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Holiday Shopping on TV, one presenter’s viewpoint

Friday,Nov 22,2013

I spent 14 years of my life as DJ. When I was in high school, some buddies and I started by monopolizing all the local high schools, doing school dances. Then, I moved on to weddings and b-day parties during my first few years in college. After that, it was cruise ships and for the final 9 years, big dance clubs. During my early years, I had to convince people to get on the dance floor. I did not yet understand programming music to suite the audience and most people didn’t want to be the first person on the floor looking awkward. By the time I made it into big clubs, everything had changed. I knew exactly what to play and could read my audience like the morning paper. People were there to dance. All I had to do was build the energy and keep it moving. During my last 5 years as a DJ, I did the hottest nights of the week at one of the biggest clubs in Tampa. Every movement of my fingers across the turntables was slammed into 2,000 people and on a few occasions, a live radio audience. Why I stopped is another story all together. However, there are some direct parallels to what I now do. I loved the energy of DJing, the response of the crowd and creating something no one had ever heard before. I was not your stereotypical DJ. I didn’t participate in the DJ lifestyle. I did the job and loved the art and energy that defined it. For a presenter, like myself, nothing is more energizing than watching the phone lines leap to life because of what you are showing people! To date, I have sold well over 200 items on HSN alone (not including infomercials or retail TV stations outside the US). When viewers pack the lines to order what I am showing them, it creates palpable energy and I adore it. If you couple those moments with live testimonial calls from people who ordered my products in the past and have called in to share their excitement, you have the perfect moment of satisfaction and affirmation. It is the reason I am so enthused by my job. Any successful retail TV presenter can speak of these same moments with a glint in their eye as they move to the edge of their chair. It is what we live for. Right now, HSN (and every other retailer) is moving into full holiday mode. The season is here and with it comes that same energy that I loved as a DJ and now adore as a presenter. The HSN halls are full of people with an extra bounce in their step. Conversations in the greenrooms lean toward the next big item each person is selling and certainty that the viewers will love it. Confidence is high and the phone lines continually affirm that we are giving people what they want. You don’t have to convince people to get on the dance floor, they show up ready to jam! It is a spectacular time of year. I personally have a deep affection for the Christmas holidays. I was raised in the Northeastern US by a family steeped in holiday tradition. Every year (even when I was in college and living alone and now for my kids) I get the biggest tree I can fit under my roof. My wife laughed at me last year as I crammed an 11 foot tree under our ceiling, giving the angel on top some unhealthy neck issues. She spent the holidays staring at her porcelain pedicure, but with 2,000 lights under her soles, few noticed. I love giving gifts. My job often makes me feel like I get to give gifts to millions of people because the values and offers during the holidays are wonderful. It has become one more Christmas tradition for me.


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