After multiple Today Show appearances, the routine has become quite comfortable and familiar to me. I guess you could say I’m not a network morning show rookie anymore, and yet, the segment I just completed on Saturday was the most nerve wracking so far.
The topic was called “The High Tech Garden”. It was a very cool segment to talk about and lots of neat gadgets to show. And therein lies the problem. The ‘cool stuff’ has micro-chips and electronics. To fully show off those gadgets on live network television, they must work on demand.
Several of the featured items in fact would only be visually dramatic if they were operational when the camera went to them as I was providing the features and benefits. After all, the reason these devises were on stage was to see them in action.
For example, one of the technology stars this day was a robotic lawnmower called the LawnBott. At a price of $2500, it is very expensive for a small mower but also amazing to see in operation. Unfortunately, I had never even held the remote control that runs it until the live segment began. Just to be on the safe side, I had the company representative, John Tarvin fly in to make sure the set up of the robotic mower was complete and all systems were ready for live television.
Having John there provided much comfort and yet when I pushed the button to activate this mower when the cameras were rolling, there was that moment of heart stopping anticipation. The panic begins to set in somewhere between pushing the button and the LONG eight second delay when it finally wakes up!
Eight seconds on live television seems like a lifetime when you’re waiting for something to happen. To my relief, I heard the faint sound of the battery operated mower begin to engage and then a moment later, start into its demonstration. Whew!
I wish I could have said the same about my brand new video ipod I brought along. It was there to demonstrate the use of portable, on-demand instruction that you can take to the garden. Although the download was ready and waiting to respond on que, it failed to bring up the video during the live segment.
This could have easily been another moment of panic. Fortunately, the smart directors and camera folks had shot extreme close ups of the video and action beforehand so they could cut to that scene as I was describing it. Thank goodness! I think I was the only one who knew my devise wasn’t working at that moment.
All said, the four minutes of this segment flew by. Thanks to everyone involved, it was a successful and entertaining demonstration.
Next month, I’m back with another topic, “the eco-friendly garden”. I don’t see this one being as challenging, at least from a technology standpoint. But then again, you never know about these things. Anything could happen. I’ll give you an update afterwards.