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Podcast Production
February 6, 2024

Podcast intros and outros: All you need to know (with scripts)

Resound.fm Team

Imagine stepping into a grand theater. The lights dim, the curtains rise, and you hear the sound of the orchestra tuning their instruments. 

In the same way, your podcast intro and outro create anticipation for the amazing content inside of your episode! 

That’s what this article is all about! 

We'll cover: 

What is a podcast intro and outro?

A podcast intro and outro are the opening and closing segments of a podcast episode. They serve several important purposes, including:

A well-crafted podcast intro and outro can make a big difference in the overall quality and professionalism of your podcast. It can help you to capture new listeners, keep existing listeners engaged, and achieve your podcasting goals.

Why make a great intro?

Creating a great intro for your podcast is crucial for several reasons:

Capture attention and engage listeners

A well-crafted intro can immediately grab the listener's attention and make them want to keep listening. 

This is especially important in today's competitive podcasting landscape, where listeners have a vast array of options to choose from. 

A captivating intro can set your podcast apart and encourage listeners to give your show a chance.

Establish brand identity and consistency

Your intro serves as a sonic fingerprint, introducing your brand and setting the tone for your podcast's overall style and atmosphere. 

A consistent and memorable intro helps listeners identify your podcast and associate it with a particular mood, theme, or genre.

Provide context and set expectations 

A well-structured intro introduces the podcast's name, host(s), and the topic of the episode. This provides context for new listeners and sets expectations for returning listeners, ensuring they are prepared for the content ahead.

Highlight key points and tease upcoming content 

A good intro can briefly highlight the main points of the episode, piquing the listener's curiosity and encouraging them to tune in for more. This can also be an opportunity to tease upcoming content, creating anticipation for future episodes.

Increase subscribe and share rate 

A strong intro can effectively convey the value and uniqueness of your podcast, prompting listeners to subscribe to your channel and share the episode with their networks. This helps expand your audience and grow your podcast's reach.

Establish professionalism and polish 

A high-quality intro with clear audio, engaging narration, and appropriate theme music enhances the overall professionalism and polish of your podcast. This makes a positive first impression and demonstrates your commitment to delivering a quality listening experience.

Create a sense of community and familiarity 

A welcoming and consistent intro can foster a sense of community and familiarity among your listeners. It makes them feel like they are part of something bigger and encourages them to return for more.

In essence, a great podcast intro is an essential tool for attracting new listeners, retaining existing ones, and establishing your podcast as a valuable and engaging source of information or entertainment. It's a small investment of time and effort that can yield significant benefits for your podcast's success.

6 elements to include in your podcast intro

You should include the following elements in your podcast intro. Missing any of the details from the list below can cost you things like audience members not coming back to your podcast.

  1. Opening hook: This is a brief attention-grabbing statement or sound effect that will capture the listener's attention and make them want to keep listening.
  2. Podcast name and host introduction: This is where you clearly state the name of your podcast and introduce the host(s).
  3. Theme music: This is a piece of music that is played at the beginning and end of every episode. It helps to create a sense of branding and recognition for your podcast.
  4. Brief overview of the episode: This is a summary of what the episode will be about. It can be a good way to pique the listener's interest and encourage them to continue listening.
  5. CTA: This is a call to action that tells the listener what you want them to do next. This could be anything from subscribing to your podcast to visiting your website to leaving a review.
  6. Host-read ads (pre-roll): These are optional, but if a podcast has ads they are typically placed as a pre-roll somewhere within the first 60 seconds of a podcast. They are often recorded separately and added to the podcast hosting account through dynamic ad insertion.

3 of the most common podcast intro structures

Now that you know all the pieces that are a part of the podcast intro, it’s up to you to mix and match them creatively. Here are 3 of the most common structures we hear people using. 

1. The classic intro 

A great example of this is Deep Questions by Cal Newport

2. The cold open  

Examples include Lenny’s Podcast, My First Million, and How I Built This

3. Montage Cold Open 

A montage is taking a snippet of the episode and stitching it together with your intro.

