Storytelling in Podcasts – Structure Your Content to Keep Listeners Engaged.

Storytelling in Podcasts to Keep Your Listeners Engaged

Everybody loves a good story. Our brain is wired for storytelling, and it’s an integral part of human nature. Stories don’t just serve to entertain and inform people; they are a means to create connections and help people solve problems in their life. In fact, psychologists believe we are 20 times more likely to remember information when it’s presented in a story format. 

We relate to people at our best when we can put ourselves in a story about them, creating connection and impact. For this reason, podcasts that tell stories with their content have better odds of succeeding. Unsurprisingly, around 69% of successful marketers believe storytelling is crucial for their organization.

Importance of Podcast Storytelling

The key to creating an interesting podcast is tapping into storytelling tools to engage your audience, share information in an interesting manner, and hook your audience to keep them coming back for more. 

Podcast storytelling brings a topic to life, gives you material focus, and builds affinity with the people you’re sharing with. 

But how do you incorporate stories into a B2B podcast? How do you tap into the potency of storytelling to elevate your business podcast?

How to Create Podcasts that Tell Stories?

How to Create Podcasts that Tell Stories

Quick question: What makes a story engaging? Complex answers aside, a lot of what makes a story gripping is the structure or the “shape of the story.” The right structure holds the listeners’ attention and sparks a curiosity that keeps them engaged to the end.

For a basic structure of the overall podcast episode, start with a to-the-point introduction to your podcast that hooks your listener’s attention. Deliver a teaser of what’s coming without giving away any of the good stuff. Include opening music, podcast title, hosts’ names, podcast theme, and the episode’s theme. 

Now to where storytelling in podcasts really shines; the structure of the content (or the flesh of the episode). How do you shape whatever narrative you’re looking to push in your B2B podcast? 

We’ll look at this in two ways. First is the important elements that define a good story. And, second are the podcast storytelling techniques to guide you in blending the story elements into a compelling narrative. 

5 Common Elements of a Good Story:

  1. Setting: Set the scene for your audience. Sound is the only way your audience can engage with your content on a podcast, so make sure that you’re setting the scene with your show. For example, give some background on the person you are interviewing.

  2. Character: Set the structure of your podcast with the hosts, guests, or fictional characters that will be taking place in your audio drama.

  3. Plot: The plot is the essential part of the podcast storytelling in each episode, so make sure the actual story you’re telling is good.

  4. Conflict: What is the drama you’re contending with in each episode? A clash or some sort of question to answer is the hook for your podcast.

  5. Theme: The overarching message behind your podcast episode is an essential part of your storytelling structure to your podcast.

Storytelling Techniques for a Compelling and Engaging Podcast.

In B2B podcasting, your listeners likely have a busy schedule. You need to keep them engaged throughout to ensure they’re tuned in to the end, and they have enough reason to download another episode. Whatever information you’re delivering with your episodes must be worth their time.

So, how do you go about this?

While there is no specific rule for creating compelling storytelling for podcasts, there are a few proven techniques that can help in maintaining a captivating rhythm. One of our favorites is the “Three-Act” narrative structure, which—as you can guess—is a storytelling technique that divides the narrative into three parts:

Act 1 (Beginning): You present a goal to be achieved.

Act 2 (Middle): You deliver an obstacle to the goal.

Act 3 (End): You present a change in perspective after overcoming the obstacle to reaching the goal.

For example:

Let’s say you have a show and would like to discuss “The Nuances of Creating a Successful Podcast.”

Your Act 1 can be something like “B2B podcasting can supercharge your lead generation when well-implemented.” 

Next, you present your obstacle in Act 2, which can be “feeling intimidated by the recording, editing, and publishing jargon.” You then close this off by offering a solution such as a podcasting course to simplify the process and reassure the listeners that they do not have to be intimidated. And that their goal is well within reach.

In other words, your B2B podcast would be more captivating and meaningful to your audience if you weaved a robust storytelling structure into how you deliver your content.

And no matter your podcast, there must be some form of structure. Your audience should know what to expect when they play one of your podcast episodes, creating a sense of familiarity and comfort with your content. 

A clear structure is one of the best ways to help you establish your topic and deliver an impactful message through your show. Scripting your podcast can help you keep your content on track and deliver excellent storytelling for your audience.

Finally, consider keeping your podcast storytelling to the point. Podcasts that are too long can lose their audiences. Joe Rogan has mastered the 2-hour long podcast, but that doesn’t mean you need to. Keeping your podcast episodes shorter can improve your listening figures.

 

Find Some Inspiration for Storytelling in Podcasts.

Find Some Inspiration for Storytelling in Podcasts

So, where can you find good stories to tell or improve on what you’re already putting out? 

Your audience is a great start. Ask for their feedback on your podcast storytelling and the type of stories they want to hear on your podcast. 

Additionally, you can use your own experience, industry or subject matter stories, news, or guest stories. Find inspiring stories to share and jot them down, noting what hooked you to them.

In addition to your audience and your experiences, listening to other podcasts that tell stories and excel in the art is a great way to add to your skill set and get the hang of storytelling. Here are some great examples you can listen to today:

The Moth Podcast

 

The Moth Podcast The Moth Podcast is dedicated to the craft of storytelling. They have recorded stories over two decades and re-air new episodes on The Moth Radio Hour. Each podcast episode is a curated and unscripted story told by different people without notes in front of a live audience.

Revisionist History

Revisionist History
Revisionist History is a podcast that tells stories by presenting a new spin on historical events, focusing on a single event, idea, or person. Storytelling is at its finest as the host gives the past “a second chance.” 

Heavyweight

 

Heavyweight Heavyweight delves into the world of regret and tells the stories of people who wish they could do something again. Jonathan Goldstein, the show’s host, attempts to help people understand their mistakes and fix their problems. The show examines the flaws of being a human and is heartwarming and comedic.

Committed

Committed
Author of How To Be Married, Jo Piazza, hosts Committed, the podcast that tells the stories of couples who go the extra mile to keep their marriage vows. Obstacles, solutions, and learning curves are part of this storytelling podcast.

Ready to Tell Your Story?

Storytelling is a powerful human phenomenon. It is the schema by which we organize our lives and thoughts. It’s only natural that creating podcasts that tell stories is one of the most meaningful ways to impact people through your content.

Draw inspiration from other podcasts that tell stories and put some of the techniques mentioned above into practice–and hopefully watch listener-engagement results improve.

Got a story to share with the world? If you don’t have a podcast, consider starting one to connect with an eager audience. It’s easier than you think with proper guidance—and we have a FREE podcasting course for this very purpose.

Praveen Telu

Praveen Telu

I'm the founder of PodcastBuffs - In this blog, I share all my thoughts, experiments, results, tips, and tricks to help you succeed as a B2B podcaster.

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