Struggling to find the best opening lines to say during the start of your podcast or radio show!
We know the feeling, where nothing you try to say seems right. And it’s imperative to say the right thing to keep the listener hooked!
So, today, we’re presenting tips & examples of the best opening lines.
You know what’s also hard. Finding the right words to start a speech or the right words to say to someone you like!
Let’s get started with interesting examples of attention-grabbing opening lines:
Example 1: StartTalk Radio Show
The opening lines are from the “More Space and Science” episode with Bill Nye. He begins:
“Welcome, welcome, welcome, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, kids of all ages to StartTalk Radio, Bill Nye here, sitting in for Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I'm here today with none other than Chuck Nice.”
Why does it work
● Delivered high energy.
● It’s warm and welcoming.
● Bill Nye recognizes all listeners, including kids that love StarTalk radio.
Example 2: Ted Radio Hour Introductions by Guy Raz
Guz Raz had consistent openings for each episode. After stating the show’s name and introducing himself, he would sum up the entire show's subject matter. Here are some great radio show openings from past episodes:
Episode: Is it enough to be politically correct?
“It's the TED Radio Hour from NPR. I'm Guy Raz. And on the show today, just a little nicer - ideas about compassion and empathy.”
Listen to the full episode:
Episode: What Did Cavemen Think About Lust?
- “It's the TED Radio Hour from NPR. I'm Guy Raz, and on the show today - the Seven Deadly Sins. And in preparation for this episode...”
Following these short intros, the next section would be a soundbite of the news, theme songs, TV shows, etc.
Sometimes, the introduction was different and off-script. For instance, for the “How Did A Mistake Unlock One Of Space's Mysteries?” episode, the show starts with a scene involving Guy Raz and his son.
“Guz Raz: Come with me. Let's go outside. (To his son)
A couple of months ago, we bought our son a telescope. (Narration)
Raz: (whispering) Okay, we're going outside now. We have to be quiet, okay?”
Listen to the full episode:
Example 3: The Joe Rogan Experience - Opening Lines
Joe Rogan has short & neat first lines. Basically, he starts the show by saying:
“Hello, Friends, welcome to the show. This episode is brought to you by (sponsor’s name + more information about the advertiser, which may go on for a few minutes).”
Check his feed on Google Podcast:
Example 4: SmartLess - For the Most Creative First Opening Lines
SmartLess, hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, & Will Arnett, puts a creative spin on each of their opening lines, so they are always interesting. The “Brad Paisley” episode begins:
“Sean Hayes (talking really fast): Hey guys, I'm Sean Hayes here with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, and we do a show called Smartless, and it’s a, one of us brings a guest that the other two don’t know about you, and it’s a surprise….
Will & Jason cut him off asking: Hey...Oh my...Are you late for something? Honestly, what’s wrong? ...People will turn it off hearing that.”
Other Smartless episodes with great openings you can check out include:
● Awkwafina - May 1st, 2021
● Billie Eilish & Finneas O'Connell - February 8th, 2021
● Sam Harris - Jan 25th, 2021
Example 5: Thought for Today - 7 Good Minutes Daily-Improvement Podcast
The opening lines of the show feature the thought of the day. For the episode, “How to Be Mentally Strong and Happy,” Clyde Lee Dennis says:
● “A great gauge of how mentally strong you are is to consider how comfortable you are at being yourself. And that is the thought for today.”
“Do The Hard Things First” begins:
● “To have something you've never had, you’ll have to do something you've never done, and that is the thought for today.”
Got an inspirational radio show or podcast? You can think of improving on this concept and using quotes for your intros.
Example 6: Warm Morning Opening Lines - The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show
Zoe Ball’s breakfast show on Radio 2 is home to some nice morning opening lines. She delivers each morning wake-up call with utter warmth and high energy, ushering in madam day. Here are some of our favorites:
● “Good morning, lovely gang, it’s Thursday. Hurray! Thursday the 25th of March in case you needed reminding...”
● “Good morning, gang, stepping into the weekend. Thank you so much, the gorgeous Lady V, next door. We have these funny conversations through the glass...” She regularly says thanks to the previous host for her great show.
● “Ooh, good day, dear hearts, here we are to warm your chill boots with major music, tip-top guests, and everything you may need to kick start your day.”
● “Good morning gang, Thursday is upon us dear hearts, one closer day to Friday. Yesterday was a grey old, chill, damp, dolly, downer of a day. Well. I hope today through the medium of music to lift your hearts, and your moods, and your limbs. Is that asking too much at 6:31?”
10 Tips for Writing Great Show Opening Lines
Now, here are some tips to crush that writer's block that stopping you from having outstanding opening lines:
#Tip 1: Spark curiosity
Make listens wait for your next lines by leaving them with many unanswered questions. Iain Banks cleverly does this in The Crow Road. He begins: “It was the day my grandmother exploded.”
# Tip 2: When in doubt, deliver a “nice hello”
A simple opening line that will never go wrong is delivering a nice hello to your listeners. For morning shows, it is : “Good morning, how is your morning? Cold and chill? I’m freezing my socks off too! I have shots of good music to warm you up this morning.”
# Tip 3: Use the right words to change the tone of your opening lines
The opening line sets the mood for the show. The right word choice is all that matters. For instance, if you are introducing a morning or comedy show, use words such as:
● Beautiful, bright, sunny, awesome, feeling, great, lovely, big, lovely, etc.
Words like gloomy, dark, bleak, developing situation, sad, too late, etc., make the opening line a bit serious.
Tip 4: Share a story or experience
When in doubt about the first thing to say to your listeners, result to the ordinary. Zoe Ball, for instance, thanks Lady V and talks about the music that she liked from the previous show.
You can also consider:
● Telling listeners about the difficulties of waking up for the morning show.
● Relate something that happened to you
● Talk about your outfit.
● Share the traffic incident you witnessed coming to work.
● Talk about the previous night's shows. Was the Bachelor on? Who got a rose? It’s always important to pick something popular with your listeners.
Tip 5: The weather will never fail you
Weather is always a trendy topic. That’s why it’s on the news every night, every morning. Rage against the gloomy and freezing winter days! Praise the coming spring, and relish in the warm summer days.
Tip 6: Lead with the guest in the studio
Got a guest in the studio or on the other side of the line? For an easy intro, introduce them first. “Hey, welcome to today’s show. I’m here with (Guest Name) + list their achievements.
Tip 7: Tell them what's coming
The first opening lines can be about what’s coming up on the show. You could say, “Hi, it’s (name) here. Before we get started, here is what’s coming up.”
Tip 8: Let the guest talk
Here is another cool idea! Can’t find the first right words. Just ask the guest to say something nice about the show, for instance, “Hi, I am Jordan Kraken, here with (host name). Keep listening to hear (interesting content).
Tip 9: Say your name + show name
Hi, I’m (host name), and you’re listening to the (show name).
Tip 10: Say the most important things first
Lead with the most insightful information, and worry about the explanations later. For instance, when journalists write a murder story, they start by sharing the most crucial information.
For instance, the first paragraph may state: “Police offices from Brown County arrested a woman in a shooting incident that left two men dead.”
Later, they offer explanations about who was arrested. By leading with the most important information, they draw readers to read to the end of the story.
Got more tips on writing the best opening lines. Please share them in the comments section!