Tuesday, July 13, 2004

On Air 

A friend of mine badgered me for months to help him with a TV show that he was doing on community cable. For those of you who don't know community cable, it is an access channel that a cable TV company has to provide a local community for the community to use -- broadcasting high school football games, city council meetings, public service shows, etc. My friend is devoted to reading and a member of a book club, so he started a show that focuses on books and authors. He wanted me to be the host because too many years ago I worked on local television.

The last thing I wanted to be was the host of a community cable show. But my friend is persistent, and he got me to agree to do one show -- just one show, only one show. Silly me. I did one show then another and now I'm on my fourth or fifth. I have forgotten the total.

But there was something I began to notice from hosting these shows. They are a great way to rehabilitate my on-air skills, which have grown rusty. Each show has presented a challenge that I had forgotten as a media trainer -- keeping the guest talking. As you might expect on a community show, we get guests who have never been on TV, are nervous and given to stopping in mid-sentence. There is a skill in relaxing them and keeping them going. That skill applies directly to my work in media training clients. Why the heck didn't I think of that before?

So now, it looks like I might be the permanent host for the show -- a position that I don't want but will take. Call it training.


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