I’m a veteran of TV News, the old days, back when it felt like we were making a difference; telling stories that informed, that helped people help others; that changed lives and touched hearts. Back when Fake News was what you called the tabloids and local news was, well, local.
But that wasn’t what drew me to THE NEWSROOM. Aaron Sorkin did. That man can write words that I imagine leaves a wonderful aftertaste behind after an actor chews the scenery with them. Case in point: First scene of that show. A scene added late in the process. Jeff Daniels, the star of the show, has said that moment saved the series and his career.
You are less than 5 minutes into this show when this hits you in the face like a truck. It’s beyond well acted, it’s so crisp, sharp and powerful you can’t help but lean in. It’s in the writing.
When you present, I call this the nose punch, meaning you better grab your audience by the emotions right out of the gate. You don’t have time to pussyfoot around and please don’t bring your lame ass typical opening. Be bold, be daring, be creative, inventive but don’t make me want to just slap the boring out of you. Pull a McAvoy, Daniels’ character, and make me fucking care. In some way, some how.
Another great example of this comes from Tony Campolo: “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”
Sometimes I use language, because words are words. Sure, I choose my audiences and I never do it for shock value. It’s how I speak and sometimes those words just work better. But language aside, figure it out. Do better. BE better.
You don’t have to be me, I don’t want you to, but understand you are being given the gift of the time of others and just make it worth while and do it fast.
I challenge you to improve.
Here’s the clip: