Memorial Day is often considered the official kick off of summer. But more importantly it is a time set aside to remember those who gave their lives for our country.
This time of remembrance is a good time for us to reflect on how we’d like our radio stations to be remembered.
We get a glimpse of this each year as we compile the Station of the Year entry. It forces us to stop our day-to-day busyness and ponder the most noteworthy things of the preceding twelve months. We discover some things stand out, other things are vapor in the wind.
When people talk about your radio station…
do they speak of the 25-minute music sweeps with fewer commercials, or do they talk about how you help people help people?
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Do they talk about how Jack and Jill read “This day in history” from Twitter every morning at 7:20, or that your station cheers on moms and dads for the most important commitment they’ll ever make – raising good kids?
So many team shows are “the funny person, and the person who laughs at the jokes.”
But often, the funny person isn’t all that funny. And the person who laughs sounds insincere, or even reluctant to live that role.
First of all, there’s a difference between saying funny things (which is pretty rare) and “saying things funny,” which is all about “camera angles” and vocabulary.
But usually, it’s about a lack of “blocking” in the theater sense of knowing what you’re going to do, and where and when that will happen.
“We can’t rehearse. It always seems flat when we do it a second time” is an excuse I hear often, but it’s not about knowing exactly what the other person will say. If you talk about a break beforehand, you don’t have to know what they’ll say. You just need to know WHEN they’ll say it. (And you should know what KIND of comment to expect. That just grows out of knowing each other well.)
Hand signals – which most teams are reluctant to use – make this ultra-easy. It’s stunning how many people think they don’t need them. (And they’re wrong.)
And being willing to get out on the first “reveal” (the First Exit) is another technique that will guarantee success. (Because it’s a surprise even to YOU.)
If you’re just making your partner into an information giver and/or a laugh track, I wish you well, but I won’t be listening. It’s just too predictable.
As wonderful as it sometimes can be, our format tends to default to sameness. Songs can sound alike. Promotions can sound instructive rather than inspiration. At its worst, it can sound like…
…nice Christian people talking to nice Christian people about nice Christian things.
Well, that may be nice, but it doesn’t make for compelling programming.
You’ve probably heard me say…
There is no format as compelling when done well… and no format as uncompelling when done poorly.
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Roy London: Actor, writer, teacher and coach.
If you watch the Academy Awards, you’ve heard his name. Brad Pitt, Sharon Stone, Forrest Whitaker, Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and dozens of other actors have spoken about his coaching’s impact on their careers. At one point, he taught over 250 actors weekly, and coached many more privately.
I’m a radio talent coach, and have worked with over 1500 radio personalities and a few TV personalities and anchors, but my background is in acting. And believe me, radio IS about acting.
So here’s a piece of advice from Roy London: “You have to live in your vulnerability.” Continue reading →
I wanted to play the guitar since the first time I heard James Taylor when I was 14. My first was a twelve-string that Jimmy Osteen’s mother sold for $15. Looking back on it I wonder how Jimmy felt about that.
In the many decades since I’ve played the guitar with Tommy Kramer, Dan Heidt, Kenny Parsons, Ralph Underwood, and Wally Pierce. Not coincidentally each has a special place in my life. (I suppose the same could be said for other musical instruments but frankly I can’t imagine such a bond between a couple of guys who puff out their cheeks playing the Sousaphone).
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