Denton’s 7 tips for success

Staff Writer

In a very impressive keynote that was described by Joan Warner as “one of the best ever”, Andrew Denton has had the audience at the conference eating out of his hand.

Denton’s keynote resonated with everyone in the room, it connected well and of course as you’d expect it was funny.

He took us on tour of his career, how he started, the impact of radio on his career, and how it then evolved into a television career.

The focal point of the presentation, and what had people scrambling for pens and paper were his “Tips for Success”.

Be Hungry:

Make it happen. Who are the the ones that succeed?  The ones who “work harder than then next guy”. Alan Jones is relentless according to Denton, not because he is a smart broadcaster but because of the enormous work he puts in behnd the scenes. To succeed you need both hunger and passion.

Denton gave the example of the Knieram brothers productions; “These guys are hungry”

Look Left:

Where are you looking for your ideas? Look where the other people aren’t looking. Denton uses old media for ideas, magazines in particular. One line a in magazine prompted Denton to develop some content for Enough Rope

Don’t look just for stuff that is different, look for stuff that is not there. What’s missing?

Embrace Roadblocks:

Their red light should be your green light. Embrace roadblocks, they are your invitation to do something better.

Shut up and listen:

Denton talked about being at Uni when he had the cockiness of being a 20-year with fuck all knowledge. He applied for positions with the new Sydney FM license holder, he sent letters and never got replies.

However, he had one man who Invited him into his office and they chatted for 20 minutes and told him that we’ll find you a job somewhere. It was in the cart room of the new Triple M Sydney.

That man was Rod Muir. The founder of the Triple M network. Denton said that he got offered that role because “he made the effort…..he was looking outside his circle  and what he knew…..he was listening.”

In the end he actually declined declines his offer, but never forgot that lesson.

“Always go for  the meeting, take the lunch, read the idea.”

“You just never know”

The Chasers was an example of that. He had never produced television before, but met with The Chaser to hear the concept, and the rest is history.

Shut down and Day dream

Daydreaming is the most fertile stage there is. It reveals things that are in plain sight and Denton believes it should be on the curriculum of every school and workplace.

Seek silence

Denton believes that “Satan is in your pocket… it is your phone” and that they are addictive and evil.

“Silence is your friend.. every day, every week, every month”

TEST yourself

Complacency makes you flabby. Take on something you don’t think you can possibly do. “Am I good enough?”
If you think you are better than the next guy, you may be right.. back yourself.. Because no one else will. Why die wondering? Test yourself.

Fail Better:

No one likes to fail.. “it is really, really scary”. Denton believes that creative failure is not when the ratings fail, but when you lose the courage and conviction to try something new – that is creative failure.

He gave the example of the program “Tell us something we don’t know:”  a program on ABCTV. He was highlighting that it is okay to make mistakes – and they have value. He gave two other examples of where he failed; Randling and David Tench.

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