Producing can be challenging at times, and there's definitely a learning curve for you and your team. As a producer, you have to be very meticulous in making sure all the graphics, videos, and scripts tell the story. But a responsibility that's just as important is to make sure the team is doing okay as well. The newsroom is not for the faint of heart; the show can change on a dime and it can be very stressful for everyone involved. But that's when you see the strength of the team. The best thing you can do to "prepare" for a breaking news situation is to form relationships with your reporters, multimedia journalists, and studio crew. You don't want to be the one yelling, "Teleprompter, Teleprompter," as tech supervisor, John Goldsmith put it once. Know each person's name.
Now on a more technical level, I've learned a few best practices as a producer.
Quadruple check all of your graphics. Even if you think they're perfect, I guarantee someone at some point didn't click "update story." Watch the videos being edited, whether you are lead, video, or graphics producer. Do not write your teases as a headline; instead, think about what you are adding to the story and what will be of interest to viewers.
That's one of the best pieces of advice I can give. Think about what will make someone want to watch your broadcast; what are you going to offer that's new? Try your best to flesh out stories as much you can and remember the best stories come from outside the Media Center. The news is out there, so send reporters out to new places and do live shots.
A final piece of advice: remember that producers need to be good listeners, not just good delegators. They also have to be flexible and adaptable when things change or fall apart.
For me, breaking news was the most fun. It will make your stomach drop for a millisecond, and then you just get to work.