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The introduction to your podcast is a critical part of the success of your show.

If you don’t introduce yourself, new listeners will feel lost. If your intro is too long, people will get annoyed and start skipping.

Listeners also want to know what they’re going to get out of an episode. If you don’t tell them that right away, they’re going to start wondering if there’s a better way to spend their time, and maybe go find a different podcast to listen to.

I don’t want you to lose listeners, so today I’m talking about how to craft the perfect podcast intro.

Highlights, Takeaways & Quick Wins

  • Listeners want to know what they’re going to get out of an episode, so tell them within the first few minutes.
  • Assume that you’re going to get new listeners every week. Try to craft a short intro that will tell them everything they need to know about you and your show.
  • Your intro should include who you are and why you’re doing your podcast. Try to keep it as short as possible but make sure it communicates those things.
  • A professional voiceover can make your show seem more legit, but it runs the risk of being repetitious and boring to your normal listeners after awhile.
  • It’s your job as a podcast host to tell your listener why they should care about listening to your podcast. Don’t assume they care; make them care.
  • Make sure that you’re doing shows about things you really care about, make sure that your heart is in it.

Show Notes

  • 1:56 Here’s what I’m going to cover today:
    1. Why you need to introduce yourself at the beginning of every episode
    2. Why you shouldn’t assume that everyone knows your story
    3. How to give your listener enough information without going too far and boring them
    4. The pros and cons of professional voiceovers
    5. How to apply this advice to your website homepage (and get more engagement from your visitors)

Introduce Yourself Every Episode

  • 2:35 You need to introduce yourself at the beginning of every episode and tell your audience what you’re going to talk about in the episode. Charli Prangley said: On our podcast (Design Life), we include a snippet of a takeaway at the start before the intro music so that people can figure out immediately if this is an episode they’re interested in. Then we introduce the topic and say why we’re talking about it. We also do a quick ‘check in’ about how our week has been and what we’ve achieved with our projects (which gives our listeners context as to what we’re working on and how we spend our time outside of the podcast).
  • 3:20 Charli is doing it right. You should introduce yourself at the beginning of every show. Tell the audience your name (or names if you have co-hosts), and tell them what you hope to do for them in the episode, or what you’re going to talk about. This is important because everyone who hits play on a podcast is wondering (whether they realize or not) what they’re going to get out of it. If you answer this question for them right away, then your listener is less likely to switch to a different show.

Listeners want to know what they’re going to get out of an episode, so tell them within the first few minutes.

Don’t Assume Everyone Knows Your Story

  • 4:14 After you’ve been podcasting for awhile, it’s tempting to just jump into a topic right away. But you need to think about the new listeners who are checking out your episode for the first time. What info do they need? How can you deliver that most efficiently? At the very least, a new listener needs to know your name and why you’re doing your podcast. You don’t want to have a 5 minute introduction every single episode, but you need to communicate that basic information for the newcomers.

Assume that you’re going to get new listeners every week. Try to craft a short intro that will tell them everything they need to know about you and your show.

  • 4:57 For your regular listeners, maybe include a new, random or funny fact about yourself in your intro every week. I’d like to start doing this myself.

Your intro should include who you are and why you’re doing your podcast. Try to keep it as short as possible but make sure it communicates those things.

Professional Intros VS DIY Intros

  • 5:45 It’s entirely up to you to decide what kind of show you want to make and what kind of feel you want it to have.
  • 5:56 I prefer to do the introduction myself. It feels more personal that way, plus I can change things up every week if I feel like it.
  • 6:32 Karma Senge asked: Should you copy and paste your intro and have the same exact one in every episode or should you do your intro new every time?
  • 6:41 It’s a good idea to have a template (an idea for what you want to say). Static, professional intros are fine, but I think they start to feel boring to regular listeners after awhile.

A professional voiceover can make your show seem more legit, but it runs the risk of being repetitious and boring to your normal listeners after awhile.

Should I Include a Funny Part of the Podcast at the Beginning? (or, how I do intros for the seanwes network)

  • 8:14 Cory McCabe asked: Do you put in the intro the best part of the podcast? Or just a good section of it?
  • 8:31 As editor for the seanwes network, one of my tasks is to pick out a short section of the podcast to use as an intro. This section plays before the intro music for the various shows.
  • 8:35 During the show, I listen for short sections that are either valuable insights or funny (sometimes even both). My goal is to either give the listener a valuable takeaway from the episode or make them laugh.

Make Your Website Home Page About Your Visitor, Not You

  • 10:13 This advice applies to your website’s landing page as well (if you make a podcast or if you’re a freelancer).
  • 11:06 If the first thing a person sees when visiting your website “me, me, me, me, here’s what I do”, that’s not great. Instead, tell your visitor what you are going to do for them. Make the first thing they see about them, not about you.
  • 12:25 Start with your why. Don’t tell your audience what you do, tell them WHY you do it. Check out Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why. If you make a podcast, or blog, or vlog, or run a small business, you need to check this book out.

Q&A:

  • 16:02 Garrett Mickley said: Tip for what NOT to do: I listened to a podcast that I was disappointed with episode one so I waited 20 episodes to listen again and was disappointed in episode 20.
  • 16:18 Episode 1 issue: sounds like it was recorded in a park in downtown Manhattan. Way too much background noise. But the 20th episode had excellent audio quality.
  • 16:30 The problem was he spent the first 10 minutes talking about himself and the podcast and not even what that episode was about. Then he started plugging his courses and I was like, “dude, what is this episode even about? You haven’t provided any value yet!” Then he just word for word read a blog post he had written about a year ago that I had already read (a year ago) and it was nice to hear it again but I wish he wouldn’t have just read it off to us.
  • 16:55 The ONLY reason I didn’t turn it off in the first 5 minutes of him talking about himself was because I was washing dishes and my hands were wet. Otherwise I would have stopped listening pretty quickly.
  • 17:11 Audio quality is important, and it takes time to develop that, but if you aren’t telling listeners up front what kind of value you’re going to provide in the episode and you just start rambling, they’re going to tune out. I’ve stopped listening to many shows because the hosts stopped respecting my time.

It’s your job as a podcast host to tell your listener why they should care about listening to your podcast. Don’t assume they care; make them care.

  • 18:11 Scott Hofford asked: Are there certain things that you shouldn’t say that makes you lose listeners?
  • 19:03 If you podcast long enough, eventually someone is going to disagree with something you say. That’s fine. The bigger mistake is either not saying anything because you’re worried that you might offend someone else, or not feeling confident in what you do say.
  • 19:19 If you don’t believe that you have something good to offer to your listener, they’re going to pick up on that, because no one follows someone who doesn’t believe in what they’re doing.

Make sure that you’re doing shows about things you really care about, make sure that your heart is in it.

  • 19:54 Taylor West asked: When using a prerecorded interview in your podcast, is it more effective to add an intro that you record later (possibly even days later after the interview) introducing the interviewee and explaining the episode? Or do you give an intro at the beginning of the actual interview, right before you start the discussion?
  • 20:20 I’m gonna say both. A lot of people do interviews without a real plan for what they’re going to talk about, and that can work out fine, especially if you’re good at interviewing. But thinking about it from my perspective as a podcast listeners; I like to know up front what the interview is going to be about, even if it’s just a broad overview of the topics covered. I like shows where the host plans out those things in advance and tells me at the beginning of the show what the topics are.
  • 21:17 It is a good idea to record the interview and then go back and record an intro where you share some of the most valuable takeaways from the episode.
  • 21:52 It’s like providing a table of contents for your podcast episode. Even though it’s in audio form, you can still say, “Here’s a list of all the subjects we’re going to talk about.”