Tommy Kramer Tip #248 – More Crayons

I talk a lot about “crayons” – meaning, that just like in elementary school, learning how to use each crayon results in a different picture.  In radio, “more crayons” is about finding more variations on a theme.

The two most typical endings are to say something funny, or to weigh in with a somber “summary” or “conclusion” to something.  These are fine — essential, actually — but if they’re the only two crayons you color with, they’ll get pretty predictable.

My process is to strip everything away, until a talent begins again with the little “eight crayon” box that we got in first grade, then learns how each can be used.  Eventually, you move to the 16-crayon box, then the 32, then the beautiful 64-crayon box with the sharpener in the side.

The purpose of this analogy is to remember the essential storytelling ingredients, then add other things to avoid being predictable.

You want to be consistent, but sameness is a different thing – and one to be avoided.  It’s a fine line, but this is why every talent needs coaching.

No one is just born with the innate ability to craft information and stories into something cohesive that doesn’t waste the listener’s time.  We have to work at it.  There are far too many shows that are basically just the same things every day, always using the same crayons.  Don’t let your show be one of them.

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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