When you turn on the lights in your home, do you quickly thank the electric company, power plant, solar panel company, or wind turbines that provide that electricity? Did you qualify reports in school that tipped off the teacher where to look for the plagiarized material? Of course not. So why do content creators constantly feel the need to credit your source? This is a common mistake that makes no sense.

There’s no point in opening a segment with:

According to an article in this month’s Cosmo…

A new USA Today survey says that…

I saw on HGTV last night that…

We were just on the Entertainment Tonight website during the break and found out…

I was watching The Today Show and Savannah talked about this guy in Ohio that…

It makes no sense. When you credit your source, you transfer attention from where it belongs (you) to the source.

Disclaimer: There are times a responsible journalist should reference the source of news content. It can add credibility, protect the organization from legal liability, or advance a story by involving the source. But those are exceptions. And most of you are not journalists. You’re entertainers.

Don’t Credit Your Source

There’s nothing wrong with stealing adapting content from prep services, magazines, newspapers, television programs, websites, and other sources. Ideas, inspiration, thought-starters, and content.

Great. Steal the topic, then curate it and turn it into original content.

That Buzzfeed list of reasons parents can’t wait for kids to return to school? Awesome. That can be great content. Why send listeners to Buzzfeed? That’s not going to generate more listening. And by the way, stop doing lists and surveys. They’re boring!

There’s no upside to starting a segment with:

My wife and I were taking one of those personality quizzes in in Glamour this weekend, and one of the questions was…

The source adds nothing to the entertainment value. And it signals to listeners that they should check out the survey instead of remembering you. Eliminate the source. There are better ways to capture attention quickly, as demonstrated in the seminar Master The Setup. Here’s another way to get into it:

From the moment Eve conned Adam with an apple, women have been trapping men with trick questions…because men are simple, trusting, gullible cavemen that never see it coming until it’s too late and a fight follows. My wife tricked me into a couples quiz yesterday and I fell for another trick question.

This setup gets to the essence of the topic – the conflict.

  • Hook the audience with an attitude statement.
  • Set the topic with an emotional, provocative premise.
  • Engage with a bridge to the story!

And the credit goes to where it belongs: you.

It All Starts With Prep

There’s no reason to mention the source if you’re investing time in the preparation process to curate the content and generate unique entertainment.

Increasing Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA) is one of today’s greatest challenges. We must work harder than ever to capture the audience’s attention and be more memorable. Get past the mindset of gathering information and redistributing it. Hunting and gathering are where preparation begins. Your challenge is to turn it into something new, unique, and original.

Here’s the irony. Many of your best sources are businesses making a fortune repurposing content from another source. Buzzfeed, Reddit, and Upworthy find interesting content, curate it, and rewrite it as their own material. They rarely credit the source because it’s not relevant to the story they create.

Isn’t that what you do?


If you wonder how to implement that concept, check out Personality Magnet. There’s fresh content, curated and ready to curate into original performances.  Get a trial for just $1 to check it out.

Be bold. Don’t credit your source.

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