Why You Should Never Ad-lib Your Podcast
Posted on 30th October 2019 at 13:00
Thanks to Mimi Thian for her photo on Unsplash
Scripting your podcast is cool. Ad-libbing definitely isn’t.
If you don’t prepare, you end up forgetting what to say or expressing yourself embarrassingly badly. And it is an editing nightmare if you have to keep on re-recording until you get it right.
A well-scripted podcast can achieve informality and a fun tone (if that’s what you want). And it comes across as more succinct than if you just try to wing it.
Some gifted people ad-lib from bullet points but it takes confidence and practice to do this convincingly.
There are two golden rules to podcast scripting:
Script everything except…
Don’t script the interview discussion or genuine exchange of opinions.
Essentially, you can script any of the following segments you choose for your podcast:
Your introduction to the show
What is coming up
Your introduction to your guests
Any links between segments (see this BLOG about planning podcast structure)
The news section
The Q&A session (if you have one)
Your closing remarks, including information on next week’s podcast
None of this scripting needs to take you long to write. It just needs to be concise. In addition, some parts you can repeat for each show, such as the introduction and your closing remarks.
Actions before each podcast episode:
Write your scripts and practice voicing them in advance
Write flattering introductions for your guests – it will boost their confidence and have a positive effect on their performance
Research and prepare at least 20 questions for a 30-minute interview. It can be useful to structure your questions around the formula of “what, when, where, why, who and how”
Don’t forget your Calls to Action – subscribe to the show, visit our website, tell your colleagues and contacts about the podcast, leave a review, etc.
The normal rate of speaking is 3 words a second. To give you an idea, the above text would typically take just over 1 minute and 40 seconds to voice.
But don’t script…
Actual conversations with guests should never be scripted. They need to sound genuine and spontaneous.
So, while your questions should be clearly written out, the answers and any consequent conversation should be entirely natural.
We cannot emphasise too much how important it is never to allow or encourage your guests to script replies to questions which they then read out on your show.
By all means, give them a rough idea of what you will ask so that they can prepare. Reassure them that any mistakes they make will be edited out.
What we can do to help
At Made4U Podcasts, we are past masters at script writing and podcast production. Feel free to contact us to find out how we can help produce your podcasts.
We also provide bespoke training courses to train your staff to produce podcasts in-house.
Contact us anytime on serena@made4U-podcasts.co.uk for a chat.
Jolly but meaningless podcast conversations are one of our pet hates. Is there anything about podcasts that you listen which drives you mad? Please feel free to comment.
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