Most professional sounding podcasts have a professional introduction. These are usually 30-second audio introductions or openings that begin your show. These are commonly referred to as podcast intros. Having a great sounding intro usually creates anticipation and adds a cohesiveness to your podcast.
An outro comes at the end of the show, and it wraps up the show. This ending or closing usually let’s your listeners know that the show is over and it’s a great place to put a call-to-action or at least let your listeners know where they can learn more.
Bumpers are usually 15-second segments that introduce a new segment of your podcast or are used to create smooth transitions in and out of commercial breaks.
Intro and Outro Elements
In order to create an awesome intro or outro, you will need a few elements. These include a script, voice talent, music, sound FX, and a way to put it all together. Even though, these quick little 30-second blurbs are taken for granted, creating quality podcast beginnings and endings takes a substantial amount of thought and effort.
A quality intro or outro can help your podcast gain instant credibility with listeners. A high-quality intro will grab your listener’s attention and build excitement for your upcoming episode. The outro wraps everything up with a bow and let’s you bid farewell to your listener while subtly hinting at them taking further action.
Elements of a Podcast Opening or Intro
- Name of your podcast
- The episode number
- The episode title
- Cool Music and sound effects
- Host Identity – Let the user know who you are
- Purpose or tagline of the podcast
- Introduce what the show is going to be about or summarize the episode
- Any other important data like the name of your network, the recording date, sponsors, or disclaimers
Not all of these elements need to be included in your intro. Your show’s opening should be as unique as the show itself, but some of these items can help you hone your script and include what is important for your podcast.
Creating an Intro or Outro Script
Take a moment and think about what intro elements would be important to share with your audience. There are no hard and fast rules, but the usual time for an intro or outro is 30-seconds and about 75 words. You really want to share what is most important and set the tone for the rest of the listening experience.
If you are unsure where to begin, listen to some of the top podcasts in your genre or in all of iTunes. Now that you have read this and thought about intro creation, you will catch yourself paying attention to intros and outros instead of looking for the fast forward button.
Sample Intro Template
Podcasting from (your location) (add a fun fact or two about your location) this is (the name of your podcast) (what your podcast is actually about) And I am your host (hostname) (a little biographical info about you the host).
EXAMPLE: Podcasting across the airwaves, get ready for your daily dose of Marketing Strategies & Tactics to drive business growth in any capacity, you are listening to The Marketing Syndicate Podcast, presenting The Brand Messiah himself, Travis Rothstein.
Sample Outro Template
Thanks for listening to (the name of the show) with (hosts name). If you like our show and want to know more check out (your podcast website) or please leave us a review on iTunes. Join us next week when we talk about (next week’s show topic).
EXAMPLE: This session has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for your daily dose of Marketing Strategies & Tactics to drive business growth in any capacity, and don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. Thanks for listening to The Marketing Syndicate Podcast with The Brand Messiah himself, Travis Rothstein. We will see you on the airwaves tomorrow right here.
Voice Talent for Intros and Outros
Once you have the script for the dialogue part of your intro or outro, it’s time to find voice talent to read that script. The host of the show is a voice talent. There is nothing wrong with a podcast host also being the voice of the intro or outro. Studies have even found that the hosts reading ads is usually more effective than a canned ad.
If you are looking for something a little different, you can also hire voice talent to read the script or even pay for a service that includes voice talent, music, sound effects, and putting it all together for a really polished finished product.
An online search or a search of many job sites will have a voice over section. Hiring may be hit and miss, but with a little luck the right voice professional won’t be too difficult to find.
Voice Talent Options
- Audio Bag – this is a complete service that includes everything from voice talent to music, sound effects, and the audio production.
- Voice 123 – Large directory of voice over actors
- VoiceBunny – On demand service that also offers writing and translation services
- Voices.com – Another online bidding site where you can browse voice actors.
- Voiver – Another voice over marketplace that specializes in voice over talent.
- Big Mouth – Professional voice artists and performers
Royalty-free Music Options
Music makes the world go round and it sure helps when creating a cool intro or outro. Unfortunately, the days of throwing one of your favorite songs on a recording are long gone. Copyrights are especially prevalent when it comes to music. You can’t use a song on your podcast or video unless you have permission to do so.
Some ways around this are to create your own music or have someone you know create the music for you and give you permission to use it. You can also browse through free royalty-free music options or stock music sites and buy the rights to use the music.
Besides your music, script, and voice talent, you may want to throw in a few sound effects. Sometimes laughter, a car horn, a phone ringing, or any number of things will help to illustrate the mood you are trying to create when your show begins or ends.
Many of the stock music sites above also feature sound effects. You can also find options listed below.
Putting It All Together with Audio Production
Whether you are a do-it-yourself kind of person or use a podcast editing service like Audacity, the fun part is putting it all together. Once you have all of your elements put them in your podcast editing software with each item on a separate track.
Then start cutting, arranging, fading, and adjusting volume levels until you have the perfect intro or outro for your podcast. Like any creative endeavor, this process can be hit and miss. Keep tweaking it until you get it right. If things aren’t falling into place, sometimes an overnight break is what you need to renew your creative talents.
Even if an editing service is handling the audio production for you, a couple edits may be required before both of you are on the same page. Once you have your brilliant new intros and outros they will be what brands your podcast and sparks the listeners interest.
So, are you ready to get started?