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TOO SELF-CRITICAL?

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:

I host a breakfast show in Australia. I am generally happy with my performance, as is the PD an the manager, but I would say eight times out of ten, I get to the end of the show, or even the end of a break within the show, with an attitude of... "What the hell was that about?" or "This sounds like crap!" If I hit a button and something doesn't fire, or there's a technical hitch, I seem to be thrown for the rest of my shift.

Is this normal? Do the listeners pick up on the mistakes? Am I being too hard on myself? I want my show to be the best; should these things concern me?

DAN REPLIES:

Technical problems: They happen. Most of the time the audience doesn't even notice...unless you point it out to them. In You Can Negotiate Anything (a wonderful PD GRAD SCHOOL tape by Herb Cohen that we happen to sell), Herb says, "The key is to care...to REALLY CARE...but not that much."

It's good to care about your performance (and, much more importantly, your audience). But you allow making a mistake to destroy your show, you are behaving very immaturely. (I don't say that as an insult.) Do your best, and cut yourself some slack.

If often after a break or a show you find yourself thinking, "What the hell was that about," the problem is clear: You are not doing enough show prep.

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