Your podcast intro is the first thing new listeners will hear from you, and it’s important that you leave a strong first impression. Your podcast intro script should tell your listeners what they’re listening to along with giving them a feeling of what to expect. Equally important is developing a solid outro to play at the end of your episode. This is your podcast’s last chance to leave the listener with a clear, memorable call to action (CTA).
So how do you build the right intro and outro for your podcast? Let’s take a closer look at each section to explain what you should include, and what you should leave out.
The elements of a great podcast intro
When new listeners find your podcast, they’re really wondering, “Is this for me?” The goal of your podcast is to answer that question and get them excited to keep listening. That means providing them with the information they need to understand what they’re listening to – the name of the show, host, guests, etc. It also means creating the right “vibe.” The intro for a comedy podcast will likely sound much different from a podcast focused on politics or current events.
The first thing you’ll want to consider is length. You want to get the listener into the content section of your podcast as quickly as possible. That means your intro should run about 10-15 seconds, tops. Anything longer could have your listener reaching for the skip ahead button or even worse, choosing a new podcast altogether.
The specific elements of your podcast intro will vary depending on your content and style. Below is a list of elements you should definitely include and a few optional ones — as well as what to leave out.
Your name and podcast title
The most important element to include in your podcast intro is the title of your podcast along with the name of the host. From a branding perspective, this gives the listener the baseline information they’ll need to understand your program.
Most podcasts choose to include theme music in their podcast intro, and the right music can really set the tone for the rest of your podcast. You can either use an original theme or download free, licensed material online. One caveat: do not use someone else’s music without their express permission. Either create your own theme, commission someone else to do it for you, or find royalty-free music online.
The name of your episode guest/topic
To give your user a bit of context, you may want to also have a part of the intro dedicated to that specific episode’s content.
After introducing your name as well as the title of the podcast, you may also want to include a brief sentence explaining the podcast itself. If the content or subject isn’t made readily apparent by the title, this can be helpful. It enables your audience to understand what the show is about and what kind of ground you’ll cover.
An upcoming quote from your episode
Before your theme music plays, consider adding a hook to the beginning of your episode. A popular strategy is to play a guest quote from later in the episode to give people a sense of what’s to come.
You may want to include the name of the episode, the guest, and the number as well.
You can include the date if your podcast is time-sensitive — otherwise, it’s better to leave this out.
What to leave out
Multiple clips of your podcast
As noted above, having a short clip or two can create a sense of atmosphere around your show. It’s easy to go overboard here, however, and it may be hard to squeeze in with limited time in your intro. It’s best to leave out more than one or two short clips.
A long or overly complicated theme song
It’s a great idea to include theme music. It’s not such a great idea to include any song longer than 15-20 seconds. You may feel the urge to commission a clever or funny song about your podcast and its subject, but this can complicate your intro and make it too long. A better idea is to just adopt a simple theme song that can play over your basic intro.
Example podcast intro script template
A simple format for a podcast intro script would go as follows: Theme music > Podcast title > Host name > Episode title. Below is a sample script you can use, inserting your podcast’s pertinent details.
*Theme music plays for a few moments to open*
“You’re listening to [name of podcast] with [name of host[s]. Today’s episode features [name of guest] to discuss [topic}.”
*Theme music leads into the beginning of the episode*
That’s basically it. What else you may choose to include will depend on your specific podcast. You can include an indicator of where you record (i.e. “Live from Los Angeles California…”) or a brief preview of other topics you’ll cover.
Should I hire voiceover talent to read the intro?
Your podcast intro script can either be read by you, the host, or someone else providing a voiceover. This is completely up to you and will depend on your podcast. Reading the introduction yourself can get the listener acclimated to your voice and style of speaking. Having voiceover talent deliver the intro may give the podcast a more “professional” feel. You can find relatively inexpensive options for voiceover talent on sites like Fiverr.
Elements of a great podcast outro
Once your great podcast episode has hooked listeners, you’ll want to give them the next step with a great outro. The main component to focus on here is your CTA. Every podcast outro should give the listener a clear CTA, whether it’s asking them to subscribe, leave a review, or visit your website. You can also discuss any show notes and play the podcast theme over the outro. Make sure the outro is brief. Once the episode discussion has wrapped, you’ll want to conclude as succinctly as possible.
Try rotating your CTAs for different episodes so you don’t overwhelm listeners with a laundry list of things to do. Instead, focus on one primary CTA in your outro, then pick another option for the next episode. Some different CTAs include inviting listeners to leave a review, asking listeners to subscribe, sharing your website link or the link to your show notes, or sharing your social media handles while inviting listeners to follow you.
Your intro and outro should serve as thematic bookends that give your listeners a distinctive feel of your show while also giving them the information they need to understand and participate. Following the steps outlined above will keep more of your listeners engaged in your podcast.
Example podcast outro script template
A simple format for a podcast outro script would go as follows:
*Theme music plays over the beginning of the outro*
“That’s our show for today. To learn more about today’s guest or the key takeaways from this episode, visit [website URL here.] Make sure you [insert CTA here: subscribe, leave a review, etc.]. I’m [insert host name], thanks for listening!
*Theme music plays the listener out*