Thoughts on Transitions in Your Show

If you have an interview show, or a show in which you have a smaller segment or two that leads up to the main body of content, make sure that you are treating those introductory sections as an actual essential element of the show. Let me explain what I mean with an example.

Have you ever heard a host, after sharing some updates, relevant anecdotes, or other introductory remarks, say something like, "now let's get to the episode" or "ok, on to the show"? Well, what have we been listening to then? The listener is already listening to the episode. Your intro, and any other segment, is a part of the show. You are the host and your setup to the interview, or your introductory remarks, should not be viewed as a less important segment of the program. Unless, of course, you are just rambling and not saying anything of value. In which case, perhaps you need to think a bit more about your presentation.

Image by Dolf Maurer from Pixabay

But if what you are sharing is important then don't sell it short. Again using the example of an interview show, the intro segment may be where you share your thoughts on the interview, share updates on your own journey, promote an event, etc. While the interview may be the “main course”, the appetizer is also important. So try to adjust your language to reflect that. Instead of saying, "let's get to the episode" try instead something like, “Now let’s hear from [guest name]” or “Let’s jump into this conversation with our guest”. These examples, and similar phrasing, are a better way to frame things and segue into the interview.

The same is true for when you have a break mid-conversation for ads. Whether they are live, host-read spots, pre-recorded ads that you drop in, or DAI commercials (dynamic ad insertion), the approach should be the same when you are returning to the show content. Suggestion: Say something like, "back to the interview/conversation/our guest" or similar rather than "back to the episode/show/program". It may seem like a distinction without a difference, or just a technicality, but although subtle, it is signaling to the listener that the midroll adbreak (and therefore any product/service promotion it contains) is a part of the show and is not something to ignore or skip over.

Image by Parveender Lamba from Pixabay
And lastly, I'd like to think that this should go without saying, but I still hear this issue on podcasts: Please, please, please, do not just let your ad injection system arbitrarily drop in ads willy-nilly. Please, at the very least, take the time to select a point within the episode where there is a natural pause in the conversation to have the ads placed. It's even better if you build into your outline a set point at which you will add the commercial break so it's a fairly seamless transition, but again, at the least, find a place with a break in the conversation flow or monologue in which to have the ads inserted. I'm hearing more and more shows having ads pop up in the middle of a sentence, and even in the middle of a word, and it's a terrible experience from a listener perspective.

Bottom line, be intentional about segment transitions and ad breaks. The better the listening experience, the higher chance you will gain long-term listeners who will love your show. It might be the great content that draws them, but it will likely be the manner in which it's presented that entices them to stick around.


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