Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #521: Go in a Straight Line

What separates a “shaggy dog” story from one that entices a person to listen is whether or not it goes in a straight line.

Too many “side references” stall the story out and put it in neutral as far as the plot goes.  In real life conversations, people may listen.  But on the air, a minute is a long time.  (Want to argue the point?  Hold your breath for one minute, starting right… now.)

There’s also the danger of sounding like you’re interrupting your own thought.  This is a weird habit because at that point you’re just trying to sort out in your own mind how to tell the story.

I don’t have time to listen to that.

You need to be prepared and make the story march at a decent pace, but also be mindful of when a pause is needed.  We do want to sound as natural as possible, but we owe the listener being expedient, too.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #520: I’m Here, Just Not Talking

Years ago, I heard a very good morning personality say that his show, which was a team show, was just the cast members having a conversation, and people (the audience) just listening in.

Not a bad thought, but an incomplete one.

The truth is that you’re talking to your team AND ME – the listener. I’m right here. I’m just not saying anything at the moment.

Picturing the listener “at the table” with you is, to me, an essential overview. So I have to wonder why so many shows seem like they’re just “in the room” and I’m not.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (mobile)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2023 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Frost Advisory #667 – When I Hear Your Story I Think Of My Story

Did you know that a lot of hotels don’t have a 13th floor? Seems that enough people have a weird superstition about the number 13 that they wouldn’t want to stay on that floor. Or something.

Well, this isn’t really Frost Advisory #667, it’s really #666. My editor (my dog Maggie) insisted that I change it to Frost Advisory #667 because she’s one superstitious golden doodle. I’ve learned not to tempt fate when Maggie puts her foot down. Or lifts it up for that matter.

But enough of that wild goose chase about my dog…

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Frost Advisory #664 – Are You Using A Thermometer Or A Thermostat?

The ratings arrive. Our emotions react. There is running up and down the hallways and gnashing of teeth! DO SOMETHING!

I’ve heard some pretty wacky ways that people have reacted to ratings. Moving the deejays’ shifts around, playing music from a completely different format, and implementing formatics that make the station sound more generic and less distinctive. I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.

Making programming decisions based solely upon ratings is like driving with a GPS that shows only where you’ve been.

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Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #517: Never Do This One Thing

This tip is primarily for Program Directors, but it also applies to air talent.  Never have the air talent say your “positioning” phrase.

First of all, they’re not good at it, because it’s a “selling” thing that no one would ever say in a real-life conversation.  (And most “positioning phrases” or slogans backfire anyway.  Think about how many times you’ve heard something like, “Favorites of the 80s, 90s, and Today” – and then they play a song you hate.)

Let the Imaging voice do the liners.  That’s what that person is for, to take the unnatural language OUT of the equation for the air talent.

Let the air talent concentrate on things that actually matter to the listener, and that he/she can relate to.  Your sales pitch isn’t one of them.

Frost Advisory #663 – Living Out Our Calling

On last week’s show I shared how important it is to fall in love with the format. This week I’m sharing a bit of a different perspective.

I’ve worked with many amazingly talented people over my five decades in the biz. Regardless of the format, regardless the size of the market, regardless of job title, and even regardless of the level of experience talent shines through.

(Make a list of the ten most talented people you’ve worked with. The names will pop into your head with little effort).

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