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Why you shouldn’t waste time in your podcast introduction

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Why you shouldn’t waste time in your podcast introduction

Do your listeners a favour and respect their time

Your podcast introduction is one of the most important pieces of real estate you’ve got in your show.  Those precious few seconds after people press play can influence whether they decide to turn off or keep listening.

So, if you’re one of those podcasters who wastes time faffing around with your co-host in your podcast introduction instead of getting on with your content may I ask you, ever so politely, to please stop.

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Why waste people’s time?

Often, when you’re new to presenting, wasting time in your podcast introduction is more about nerves than anything else.  Sometimes, in the worst cases, it’s about ego.

I’ve heard shows where co-hosts turn the mics on and are walking around the room talking while they get ready for the show (insert rage face here).  I’ve even heard people introduce their podcast by talking about their day and then stop to take a bite of their sandwich…WTF?  Unless this is a strategic content decision (which I highly doubt) it’s a huge mistake.

Back in the early days of podcasting, when it was still a novelty and there wasn’t much competition, you might have gotten away with something like this.

But these days, when you’re planning content for your show, every decision has to come from a place of respecting your listener’s time.  And that includes thinking about your podcast introduction.

People are busy and the competition is fierce.  So if you want to grow an audience outside your inner circle of mates, you have to offer up a show that has your ideal listener in mind.

And I’m going to hazard a guess that there isn’t a single listener out there looking for content where someone eats a sandwich in their ear and talks about nothing for the first five minutes.

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But don’t you need to warm up your audience?

Newsflash.  They’re warm.

In fact, if someone has chosen to put their earbuds in and press play on your content they’re not just warm, they’re red hot.  And they’re expecting to be taken straight to the gold, so take them there.

The more you meander through the conversational weeds in your podcast introduction the more it’ll seem like you think your time is more precious than theirs.

People have a lot of competing options for entertainment and it’s important to get to the good stuff as soon as possible.

And if you feel like you need to warm up with your co-host that’s fine.  Just record it and don’t put it in your final edit so you can get it out of your system but your listeners don’t have to hear it.

How to keep an audience engaged when podcasting solo

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What about getting new listeners up to speed?

If you’re conscious of setting up the premise of your show for new listeners that’s fine but it doesn’t need to take 15 minutes.  In fact, you should be able to sum it up in a quick line whether that’s in your produced intro or in your own words.

I use a voiceover as the lead into both my personal podcasts so the production does the heavy lifting for me and I can just do what my listeners want which is get on with the show…

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In each episode, you’ll be catering to new AND old listeners so you don’t want to drive regular listeners crazy by repeating yourself a million times in your podcast introduction.

A quick line at the start of each episode will bring newbies up to speed without annoying your hardcore fans.

What’s the best length for your podcast?

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Remember, less is always more

When your show wraps up you want your audience to think “It’s over already?  I want more!”

The stats show the majority of people don’t make it through 15 minutes of a podcast.  So, if your episode is an hour-long and you’re still meandering through your podcast introduction at the 20-minute mark, there’s a high chance people will have left long before you get to the interesting bits.

At the end of the day your show should be about your listeners, not you, so get to the good stuff quickly and they’ll love you for it.

Got a burning podcasting question you’d like answered? Send me an email.

Want to start your own podcast but need a little help?  Download my “How To Start A Podcast” guide or sign up for my online podcasting course, PodSchool.

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