Three Ways Successful Talent Focus


(By Jeff McHugh) As the saying goes, what you focus on grows. How do you maintain focus amidst a hurricane of distractions? What do you focus on, and what do you filter out?

Focus is like internet bandwidth. Imagine your overwhelmed Zoom connection at home when the whole family is working and schooling virtually. Your focus can become overloaded too.

As humans, our pitiful brains are flooded. I once read that a current issue of the New York Times contains more information than a person in the 18th century would have learned in a whole lifetime. Same brain, same bandwidth but too much information.

You cannot buy more bandwidth for your brain, but you can allocate. Intentionally focusing your limited attention on productive things and ruthlessly blocking noise and waste.

Consider if your performance, creativity, and state of mind would improve if you narrowed your focus in these key areas.

Focus on the show

During your show, a television in the studio, a TikTok on your phone, or an internet rant on Twitter is someone else’s performance! Texts and alerts are distracting too. These devices have a wonderful feature called an “off button.” Use it.

Studio management is our term for creating physical space to focus on your performance. Everything and every person in that space either adds to or takes away focus.

Do performers like Chris Rock or Jimmy Kimmel have sales reps, friends, or interns hanging out on stage during their show? No. Likewise, extraneous people reduce focus in your studio. Politely ask them to stay out.

Focus your mind

Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld, and other media legends swear by daily meditation. Meditation is described as taming your “monkey mind,” calming thoughts that jump around your head like a pack of monkeys. We recommend meditation for everyone.

Great musicians know their instrument until performing with it is second nature. Your instrument is your studio. Learn every button, knob, camera, and computer until you do not have to think actively while using them.

And a pre-show ritual including checklists of important set-up tasks helps trigger your brain that it is time to go into show mode.

Focus on ROI

Return on Investment means that for everything you invest, you want to get more than that in return. Focus requires harsh elimination of low ROI activities as you invest time, energy, and resources.

Consider social media. We see it used well to strengthen the emotional bond between talent and the audience, and it is also easy to find shows wasting energy on posts that go nowhere. Lance Venta at Radio Insight recently studied viral social media posts with as many as 7.5 million comments that did nothing for the local station that posted them.

Today, media talent are required to attend meetings, do appearances, do extra shows on sister stations, podcasts, and other duties. As a team, it is important for management and talent to know that every little step you take leads either toward your goals or away in the wrong direction.

Experts say focusing only on the goal can lead you astray. Instead, laser focus on the important daily steps, and your goal will take care of itself.

Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company. Reach Jeff at [email protected]


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