Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #561: I’m a Ramblin’ Guy

At the start of his career, *Steve Martin’s standup routine included a “Ramblin’ Guy” parody folk song that started well and then just kind of drifted off into the ozone layer for a while.

Sadly, we’ve all heard this (or done it ourselves), but it wasn’t funny. It was just someone starting something, then losing the center of it, then trying to steer it back onto the road, but adding too many words, using too many examples – all things I’ve written about in recent tips.

Here’s how to stop the “ramblin’ guy” syndrome: Figure out how you’re going to END first. THEN figure out how you’re going to start; how you’ll get into the Subject.

Like a lot of things I coach, this seems too simple. It might seem backwards. But it instantly leads to developing a true awareness, in the moment, of how straight a line you’re going in – how many words you’re throwing at something.

Cut it down to the bone, then just relax into it and “let it breathe” a bit when you do it on the air. There’s room for a little leeway, but you have to stop yourself from the “adding one more thing” impulse.

(*We love you, Steve. Thanks for all the brilliant work. And for those who’ve heard that song, “…blinnnnnnn.”)

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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