Two examples of montages are provided in later sections of this article. 

The first one is The Diary of a CEO, where the intro comprises many different moments from that recorded episode stitched together. Afterwards, the host gets into a short ad and then the conversation begins.

The second example comes from The Yes Theory Podcast. They take a single moment from the episode, and then afterwards do a standard intro.

Beware though that having a montage for an intro usually makes for a longer podcast intro, which might lead to people not wanting to stick around for the content.

Example podcast intro script

Below you may find an example of a fake podcast intro. It checks all the boxes that we wrote in the previous section.

[Theme music fades in]

Host: "Welcome to 'Decoding the Mind,' the podcast that explores the fascinating complexities of the human psyche. I'm your host, Dr. Alexia Taylor, a clinical psychologist with over two decades of experience unraveling the mysteries of the mind.

In today's episode, we're diving into the world of dreams, those enigmatic journeys into the depths of our subconscious. We'll be exploring the science behind dreams, their connection to our waking lives, and the potential they hold for self-discovery.

Joining us on this exploration is Dr. Evelyn Chen, a renowned sleep researcher and expert in dream interpretation. Dr. Chen, welcome to the show."

[Guest:** "Thank you for having me, Dr. Taylor. I'm excited to share my insights into the world of dreams."

Host: "We're thrilled to have you here. Now, let's delve into the fascinating world of dreams. Dr. Chen, what exactly are dreams?"

[Theme music fades out]

[End of intro]

This intro script is designed to capture the listener's attention and provide a brief overview of the episode's topic. 

It also introduces the host and guest, establishing their credibility and expertise. The use of a catchy title and engaging tone sets the stage for an informative and entertaining podcast experience.

Best podcast intros (examples) 

The Diary of a CEO: Customized intros for each episode

The Diary of A CEO hosted by Steven Bartlett has an intro that’s personalized for every episode based on who he has on the show.

While it’s common for podcasts to pretty much have the same intro script, Bartlett has a similar intro format for all the episodes without having the same script. He always includes click-bait quotes that the guest mentioned on the show but has the same order of events in the intro. 

Bartlett never forgets any of the things we mentioned above, such as the CTAs he wants his audience to follow and where to find his podcast.

The Daily: One simple but iconic sentence

The Daily from The New York Times, which is arguably the most famous news podcast in history, has the simplest intro you can think of. Yet its simplicity is exactly what makes it iconic.

“From New York Times, I’m Sabrina Tavernise, and this is The Daily.”

Cue in the memorable music and you have the most iconic news podcast of all time. 

New Heights with the Kelce brothers: The joking cut scene

Following what we wrote about the montage, rather than starting the podcast off with your average intro, the Kelce brothers included a cut scene of them joking around and then went into their normal episode.

The Rest Is History: The anti-intro

Taking advantage of new subscriber features by platforms like Apple, it’s evident that The Rest Is History is creating, well, podcast business history.

However, instead of following historical trends in podcasting (i.e. having a standard intro), they get right into the episode at hand.

Yes Theory Podcast: Put emotions front-and-center

The Yes Theory Podcast is made by the founders of the homonymous YouTube channel, and they start off their show with a band by presenting emotional moments before the normal intro.

The moment usually comes from that episode. 

You can copy the same thing by including a snippet from your episode before a standard intro. 

What to include in your podcast outro

We know it’s a lot to include, but think of including all of these things in your podcast outro as an investment. It’s an investment in the growth of your podcast so that you can continue it for good.

Make sure you don’t miss a single thing below.

Closing hook: This is another brief attention-grabbing statement or sound effect that will leave the listener with a positive feeling about your podcast.

Example podcast outro script

Below you may find an example of a fake podcast intro. It checks all the boxes that we wrote in the previous section.

[Outro music fades in]

Host: Thanks for listening to another episode of [podcast name]! I hope you enjoyed it

Co-host: If you did, please be sure to subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast app and leave us a review.

