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Amanda Carroll “For the Love of Show Prep”

“I love going through the TSA line.”  -said no one ever.  Unless you’re this guy.  I was recently listening to a podcast where the author and speaker mentioned how much he loved everything about the preparation for a speaking engagement.  He loved the packing, checking in for his flight on an app, and even taking his shoes off at TSA almost more than he did standing up on stage speaking to thousands.


 “When you love the little things that prepare you for your job, you know you’ve made the right career choice.”  


Do you love Show Prep that much? When I heard that line in his podcast, my heart’s desire was confirmed, I’m in the right place.  I LOVE show prep.  I am giddy about it in the morning. I have an entire system in place before every show to make sure I’m in the right mood, in the right time, with the right content to impact HER day for the better.  


I wake up at 5am, do some prayer and meditation, go to Orange Theory for an intense HIIT workout, and pick out the perfect costume for the day (sometimes I match my outfit to songs…hey I’m a DJ at heart…my best so far was “Jingle Bells” – the Barbra Streisand version).  Then, I brew a shot of Nespresso, sit down with my show prep grid, and lay out the perfect show. I sift through show prep sites, audio bits, and notes from my morning mediation session with God.  I line them up on my grid to take my listener on an emotional journey of goodness. I love that process, more than doing the show.  Wait, that’s shows.  I do two shows a day now. 


My show is the performance.  When I was a little girl, my parents bought me a dual deck boom box for my Christmas.  It came with a special little attachment that changed my life; it was a microphone.  I spent DAYS in my room recording my favorite songs off the radio, recording my own intros and commercials, and presenting my friends and family with mixtapes with MY commentary. I’m still trying to get credit for my TSL from those mix tapes! haha! 


Your love or lack of show prep is very apparent to your listener. You have been given an amazing opportunity and responsibility to not just entertain in between songs, but to bring compelling content to your audience. You could be the reason they feel connected to God that day, or you could be the annoying DJ that told them to put coats on the kids at the bus stop because you gave the weather instead of prepping good content. BTW….they already knew it was cold and feel slightly insulted that you told them how to parent.  You just wasted your moment to connect. 


Imagine if you spent one hour before your show delicately laying out an arc of emotion for your listener.  You laid out on a grid a good news story to make her think “awe” , a lifehack that will make the rest of her day better, a listener comment about why they are convinced that their cat can talk to them to make her laugh, and share a story of how you blew it when you reacted to the rude person at the mall and learned a lesson the hard way about the importance of giving away unreasonable amounts of grace to people…and connected her to God.  Now, THAT is a SHOW.  


If you are wondering how to boost your TSL, increase your ratings, and attract more donors then take the time to show prep.   Equip yourself and your staff with all the show prep materials they need to put together great content.  Standing out in a competitive market takes a lot more effort than sounding local with weather and liners about local concerts.  Standing out in a competitive market takes show prep and delivery of compelling content.


If you’d like my show prep grid, I’d be glad to share it with you.  Just send me an email.

Amanda Carroll is a nationally syndicated host with Salem Communications, Assistant Program Director and Morning Show Co-Host at The Fish Sacramento. She also runs an online platform and podcast that inspires women to live a strong and courageous life at www.getyourbraveon.info.  If you’d to get her content on your radio station, email groberson@salemmusicnetwork.com   She is also available for talent coaching and consulting.  Email her at amanda@1039thefish.com 

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