What I learned from my CNBC appearance

Last night I had the opportunity to be on the “Fast Money” show at CNBC. This was live via webcam from my office.

Overall, I’m glad I had the opportunity, but this was far from the national TV debut that I had hoped for (both professionally and personally). I have many thoughts about the experience, but I’ll try to summarize them in 3 categories:

1) Role of the producer: For a segment like this, it’s really important that the producer prepares the guest of the show (in this case, me). I sent the producer my thoughts over email, we spoke over the phone, and he even took down a few sentences with the answer I was going to give. I asked him (more than once) if he thought it was what they were looking for, and he told me that it was “great.” Well, if you saw the segment, you know that the host (Dylan) wasn’t happy with my “high-level” answer. Dylan was looking for specific actions I would take, not an overall vision of how to find the answer. I simply can’t blame myself for this: the producer’s job is to prepare the guest, and I didn’t prepare the kind of answer Dylan wanted to hear. I only spent a few minutes on the phone with the producer, but it’s clear that he’s a smart and well-spoken guy. It’s very possible that he didn’t know what Dylan was looking for, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, Dylan brushed off my answer and moved on– he clearly wasn’t satisfied. (Note to Dylan: you were being “difficult”– but thanks for having me anyway).

2) Webcams are tough for broadcast TV: I was connected to the show via Webex along with a landline phone. I couldn’t see the host, didn’t know the segment of the show that I was on, and had very little idea of how the final production would look. I also found it hard to hear when I was actually live on the show (during the audio/video checks everything was fine). I’ve done lots of on camera interviews, but this was my first experience with a web cam on broadcast TV. It’s not that I won’t do it again, but I really didn’t enjoy the experience. As a guest of a show, the in-studio experience is *so* much easier.

3) Any exposure is good exposure: You know the old adage, “any press is good press.” Well, today I really feel that way. Even though the CNBC interview wasn’t everything I hoped for, I’ve gotten many, many emails about the show. People are genuinely psyched for me– how many people do you know that can say they have been a guest on CNBC? Thanks to CNBC: I’m very happy I had the opportunity, and hope you’ll invite me back.

One last note for those who saw the segment: our lead programmer Gerard was amused that I was referred to as the “developer of MyPunchbowl.” As if there is only one person behind this whole operation. Hah.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to write to me after seeing the segment. I hope you learn something from this post in case you every have the opportunity to be live on national TV.


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4 Responses to What I learned from my CNBC appearance

  1. Chris Jackson adf471587879rzq says:

    Matt,

    Would it be possible for you to post a link to the interview on the web, or get a copy yourself that you can host, for those of us like myself that didn’t see the interview? I would really like to see it. Congrats on your “national TV” debut!

    All the best,
    Chris

  2. LIz says:

    Yes, we all want to be able to see your national TV debut. Can you make it so?
    Liz

  3. donna says:

    Hi,

    I’m always amazed at how many great sites there are…Just thought I’d mention that my punchbowl is one of them!

  4. Joel says:

    Having worked as a TV news producer – I’m guessing that the anchor didn’t listen to what the producer said. The bad ones have a tendency to do that. The good ones listen to their producers. The great ones know what they want and make sure the producer knows and the guest knows. But most anchors don’t know what they want in an interview.

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