And Now It’s Time For …

by Erik K. Johnson


And now it’s time for …

This phrase seems harmless. It looks like a logical transition from one segment to another during your podcast. Unfortunately, this phrase gives your listener permission to leave the show.  It is detrimental to your audience engagement.

When you use “and now it’s time for…” or some similar phrase, it tells the listener that one segment is over and we are moving on to something else. It also signals a natural break in the show and the perfect time to exit. The transition is a lot like a commercial break in a television show. It is time to grab the remote to see what else is available.

Famous American showman P. T. Barnum noticed that people were lingering too long at his exhibits. If he could get them through the exhibit faster, he could get more people through in a day. Barnum posted signs around the exhibit indicating “This Way to the Egress”. Unaware that “Egress” simply meant “Exit”, people followed the signs to what they assumed was a fascinating exhibit only to end up outside.

Take down the “egress” sign. If you truly want to hold your listener from one piece of content to the next, don’t send up the signal. Simply move to the next segment.

Imagine you are at a cocktail party. You are discussing the baseball game that you saw over the weekend. After that topic runs its course, do you say, “Now it’s time to talk about my new car”? I doubt it. You probably just roll right into, “Hey, I bought a new car last week.” It is a natural transition. Your friend doesn’t think, “Hmm, that was a pretty rough transition.” Great storytelling is captivating.  If you use an intriguing introduction, your friend moved on right along with you.

As you wrap up one segment, move right to the next. You might end the first segment with, “If you take those steps, things should be back to normal.” Roll into the next with, “Jackie has a question about teamwork,” and play the call. The next segment just starts. You’ve hooked them on the next segment without opening the door to leave.

Don’t flash the exit sign. Eliminate “and now it’s time for …” to hold your listener for the entire podcast.