Category Archives: Tommy Kramer Tip

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #414: Why Coaching is a Good Idea

It’s always amazed me how some people resist coaching.  Where would any great actor or any great athlete be without coaching?

They’d be in the minor leagues, or be selling shoes to make money while they did Shakespeare to 10 people in a park for free.

Critique and Coaching are not the same thing, so there is that.  Some people have had the “under the microscope” experience that makes them feel like they can’t do anything right.  But coaching – real coaching – is always about finding what you do best.  The rest is just “weeding the garden.”

Yes, you do want to master “the basics” and understand structure and vocal technique and a hundred other things.  But if you’re not trying to identify and cultivate what you do best, you’re not growing.  You’re just doing the same show every day.

So if that didn’t sway you, here’s the short version:  Not being boring and predictable; that’s why coaching is a good idea.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #413: We Do It a Certain Way

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does the Program Director want the station to sound like?
  • Does the morning team have the same vision?  How about the other dayparts?
  • Do YOU know what makes your station sound different, and unique?

I deal with this all the time.  Great stations have common factors.  The thread of consistency; the gold bar at the core of the station, should be not only known, but clearly identified and discussed among the staff. Continue reading

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #412: Friend, not Audience

Radio is full of people talking to an audience.

This is a mistake, because we say things differently, more casually, when we’re just talking to a good friend.  We repeat points unnecessarily, use language that’s a little too “formal,” and sound just a little distant, when we talk to more than one person.

There is very little space between you and the listener.  You’re in my car, two feet away.

ALWAYS say things like you’re talking to ME – a friend – instead of a group of people.  Radio is at its best when it’s one-on-one.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #411: The Prime Directive for Content

The Prime Directive was the guiding ‘mission statement’ in Star Trek.

Here’s ours, in music radio:

Whatever you want to say needs to be as good as your best song.
If it’s not, why are you saying it?

This manifests in two ways – Subject matter, and Delivery.

Subject matter should be top of mind, and you want the listener to be able to easily see himself/herself in that situation.

Delivery: “as good as your best song” can be in the WAY that you say something.  Sounding like you actually care (with some degree of emotional engagement).  Painting a good word picture.  Or simply being a good companion to the music, rather than an interruption.

Unless I’m working with you, I can’t tell which of these you need to work on.  But I’ll bet there is one.