Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #381 – What you CAN do that TV CAN’T do

One of the main arguments against radio today is that “people would rather watch TV.”  Or stare at a computer, tablet, or cell phone screen.  For our purposes, let’s just use TV as an example.

I watch an NBA game, and BETWEEN TWO FREE THROWS (!) they run a commercial.  (The game itself, of course, is shrunk down so that my 70-inch screen might just as well be the 24-inch screen I had in 1988.)  This is SO invasive.  Announcers in every sport talk right up to the moment a pass or pitch is thrown.

And baseball has been so ruined by TV directors that you see a pitcher, then – in the middle of his windup – they change cameras to show the batter, then another switch is flipped and you see a player field the ball.  They could all be from separate games, and you wouldn’t even know it.

And NFL games?  Don’t even start.

TV directors are so intent on “filling the screen” that you can see the pores of a quarterback’s face.  I want to see more of the field (or court) so I can see where each player IS, and what they’re doing.

Here’s where radio is still magic: we’re not bound by what the Director decides to show.  We can create “word pictures” that those screaming, big-voiced announcers don’t seem able to do, and we don’t have to listen to some broken-down ex-player describe things in such minute detail and in terminology that we don’t understand.  We can do whatever we want to make something visceral and emotional.

But only IF:

  • You’re not just some idiot reading crap off a computer screen with no emotional investment in what you’re saying.
  • Or you’re not just endlessly intro’ing artists and song titles.  (BORING.)
  • Or what you’re talking about is timely, and connects with the listener’s life.

You have everything you need to succeed and be a true Personality, someone who seems like a good friend… someone I (as a listener) want to hear give your “take” on a subject.

I get asked a lot about what one thing I’d say to someone who hasn’t “gotten it” yet, and the answer is always the same: WAKE UP and say something worth hearing.  Don’t let TV and Facebook be more valuable than radio, because there’s no way they can be as entertaining and as personal as you.

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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