Category Archives: Tommy Kramer Tip

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #390: “Slug lines” on Promos

Often, promos get waylaid by trying too hard to say too much.  In particular, “slug lines” (tags) on the end try WAY too hard.

“He’s a little bit goofy.  She’s a little bit ditzy…”
“Making you laugh every day…”
“They’re here to lift you up…”

Blah, blah, blah.

You don’t need these.  Here’s the template…

1. A quick intro: “Jack and Belinda…”
2. A sound bite from the show.
3. Then a tag: “Jack and Belinda, Mornings on 93.9 KBGL…”

Cut out the adjectives and superlatives.  Let the clip do the work.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #389: Selling versus Telling

There’s a huge difference between “selling” and “telling.”

“Selling” something isn’t nearly as effective as simply Telling me about it; sharing.  There’s a built-in resistance to someone pounding a message home.

Disc jockeys are told to “sell” liners, copy points, etc.  But you don’t “sell” your friends on something.  You just share what you know or believe.  (If you do “sell” all the time, believe me, your friends are tired of it and you need to stop.)  This is why disc jockeys aren’t doing movie trailers and national ads.

In working with many voice actors that you hear every day on national spots, I’ve often stressed just talking to the listener/viewer.  A great example from the past is voiceover master Mason Adams, famous for “With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good.”

Just talk to me.  It works.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #388: Degree of Fit

When a break is too wordy, you have to rush. And that’ll usually mean you’re going faster than the song, which the listener may not consciously think about, but the ear notices.

Being concise cures this. Only do what fits, conversationally.

Follow this rule: if what you want to say won’t fit over an intro, SAY LESS. Being concise is an art. When it comes to Content, the person who doesn’t waste the listener’s time wins.

Talk radio hosts: you might want to think about being more concise, too. Beating a subject to death doesn’t work as well as a more concise, better organized statement. Past a certain point, you’re in danger of just coming across as a loud, droning noise.

Remember…

The most recorded song in our lifetime is “Yesterday” by the Beatles. It’s only two minutes long.

The most quoted speech in history by an American President is the Gettysburg Address. It’s also the shortest.

The most powerful piece of scripture in the Bible is only two words long.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #388: Degree of Fit

When a break is too wordy, you have to rush. And that’ll usually mean you’re going faster than the song, which the listener may not consciously think about, but the ear notices.

Being concise cures this. Only do what fits, conversationally.

Follow this rule: if what you want to say won’t fit over an intro, SAY LESS. Being concise is an art. When it comes to Content, the person who doesn’t waste the listener’s time wins.

Talk radio hosts: you might want to think about being more concise, too. Beating a subject to death doesn’t work as well as a more concise, better organized statement. Past a certain point, you’re in danger of just coming across as a loud, droning noise.

Remember…
The most recorded song in our lifetime is “Yesterday” by the Beatles. It’s only two minutes long.

The most quoted speech in history by an American President is the Gettysburg Address. It’s also the shortest.

The most powerful piece of scripture in the Bible is only two words long.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2020 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #387: Re-imagining Interviews

You’re playing a recorded interview (and in Music Radio, ALL interviews not done live in the studio should be recorded whenever possible). Something happens that takes the guest and you by surprise. But the guest’s agenda (what they want to promote) hasn’t been taken care of yet, or you’re not ready to pull the trigger right then.

Ho hum. So we hear a little too much, and the one truly spontaneous moment gets “lost in the blah-blah.”

Here’s an alternative to just mindlessly playing what you recorded: Think of the audio as just ‘sound bites’ (and break them into pieces accordingly), so you can interject a thought or a comment, then play more audio if needed. Way too often, I hear bland interviews treated as being sacrosanct, which keeps them from sounding like an organic “visit” with the artist.

Remember:

  1. Not everything needs to be included in the audio. You can add stuff live.
  2. And not everything that IS in the audio needs to be played.