Winging-it is certainly a skill, but there's also something to be said for great planning & scripting. It can be the difference between a listener feeling really engaged with your podcast and thinking it's a bit of a waffle.
It's also a way of making it much easier and more comfortable to record a podcast, especially in the early days. So, scripting – let's take a look!
Planning & Scripting
In the sixth episode of our tenth season of Podcraft, we look at the best ways to plan and script your show. If you'd like to catch-up on previous episodes, you can check out:
- Benefits of running a podcast
- What are you podcasting for?
- Who are you podcasting for?
- Formats and approaches
- How long and how often?
Planning your podcast is important in scheduling your time and looking ahead to know what you're actually making on a larger scale. Are you making a one-off podcast? Are you making one season? Or are you hoping to be creating this podcast for years?
I always argue that the best method is to plan everything in seasons. This allows you to take your core topic and think about how it would be best spread out.
No matter what your subject matter is, you should always think about it as a question or problem your audience have. What need is your podcast filling? What are they learning or taking from your podcast?
When you know what this question or problem is, think about the different component parts that make it. What different points do you need to make in order to achieve the answer to this question.
Breaking your topic down like this allows you to plan out a full season of episodes for your podcast.
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An easy example to this would be if you were looking to create a podcast about your Top 10 films. A great way to plan this podcast out is to record 10 episodes covering one film each.
How to Script a Podcast Episode
You might think it's not allowing you the freedom you might want, but scripting actually allows you to ensure you get all of your points out.
The important thing to realise about scripting is that everybody will have their own preference of how their show is planned. Let's examine the different types of Scripting.
Word For Word Scripts
- These scripts make sure you don't miss anything. You plan out all of the points you want to cover, and you record everything you set out to.
- This is a great method for beginner podcasters. It allows you to realise your vision without much hassle.
- These can be very time consuming to create, comparatively to other kinds of scripting.
- It can be difficult to sound natural using word for word scripts. It sounds like you're reading which can be off putting for listeners.
- Much like what you're reading right now!
- These cover most of the details but give you enough freedom to still sound natural when making your points.
- If you're just starting to use these, you can get caught up in a train of thought. Especially if you've only added some of the information needed to state a point.
- These work for people who know their topic really well.
- Detailed Bullets are perfect to use as Episode Guides too. You can create descriptions for listeners with these.
Very Top Level Bullets
- These don't give you much to go on. They might just be a key word to trigger your brain.
- You might miss information out of your recording that you'll kick yourself for later. All because you didn't write it in your scripting.
- Using these means you're likely to ramble on if you have less structure written down, when going into recording.
- However, if you can pull it off, this gives you the most natural sounding podcast.
- You can script with a group, meaning you get lots of information down.
- This works best with very top level bullets, but some detailed bullet scripting also gives you a lot of great information. And allows you to stay on topic.
- You might want to think about Transcripts if you're scripting in a group.
- A good app for this is Speechpad
- You might be thinking about what you'll need for scripting.
- Pen and paper seem old fashioned. But you can make a perfectly good podcast script just taking notes into a recording.
- Word Document programmes from Microsoft and the likes work well.
- Evernote is what we use to plan our podcasts, as these documents can be easily shared.
- Notion and Google Docs are also powerful tools for this.
There are lots of ways to plan and script your Podcast, so allow yourself time to try out the various methods. On the next episode we'll be looking at the way your recording set-up should be.
If you're looking to make a podcast and are after more support we can help. Our Academy has lots of great tutorials to teach you how to make your own podcast.
We also take on production work around the year, so we can help you this way too.