How to do a podcast intro

As a professional podcaster and past radio host, I hear a lot of sad podcast intros. To do a podcast intro the right way, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Why did they click and what do they expect? I’ll tell you what they don’t want: drawn-out intros and the host reading someone’s bio. Here’s how to do a podcast intro, the right way.

Get to the meat in 1 minute or less

Listeners don’t want to hear the guest’s drawn-out bio and CV. It’s boring and no one cares. If they are a guest who has never heard your show, they’re likely listening to your podcast for the topic. If they already know the guest, they probably already know their bio already. In both cases spending too much time on their bio is useless.

To do a podcast intro and sound like a pro, give a quick title and context is fine, but keep it around 5-10 seconds at the most.

Keep your energy up

Half your energy is on its way through the microphone to the listener’s ears. If you don’t believe me, just record yourself and immediately listen back on your headphones. You may think you have energy, but upon listening you probably sound half asleep.

Your intro sets the tone for the entire interview. The first 30 seconds is an early sign to a newbie listener this show is worth listening to, or worth closing never to return. Increase your energy, and make a good first impression. A podcast intro is about energy—you don’t need to sound nuts, just engaging.

Do the qualifications later

Many rookie podcast hosts will ramble on for 2 minutes as they literally read a guest’s entire bio—something your listeners can easily do by just doing a quick web search. This is boring for listeners, don’t do it.

If your famous guest has a list of qualifications it’s fine to bring those up, but spread it out or slip it in past the intro and opening dialogue. Hook the listeners first, then give that bio in the show. “I should also say John, you used to lead operations for Blackberry. Tell us how that impacted your decision to leave tech.”

How to do a podcast intro yourself

One common solution for those asking how to do a podcast intro is to outsource it, but this might not be best for you. Some shows have some professional voiceover for their show, and for a corporate show with rotating hosts that might make sense. But if you are the primary host, just do the intro yourself.

Having another voice to do it for you doesn’t actually add value to the listener and it’s just noise. In many cases, it sounds like you’re trying far too hard. Especially the “here’s your host” line. It just doesn’t sound authentic. Record and mix your music with free software like Garage Band or Audacity. It’s easy.

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