Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #386: To Tease or Not to Tease – and Why

Every once in a while, the subject of doing teases comes around again.  Such was the case recently with one group of stations I work with. So here are the teasing dos and don’ts…

DO tease:
A chance for me (the listener) to win something.
A feature of the show; a benchmark.
A guest coming on.
Information about a station event or a specific website/You Tube/social media feature.
A new song by a Major (core) artist.

Do NOT tease:
…just something you’re going to talk about.  We don’t do this in real life.  If my friend John Frost and I were having lunch, I wouldn’t say, “John, I saw something really wrong with your car… and I’ll tell you about it right after I eat this burger.”  It’s unnatural.

I do believe in teasing, but not just teasing chit-chat or “fluff” stories.  “How a lady in Tucson overcame her agoraphobia to find her dog… in ten minutes” is worthless.  No one cares.  On the listener’s list of things that matter most to her today, where would that rank?  117th?

Some observations:

If you tease everything (or tease too much, or tease the wrong things) it takes away any element of surprise.  This is a liability.  The listener doesn’t WANT to think that the whole show is planned out, and nothing spontaneous ever happens.

Having used — and not used — teases periodically over decades in all formats, there’s no real evidence that proves that teases work, except for teasing big contests or ticket giveaways.  In some radio circles, it’s assumed that teases always work, but that’s like assuming that the brownish-gray meat in the back of the refrigerator shelf is still fresh.

I would leave it at this: If it’s WORTH teasing (to the Listener), absolutely do tease it.  But not everything is worth teasing.

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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