Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #268 – We’re Creatures of Habit, and that’s not good

We all fall into habits, and one I’ve heard a LOT recently is an air talent rattling off the “basics” (name of the station, artist, maybe the song title, the time), then saying his or her name LAST as you “gird your loins” (or gather yourself) to do Content.

The problem with this (besides being lazy) is that the listener learns to recognize this on a subconscious level, so you’re – by definition – NOT doing the unexpected.

Look, we can have a conversation that flows naturally, or we can serve up an agenda of a habitual group of words.  This choice is crucial.

And if it sounds in any way like you’re just in “autopilot” mode at the beginning of a break, that sameness from break to break does the opposite of piquing someone’s interest in what follows.

There’s a deeper view of this, too.  Except for saying the name of the station the first thing out of your mouth (which I believe is essential – that “branding” thing), all the other elements should vary from break to break.  Sameness breeds boredom.  Mixing things up just a bit makes what you’re saying be more readily received by the listener (on an unconscious level) as NEW information.  It’s science, and it’s the way God made us.

So get off your duff and work at this; it will actually make a difference.  Radio is doing a great job right now of holding a gun to its head and saying “Stand back or I’ll shoot.”

We need every little advantage we can get.

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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