How you open your podcast episodes could be turning people away from your podcast. I share eleven potential elements of an opening/intro, examples, and my suggestions for an effective podcast opening.
Or you can get a professionally created podcast intro produced for you, and consider these points when you hire someone.
My podcast listening has increased considerably while in the car commuting to the office and on walks. In most situations, I cannot look at the display on the player in the car on iPod in my pocket. I would like to hear an intro that is the same format as the podcast episode and title described in TAP021. It should be in the first 10-15 seconds of the recording, so I can identify it and move to the next episode if I heard it already.
Yes, I’m asking for something I didn’t do with my recent podcasts but now that I’m listening more, hearing the podcast title, episode number and short synopsis or title is becoming more important.
What is a “podcast opening” (intro)?
Although most people will call them “intros,” I think the best name is “podcast opening.” Your opening is how your start your podcast. Everything the listener hears from when they press Play to when you start sharing your content.
11 potential elements of a podcast opening
- Podcast name—how else will people know what podcast they’re listening to?
- Episode number—gives chronology and easy redirecting to shownotes, if you make your shownotes easy to get to.
- Episode title—if your title explains the content of your episode, which I recommend (unless you’re doing comedy), then include it in your recording.
- Music or sound effects—use something that other podcasters aren’t using (so avoid GarageBand’s music). This helps brand your show. Listen to How to Insert Background Music or Sound Effects in Audacity to help mixing your intro.
- Hosts’ names—listeners should know who you are. I suggest introducing yourself as “I am ___” rather than “My name is ___.”
- Podcast tagline/explanation—don’t assume every listener knows what your podcast is all about. Explain the purpose of the podcast or its tagline, which should be a shortened version of your purpose.
- Summary/introduction—tell your audience what you’re going to talk about, if appropriate.
- Network ID—if you’re a member of a network, you are probably required to state this in some way.
- Recorded date—I suggest mentioning the recorded date only if your content is time-sensitive or current-events related (like a news podcast).
- Sponsors—the people who help you pay the bills, or your own product or service.
- Disclaimer—if your content is for a mature audience, you want to share a spoiler-free or spoiler-filled review of a movie, or other reasons mandate putting a disclaimer as early as possible.
Of these eleven potential elements, I would say that only the first six or seven should be in your opening for every episode.
In the following examples, listen for how each host uses some of the above eleven elements.
Kimberly shared three of her favorite podcasting opening.
- Knitmore Girls: Music, podcast name, episode number, sponsors, summary, content
- Marketing over Coffee: Music, podcast name, hosts’ names, welcome, sponsors, content
- Ready, Set, Knit: Music, podcast name, host’s name, summary, content
Valente shared three of his favorite podcast openings.
- Smart Passive Income: Podcast name, episode number, music, prerecorded explanation, explanation, content
- Trafcom: Episode title, music, podcast name, date, episode number, host’s name, content
- Going Linux: Podcast name, episode number, episode title, music, host’s ame, explanation, summary, content
Sean requested that I consider his podcast.
- I Am Spirituality (video): Episode title, summary, music, explanation, content
Drew suggested a podcast I listen to already.
- Comedy4Cast: Podcast name, episode number, episode title, prerecorded introduction, sponsors, content
Four more examples that I pulled.
- Podcast Answer Man: Podcast name, episode number, network ID, music, welcome, host’s name, explanation, summary, content
- The Podcasters Studio: Music, title summary, welcome, host’s name, summary, content
- Are You Just Watching?™: Disclaimer, network ID (with podcast name), sponsor, music, podcast name, episode number, episode title, hosts’ names, explanation, content
- This Week in Tech: Network ID, sponsors (2), music, podcast name, episode number, episode title, date, sponsors (3), hosts’ names and introductions, content
General tips for a great podcast opening/intro
- Imagine someone starts listening to your podcast on their way to the grocery store
- Be unique as early as possible
- Summarize what the episode contains, tell them what you’re going to tell them (sometimes)
- Identify yourself and cohosts
- Explain your purpose for new listeners
- Try to keep your opening to 30–60 seconds before your content
- Think about modern movies: very few credits in the opening, straight into the action, then all of the credits at the end.
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