Tommy Kramer Tip #241 – The Secret of Survivor’s Success: Stories + Editing

The buzz word today is “stories.”  That’s a simplistic way of saying that personal experiences are more powerful and memorable than just “bits” or “items.”

And the best example I’ve ever seen of how stories should take shape is the TV show “Survivor.”

As I write this tip just before Christmas of 2017, “Survivor” just ended the 35th “season” (over a span of 18 years), with Ben Driebergen, a 34-year old Marine from Boise who openly admitted as the show unfolded that he’s struggled with PTSD after serving in Iraq, winning the million-dollar prize.

The impact of this “reveal” on other veterans, and the awareness of how hard it is to deal with, no doubt made an impression on millions of people – and every season of that show has had dramatic, amazingly compelling stories like Ben’s emerge.

But there’s something here for you to learn: the primary reason why those stories have made that impact is that “Survivor” is, by far, the best-edited show in television history.

They film literally THOUSANDS of hours, then have to edit them down to the 13 to 16 episodes that make up a season.  (Each episode runs 43 minutes.  They edit, then edit some more, then edit some more.)

And that’s how you should approach your show.  I told a morning team the other day that to reach the next level, the goal is to do breaks that would need little to no editing to make a promo for the show.

Art combined with work ethic.  Stories + Editing.  If you’re not doing that, hope that I don’t coach your competition.  Because you’ll be the one that sounds like you can’t shut up, and are wasting the listener’s time.

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