Tommy Kramer Tip #63 – Cattle

The great movie Director Alfred Hitchcock was once asked by a reporter, “Is it true that you said all actors are cattle?”
Hitchcock replied, “No, I did not say that all actors are cattle. I said that all actors should be treated as cattle.”

Whenever you have a guest – or a guest host – keep that in mind. If the guest or guest host is from TV, chances are that they know NOTHING about radio. They know about hair product and how to read a teleprompter, but if they knew anything about keeping a viewer around, they wouldn’t keep saying things like “after this break” or “when we return.” (I’ll dive further into this in a future tip.)  A guest, like someone who’s on “The Biggest Loser” or whatever, knows even less. They’re pretty much like ducklings, just trying to smile and not sound like amateurs.

YOU have to organize things for them.

First rule: Don’t tell the other person something he already knows about himself. That leaves him nothing to say. (“So, you’re on The Biggest Loser tonight…” only leaves him “Yes…” or “That’s right” to say – both boring “null” responses that don’t move the conversation forward.) To use Hitchcock’s example, if you say what THEY should say, they might as well just answer with “Mooooooo.”

Second rule: ONE thought per break, not three “related” thoughts that should be spread out over three separate breaks.

Third rule: Let them know exactly what you’re going to do each break, so their role is clear.

If you need help with this, call me. A couple of coaching sessions, and you’ll be setting people up to sound good instead of giving the listener a really good reason to go somewhere else.

Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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