PodSchool Podcast | Why you shouldn’t waste time in your podcast introduction


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!

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.

Apple Google Spotify

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.

Why you should design an ideal listener for your podcast


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


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…

Apple Google Spotify

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?


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.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the show. Today I'm going to do a bit of whip cracking. If you're one of those people who takes a long time to get into the meat and potatoes of your podcast content, may I ask you politely, to please stop.
One thing I notice a lot with podcasts that don't end up going anywhere is that they waffle and waffle and waffle. Sometimes if you are new to presenting, this can be a nervous thing or alternatively you can be doing it to warm up. Either yourself or your audience. But your audience are already pressing play and they want to listen to your show so you don't have to warm them up.
People are time poor. They have a lot of options for content and entertainment and it is really important that you get to the crux of what you're doing right off the bat. If you need some warm up time with your co-host that is 100 percent fine. Just record it and then scrap it or record it and then start the show proper and just edit out that front bit where you were wasting time. Less is always always always going to be more and you want your audience at the end of every episode to think "Oh it's over? I want more already!"

[00:01:33] The stats are show the majority of people don't even make it through 15 minutes of your content and if you're doing an hour show and haven't gotten to the meat of what you're talking about by the 20th minute then your audience is not going to stick around.
Your audience has so much choice and you want to be respectful of their time and make sure you give them what they've come there for really quickly. Usually waffling and getting comfy is more about you and your co-host than it is about your audience and you need to think what is best for the people who are listening to your show.
When it comes to resetting the idea behind your show, which is a good idea because with each new episode there might be new listeners, it can be done in one simple sentence. At the beginning of most of my shows I have a tag line for the episode that explains to the audience what the show is about e.g. with You've Gotta Start Somewhere, my tag line is "the podcast that goes behind the scenes of show business to prove there's no such thing as an overnight success." Saying that at the beginning of each episode means I don't need to explain what that is.
You should be able to do a super quick elevator pitch in that introduction to get new listeners up to speed and then get into your show.
It is a tough market out there and it is a lot easier to fail as a podcast than it is to succeed. So to give yourself the best chance of success you really have to prove to an audience that they're not going to be wasting their time by coming to your show. Every single show needs to be presented like it's the very first time and that means not getting self-indulgent or complacent but really giving your best content upfront and really quickly. So your listener can get into it and s/he's never thinking "Oh can they just hurry up. I've got better things to do with my time!"

[00:04:28] So there you go. I hope you found this episode helpful. If you are enjoying the shows please head to iTunes and leave a review so other people can find it and if you would like a little bit more handholding in creating your own podcast then head to podschoolpodcast.com or you'll find a link to my online podcasting course PodSchool. That's it from me. I will see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover all the tools and tech you need to get your podcast started. Plus get access to my weekly podcasting tips delivered straight to your inbox!