Is good hosting really that hard to do?

By John Burke


The young woman, perfect and coiffed, hears the countdown in her ear and her heart beats a bit faster. The pen she’s holding begins to shine from the sweat of her palms.

3-2- 1….You’re ON!

She has strapped herself in to the rollercoaster of live hosting where disaster and opportunity are close at hand. If she makes a mistake, it will be viral before the mistake is even over.

And remember, those teleprompters do go dark from time to time. Just sayin.

The guest is late, the copy is wrong and the spelling of the name of the author from Indonesia is a nightmare.

But cool. calm and collected is the name of this game and she’s ready. She knows her craft and she, while on the edge, is unflappable. The audience can sense it. She’s in control and can handle anything that comes her way. She can be vulnerable, funny, angry and uplifting all in the same hour. And improvisation? She’s got it.

Moments later she has made everyone, from the director to the producer and stage manger look good. She thanks the cameramen for their efforts and heads to her office. She nailed it again. She is well trained and practiced. She can be trusted by the brass and so they pay her VERY well.

It all seems so effortless that it’s easy to see why a novice might be tempted to think that anyone could do it. After all, to the audience, the host seems like she’s being herself. And she gets to do all this fun stuff! How hard can that be?

Ask yourself this:

When is the last time you got nervous making a toast at a wedding or corporate party? Are you kidding me?

Try carrying a seven figure salary and blowing it. You don’t. You must be well practiced and prepared for anything. And in this world that could mean anything at anytime.

Easy to do? Think again. Only the pros make the top money because they can handle it. They know what could happen and they are prepared even if it doesn’t.

Strangely, good training for hosts is difficult to find. Usually the road to achievement is gleaned from years of mistakes and time spent in small markets. Great hosting requires great skill and if a good source of inside information can be found, it’s a sure bet the learning curve has just been shortened substantially.

When a breaking news story of the latest terrorist attack happens during your cooking segment, you’ll be glad you had the training. The training may not take away the butterflies, but it will take away the mystery of the result.

Is it really that hard? Greatness always is. Aim for greatness and prepare like there’s no tomorrow.

Success is just a heartbeat away.

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