Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #432: MEAN Something

There’s this great scene in the old Paul Newman/Robert Redford movie “The Sting.”  Redford’s character is questioning about the scam they’re pulling on the bad guy (played by Robert Shaw), and asks, “Do you think it’ll work?”  Newman’s character answers, “Relax, kid.  We had him twenty years ago when he decided to BE somebody.”

This has actually become a microcosm of the world we’re living in.  Everyone hungers to “BE something” even if it’s just for a few seconds.  A Twitter posting, a picture that gets “liked” by some social media throng.

Let’s apply this to radio.  In coaching over 1700 air talents, I’ve found that it’s always a challenge when someone says he or she wants to ‘be’ somebody (to the listener).  While you can certainly strive for that, that’s the shallow end of the pool.  The real aim should be to MEAN something to the listener.  When you’re the person who weighs in on what’s relevant in my life consistently, that emotional connection IS the point.

You don’t just have ‘name value;’ you have actual value.


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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