Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #277 – Dick Clark and the “Room Temperature” Voice

Man, there’s a lot of “Foghorn Leghorn” loudmouths on the radio these days – especially in Sports and Talk formats, but they’re honking away at full blast in other formats, too.

You do know you have a microphone, right?  And the mic is the Listener’s EAR, so there’s really no need to shout into it.

Turn on the Game Show Network sometime and watch “The $25,000 Pyramid” and you’ll see the great Dick Clark.  Dick was really the first “veejay” doing American Bandstand, became known as “America’s oldest teenager,” did countless other things (his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve broadcasts were legendary), and was a terrific guest, if you ever had the chance to get him on your show.

I did, with my first team show partner, doing “Hudson & Harrigan” on KILT in Houston.  Dick prepped with asking our names, how we said the station’s name, and a quick summary of what he wanted to promote.  Then, when we got him on the air, he treated us like he’d known us for 20 years and we’d just met for a backyard barbecue the day before.

On “Pyramid,” Dick was the consummate pro, handling the rules of the game effortlessly, showing contestants where they might improve, joking with the guest celebrities, etc. – all the while keeping the momentum crisp and the excitement up, with a “room temperature” delivery that never shouted at you.  He didn’t need to be loud.  He knew that by being a little quieter, it would sound more real, and that this delivery would draw you closer to him.  You wanted to hear what he had to say, rather than wanting to find the volume control or the “mute” button.

Settle down.  Talk to the listener.  Be a human being.  As Dick Clark proved, it works – for a long, long time.

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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