If you were among the 9.4 million television viewers that watched the 2024 Golden Globes, you probably had the best seat in the house.
That’s not a good thing.
I’ll not pile-on to the opening monologue of Jo Koy, the stand-up comedian who hosted the evening. There’s enough of that out there in the internet ether. To be fair to Koy, being given 10 days of preparation for a live 3+ hour star-studded telecast is a death sentence. Hosts usually prepare for up to six months.
And never mind why they can’t seem to find a venue that actually allows easier access from farther tables to the stage. The clumsiness of the “excuse me” by the fifth table is so awkward while the uninspired music drones on to fill the time.
Odd Presentation Choice
No…my beef with this year’s telecast has to do with basic staging. Evidently, some event production professionals felt it would be a good idea if half of the presenting speakers introducing categories and unveiling winners, would address the camera from a small circle of a stage, inexplicably placed in the center of the live audience.
This very odd choice resulted in the speakers having their back to roughly half the audience. Because the cameras were placed around the circle, that means no segment of audience was spared the indignity of having the presenters’ back to them at one time or another.
Back to the Audience
The consequence was both visual and audible. Visually, you could see audience members behind the speakers talking or laughing among themselves – apparently clueless to the presence or messages or awards being presented by the featured speakers for the moment. Who can blame them? Turning your back on any portion of the audience is one of the longest standing and venerable taboos of public speaking – be it acting, preaching, campaigning, and on and on. I suspect if you’re performing theater-in-the-round, you get a pass here, but I’m pretty sure The Golden Globes and related awards telecasts will never be mistaken for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Making a bad thing worse, the audience’s audible response to most of the comedic “bits” was barely noticeable. It’s one thing to hear a bad joke when the performer is at least looking at you. It’s virtual background noise if their back is to you. Some jokes landed but most were greeted with polite titters and in some cases, flat silence (Like Mark Hamill’s “The Golden Globes is great. It’s the only award show with an open bar!” Crickets…Ugh)
Household viewership of live award shows are still below their pre-pandemic levels. The two big reasons TV audiences tune-in to The Grammys, Golden Globes and Academy Awards are to see who wins what, but also to feel the fun and entertainment of the event. If the galaxy of stars aren’t feeling it, neither will the television audience.
You may not be able to help a bad monologue, but you can certainly make the celebrity audience feel like they’re being seen and entertained. And that starts with the basic step of looking at them.
Back to the audience? Back to the drawing board.
The Ganon Group offers communication coaching for executives and employees across all departments: C-Suite Leadership, Sales, Customer Experience, Technical / Product Development, to improve their communication and presentation techniques. We believe everyone can “up” their game when it comes to communicating initiatives and ideas within the organization, outside to new prospects, to existing clients, or to outside media and trade organizations. www.theganongroup.com