Yes, it is possible to write a tightly crafted script for a podcast. I’d like to encourage you NOT to do this, but I know that in some situations, circumstances require a script. For example, in a few organizations, every word uttered must be approved, so it’s deemed easier to get permission before recording rather than after.
Why do I discourage scripting and reading a podcast? First, most people are pretty lousy script readers. (I wrote a post about how to read a script aloud here. You might find some useful pointers in it. Check out the comments, too.)
Secondly, I think that the best podcasts sound conversational rather than scripted. If you can “fake” a conversational tone, you might do OK with a script. This entails inserting the occasional pause, um, ah and even a flub or two. You should also vary the speed of your read. Do you think I’m disingenuous recommending this tactic? Welcome to the real world. 😉
Please don’t take a written document (which is crafted for the eye) and just read it. I can almost guarantee that this won’t work. You need something written for the ear.
I recommend LIGHTLY scripting when a script is called for. Start with writing down the goal of this particular podcast episode. What are you trying to accomplish? Explaining the new dental benefit to employees? Rallying the troops for next quarter’s sales campaign? Getting customers excited about your company’s latest gadget?
After acknowledging your goal, you can jot down a brief outline, much as you would for a presentation.
Keep in mind that your listeners don’t have visual cues in front of them, so try to use devices such as numbered lists: “Let’s talk about the three ways to…”
Use the active voice when never possible and keep sentences short.
Be sure to add transitions between your points, and a recap at the end, using your numbered list as a structure.
What tips would you add?
UPDATE: The Podcast Scripting Book is now available. Read all about this topic in one handy book! Learn what you need to know.