(By Jeff McHugh) When you watch a fireworks display, the biggest explosion happens at the end, right? The show is over immediately after the biggest BOOM. If they continued after the finale setting off smaller bangs the show would be a letdown. In show business it’s called,“leave them wanting more.”
Your show is like fireworks; Plan the finale kaboom of each segment, set it off and be done.
“Missing the exit” is the #1 complaint we hear from station management about underperforming shows. Here are some tips on how to end each segment well and stick the landing.
- Plan the exit. Seems obvious, but shows sometimes fail to discuss how and when the segment should wrap up. Have a plan, and if a better exit comes up spontaneously, take it. There is an old saying about failing to plan your destination being a sure way to never arrive.
- Hit the high note and leave. End games as soon as someone wins. End stories at the punchline. End newscasts at the kicker story. Identify what the best moment will be before you begin and avoid losing energy by lingering after the bell has rung.
- Always tease the next segment. Like a rock star walking off stage, build anticipation for your encore in the next segment. Teasing your audience as they are still glowing from your content will make them want more. For podcasts, it is crucial to let audiences know what is exciting about your next episode.
- Things to avoid. Philosophizing, reiteration of what has been said and ad-libbing off-topic side roads are common mistakes that lose energy. Podcast hosts can move a laundry list of thank-yous, dry information and ending credits off the show and onto the description page.
- Do an exit review exercise. As a team, pull a random hour of your show audio and listen to the last seconds of each segment. Rate each exit and discuss how to do the good ones more often.
Jeff McHugh is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company.