can type your episode topic into the tool to see what questions your audience has.

Use dictation software

Some people prefer to dictate their script rather than write it. We like these free tools:

Keep it simple

We suggest keeping your podcast template as simple as possible unless you need a word-for-word outline or a full-on script.

Most podcasters find that a flexible script is enough to keep them focused while still speaking in a natural, clear way.

Do a dry-run

Of course, you don't have to practice rehearsing your whole episode, but it's a good idea to go through your outline out loud to make sure it flows.

You can practice in front of a mirror or record a little bit of the episode using a voice recording app.

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke is the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout and the co-host of Buzzcast. Have any questions about this guide? Reach out on Twitter.

FAQ

Do you need to have a podcast script?

You don't have to write a script for your episodes, but all podcasts benefit from a bit of pre-planning and structure. Even a simple outline with a few bullet points is better than winging it.

How do you outline a podcast?

First, do some keyword research on your topic to gauge the common questions. Then, create an outline including main points, supporting points, relevant data, etc.