Tommy Kramer Tip #77 – Leapfrog + the Rules of Improv

This tip was originally one that I used in doing, then coaching, team shows. But it actually applies to any on-air conversation, like a contest winner call, for instance.

Here’s the key to having it all unfold the right way:

It’s like playing “leapfrog” as a child. Each thing said by you or the other person should move the subject forward – just like one person leapfrogs the other in the kids’ game.

Add to this the mentality of the 2 most basic Rules of Improv. They are:

1. YES.

2. “and…”

1. The answer to any premise is always “Yes.” (This doesn’t have to be spoken. It can simply be understood. The buy-in is what matters.)

2. Then you add your point, moving things along. For example, in Improv, if you say “I’m trying to grow a third arm,” I should answer with something like “Cool…!” then add something like “It’d be great if you could grow it out of the back of your neck. Then you could drive and scratch your back at the same time.”

The “Yes, and…” principle guarantees momentum. You’re constantly adding something, rather than simply agreeing with what was just said, or repeating it in slightly different words. (Remember, true momentum isn’t about pace. It’s about always moving forward, and in as straight a line as possible.)

You can apply this to solo work, too. Try to never let it bog down or repeat yourself. Once you master this, you make everyone else sound like they’re just rambling or babbling.

Tommy Kramer

About 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

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