Podcast Introduction: Expert Tips & Template

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If you’re going to build a successful podcast, you need to make sure you get one thing right - the introduction. First impressions matter in life, and podcasting is no different.


At ZenCast, we understand the role a catchy intro plays in capturing and keeping your listeners’ attention.


Here, we take a look at how to fashion a great podcast introduction. We also provide an example of an intro script that is sure to keep listeners coming back for more. 


Let’s go!

Why a good podcast introduction matters

There are no two ways about it - recording a good introduction plays a vital role in determining the success of a podcast.  Most podcasts lose something in the region of 20-35% of their audience in the opening five minutes of a broadcast. No other period of the average podcast sees listeners drop-off on this scale. 


At this early stage of your podcast you want to set out your stall for your audience so they can see if the show is right for them.


When done well, a good podcast introduction is a scene setter and acts to draw listeners in and keeps them curious. Employing the right hooks attracts your audience’s attention and keeps them wanting more.


The average podcast length is just 25-30 minutes, so the first 5 minutes are vital if you are going to build a rapport with the listener that makes them want to stick around to the end of your broadcast.


When the time finally comes to launch your podcast, consider using ZenCast. You can upload and download episodes as often as you like. Once you upload a podcast, you can also use the platform to share it on the best podcast platforms, including Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts.


What does a podcast intro need?

Now that we’ve discussed why a good podcast intro is important, let's explore what you should include in your podcast’s opening section to hook your listeners. 

Key information

The main goal of a podcast intro is to hook your listeners. You must take steps to convince listeners why they should stay tuned. You also need to communicate relevant information about the host and the theme of the podcast.


Here is some important information you’ll want to include in your podcast’s intro:


  • Who you, your co-host(s) and your guest(s) are - Aside from simply stating your name, you will want to mention your credentials and your background. This is important in building a rapport with your listeners. At this early stage, introduce any co-hosts and your guests so the listener knows doing the podcast with you.

  • The name of the podcast – include your show’s name so the listener understands what they’re listening to. This will also help you build brand recognition for your podcast.

  • The title of the episode – just like an article, the episode’s title should come at the top of the show.

  • The number of the episode  – this will help your listeners keep track of which episode they are listening to and allow them to download additional materials associated with your podcast from the download site. 

  • The theme of your podcast - in the first thirty seconds, you want to explain what your podcast is all about. Listeners will already have an idea of this from the title, but it’s best to flesh out the details of the podcast in your opening gambit.

  • A teaser - you want to give out important information about the podcast in the opening, but leave something in the tank. At this stage you want to tease certain themes and topics that will appear later in the show so that the listener wants to keep listening.

Keeping your audience interested 

Below are some great ways you can use your podcast’s introduction to keep your listeners interested.


  • Pitch your podcast  - You need to sell yourself and your content in the early stages. In the intro, a concise summary of what you’re about and how you differ from rival podcasts will convince your listeners that they want to stick with you.

  • Use music and sound effects - You should use the same background track in each episode’s introduction. Jingles and background music set the tone and allow your audience to become familiar with the ‘look-and-feel’ of your broadcast. Sound effects also help create the mood. You need to get these choices right from the get-go and be consistent. 

  • Get to the point - Don’t ramble on. Only include as much dialogue as you need to get your points across and hook the audience, and make sure you transition smoothly from one point to the next.


You may also want to do some of the following things when introducing your podcast:


  • Ask an interesting question - This is a great way of teasing what the podacst is all about. Let’s imagine your podcast is about sports, and the episode focuses on team USA’s performances at early Olympic Games. In this case, you might ask, “Did you know that the USA secured an incredible 239 Olympic medals out of a possible 280 at the 1904 Summer Olympics?”.  Another example of an intriguing question would be, “Have you ever heard of Mel Sheppard? How about Thomas Burke? Both are, in fact, American Olympic gold medalists, but they competed more than a century ago.”

  • Cite a statistic - By using a fascinating stat, whether part of a question or not, is an excellent way to grab your audience’s attention.

  • Quote from an interview - You may want to include a stand-out quote from a guest who appears later in the episode. However, it’s important that you choose the quote wisely, as you want to hook your audience without giving away too much.

  • Provoke an argument - Another way to grab your listener’s attention is by introducing a topic on which people disagree. For example, if you are running an economics podcast, you can have an episode on cryptocurrency. In your opening, you could state, “Since Bitcoin launched in 2009, cryptocurrency has seen a meteoric rise. Many dispute whether or not crypto is going far. On the one hand, cryptophiles believe it is the future of money, bound to only trend up with time. However, critics see it as a fad that will ultimately go nowhere. So, who is right?”

  • Use a tagline - It may help build your podcast’s brand recognition by using a slogan at the start of each episode.

  • Call your audience to action  - You could also feature a call to action (CTA) in the intro. For instance, you could mention your website or YouTube channel or simply ask your listeners to hit that subscribe button.

Podcast introduction example

To get you started on your successful podcasting career, we have included below an example podcast intro script.  Let’s expand on our sports show example we used earlier.


Phase of intro

Text

Introduce yourself and welcome your audience

“You’re very welcome to Diaulos Sport. I’m your host [insert name]. From the Colosseum to the Camp Nou, from the Gladiators to the Giants, we are the internet’s home of comprehensive sports history. Subscribe to our podcast for regular sports content.”

Introduce the episode *

“Today, we are focusing on an early chapter of modern American sports history. While the US remains a formidable force at the Summer Olympics to this day, their performance in 1904 was one for the ages. Team USA secured an incredible 231 Olympic medals out of a possible 280 at what was the third Summer games.”

Introduce your guest(s) and co-host(s) if applicable

“To help us understand how the US secured so many medals at these games and what the early US Olympic teams were like in general, we have [insert name], a sports historian from the [name of a university]. So, [first name of guest], you’re very welcome to the studio. First, could you take us back to 1904? How different were the Olympic Games in those days when compared to the 21st century?”


As the script shows, creating a natural flow from one point to the next is important. You don’t want to go from one topic to another too abruptly. That’s why getting the wording right is critical. 


That said, you probably don’t need to follow your script to the letter throughout the show. This is particularly true if you have invited a guest to participate, since you want the conversation to flow naturally. 


For the majority of your podcast, we recommend using a general framework. This will allow you to stay on topic without sounding like a robot. However, it makes more sense to stick with pre-planned dialogue for the intro and outro sections of your broadcast.

Final tips

In summary, a podcast introduction needs to include the following ingredients:


  • Key information about you, your podcast’s topic and your guests.

  • Catchy hooks and teasers that allow you to capture and keep the interest of your listeners.

  • Interesting guests and speakers.

  • Suitable music and continuity sound effects.

Learn more through our blog

If you want to learn more about the podcasting process, check out the ZenCast blog.


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