First, A few guidelines:
1. USE A SCRIPT OR OUTLINE!
*It will keep your podcast focused, polished and ensure that your podcast will be clear and orderly–fun and easy to listen to!
2. THAT SAID….scripts should be largely INVISIBLE when delivered–this is where good editing will help you make your podcast not sound stilted.
*Try reading your script out loud–or produce talking points that will allow you to stay on task!
3. Write/outline for the ear!
*Read out loud and practicing ad-libbing and extemporaneous speaking)
4. This is an AURAL genre–so play with RHYTHM, think about variety.
*Use shorter segments ~10 minutes each.
5. USE SIGN-POSTING
*Tell your listeners what you’re going to do now, next, later and think carefully about how you transition from one section (or subsection) to the next.
6. Use a LINEAR structure and write like you talk!
*You’ll never get this advice in most writing, but here: it’s the best!)
7. Avoid Passive Voice!!!
8. If you use JARGON–define it!
9. Use a SCRIPT TIMER to estimate the length of your script before you start recording!
10. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! As you develop the outline/script–make sure to include a list of WORKS CITED. You will need to post this works cited page along with your audio podcast, which you will upload to SOUNDCLOUD
There are THREE main ways to go about developing a podcast:
Scripts allow you to keep everything coherent, organized and well-planned. But they also require you to read–which can be its own challenge. If you work on scripting your podcast, try to keep your scripted segments to around 10 minutes each (which means you’ll want about 2-3 segments in your podcast in total–with appropriate transitions, introductions, etc.). When you write your script, write like you talk!
RadioLab and Serial often use extensive scripting–though they sometimes have ad lib and interview elements.
The outline allows you to keep your podcast organized but it requires you to rely more on “talking points”–something between a script and ad-lib discussions. If you go this route, pre-recording (or a timed practice delivery) will keep you on-task in within the time constraints.
Two Docs Talk often uses the outline–with some information read from a script
This method is mostly impromptu. The podcast hosts are often an expert on the topic, having done extensive research in the past or undertaken considerable schooling.
StarTalk with Neal DeGrasse Tyson is a good example of well-done ad lib conversations about science and literatu
Regardless of your format, you’ll need to decide how to structure your narrative–what story do you want to tell–think beginning, middle, end–or act 1, act 2, and act 3. Remember that the last few words will be as important as the first in the audio world–leaving on a good note is crucial.