Sometimes it takes some bad presentation opportunities to make all the other opportunities look easy in comparison. Once I was hosting a late-night talk radio show in south beach the southern tip of Miami beach. This was back in the Heyday of the south beach craze would have been around 1993. My shift was from midnight Friday night Saturday morning till 4:00 a.m. So I had a four hour stretch it was a political talk radio show in a place where everyone is thinking about partying and dancing and going crazy. I had no guests. It was a caller based show.
So it was me pontificating on the world, taking calls. What could go wrong? So I do the first hour the show no calls. I have covered everything in the news today. What is going on in Washington New York the major news stories. What was on the news that night kind of running out of material we go into and I am begging for calls nothing is coming.
Our two, I am really kind of scraping the barrel on topics begging for calls no calls. Our three at some point I start reading chapters from a political book I would written just dying out there. Please another commercial break. Please someone will call. We get to our four. Finally, we are halfway through our four the phone lights up. I am looking at the glass window to the producer. I can see the lights flashing up. I feel a sigh of relief. We will go to the calls now.
Let’s go to line one. Jim, who is on line one? I look through the glass. The producer is like this (Sleepy face and sound). The producer has fallen asleep. Forget it. He is falling asleep. The phone line is still flashing, flashing, flashing. Call we will be with you in a moment please. I am begging, begging the caller gave up. It was not till the next commercial break I was able to wake up the producer. It was a disaster of a show. It was frankly pathetic. I got through the whole four-hour shift.
The next host comes in. How is it going? How would your shift go? You know what? After doing four hours without a single guest a single call. Now someone asked me to get up talk for an hour piece of cake. Someone needs me to do a simple online video for three or four minutes unscripted without interviewing someone. Piece of cake.
So in retrospect it was a great learning tool. Because it forced me to think while I speak to think and speak under pressure to fill up space. It was a great learning tool. It did not win any awards. This so far as a broadcasting awards. Did not make me a lot of money. I do not think I even got paid for that. If I did it was something like five dollars an hour. But it did teach me if I have to fill up space. I can. It also takes tremendous pressure off. If I am asked to speak somewhere. I am told it is a half an hour and in the last minute. I am told it is an hour or it is 45 minutes. There is no sweat coming off my brow. It is completely relaxing because it is easy for me to think in front of people and speak. Especially if I have a live audience in front of me. I can ask them questions they can talk back to me. It is so much easier than being at South Beach talk radio show. Where no one called and I do not think anyone even listened.
Okay so why do I tell that story again. I want people to realize I am not some perfect great wonderful articulate perfect speaking trainer speaker in front of them. I have had failures too. You can learn from your failures. Any businessperson, any political leader, any entrepreneur who is in this for the long run who really wants to do a lot where their career. I think is going to have some bad days, some bad presentations of bad speeches and bad media interviews. The point is you have to learn from them. You have to figure out what happened here. That will somehow make what I am doing over here better or easier or clearer and that is the lesson.