The Toughest, Fastest Improvement for Presenters

Recently I was coaching a group of graduate students at MIT in Boston on public speaking. We discussed body language and voice dynamics, revealing your personality and tips on holding an audience’s interest. One participant asked, “what is the fastest way to improve?” I held my iPhone up and said,” video yourself.” The room grimaced … Read more

Content is King (Kong)

The 1933 movie King Kong involves a 50-foot-tall gorilla kidnapped from a remote island and brought to New York City. Spoiler alert: King Kong’s visit to Manhattan ends badly. But the real catastrophe was behind the scenes at RKO Pictures, the studio that made the film. Broadcasters ran RKO. RCA, the parent company of NBC, … Read more

Is Zoom Zapping Your Energy?

Do you find leading Zoom meetings exhausting? Most people do. Social scientists say there are powerful physiological reasons why platforms like Zoom and Webex can leave people much more worn out than in-person presentations. When you are the presenter, your energy is mirrored by the audience. If you want them to feel uplifted and enthused, … Read more

Free Speech and Cancel Culture

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Once in a while, broadcasters and podcasters tell me they are anxious about cancel culture. Some worry they might get fired for stumbling into a politically incorrect landmine. Others complain, “people are just looking to be offended,” or “you can’t say anything anymore.” My advice? Stop worrying. Eliminate cancel culture from your vocabulary and replace … Read more

Don’t Look at The Audience

Presenters can be thrown by a harsh critique about something that actually worked, or they can become overconfident even though a segment died on the air but generated text response.

Here are a few success indicators to consider watching. Some are scientific; some are like testing the wind with your finger. All will at least give you a clue about your performance.

What You Want Determines Ratings

There is an old rule on Broadway: In shows like Wicked or Hamilton it is always around the third song in the show when the main character must sing about what they want. What does theater have to do with you in radio? You are going to have to learn to sing! I’m kidding. Actually, … Read more

3 Goofs in On-Air Hosting

What are the most common mistakes we hear from television, radio and podcast hosts? Here are the top three and what you can do about them. Weak start How you begin determines whether your audience listens to you or not. The first words out of your piehole in the first few seconds are where your … Read more

3 Goofs in On-Air Conversations

What are the most common mistakes we hear in ensemble television, radio, and podcast shows? Here are the top three and what to do about them. Talk-over and interruptions  A multi-player show sometimes becomes a cacophonous din where no one is understood. On new shows, there is sometimes a lot of stepping on toes as … Read more

Why Talent Matters More Than the Station

Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it. One of my favorite radio stories from the 1940s may be repeating itself in 2020. As president of NBC, David Sarnoff was a technology guy. Sarnoff believed that once you owned all the radio stations and built the network, you had won. And NBC was … Read more

HOW TV NEWS WINS AT PODCASTING

The future of local television involves podcasting. Some stations repurpose newscast audio into downloadable shows while stations like WTTG in Washington have dedicated studios for creating original podcast content. Experts predict that podcast advertising will surpass $1 billion in 2021. News content has always been popular with podcast listeners, and demand has surged during the … Read more