I just want to ask you one question. Have you ever been impressed by someone who is panicking? You know, that producer yelling in your ear “WRAP!!!” “WRAP!!!!” “NOW!!!”… That anchor screaming “WHERE ARE WE?!? WHAT IS DEAD?! B6, D4?!?”…That reporter who always seems to be in a dead sprint to the audio booth at 8:30pm?
My friends in the industry and I have often referred to these people as members of “team panic.” It’s the group of folks who always always always seem to be incapable of a deep breath. They approach deadlines the same way most people would approach trying to outrun a hungry grizzly.
Here is just a little advice for you: Don’t join team panic.
Yes, I know there are stressful moments in TV news where you feel like minutes just seem to be moving quicker than they normally do. Time always moves fastest when the editing computer is rebooting at 11:02, and you have a newsroom live shot at 11:08, and your PKG hasn’t sent. I am here to tell you jumping up and down and screaming at the computer won’t fix the issue. (I’ve seen many try)
Breathe, say some silent bad words, and compose yourself because you have to be on air, or in the booth or on the desk soon. Use that new calm to figure your way out of the problem.
Try to view deadlines, and problems leading up to those deadlines, as a way for you to shine. Be the person who doesn’t get rattled under pressure.
The very best producers, editors, reporters, and anchors I have met over the years always appear to be calm as heck. They are annoyingly calm. THAT is impressive. So just learn to relax, solve your problem and make slot. You’ll be amazed how far a deep breath can go.