Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #406: A Lesson from Alex Trebek

Watching ‘Jeopardy’ these days is strange for the millions of people of all ages who grew up watching Alex Trebek emcee the show.  First, Ken Jennings, the greatest contestant of all time, hosted.  Then the Producer of the show, Mike Richards, came in with his “Don Draper” looks and professionalism.  Then Katie Couric, enthusiastic, but…

While we know a little about Jennings and a lot about Couric (but in another setting), we knew a lot more about Alex.  He loved travel, his pride in Canada was cute, and just the WAY he conducted the show spoke volumes about his respect for what could have been just another Game Show.

Think about that.  Why was it different with Alex?  Why didn’t the guest hosts capture us like Trebek did?

Because, over time, we learned about Alex, from his appearance to his demeanor, and through the pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment that told us all about his dedication to his job.  The way he kept the show moving, but knew when to slow it down and elicit stories from the contestants, tease them, applaud them.

Now think about your audience, and their relationship with you.  IS there one?  Are you doing anything worth their time?  Do you know when to keep it moving?  Is there anything happening that shares a little about you and your attitude toward doing your job, and how does that compare to an Alex Trebek?

He’ll be remembered by many as the guy who was so universal that he was parodied for YEARS on Saturday Night Live – a show that prides itself on being about THIS week.  Would your listenership even notice it if you left?

About 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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