If you’re short on time or writing confidence, you can use AI to write podcast show notes.
But bear in mind that tools like ChatGPT will not do all the work for you. And the better the prompts you give the AI, the better the results.
[Not sure what show notes are or why you need them? Check out our blog, 8 Reasons You Still Need Podcast Show Notes (Even If You’re Not Sure People are Reading Them) for more info.]
Without further ado, here is the 10-step process the TPG writing team uses to generate show notes.
1. Determine the framework for your podcast show notes.
Here at TPG, we write a summary of the episode, including a short bio of the guest (if there is one), followed by a bullet list of key takeaways or topics covered. We wrap up the show notes with links to any resources mentioned in the episode.
Now, create a show notes doc in the word processing program of your choice with headings for each of the elements you’d like to include.
2. Import your podcast audio into an AI transcription service.
We use Otter.ai for this purpose, and it works quite well. No, the transcript is not perfect, especially when the speakers talk over each other or don’t enunciate clearly. But it’s somewhere between 83% and 90% accurate, depending on who you ask, and that’s good enough for our purposes here.
3. Now, open ChatGPT and give it the following prompt:
Please identify 2 to 3 key takeaways/topics covered] from this segment (part x of x) of a podcast transcript. Limit each takeaway to one sentence with no more than 20 words:
Then, copy-paste the first ten minutes of your transcript from Otter.ai, leaving out the podcast intro and any banter that isn’t related to the main idea of the podcast. If, for example, the host and guest chat about the weather or how they first met, ChatGPT doesn’t realize that’s not key information.
As of publication, the character limit on ChatGPT is 4,096, so feed the chatbot the text in segments approximately ten minutes in length, letting the bot know there’s more to come. For instance…
Please identify 2 to 3 key takeaways from this segment (part 1 of 3) of a podcast transcript. Limit each takeaway to one sentence with no more than 20 words:
4. Repeat step 3 for the remaining segments of the transcript.
Copy and paste ten-minute segments of your transcript until you have key takeaways or topics covered for the entire podcast episode.
5. Transfer the key takeaways to your show notes doc.
For the next step in our process for using AI to write podcast show notes, simply use the clipboard feature in ChatGPT to move the bullet list to the template you created in Step 1, editing as needed.
6. Generate a summary of the episode.
Once you have a complete list of key takeaways or topics covered, you can use the following prompt in ChatGPT to generate a summary of the episode.
Based on the following list of key takeaways/topics covered in a podcast, write a summary of the episode. Please keep it brief and limit the summary to no more than 5 sentences:
Again, use the clipboard feature to copy the result and paste it on your podcast show notes doc, editing when necessary.
7. Use ChatGPT to edit your guest bio.
If the podcast episode was an interview, find the segment of the Otter.ai transcript when the guest was introduced. It may be easy enough to copy the guest bio (as read by the host at the beginning of the episode) and paste it directly into your podcast show notes doc.
If, however, the guest bio is quite long, you can use ChatGPT to edit it down to the most relevant information for the show notes. Here’s the prompt we use:
Edit this bio down to 2 sentences, focusing on [name’s] experience in [subject matter covered in the episode].
Once again, use the clipboard feature transfer the bio to your show notes doc.
8. Identify the resources mentioned and add links.
Using AI to find the resources mentioned in a podcast is tricky. As of publication, ChatGPT struggled to identify book titles, articles, research papers, websites, events, or other podcasts mentioned in a podcast transcript.
The best approach we’ve found to date is to use the search feature in the Otter.ai transcript to look for the following keywords: book, article, paper, research, podcast, website, social media, event and conference.
This is not a perfect system, but it will help you identify most of the important resources mentioned in a given podcast episode, so you can link to them in the show notes.
9. Add a hook to the beginning of your show notes.
If you’re running out of time, skip this step and you’ll still be publishing a solid set of show notes. But if you want to take your efforts to the next level, we recommend adding a hook to the beginning of your post.
The goal of a hook is to relate to your audience. This might be a question aimed at your target audience, a startling statistic mentioned in the episode, a truth bomb of some kind, or even a provocative quote related to the theme.
Unfortunately, ChatGPT is not very good at crafting introductions that are specific to the theme of the episode, so you can’t just ask the bot to write an interesting introduction to your show notes. Unless, of course, you don’t mind something generic like, “Welcome to another exciting episode of the Fill-in-the-Blank Podcast…”
But if you give it a little guidance, ChatGPT can write a pretty good hook for you. For instance:
Based on the following summary of a podcast, please give me three potential questions I might use to as a hook that would inspire [target audience] to listen:
10. Collaborate with ChatGPT to write an interesting title.
We use the following prompt to generate a list of potential titles:
Based on the following podcast show notes, generate a list of 5 potential titles. Please include positive/negative sentiment or power words:
Why positive/negative sentiment or power words? They’re good for SEO and prompt an emotional response in your audience.
Of course, you’re not obligated to use one of the titles provided, and you can ask the bot to try again and generate another list if you’re not satisfied with any of them.
And give ChatGPT whatever guidance you’d like. You might ask it to include a particular keyword in the title or appeal to a particular audience.
Again, AI tools will not do all the work for you, and the writing ChatGPT gives you is well-written … but does sound generic.
It takes a human collaborator to keep it honest, discerning what’s important from what isn’t and giving the content personality. But we can leverage AI to write podcast show notes faster.
Wish someone would take show notes off your plate entirely? All three of our TPG Podcast Post-Production Packages come with SEO-friendly show notes!