What I Learned from My Year on TV

With 30+ shows I am hardly an experienced TV host, but it is truly a life changing experience. I learned a lot about the TV industry and this media. I learned about the people that work in the media and the different types of programing that we have in Canada and Ontario. I’ve learn how to create money for a volunteer position, how to manage my time, and how to accept the role that not everyone would do.

It pays to be organized

The first most important thing for me was to create a position that gave me some income and did not take up any more time than was necessary to do the job well. I created invitation email templates and tweaked them with answers to questions I would get when I sent them out to people. This would eventually create a templated-invitation that would result in this outcome with little or no week-to-week variance

Invite – Accept – Inform – Perform

I used this same process to create an invitation to sponsors for the show. With 4 sponsors I got some payment for my time to manage and arrange the show weekly. It was a lot of time, over the year, and since the show was live every week for an hour with two guests there was room for challenges. With travel, prep, guest invitation and date/topic confirmation I would spend about 3 hours per week. I spent more at first, but I really got it down to an art where I could spend about 40 minutes a month inviting guests and 2 hours a week specifically at the station shooting the show.

The benefit was:

  • My guests brought all the content for the topic, I just had to ask the right questions and keep the conversation going.
  • My producer, who gets 30 hours a week to manage 7 shows, had more time to do other things and she totally appreciated having that ability to get more work done.
  • My director knew exactly where I was, what was going to happen and could rely on me and my guests to be on time and prepared.
  • The volunteers could focus on learning about TV.

It comes with credibility

Even without seeing me on TV people instantly change their impression of me when they find out I’m a TV host. I could be the worst host ever, with a show not worth watching, but that does not matter. People that are on TV have stepped up and put their reputation and their public image on the line. For better or worse, it is out there for everyone to judge.

Your Business with Barb - Guests Mayor Jeff Lehman and John Cameron
Your Business with Barb
Guests Mayor Jeff Lehman and John Cameron
On Rogers TV

The benefit was:

Because of this credibility I have been asked on more radio and TV interviews as well as asked to speak at other events. This was one of my goals for my business and doing this show. If you are looking for this in your business then try pitching a show to your local cable station.

Not everyone wants to be on TV

I thought for sure that all business owners would want the opportunity to get this type of incredible credibility for themselves, but I was wrong. I did not realize how hard it is for so many people to be in the spotlight and that was a really important learning point for me. We are not all the same. Being the “spotlight” is not always the number one goal and it is possible to create a successful business without it.

Over the season I had about 3 really nervous people on the show. Only once did I have a guest that found it difficult to respond easily. Luckily my second guest was more than willing and able to hold most of the conversation with me for the hour.

The benefit was:

What I did learn was to recognize those people that may have a more difficult time and how to make people comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I was told over and over, “thank you; you really made it easy for me. I thought it was going to be hard to talk for an hour, but it went by so quickly and it was so much fun.”

It was an amazing opportunity to raise my business profile while helping others bring their business excellence to the community and raise their image and expertise as well. I loved giving people this opportunity. The most benefit was felt by me, my guests, the TV station that needed good community producers (and our show was well received and viewed) and the community (getting local content).

Win – Win – Win – Win


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