Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #512: The Server and the Performer

Imagine going to a fancy restaurant where the server is just perfect.  He’s taking your order, but he’s also helping you with a little opinion, making sure you get the dressing you like on your salad… whatever.

And then all of a sudden, the floor show comes on, and he goes down and he’s the performer!  He makes you laugh and do stuff, and he’s interesting.  It’s the same guy.

That’s your job.  (In a team show, it’s easy.  One’s the server; the other’s the performer.  And those roles can switch.)

That’s what you are.  Whether as a solo or part of a team, we need to serve the needs of the listener AND entertain him/her.

It’s really boring to hear shows where only one of those roles is present.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #511: One of the Advantages of a Team Show

A pet peeve of mine is when someone starts with “I – me – my” verbiage instead of starting with the Subject or the Listener, THEN talk about you.

One of the advantages of a team show is that it gives you the opportunity to get into Content without starting by talking about yourself.  Your partner can talk about you.

“Well, Rick was only ten minutes late this morning” leads to a story.  Instead of you talking to me about you, you’re talking to me about him.

This ‘indirect’ way of beginning a Content break is not only really effective, but it creates an “insider” vibe – always a good thing.

But remember, this is only an advantage if you use it.

Frost Advisory #657 – Relevant, Then Interesting

It’s good to remind ourselves of the basics.

One of the quickest ways to focus your radio station and give your air talent an objective way of discerning what to talk about is the simple rule of…


Choosing only content that is relevant to your listener forces the talent to put the listener ahead of themselves. This profound realignment of priorities changes the paradigm from what is interesting to the talent to what is relevant to the listener.

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Frost Advisory #656 – Short Putts and Batting Average

For a program director, coaching air talent can be one of the most challenging tasks.

First, your talent must understand the vision and purpose of the radio station and for which specific group of people you are designing your radio station. Unless they understand who they are talking to, they won’t be able to prepare content appropriate for the audience and they’ll just as likely end up giving football scores to people who don’t listen to your station for sports.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #509: The Dreaded Monotone

Recently, I listened to a morning show host do the News.  I’m not a big fan of this, but in this case it’s necessary; a budget issue.

The stories were okay, but because News is so “left brain” informational, it came out in almost a dead monotone.  Here’s what I said in our next session:

I know things get busy, and it’s easy to get focused on story count, pronunciations, and time.  But you should avoid letting anything keep you from sounding as conversational as possible.  If you sound interested in what you’re saying, chances are the listener will be, too. Continue reading

Frost Advisory #655 – A Simple Idea That Can Transform

We’ve chatted a lot over these 655 Frost Advisories about how to grow your station. Growth is the fruit of adopting common ground; of making the unfamiliar familiar.

As we’ve discussed, common ground is the biggest barrier for growth in our format because the music is generally unfamiliar to new listeners. And let’s not forget that everyone’s favorite radio station is the station that plays their favorite music.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #508: The 3 Questions (REVISED)

Years ago, my first two tips about Content were “The 5 Subjects,” which was about simplifying your show prep, and “The 3 Questions,” a sifting exercise that helps you refine your on-air performance.

“The 5 Subjects” tip was updated last week, and here, in 2023, is an updated edition of the companion piece.  (The 3rd question is different from the original.  Times change.)

The 3 Questions to ask yourself about your Content choices:

  1. Why is it on?
    This is about what matters most to the Listener today.  Don’t settle for less.  If it’s the 20th most important thing on the list of what he or she cares about, toss it.  Generic “any day” or “rainy day” Content is lame.  Today’ show should be about today.
  2. Where are you going with it?
    This is about planning an ending.  You want to have one, even if taking the “First Exit” means you don’t use it.  (That technique is Tip #4 on my website.)
  3. What’s the Emotion at its core?  (Great storytelling is always about some sort of emotional “reveal.”  This is the secret to having a real connection with the Listener.)