Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #468: Why You Should Listen to Yourself

It stuns me how few air talents these days ever listen to their own show.  Back when I was on the air (when dinosaurs ruled the earth), it was a given that the cassette “skimmer” that only recorded when the mic was on would be taken out and listened to on my drive home.  At some of the stations I was part of, we’d listen to airchecks as a group, with everyone free to point out whatever they heard, good or bad.

Here’s why you should listen to yourself AT LEAST once a week: Continue reading

Frost Advisory #614 – 7 Ways that Radio Works

I climbed inside in my rental car, threw my toys in the back seat and looked around for the key as I had done dozens of times before. I looked on the dashboard, between the seats, and above the sun visor but found no key. I looked on the floorboard, in the glove compartment, and in the side pockets.  No key.  

So with another traveling inconvenience “hrmph” I grabbed my stuff and headed back to the rental car office to give the innocent desk agent a piece of my mind.  “May I help you?.” “Yes,” I said, “I’ve just walked all the way out to my rental car and there is no key.” She looked at my contract and said, “Mr. Frost, your car is KEY-LESS.”

Continue reading

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #467: Heart versus Humor

Some people, like I did early in my career, spend too much time trying to be funny, or trying to be thought of as funny.

But thanks to the great Lee Abrams, I was able to get out of that ditch.  Lee straightforwardly told me that when I tried to tell jokes, they fell a little flat.  But if I was just myself funny things happened.  He said “Don’t try to say funny things.  Your strength is saying things funny.”

It totally changed my career, and I was able to tell Lee that years later.  So…

Be genuine, instead of trying to be funny.  Go for the Heart, and sharing an honest observation or feeling, instead of a punch line.

The odd thing is if you have the Heart, the humor comes anyway, naturally.  But if you just try for Humor, it leaves the Heart out.

Frost Advisory #613 – Would Anyone Care?

If your radio station went off the air would anyone care?

Recently, a station I work with had some signal problems. The PD told me they were inundated with listeners saying the signal was staticky and difficult to pick up.

I remember being in the control room at KRBC in Abilene, Texas, when a West Texas lightning strike hit our tower. The general manager stuck his head in the studio and said to me, “I want you to announce that we’re off the air.” He could be a little goofy but at least he knew whether we were on the air.

Continue reading

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #466: Be Like a Great Song

When you’re really focused – clear on what you want to do – you have a chance to be great.  When you’re not quite sure, or just “winging it” this break, your odds diminish.

The best programmers make it where you know the objective, which should be first, to keep the listener with you.  (When someone tunes out, that’s a misfire.)  And then, hopefully, make the listener want to come back tomorrow for more.

Like a great song.  You want to hear it again.

You lose your ego, and you gain confidence, when you do the right things right.

So don’t even think about your voice, forget trying to “sell” things, and just share.  What you and I have in common today is the real subject matter.  The rest is maintenance and branding.  (But do those well, too.)

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #465: “Topics” are just Springboards

Topics are just springboards to reveal emotions.  (Please read that sentence again.)

These thoughts will help you:

  1. If you’re just talking about a subject, but I’m not in that picture, it won’t work well.
  2. If it is about the Subject and about me (the listener) but not about YOU, too, you’re still missing an ingredient.
  3. And anything that doesn’t have a clear emotion at the center of it is just fodder.

This is why all great Content comes from what’s around you that you and your listener have in common or can identify with, and feel something about.  Otherwise, it’s just a “topic” – which I consider to be basically the same as drain cleaner.