Category Archives: Tommy Kramer Tip

Tommy Kramer Tip #58 – What We SAY to Jocks Versus What They HEAR

Gary Larson, the creator of The Far Side comic strip, had this great two-panel cartoon.

The first panel was titled, “What we say to dogs.” A guy scolding his dog was saying “Okay, Ginger! I’ve had it! You stay out of the garbage! Understand, Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!”

The second panel was titled, “What they hear.” Same drawing – the guy pointing his finger at the dog, but the dog is hearing him say, “Blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah blah.”

This not only applies to the Listener – you have to be talking about things that he or she CARES about – it also applies to your Air Talent. Say you’ve had a coaching session, and decided that for the next two weeks, you want the Talent to work on being concise.

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Tommy Kramer Tip #57 – OWN the Information

Think of how many times you’ve heard an Air Talent say – more often than not with the sound of rustling paper or a page turning in the background – “I was reading an article in this magazine yesterday,” or “I saw in the paper this morning that…”

Or there’s the “attribution” thing of “This morning in the Dallas Morning News…”

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Tommy Kramer Tip #56 – The Barney Fife Method

Barney Fife, the classic Don Knotts character on the old Andy Griffith Show, probably never thought he’d become a role model – at least not for radio. But that’s exactly what happened.

Sure, many radio jocks share Barney’s ego, bravado, nervousness under pressure, taking rules too seriously (or ignoring them), trying to pretend you know more than you actually do, bad singing voice, and rather vague knowledge of the human anatomy (“the obondalla isn’t in the leg, Ange…it’s in the brain”), but the passing on of the “idiot torch” is not what made him a role model. It’s that in his shirt pocket, this fearless deputy, this symbol of law and order, this staunch upholder of the people’s rights carried… his one bullet.

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Tommy Kramer Tip #55 – “Human Interest” stories

Not long ago, I heard this so-called “story” in a newscast:

“They did a study letting dogs just hear someone yawn. They responded with their own about half the time. But when the canine heard a familiar person like their owner yawn, it happened five times more often.”

Who cares? If you asked ten people what mattered most to them that day, I’d give you 1000 to 1 odds that dogs yawning wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of that list.

When I asked the air talent about this, the justification for it was that it was a “human interest” story.

I don’t see the Interest. (Plus, saying “the canine” is that stilted old newsy language, like saying “the five-foot-eight-inch male was spotted running away from the scene.” No one would EVER say this in real life.)

Yes, I keep harping on this, but I’ll stop griping about it if you stop boring people to death. What do you not get about the fact that you’re in competition for the listener’s time with every other station, hundreds of TV channels, social media, audio books and gaming?

Don’t let your SHOW be the thing that makes the dog yawn.