5 Scripting Tips To Help You Make Podcasts For The Ear

I don’t often use scripts when I’m on air as a Radio DJ, but I know a lot of DJ’s that do. As you probably know, the goal of any Radio DJ or podcaster is to connect with their audience and the main way to do this is by engaging with them in a conversational and relaxed tone.

One way many successful DJ’s do this is by reading a script that they have written using a special writing technique called ‘writing for the ear’.

The objective of writing for the ear is to create a nice, relaxed, conversational tone that makes a listener feel comfortable and connected with the presenter.

So I’ve compiled 5 of my best tips for writing for the ear to get you started.


#1 Tip –Write the way you talk

Any good Radio DJ sounds as though they’re talking to you and not reading a script at you. This is because their script is written like they’d talk.

The language we use when we talk is completely different to the language we use when we think. The voice in our head when we are writing a script is not the voice we want to write the script. If you wrote two scripts about the same thing – but one was written straight out of your brain, and the other was written straight from your mouth the difference would surprise you. It would almost be like there were two different authors. One script would sound formal and structured; the other would sound more loose and conversational.

The brain seems to kick into a different gear when we are speaking. So next time you write a script be sure to write the way you talk (by reading aloud as you’re writing it).


2# Tip – Use short sentences

Unlike a blog, if a listener doesn’t understand a sentence on a podcast, it’s more difficult for them to go back and review the sentence. On a podcast it’s a different story, you have to fumble round in your pocket to find your mp3 player, pull it out, press pause, rewind etc. It’s very easy to get left behind in a podcast. If you’re trying to understand a complex sentence, by the time you’ve got it you’ve missed the next sentence and so on.

So the idea here is to keep sentences short and simple.  A short and simple sentence is one that your listeners can get first time every time. Remember there are no visual cues to support the message in podcasting.


#3 Tip – Don’t use big words

There’s nothing worse than being in a conversation with someone and feeling like you need a dictionary to decipher what they’re saying. It’s the same scenario from a listener’s perspective. If you’re using big, complex words that the listener doesn’t understand then they can feel alienated and ‘out of the loop’. Best to stick to common everyday language and save the big words to impress the socks of that potential new boss at that next big time job interview!


#4 Tip – Use contractions

In simple terms a contraction is the process of combining and shortening two words.

‘I have’ becomes ‘I’ve’

‘It is’ becomes ‘It’s’

If you don’t use contractions and you’ll start sounding like the Queen – all tense and almost a little hostile. Not the best way to make your listeners relax.

Always go through your script and add contractions where possible, you’ll be amazed at how relaxed your script will become and how smooth you’ll sound.


#Tip 5 – Mark your script

In my other life as a voice over artist it was crucial for me to mark up my script. This meant going over my script with a red pen and drawing strange lines all over the page.

Now to most people these strange markings wouldn’t make any sense, but to me they were the key to understanding HOW I had to read the script. I would underline for emphasis, insert vertical lines for pauses, arrows for vocal inflections etc.

Most folks think that the most important part of being a voice over artist is reading the script. Well it’s not, it’s actually how you read the script. So when you have a script, go through it with a pen as you’re reading it aloud and mark for pauses, emphasis etc. Otherwise you’re deciding how the script should be read as you’re reading it – and that can be risky.

To get started on your own professional sounding podcast  download a copy of Dan’s new FREE report “Podcast Like A Radio DJ”. Get it here!








Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: