All posts by Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

Tommy Kramer Tip #227 – Millennial Overspeak, And Why You Should Avoid It

Millennial Overspeak is a new dialect.  Not every single person in that age group uses it, of course, but it’s an easy (albeit cheap shot) reference for unnecessary glitz, so it’s become a hard-and-fast impression.

Phrases such as “I’m SO going to do that,” or describing something as “Unbelievably, spectacularly good” is overkill.  And like everything served up too often, you actually LOSE impact.  So the words you’re choosing to make something “bigger” or more “dramatic” usually just make whatever you’re talking about come across as pompous, overstated, or simply trying too hard.  These are qualities that push the listener away, rather than bring him or her closer to you.

Let’s try to make our words count.  “He was dead” doesn’t need an adverb or adjective.  “He was SO dead” doesn’t make it more expressive; it just makes you sound like you have to expand everything in order to feel important.  Eww.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Tip #226 – What Listeners Value Most

Listeners, even if they’re not consciously thinking about it, value their TIME over anything else.

That’s the challenge, and why you really need to work at getting better, smoother, subtler, more animated when necessary, a great voice actor, a friend – the one they look FORWARD to being with.

Ask yourself whether there are “dead spots” in your show, or breaks where you kind of put it on autopilot.  If you’re wasting the listener’s time on any sort of consistent basis, he or she is going to stop giving it to you.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

 

Tommy Kramer Tip #225 – How To Zoom In On The Difference Between Openness And Transparency

We hear a lot these days about being “transparent” on the air, and I get what the spirit of that is.  But being totally transparent can be too close to the bone.

I always use the term “being open.”

Being open is different, and better.  If you’re unsure where the line is between openness and transparency, just remember this:  Nobody goes to a party to watch a guy fight with his wife.  You’re in the Entertainment business.  Some things SHOULDN’T be revealed.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Tip #224 – The Personality Challenge

Get a load of this… my friend Jerry Reynolds, who does “The Car Pro Show” in over 40 markets now, told me that he listens to WBAP in Dallas every morning.  When he gets to work, he turns on their app and listens to the show on his phone as he walks into the building. Once in his office, he plugs his phone into his computer (so the battery won’t run down too much), and continues to listen through his speakers until the show is over.

Now all the statistical evidence today would tell you that this is very untypical…

But I’ll bet it’s not.  I’ll bet it never was.  People find their favorite personalities and they become friends; companions in their lives.  With whatever available time they have, they listen.  It’s just that simple.

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Tommy Kramer Tip #223 – Varying your Resets

The other day, for about the gazillionth time, I heard a jock who had a phone call thing going use the exact same story he had told to start the whole thing off as he went into a call.

In our session the next day, I told him, “I don’t get why you’d do this.  We just heard that story a few minutes ago.”

His thinking was that if someone just tuned in, they needed a reset to understand the call about it.

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Tommy Kramer Tip #222 – Stage Versus Film And Which One You Should Emulate

A subject came up in a session recently that I’ve written about before, but want to pursue a little further in an effort to help you find your vocal “pocket.”

A very talented jock I’e worked with for a few months told a good story on the air about how after you marry, you find out what things you and your spouse see differently.  In this case, his wife had ordered takeout food, and to his surprise, there was an extra pork chop that he didn’t expect.  So he put it in the refrigerator to have for lunch the next day.

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Tommy Kramer Tip #221 – Another Seinfeld Content Tip

Cruising around YouTube yesterday, I saw an interview with Jerry Seinfeld by Norm MacDonald.

Norm brought up a hypothetical scene: Two people go to a bowling alley and… what happens next?

If you’ve seen Seinfeld much at all, you know about his ‘internal radar’ as to what makes something funny – or not.  So he interrupted MacDonald at that point and said “Why are they in the bowling alley?”
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Tommy Kramer Tip #220: Dead Streaming

Here’s a question that takes some actual hands-on experience to answer: Is your live streaming even worth listening to?

As someone who has to tape streaming audio often (because of different time zones) in order to do coaching sessions, I can tell you that most live streaming is dead in the water.  Constant cutting out, horribly over-modulated audio (or a stream that’s so low I need a hearing aid to listen to it), too many steps to finally get the audio up, incessant “introductory ads” that we have to sit through before – finally – hearing the station… they’re all symptomatic of just assuming because you buy into a streaming service, your audio is being carried the right way.

And the weird thing is, we promote this ‘feature’ all the time, often without ever checking it out ourselves.

So today – now, while you’re thinking of it – get on your computer, iPad, or smart phone and check your live stream for an hour or so. You may be shocked at how poor it sounds… or you could really pleased with it – until it inexplicably just shuts off after a few minutes.  (Aaaarrrrgh.)

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Tip #219: The Listener is NOT Stupid

It’s my mission to make you the most interesting and entertaining person your listener ever hears.  I want you to have a job you love to go into each day, for you to have a successful career, and for you to have a happy life as a result.

But once in a while, as part of the process, I have to deal with things that may not be all rainbows and pixie dust in an effort to get you to be the best version of yourself on the air.  Here’s one of the potholes…

A lot of radio people apparently think the Listener is stupid.  Some examples:
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Tommy Kramer Tip #218 – The Real Nature of Personality

“Personality” is one of those words that’s used constantly, but is vague in its meaning.

I had a session with a veteran talent recently in which the issue was his talking about things on the air, but without any real investment into making it something other than just bullet points being read to the listener.

So I reminded him to just keep on relaxing into it, and to “color” those things (a local Civil War photography show, a regional agricultural “festival”) with personal comments and ‘takes’ on what those EXPERIENCES – not just events on a page – might be like.

Here’s how I summarized it:

Even just a small “aside” like you said today about the rain in the forecast, “We need it for the cherry tomatoes,” brings the listener a step closer to you.

“Personality” isn’t just about being funny; it’s about how personally the listener gets to know you.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.