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How to write podcast scripts: Tips and templates to structure your episodes

March 18, 2022
Podcast scripts keep your episodes organized and engaging—here are some templates and tips to write them like a pro.

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A great podcast might sound or look effortless, but there’s a lot of prep work that goes into the show before the host hits “record.” A key component of that prep work is a podcast script.

A podcast script is an outline or sketch of what takes place during your episode. It’s not like a movie script, where every word and scene are mapped out and strictly adhered to. Rather, it’s a set of guardrails that keeps your show focused while also leaving room for spontaneity. Podcast scripts can be as minimal or as detailed as you want, depending on the type of show you have, your experience level, and how much structure you prefer.

Podcast scripts can put your mind at ease while recording since you know in advance what you’ll talk about. They also give your show structure, which helps you maintain a consistent style that listeners will grow to love. Sticking to a script can even shorten your editing time because you won’t be straying into off-topic conversations, which you might then remove.

If you’ve never written one before, don’t sweat it. This guide has all the templates and tips you need to write well-structured podcast scripts, no matter what kind of show you create.

Podcast script elements

The specifics of podcast scripts vary depending on whether you host a solo show, interview guests, or have a co-host. However, there are some basic podcast script elements that most creators should be familiar with:

  • Intro: A short message that welcomes your audience, introduces you (and your co-host, if you have one), and top-lines what you’ll discuss in two to three sentences
  • Guest introduction: A few sentences explaining who your guest is and why they’re joining your show
  • Segue/transition: A spoken phrase or sound effect that indicates a new segment of the episode
  • Recap: A brief summary of the main ideas you discussed in the episode
  • Outro: A message that marks the end of the episode, whether that’s a simple “thanks for tuning in” or a catchphrase you’ve developed
  • Call to action (CTA): Favors you ask of your listeners, such as subscribing, rating, reviewing, or sharing on social media

Now it’s time to assemble these elements into a podcast script.

How to write a podcast script: Solo show

If you host a show by yourself, podcast scripts are a great way to prepare your talking points in advance so you don’t have to gather your thoughts mid-episode.

Before you start writing, take a minute to consider: What are the main points I want to convey in this episode? Once you identify those, the smaller details can flow from there.

Let’s say your podcast is about running, and you’re planning an episode where you talk to listeners about choosing the right pair of shoes. Organize your thoughts in your script document, starting with the main points and progressing to supporting points.

Here’s what that could look like:

  • Intro
  • Segue
  • Main point 1: Determine your running routine
  • Road running vs. trail running
  • Running mileage
  • Main point 2: Your fit preferences
  • Shoes for flat feet vs. arched feet
  • Shoes with more/less cushion
  • Main point 3: Price
  • Budget-friendly shoes for beginners
  • More expensive shoes for advanced runners
  • Recap: Routine, fit preferences, price
  • Outro
  • CTA: Share this episode with a friend and follow on Twitter for running tips

How to write a podcast script: Interview show

Podcast scripts for interviews can boost your confidence going into the show knowing you’ll have plenty to talk about. But they’re equally important to put your guest at ease, so they know what to expect—at least loosely.

Outlining your interview questions in advance ensures you’ll cover all the questions and topics you want to address. As many hosts can attest, it’s easy to drift off-topic during an engaging conversation.

Consider sharing your questions with your guest ahead of time, so you stay on the same page throughout the episode—pun definitely intended. If your conversation sparks some impromptu questions, that’s great! The script is there, so you have a basic foundation to work from (or fall back on if the conversation isn’t as free-flowing as expected).

Maybe you host a podcast where you interview founders of female-owned businesses. You have the founder of Kayleigh’s Cake Pops coming on the show.

Here’s what your script might look like:

  • Intro
  • Guest introduction: Today’s guest is Kayleigh Smith, the founder of Kayleigh’s Cake Pops. She recently won an award for XYZ, and she’s here to tell us how she turned her side hustle into her main hustle within a year.
  • Segue
  • Main topic 1: Background info
  • Backstory behind the business
  • Why cake pops?
  • Main topic 2: Entrepreneurial mindset
  • How did you know you were ready to run your business full-time?
  • What was your biggest obstacle in that transition phase?
  • Main topic 3: Growth
  • How do you scale and still maintain a quality product?
  • Is there such a thing as getting “too big?”
  • Recap: Revisit three to four of Kayleigh’s best points
  • Outro
  • CTA: Rate and review the show and make sure to visit Kayleigh’s website

How to write a podcast script: Co-hosted show

If your podcast has multiple hosts, loosely scripting your episodes is a great way to make sure your talking points are distributed evenly and that you don’t interrupt or talk over each other.

The key is mapping out the main segments while leaving room for free-flowing conversation. Think of it as a crossover between a solo podcast script and an interview podcast script.

Perhaps you co-host a movie-review podcast, and you have an upcoming episode about a (fictional) movie called Penelope in Paris.

Your podcast script could look something like this:

  • Intro: Overview of movie, including release date, lead actors, director, etc.
  • Segue
  • Main topic 1: Favorite scenes
  • Host #1 thoughts
  • Feedback
  • Host #2 thoughts
  • Feedback
  • Main topic 2: Weak areas of the movie
  • Host #1 thoughts
  • Feedback
  • Host #2 thoughts
  • Feedback
  • Main topic 3: Our official ratings
  • Host #1 rating and final thoughts
  • Host #2 rating and final thoughts
  • Recap: Pros and cons of the movie
  • Outro
  • CTA: Subscribe so you never miss a movie review!

3 tips to level-up your podcast scripts

No matter your podcast’s format or genre, these tips will help you write top-notch scripts, so your show can reach its potential.

1. Put all your ideas on the table

Writing in script format might feel awkward at first, especially when you’re buzzing with ideas. Set aside your podcast script template and jot down all of your thoughts and questions in a separate document. Once all the pieces are there, you can identify the main points and assemble them into a script.

2. Annotate your podcast script

Your audience won’t see your podcast script, so feel free to mark it up with notes to yourself like “dramatic pause here” or “emphasize here.” These little reminders will help your delivery feel more natural.

3. Add estimated timestamps

Timestamps help you define how long you’ll spend on each segment of the show, so you can stick to your desired episode length. For example, you might allocate five minutes for each interview question and two minutes for your recap.

Preparation: The invisible ingredient for podcasting success

Whether you have the gift of gab or you’re still building confidence behind the mic, podcast scripts provide the structure you need to create content that’s polished, focused, and engaging.

Organization is important for podcasting, but so is speaking from the heart—and when you balance both, you’ll create a show audiences love.

Feeling inspired?