Each episode starts by introducing the podcast, the host and the guests.

Introduce the podcast

At the very start of the episode, tell people what they are listening to. Say something like:

“Welcome to the Department of Bad Ideas; a podcast about policy that is totally disconnected from reality.

Introduce yourself

After you’ve introduced the podcast, introduce yourself. Say something like:

“I’m your host, John Peart, and I’ll be guiding you through this episode for roughly the next 30 to 40 minutes.”

Do a bit more exposition

In the first series, it’s probably helpful to give a bit more explanation of things to listeners, but also guests, about why they can expect from the podcast. Say something like:

“I’ve been working in public policy for about 7 years and if there’s one thing that always comes up time and again in policy design it’s the idea of ‘constraint’. This podcast is about having fun with policy when you get rid of those constraints.

“In each episode, our guests tell us how they’d fix public policy problems in the most impractical, unpalatable and impossible ways.”

Explain the structure of the podcast

Give a brief overview of the podcast episode structure, so people can follow along. Say something like:

“Over the course of this episode, my guest will take part in four rounds.

“In the first three rounds, they’ll be pitching solutions to some big policy problems. I’ve chosen two of them, and they’ve chosen the other one. Some of them are real and some of them are totally made up. They’ll get 5 minutes to present their solution, and I’ll get to quiz them after that before giving them a score for each round.

“In the final round, they’ll have to think on their feet as I throw problems at them and they have to solve them on the fly without fluffing it.

“At the end, we’ll total up the scores and see how they do against other contestants throughout the series.”

Introduce the guest

Introduce the guest and let people get to know them a bit. Ease them into the podcast with a gentle (unmarked!) question. Say something like:

“I’m joined today by [insert name here].

“Tell us a bit about what you do for a living.

“Before we start the contest itself, start by telling us about a really bad idea you’ve had recently.”

To help them come up with the ‘bad idea you’ve had’, here are some prompts:

  1. Have you recently bought something you really shouldn’t have?
  2. Have you recently done some DIY that has gone very wrong?
  3. Did you recently commit to doing something and now you really regret it?

Move on to Round 1

Once this part of the podcast is finished, we’ll move on to round 1: The Impossible Implementation Unit.