Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #416: Team Show Tip — What’s Your Partner’s Role?

So many team shows are “the funny person, and the person who laughs at the jokes.”

But often, the funny person isn’t all that funny.  And the person who laughs sounds insincere, or even reluctant to live that role.

First of all, there’s a difference between saying funny things (which is pretty rare) and “saying things funny,” which is all about “camera angles” and vocabulary.

But usually, it’s about a lack of “blocking” in the theater sense of knowing what you’re going to do, and where and when that will happen.

“We can’t rehearse.  It always seems flat when we do it a second time” is an excuse I hear often, but it’s not about knowing exactly what the other person will say.  If you talk about a break beforehand, you don’t have to know what they’ll say.  You just need to know WHEN they’ll say it.  (And you should know what KIND of comment to expect.  That just grows out of knowing each other well.)

Hand signals – which most teams are reluctant to use – make this ultra-easy.  It’s stunning how many people think they don’t need them.  (And they’re wrong.)

And being willing to get out on the first “reveal” (the First Exit) is another technique that will guarantee success.  (Because it’s a surprise even to YOU.)

If you’re just making your partner into an information giver and/or a laugh track, I wish you well, but I won’t be listening.  It’s just too predictable.

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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