There are two things every personality can do to improve performance immediately. One is to commit the time and effort to proper preparation. The other is not as obvious. Most shows are distracted. Eliminate distractions, and you will be able to concentrate, focus, and perform at a higher level.
When’s the last time you saw a concert and the performer was texting a friend between songs or the drummer suddenly stopped during a number to watch a video on YouTube? Or maybe an actor on a movie set stops in the middle of a scene to text his wife about dinner plans? That’s ridiculous, right?
Professionals eliminate distractions so they can focus on great performances. Why should your show be any different?
Some radio studios are like Grand Central Station during rush hour.
- Someone is checking out a video on Tik Tok, but it’s nothing for the show.
- Several televisions play various channels while a cohost flips through the channels.
- The host is in a text conversation with her spouse.
- A cohost is reading funny lines from a blog post…repeating someone else’s performance!
- The producer is on social media and explains he’s either prepping a segment or promoting the show.
- And three salespeople are hanging out because they can never catch the show after 10 am.
The only way to create amazing entertainment is to eliminate distractions and focus.
You may think staying focused while the songs and commercials play is not important. It is. This is about committing to the full performance of a radio show. It matters.
Each cast member has a responsibility to one another. It’s everyone’s job to make sure the room is connected. This is what I call a For The Show mentality. The show doesn’t happen in the few minutes of actual talk. It takes place for the full 3 or 4 hours. It includes everything that happens on air.
Every distraction sends a signal that the show is not important. This attitude spreads, and bad habits form. It’s impossible to perform at the highest level when thinking about an unrelated topic.
Here are ways to eliminate distractions you probably don’t realize exist:
Personal Communications: Emergencies happen, but not that often. Put off personal communication until after the show. It can wait. Some shows have even added a no-devices during the show rule. The mobile phones stay in their office until the show is over. If you really need to check on something, do it a couple of times during an extended break.
Social Media: Unless a cast member is assigned to manage social media platforms as a core part of their job, stay off social media during the show. Patrick Mahomes doesn’t check Instagram between plays or even when he’s on the sidelines. He actively prepares for the next chance to perform.
No In-Studio Meetings: Whatever it is, it can wait. Meeting with the promotions director about a weekend promotion is less important than the next segment. Most of these in-studio get-togethers are so the show can escape earlier. Guess what? This is a full-time job.
What To Do With All That Time?
Eliminate distractions, and you’ll unlock time to concentrate on making the show better. You might wonder what to do while waiting for the next segment to start. Here are some ideas:
- Answer the studio phone instead of leaving it on hold or letting it right. It’s great customer service, and you’ll give someone who cares enough to call the radio station a personal experience they’ll probably tell someone else about. You might also get some content you can use.
- Review the upcoming content and fine-tune the plan for that next segment. Review it with the team so everyone is locked in and focused.
- Rewrite and edit a tease (or two) for the next break. That’s assuming the teases were created in advance. They were, right?
- Listen to the song or news content to enter the same headspace as the listener and craft a connected response to that content to build a bridge to your next segment.
Everything else can wait. Shift everything else to before or after the show:
- Give everyone 30 minutes of free time right after the show to catch up on personal communication.
- Schedule appointments and meetings to take care of internal business.
- Address social media strategies and opportunities during your daily show prep meeting.
Distractions are small at first but tend to snowball. Maybe you only checked Twitter because the host was on Facebook or having breakfast. That’s no excuse. Instead of copying their behavior, hold them accountable. All team shows are co-dependent. Nobody succeeds unless the team succeeds.
I suspect (and by that, I mean I know) some personalities try to take care of business during the show so they can “do four and hit the door.”
Being a radio star is not a four-hour gig any more than being an all-pro football player takes just 4 hours on Sunday, or a rock star just works for a couple of hours a night. Performing at a high level is all-consuming.
Why is your performance less important? Spend every second preparing physically and mentally to be the best. Commit to your show, your station, and your career. It will pay off.