Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #399: MEAN it

It’s essential that you have some sort of emotional investment in what you’re saying, whether it’s just reading copy, giving an opinion, etc.  In short, you need to sound like you MEAN it.

Yes, it’s a challenge, especially with something you’ve talked about a zillion times on the air, like a station promotion, feature, or contest.

But if you don’t sound like you mean it, no one is going to pay much attention to it.

Here’s a tip: when I go through “copy,” I mentally highlight (or even physically underline) the ONE word in each sentence that I want to stress.  It only takes a few seconds of this prep work to make sure that it “imprints” on the mind of the listener.

Frost Advisory #545 – How Can You Say It’s MLK Day Without Saying It’s MLK Day?

On last week’s show I shared despite the fact that vanilla ice cream ranks as most people’s favorite there are NO vanilla ice cream stores. In other words “favorite” is not the only consideration. “Interesting” matters, too. Surprise and delight matters.

In my opinion one of the biggest challenges of Christian radio is the tendency to do the same old things the same old way. I know stations that don’t sound significantly different than they did ten years ago and yet the world has changed around them. Never has this been more obvious due to the pandemic.

“If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post.”

G. K. Chesterton
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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #398: Never Underestimate Companionship

There’s so much emphasis put on specific areas of Content. Stories.  Stuff from social media posts, blogs, Pinterest… whatever.  You can become inundated with well-intended thoughts that lead to aimless, largely punch-less stuff on the air.

Don’t forget about why radio succeeded in the first place: Companionship.
It’s still a huge factor.  The morning team that entertains you.  The midday jock that’s always in a good mood and makes you laugh now and then.  The afternoon jock who makes slogging home after work easier.

I coach hundreds of things to make that factor ever-present in not just what you do, but in how you do it – carving out an identity along the way.

Remember: “If I want to spend time with you”… is the listener’s bottom line.

Frost Advisory #544 – There Are No Vanilla Ice Cream Stores

So what’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Most surveys point to the good ole reliable vanilla. But when you peak under the cone you’ll see that vanilla is favored in part because it goes with so many different toppings and condiments.

I believe that there is no format like CCM whose success is more dependent on the ability to create an emotional dynamic range from laughter to tears, celebration to introspection, and angst to joyfulness. Some might describe that as the human condition.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #397: Taking Credit for NOT Talking About it

In view of what happened at the nation’s capitol on January 6th, there’s an important caution – and concept – concerning what you should do when something like this dominates the news.

A lot of stations in some formats (like A/C or Contemporary Christian Music, or any music format, actually) choose to simply not talk about it.  The danger here is coming across like an ostrich with your head stuck in the sand, like you don’t even know about what happened.  This is not something I recommend, although it is better than alienating your audience by sounding off with an opinion that could severely damage your listenership. Continue reading

Frost Advisory #543 – Are You A Giver Or A Taker? A New Year’s Message

Givers and takers.

When you think about the people that have had the greatest influence on your life I reckon’ you’d say they were GIVERS.

“The human spirit senses and feeds on a giving spirit… Think about what Jesus taught – half the time people didn’t know what he was talking about, but they listened attentively. Jesus was giving – feeding them. Not taking. It is at a spirit (heart) level – he wasn’t just giving information.”

John Maxwell

I wonder, then, why many Christian radio stations are perceived to be TAKERS, always asking their listeners to give them something. There are some general managers whose voice is NEVER heard unless they have their hand out.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #396 – Production tip: Avoid Dead Silence

The digital Production world is so much fun.  I first went headlong into it with Pro Tools, Adobe Audition, Next Gen, and now Logic Pro X.  More tools now than ever before.  (I also have Twisted Wave and Garage Band in my phone and iPad.)

Then I turn on the radio, and I hear a commercial or a station promo where it’s edited too tightly.  No breaths; the pauses not quite long enough.  Probably one of those 63-second “sixties” sped up or read at blinding speed to barely make it.  “Avoiding silence” gone mad.

And the other side of the coin is where the spacing is right, but there’s this totally empty silence between sentences.  That’s where a flub happened, or something was pasted together, and the resulting eerie, totally dead silence is noticed by the brain.

So here’s the overview: By all means, use the incredible Production tools that we have available.  But remember that it still has to have an ‘organic’ factor to actually work.