Host: You can also find us on social media at [podcast social media handles].

Co-host: And if you'd like to support the show, you can donate to us at [podcast website].

Host: We'll be back next week with another great episode. In the meantime, have a great week!

[Outro music fades out]

Best podcast outros (examples)

How I Built This

Hear the outro around 1:09:40.

How I Built This with Guy Raz is a business podcast classic, and it has quite the iconic outro.

Take this one he did with the founders of Goodreads for example.

The background music NPR used is quite cerebral, it fits with the mood of the content of the episode. He also included some reflections on the episode by saying that the Goodreads founders do not agree on what a “good read” actually entails.

Not having the same thing in all the outros, such as this detail, ensures that the audience will stick around to listen to the whole thing.

And surely enough they do. Right after his insight, Guy gives his audience members CTAs to follow.

Stuff You Missed in History Class

Hear the outro starting around 32:21.

Lenny's Podcast

Hear the outro around 1:30:44.

Each episode Lenny ends his podcast with the now iconic "lightning round" of questions, finally landing the plane by asking his guests where listeners can find them and how they can be supported.

Podcast intros and outro FAQs

Where can I get music for my podcast intro and outro?

There are plenty of royalty-free music sites that you can use for your podcast. 

Check out our list of 20 sites that give you music to use for free.

Are my podcast intro and outro as important as people say they are?

Yes, they are, but they aren’t the only thing you need to do.

If you want people to keep on listening to your podcast, you also need to:

Clean up all the annoying filler words (think “um,” “like,” etc) using Resound

I liked your intro and outro scripts. Do you have any other scripts you can share with me?

Yes! Feel free to steal these four script templates we made just for you.

How do I write a podcast intro? 

Great question! We recommend using the following script as a starting point, and tweaking it to fit your needs and to match the unique personality of your show: 

  1. Theme music 
  2. Opening one-sentence hook 
  3. Podcast name and host introduction 
  4. Brief overview of the episode
  5. CTA

For example, most episodes of the Deep Questions podcast from Cal Newport start like this: 

  1. Theme music starts to play… 
  2. Opening one-sentence hook: “I’m Cal Newport, and this is Deep Questions. Advice on living and working deeply, in a distracted world.” 
  3. Podcast name and host introduction: Same as above… 
  4. Brief overview of the episode: Cal talks for 1-3 minutes with his Producer Jesse, then shares a roadmap for what will be covered today
  5. CTA: Cal encourages listeners to watch the show on YouTube throughout his episode whenever he shares something on his screen. Aside from that, most call to actions are held back until they naturally come up in the conversation

How long should your podcast intro be?

The reality is, it depends. The main thing to remember is that the first 30-60 seconds should be gripping, and should draw people in to keep listening.  According to RSS, the average podcast intro should be between 15 and 30 seconds. In our opinion, it depends on the specific format you choose. If you follow the templates we recommend in this post, try to stay under 30-60 seconds if you can! 

Otherwise, there’s a risk that your listeners will get bored and jump to something else!

What do you say to start a podcast?

It may seem tough to think of how to start your podcast, but the truth is that if you create a system to follow, you can repeat the same format every time.

In Deep Questions, host Cal Newport has the same tagline he uses for all episodes.

“I’m Cal Newport and this is Deep Questions, a show about living and working deeply in a distracted world.”

All he is doing is saying who he is and what his show is about, which is also why you’re listening to the show.

So ask yourself why people should listen to your show then write it in one sentence. Put your name at the front and that’s how you can start your podcast!

Below you can find a mad lib you can steal from us for your intro.

Fill in the blanks and you’re all set to record.

"Welcome back to (Show name)____!
I'm (your name)
, a job title__passionate about (interest).
And this is the show where we talk about (core topic)_. "
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Resound.fm Team

Resound's team is building the future of podcast editing: An AI podcast editing app for creators. Here at Resound we're writing about the creative process to help content creators thrive. Picture is Ernst Chladni, the inspiration for our brand. Hear his story at resound.fm/about

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