This is the simplest way to guarantee success with any Content you do: Prep the ending first.
Suppose you have several errands to run. You need to drop some clothes off at the dry cleaners, you’ve got to mail something, and you need to go to the grocery store. So to save gas and go in more of a straight line, you plan everything so you go to the grocery store last. If you don’t, you’re going to end up with a lot of refrigerated items melting in the back seat while you’re doing the other errands.
It’s the same way with everything on the air – know where you’re GOING. Where the “destination” is. THEN, plan the beginning – how you’ll get into whatever the subject is. You’ll find that the middle pretty much takes care of itself.
Saturday Night Live is a good example. Through the years, they’ve always had talented people in the cast, but when the show was strongest, every ‘bit’ had a sense of purpose – an ending or conclusion that was solid and provided some sort of resolution at the end. When the show was at its weakest, there were still some good ideas, but they just kind of fizzled out at the end.
I have a new friend. His name is also John.
He’s like a baby chick sticking his head out of the egg when it comes to Christian music radio. After decades in mainstream radio he knows he doesn’t know the format, but he asks REALLY good questions.
Because he is so charged up about his own faith he asks me, “Why isn’t there more celebration?”. Gulp. Out of the mouth of babes.
As you’ve heard or seen me state before, Momentum and Pace are different things. Pace is how fast you go, but Momentum is how straight a line there is between Point A and Point B.
You don’t necessarily gain Momentum by just going faster. It takes being concise, and good construction, like a great writer’s book that you can’t put down.
Recently, this came up in a dramatic way as a Talk show I work with really got it, and moved effortlessly forward by keeping a close eye on the lengths of calls.
“Opinions are like noses”, the saying goes. “Everyone has one.”
I like her voice!
She sounds nasal!
He thinks he’s funny.
Subjective opinions are inevitable in an industry tethered to music and art. The question is… how do we keep subjectivity from driving our most important decisions, since subjectivity almost always results in the crankiest or highest ranking having their way.
I’ve found there are at least three unique areas that can be evaluated OBJECTIVELY:
The great movie Director Alfred Hitchcock was once asked by a reporter, “Is it true that you said all actors are cattle?”
Hitchcock replied, “No, I did not say that all actors are cattle. I said that all actors should be treated as cattle.”
Whenever you have a guest – or a guest host – keep that in mind. If the guest or guest host is from TV, chances are that they know NOTHING about radio. They know about hair product and how to read a teleprompter, but if they knew anything about keeping a viewer around, they wouldn’t keep saying things like “after this break” or “when we return.” (I’ll dive further into this in a future tip.) A guest, like someone who’s on “The Biggest Loser” or whatever, knows even less. They’re pretty much like ducklings, just trying to smile and not sound like amateurs.
YOU have to organize things for them.