Tommy Kramer Tip #239 – Learn from The Andy Griffith Show

I keep hearing things being READ to me in EXAGGERATED tones: “THANK you for ALL you’ve DONE!”

Thinking about how to help people mature and get past this point, I happened to have an old Andy Griffith Show on while I worked the other day.  It was an early episode, from the first season, and Andy himself was REALLY exaggerated, using a loud, cornpone delivery that made him sound like a cartoon character.

But Griffith himself said later in his life that he found it difficult to watch those episodes, when he was still basically just doing his country bumpkin character from “No Time For Sergeants,” his first Broadway play (and later, his first movie).  That was kind of the style then; everything was overplayed.  And Andy thought he needed to stay in ‘vocal overdrive’ to be the comedy center of the show.

But soon after that first season, he realized that Don Knotts (as deputy Barney Fife) was going to be the funny one, and Andy should be the straight man.

From that point on, Andy settled down and got more conversational and realistic.  And magic happened.  Not only did the show zoom to the top of the ratings, but Andy had found the more plausible delivery that lasted through his “Matlock” days and several movies.

Listen to some audio from your show today.  Ask yourself whether you sound like the listener’s friend, or like someone who’s way ‘over the top’ and trying too hard.  If it’s the latter, just stop.

You’ll realize your greatest success when you stop trying to BE somebody, and just interact with the listener like you’re talking to a friend.

The days of the loud, high-energy disc jockey are gone.

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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