(By Loyd Ford) There may be nothing more intimidating than helping grow a morning show. That’s because programmers, market managers, and consultants are often working with people with more talent and trying to align with them and become an invited influencer for what is cultivated on a brand a company controls.
But what if I woke up tomorrow and I had to do a morning show? What would I focus on in creating a great morning show? Here we go.
1. Be confident. Listeners can sense someone who is not confident and there is something more open and engaging about someone who is confident. Part of that confidence means shutting out the noise and creating what is entertaining to you with the hope that this content will entertain others.
2. Create an over-prepped world. Some people like to wing it. That’s not a good world for a morning show. I recently read an interview with Samuel Jackson talking about creativity. Know what he says? “I expect others to show up prepared like me.” If prep is important for an actor like Samuel Jackson, it surely is critical that you present your morning show by starting with OVER-prepping.
3. Pick the right content; be in the now. Selecting the right content for your morning show will be very critical because it comes in a variety of flavors and all are important for creating a great morning show.
A. The first type of content comes directly from your daily morning prep (because over-prepping gives you a lot of quick-fire go-to choices for material as the morning develops). You may not use it all, but you will have a lot of good choices.
B. Make sure you are focused on what’s important now.
C. Make sure your content is focused on your target audience – not yourself. The two may not always align. Have a clear picture of who you are talking to and make that the king of your content.
4. Confront your fear. There are many things to be fearful about if you are doing mornings, but as a morning show talent you must confront and push past your fears if you want to be successful.
5. You don’t have to be funny all the time, but you MUST be interesting all the time. A lot of novice morning shows start out believing they have to be funny all the time. This is the same as saying you have to be better than the competition all the time. Of course you would like to be the best at what you do and that’s an excellent goal. No question that being funny is a great goal, too. However, neither of those things are the most important factor for a morning show. You absolutely DO have to be interesting all the time. Attention span is at an all-time low and it won’t recover anytime in the future. Hook your audience consistently or risk failure. That’s the world you live in doing any morning show today.
6. Be vulnerable; showcase where you have failed, fallen short, be real. Anyone can get caught up in the image of being great, being confident, being an example of success. Don’t forget the vulnerability of people. Listeners connect with people who are like them. Show your audience your humanity. Give them glimpses of your imperfection. Be very real and choose the times you offer this in your mix of content to elevate listener connectivity.
7. Be free to fail, get outside your comfort zone. If you are doing a morning show, everyone you work for and work with is concerned with your successes. No matter how much the focus is on success, keep a part of you willing to take risks. Remember: The enemy of innovation is success. So, as you become more successful, you will be encouraged to take less and less risks until you are unsuccessful. Don’t allow too much of a good thing to kill your opportunity to create new success.
8. Edit, edit, edit. In case you can’t tell, the major two factors in this article are over-prepping and this: Always focus on editing. You see that I have included how important it is to be interesting all the time. How do you do that? One of the key ways to do this is to edit, edit, edit. Constantly creating hooks for your audience is incredibly powerful. No matter how cool and smart you are, putting a premium on editing your prep, editing your breaks, editing your keys in content for each 15-minute period during your show is more important than it has ever been. You’ll note this all goes back to loss of attention span. Be the king (or queen) in your market by elevating the focus on consistent editing to create those rapidly developing hooks consistently in all parts of your morning show.
9. Seek advice and wisdom and build a tribe of important advisors. Think about the greatest sports personalities across time. They all have coaches. Many of them personally hire additional outside coaches in conditioning and achievement. That’s just smart. If you depend only on yourself to get to the next level, you will be self-challenging because your objectivity…won’t exist. Getting and listening to great advice is exceedingly valuable. Seek it, cherish it, grow from it.
You can start today. Professional people are focused on the factors that lead them to win. Great morning shows get their power from great prep, consistently picking the most important content, truly being interesting all the time, and putting a premium on editing your content.
Loyd Ford has worked as a programmer in markets across the U.S. and spent over a decade working as a ratings strategist for Americalist Direct Marketing. He runs his own pure play digital platform and has a podcast. Reach him at Rainmaker Pathway; 864.448.4169 or [email protected]