The difference between average content and content that captivates, retains, and engages the audience comes down to just one thing: A great Setup. Effective communicators must captivate the audience quickly or lose them. And lost attention is hard to regain. Luring listeners past the critical high-risk zone requires finding the words to craft a can’t-miss, attention-getting hook. The Mastering The Setup seminar explains how to capture and hold attention in three simple steps. This is a fundamental skill for creating can’t-miss radio, podcast, or video stream content.

Here’s an example: The performer is a first-time mom struggling to lose the baby weight, but most of the audience will stop paying attention if the Setup starts like this:

I just had my first child, and gained about 45 pounds during my pregnancy. That was expected, but what is completely unexpected is how hard it is to lose that weight. All my friends told me the pounds would melt away when I started breast-feeding. Really? When does that start?

No matter how relevant, this Setup will not hold attention because it comes across as self-absorbed and “about me.” The three simple steps in Mastering The Setup will turn a “who cares” segment into a “can’t miss it” moment.

Three Steps To Mastering The Setup

The trickiest part of storytelling is causing a listener to be invested in what is to come. I show you how to do it in a simple three-step process that can be replicated again and again:

Step 1: A Hook With An Attitude.

Step 2: Set The Topic With A Premise.

Step 3: Build a Bridge To The Story.

Here’s how the Mastering The Setup process fixes this setup:

Step 1: A Hook With An Attitude  Start with a simple, direct, surprising, externally-focused statement.

All moms are liars….

That’s bold, compelling, and provokes a strong response. It’s perfect!

Step 2: Set The Topic With A Premise: The second line injects perspective with a hot take.

…Because if they told the truth, nobody would have a kid.

That’s a powerful, emotional point of view. You know exactly where the storyteller stands.

Step 3: Build a Bridge To The Story. Now that the hook and premise are established, add color and tell the story.

Everyone says, “Oh, you’re breastfeeding. The weight is going to just melt off. What? Really? When? It’s a lie told by moms to trick other moms into having kids so they’re not the only ones living this hell.

The bridge leads the audience to look forward to what happens next.

Inside The Seminar

The seminar teaches you how to use this process for every piece of content. It’s loaded with clear examples, interactive exercises, and practical tips featuring more actual setups so you can learn:

  • A crucial two-word phrase that distinguishes an ordinary Setup from one that retains listeners.
  • Jerry Seinfeld’s recipe for a compelling punchline can be applied to create great Setups that point to the Payoff.
  • The three components of a great Setup are broken down into detailed steps and explanations.
  • Examples of excellent and poor Setups to help you identify the differences and refine your technique.
  • Interactive exercises to identify and fix bad Setups. This will improve your skills.
  • Tips and tricks you can use to start creating better content immediately.
  • A checklist to assess the strength of your Setups and identify areas for improvement.

Who Should Attend?

This seminar is perfect for all content creators who wish to captivate the audience and stand out in a competitive media environment. Every podcaster, radio personality, video streamer, standup comedian, and public speaker should study and apply these principles. It’s a Master Class for advanced personalities that have never learned this process yet can be applied by newbies just starting out.

It’s also ideal for mentors, managers, and coaches responsible for training talented performers.


Mastering The Setup will help you be more creative by unlocking storytelling potential you didn’t realize you had. Stories will immediately be more compelling and probably even funnier!

The Mastering The Setup seminar is now available on-demand. Are you ready to elevate your performance?

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