When starting a new podcast you have a clean slate for a fresh audience which is a beautiful thing however, every great relationship starts with an introduction. Like mom always said, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. She used to also tell me that she could tell if I was lying by looking at my tongue. She might not have been the best harbinger of truth but she was definitely on to something.
Creating personal connections through podcasting starts with a great introduction.
What is a podcast intro?
This recording is referred to by many names but they all serve one purpose, to introduce the podcast to new listeners. You may have heard it called a trailer or pilot episode, there is really is no right or wrong way to refer to it but there are definitely opportunities to get it wrong if you don’t get it right. Creating your own podcast intro script will attract the right audience to your podcast episodes.
Has anyone ever recommended a podcast to you and you jump in and immediately think to yourself, people actually listen to podcasts about this stuff? And other times the theme music or sound effects are too much to bear and you just know right away that you need to get off this train immediately. On the flipside, sometimes you catch a podcast episode so good that you scroll all the way to the beginning and listen to podcast intro to make sure it’s what you think it is. I mean let’s face it, the last thing anyone needs is to accidentally fall in love with a podcast about Qanon or brussell sprouts, which are coincidentally both pretty awful. I digress, the point is a great podcast intro is super important and you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to create your own podcast intro that will deliver.
Every great podcast starts with a great podcast intro.
This is your opportunity to make a connection with your listener and let them know what they can expect from your show. In order to make the best impression possible, you need to write a great podcast intro script that will grab the attention of your listeners. It’s more than just intro music selections and you certainly don’t need a professional voice actor, but it can’t hurt to hire one either.
Podcast script best practices
Here are a few tips to help you write a great podcast intro script template, including an intro and outro. It might seem obvious but let’s start at the very beginning…
- What is the name of your podcast?
Ever been at a networking event or cocktail party, if you can ever remember what those are anymore, and spend an hour talking to someone only to realize you haven’t introduced yourself? Me too, let’s not let that happen here. You would be amazed how many podcasts in the directory don’t even have a podcast name, true story. In fact there are hundreds of them named “Podcast”. If nothing else, don’t be that guy.
- Start with a bang:
You want to start your podcast intro with something that will grab the attention of your listener and make them want to continue listening. This can be anything from a shocking statistic to a personal story. Your podcast is an extension of you and your personality so make sure that comes through in your intro. You could share what you makes you stand out to your target audience and ideally attract new listeners even when the podcast has been out for some time. Most importantly, don’t forget to express the show’s personality because ultimately that is what will make you a great host.
- Give the listener an idea of what the podcast is about
If you want to write a great podcast intro script, you need to first understand what the podcast is about. What is the main topic? What are the subtopics? Give a brief explanation and hook listeners with a sneak peek. What can listeners expect to learn from each episode? When will the show launch? How often will the show be published? Is it a narrative style podcast or will it be interviews? It’s important not to be cryptic about your show. Tell the people what it is and let them self select. You don’t need everyoe to love your content but you will have a much more engaged audience if you are super clear about exactly what you are offering to your listeners. Is it passion? Is it to share stories or success? Why are you doing this, not to get all Simon Sinecky but what is your why dude?
- Share the values of the show
After you understand the content of the podcast, you need to identify the values of the show. What makes this podcast unique? Why should listeners tune in each week? By sharing the values of your show, you will be able to connect with listeners on a deeper level. You should also talk about the goal of the show. When you decided to start this podcast there was a burning reason why, and with any luck that fire is still lit. Share that with your listeners. Why does your show matter? It doesn’t need to matter to everyone but it should definitely matter to you.
- Introduce the hosts
If you are not the only host on the show, now is the time to introduce your co-hosts. If you are flying solo on this podcasting journey, give the listeners a little background about yourself. What are your credentials? Why should they listen to you? What is your background and why would it matter. You don’t have to be the focal point of the show but you should qualify yourself with your listeners so they can decide if they want to spend more time listening to your lovely voice.
- Give a taste of what's to come
After you have introduced the show, it’s time to give listeners a little taste of what they can expect in future episodes. This is where you get to be creative. You can use sound bites, music, or even have a mini episode within your podcast intro. This is your chance to really grab the attention of your listeners and make them want to come back for more.
- An upcoming quote from your episode (pro move)
Here are a few examples:
– A teaser for an upcoming interview
– A clip from an upcoming episode or upcoming podcast title
– A sound bite that captures the essence of your show and a really great music intro
- Keep it short and sweet
Some people say you want to make sure that your podcast intro is between 60-90 seconds but that is super short. Unless you spent some time moonlighting as a speed talker I am not sure that is a realistic goal. Don’t get me wrong, your pilot episode shouldn’t drone on forever but it also isn’t a race. It’s more important to sound good than to hit a certain length. The quality of the content of the intro episode is far more important than hitting some goal that some guy in a basement came up with. That guy, yeesh.
- Include a CTA
The final piece of the puzzle is to include a call to action (CTA) at the end of your podcast intro. This can be as simple as telling listeners to subscribe to your show so they don’t miss an episode. You would be amazed by how many people get this wrong. Your podcast outro is just as important as your podcast intro. You don’t want to overwhelm listeners but this is a great opportunity to invite them to your email list or a meeting link. Branded podcasts are a phenomenal business development tool so don’t miss this opportunity when you write your podcast script and podcast outro to really hit the mark with what you actually want your listeners to do.
Should I hire voiceover talent to read the podcast intro script?
It’s up to you! If you have the budget, it can be a great way to make your podcast stand out from the crowd. Voiceover talent can add a level of professionalism that DIY’ing it might lack. That being said, there are some very successful podcasts that are hosted by regular people, so don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money on this part of your show.
If you decide to go the voiceover route, find someone with a great voice
Find someone who sounds like they would be a good fit for your show. Once you have found someone, give them a copy of your podcast intro script and let them do their thing. If you are happy with the results, move forward with recording. If not, keep looking until you find someone that you are happy with.
Recording your podcast intro
Now that you have your podcast intro script, it’s time to record it! If you are recording your podcast intro yourself, make sure to use a good microphone and recording software. Truthfully, I always recommend hiring someone to help you with this. There are a few things in life that you should always hire someone else to do; taxes and podcast engineering. There are a ton of podcast studios and engineers all over the world, finding a professional to make sure you look and sound your best is never a bad idea.
If you are hiring someone to read your podcast intro script , they will most likely record it in a studio. All you need to do is provide them with the script and let them work their magic. Oh and don’t forget about outro music, people like that too. There are a ton of great examples out there, spend some time in your favorite podcast player and see what other people are doing. After a few spins around the top rankers you will be ready to write your own podcast intro script that will be better than most podcasts out there.
So there you have it, a few tips and a really solid podcast script template to help you write a great podcast intro script. Just remember to start with a bang, give the listener an idea of what the podcast is about, share the values of the show, introduce the hosts, give a taste of what’s to come, and keep it short and sweet. Now go out there and make some great podcast intros!