When you are starting to think about podcasting often the last thing you might consider is what you are going to say. I don’t mean generally as in the topic or theme but more specifically – what EXACTLY are you going to say?
The ability to be talk “off the cuff” and to be interesting and informed is a rare skill. More often that not the presenters you hear on the radio have a team of researchers providing them with relevant data or statistics in real time. They have most likely sat through production meetings during which the theme of the show has been discussed in great detail as has the opinions of the presenters and maybe even how they will react to a particular answer or question.
A more relevant skill for podcasting is the ability to have a prepared script or detailed notes and to read them as though they are not actually being read. In other words to make them sound “real”.
Sometimes it is worthwhile starting at the end and working backwards – in other words how do you want to finish and then work towards that.
We record lots of podcasts and it is still our standard Modus Operandi – here is an example of a template script from The Songschool Show – you can see there are 3 main sections
During the Intro – the presenters will introduce the show and them selves and outline what will be happening during the podcast.
The Content contains the various segments of the show – in this case different songs that the various contributors have collaborated on. The presenters will often anchor these segments with comments such as “Thanks for that and now let us meet the next group”
Finally there is the Outro – the presenter / presenters will thank the listener and the various contributors and then include a CTA ( Call To Action) this could be to invite listeners to email the show with their feedback or ideas, tweet or share on facebook etc.
The style above works well for a show format but there are of course many other types. One that we love is the audio tour guide – part digital heritage, part cultural, part geographical, part physical. The type of podcast that encourages the listener to go out and take a trip at the leisure with the presenter.
We worked on the award winning iWalk series for Failte Ireland and our director Peter Baxter wrote scripts for their “Rock N Stroll” and “Dublin In Film” podcasts. For these Peter had to research extensively and then also walk the routes many times in order to gauge how the experience might be for the listener.
There was a specific brief in terms of the audience which was very influenced by demography. The audience was estimated to be under 25 yrs of age and so the content particularly language, references etc were tailored to suit.
Here are copies of the scripts Rock ‘n’ Stroll iWalk and Dublin in Film iWalk
And here are the finished podcasts
We hope that these tips help you to create better scripts and ultimately better podcasts.
So in summary – a few tips.
PREPARE WELL – because Proper Prior Planning Produces Perfect Podcasts !
PRACTICE – practice, practice and practice some more before you start recording.
CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE – (use the old Who, What, When, Where and Why as a reference)
So Who are they, what do they like? When would they like to listen and for how long – is it a commute, a class period etc Where will they listen to the podcast? On a train? In school? So make sure that your content and language is age appropriate if the audience is a class or if it will be heard in public. Perhaps the most important of all is Why ! Why would they want to listen? Ideally because they want to so always be aware that if people aren’t engaged in your podcast they will simply turn it off. Invite them to participate if it is a live show or if it is a regular show invite them to contribute comments, feedback or ideas and reference this in your future podcasts – i.e. thanks to our listener Joe Bloggs who suggested that we so X, Y & Z.
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any feedback or ideas on our blog. You can email us (info AT Createschool.ie) , follow us on twitter or facebook or subscribe on YouTube
Joseph & Peter
The Createschool Team