This is something to learn, albeit from a bad source. The next time you’re watching TV, turn the sound off. Now just watch the person onscreen.
You’ll be amazed at how much “over the top” acting is evident. Exaggerated facial expressions; flamboyant, overstated physical movements; “surprised” reactions that almost look like you’re watching some ancient silent movie.
(Sports broadcasting is a playground full of stickers, too. Carefully coifed announcers and ex-athletes, stiff as a board up in “the booth” like they were shellacked to the wall.)
Here’s the lesson:
The same thing happens in radio, when people can’t see you, but can hear you. Watch out for verbal overacting. It shows.
The object is to be as natural-sounding as you can. The more you you are, the better you you’ll be.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2023 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.
After one of my recent tips came out, my associate and friend John Frost sent me an email saying: “When I was at KHTR in St. Louis, I hit a little slump in my on-air performance. My Program Director suggested that I create a “best of” tape and listen to it every day on my way to work. That way, I would have an objective reference point to what I did well, and it would help build my confidence since I was listening to my own work.” The thought was “Yes, I can do this because I’ve done it.”
Konstantin Stanislavski was the father of “method” acting. Practically every actor since Marlon Brando in the 1950s has read and/or studied his writings and techniques.
One of his main tenets is “Talk to the eyes, not the ears.”
It’s all about making things visual. If I can visualize it, I can crawl inside it, emotionally. But if it’s just “ad copy” or doesn’t bother to engage me visually, it just goes by unnoticed. Or it’s noticed, but not in a good way. It’s just noise.
“You can have a family member flown in for Christmas” is sort of generally visual, but “Imagine eating Grandma’s recipe with Grandma…” is very visual. Then, “We’ll fly her in!” adds another visual component.
Think “what does this situation (or this behavior) look like?” and you’ll be on the right track to stand out in the sea of disc jockeys reading crap off a computer screen.
Recently, my brilliant friend and associate John Frost wrote a column that struck gold. While he was specifically addressing Contemporary Christian Music stations, I believe his points resonate with every format. Here’s part of what John said:
When you think about the people that have had the greatest influence on your life, I reckon you’d say they were GIVERS. Continue reading
Like Dracula, Godzilla, and Freddie Krueger, the rhetorical question disease is popping up again. My crusade to kill off weak, obsequious questions and make stronger, more revealing statements, has apparently faltered. I could give up. But… no.