Whether you're a seasoned podcaster or just starting out, you know writing a podcast summary is an important part of the process. The problem is, it can be a challenge at times.
You’re uninspired. You can’t quite find the right words. Or you wish you could make it more compelling. How can you make sure your podcast summary makes your audience want to tune in? How can you write a podcast summary that doesn’t put your audience to sleep or, even worse, make them click away?
Writing a solid podcast summary takes incorporating a few key elements. Below, we share the step-by-step process of writing a compelling podcast summary. We also share a handy shortcut you can use for all your summaries that’ll help cut down your production time.
Let’s get into it.
How to write a podcast summary step by step
A podcast summary is a short (usually 1-2 paragraph) recap of what was discussed in an episode. It's a great way to get the main points without having to commit to the whole thing.
Plus, writing a podcast summary is a great exercise in active listening and critical thinking. It forces you to pay attention to what's being said and distill it down to the most important points
Here's a step-by-step guide to writing a podcast summary:
1. Listen to the podcast episode critically
Assuming you weren’t in the podcast yourself, start by listening to the episode. At the very least, read through the show notes or transcription, if you have any.
This first part of the process will help you hone in on what the main idea for that episode was. It’s also a way to find compelling points or observations that can add some personality to your summary.
2. Identify your most important point
Podcast directories are crowded with thousands of entrepreneurs, startups, and legacy radio hosts transitioning into the podcast hosting space. Why? Because a good podcast brings in new listeners and builds an audience.
This means you want to optimize your chances of grabbing people’s attention by nailing the intro for your own podcast. How? By creating a podcast summary that starts with either your most intriguing, compelling, or important point.
This way, your audience can make a faster decision on whether they want to tune in to the episode or not. Keep in mind that your episode title should work in tandem with your podcast summary. In other words, they should make sense together.
If your title implies you’ll share a personal story but your podcast summary doesn’t talk about it, then there isn’t much correlation there (even if you did briefly touch on those subjects in the podcast!). At best, it’ll confuse your audience and compel them to click away (which is what you don’t want).
3. Add the rest of the summary in 1 - 3 sentences
Once you’ve created a compelling first sentence for your podcast, you can add a few supporting sentences to round it out. Consider your podcast summary length as you go through the process.
You don’t want to get too lengthy. But you also don’t want to create a three-word summary. You don’t want to give away your whole podcast in the summary. After all, the whole point of a podcast is to gain “listeners” not “readers.”
The rest of your summary can include additional themes or subject matter discussed in the podcast. It can even include a call to action that asks your listeners to show up every time you release a new episode. Remember, it’s about being creative and informative with your descriptions.
3. Mention guests
Have any special guests on your podcast? Mention them in your summary as yet another way to interest listeners to tune in.
Especially if your guests are in the niche your target audience is interested in, naming your guests within your podcast summary is a great way to compel them to listen.
The Daily does a good job of this in every episode with guests:
“Among the actions taken by the West to punish Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine is the blacklisting of the incredibly rich and politically connected Russian businessmen known as oligarchs.
But how could sanctions on Russia’s super-wealthy increase the pressure on President Vladimir V. Putin to end the war?
Guest: Matt Apuzzo, a reporter for The New York Times, based in Brussels.”
While you don’t have to add your guests at the bottom of your podcast summary, you can include them within your description. You can even lead with your guest as the first part of your summary. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats.
4. Edit for clarity and brevity
The last step of the summary process is to edit for clarity and brevity. Your podcast summary should be clear and concise. It’s also always a good idea to edit for grammar. The clearer your podcast summary, the more informed your audience will be. Here’s an example podcast summary from The Daily:
“In the high-stakes competition to dominate the business of clean energy, the Democratic Republic of Congo is a major arena: The country is the source of more than two-thirds of the world’s cobalt, a key component of electric-car batteries.
In recent years, China has established a strong presence in Congo, while the United States has lost ground. We went to the African country to understand how that happened.
Guest: Dionne Searcey, a correspondent for The New York Times.”
By following these simple steps, you can easily write a podcast summary that will give your listener all the key information from an episode without having to commit to summarizing the entire thing.
Now, if you're looking for an easy way to automate the podcast summary creation process, Jasper is a great option. Simply export the transcript of an episode and use one of the templates to summarize your podcast episode. From there, Jasper takes care of the rest. This way, you can focus on what's important: creating great content for your listeners.
How To Write A Podcast Summary With Jasper
Jasper’s AI copy generator is an accessible way to create podcast summaries in minutes (if not seconds). All you have to do to get started is to copy and paste your podcast transcript into a template.
From there, you can let Jasper generate a few options at a time so you have several choices to pick from. Take it a step up with Boss Mode, and you can dictate your podcast summary as Jasper uses AI to create a compelling summary for you.
To create a podcast summary with Jasper:
- Open a Jasper account and navigate to templates
- Click on Text Summarizer
- Add your transcript
- Adjust the output rate to a quantity of your choice
- Tap on Generate AI Content
As an example, we copied and pasted this blog post. Here are some of our favorite results:
“Writing a podcast summary can be difficult. So use these tips to make sure you write on that doesn't put them to sleep while making it compelling.”
“Writing a summary for a podcast can be challenging, but by incorporating key elements it's possible to write one that will grab the attention of listeners.”
Wrapping up your podcast summary
You don't have to be Tim Ferriss to create a compelling episode description. An episode summary is a way of providing some additional information for people who have already listened to the podcast. When summarizing a podcast, make sure you are clear and concise.
Also, try to add in your own thoughts and perspective to make it feel like more than just a regurgitation of the audio content. Finally, try to keep your summary around 500 characters or less – any more than that and people might start to lose interest. Regardless of whether your show is on apple podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher, creating small blurbs for new episodes will help reel in potential listeners. The best podcasts offer episode descriptions and podcast show notes with key takeaways.
Ready to learn more about how you can use AI to create all your written content? Check out the Jasper Bootcamp here.