Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #5: 2 words – 2 words – 2 words

TK Tip 5 – 2 words – 2 words -2 words (click to hear mp3 version)

I’m big on giving air talents specific tools to use, not just talking about “pie in the sky” aspirations.

We hear about “telling stories” every day, but exactly HOW to do that is usually never really explained; only “critiqued.” This is like learning about heat by putting your hand down on a hot stove. That’s not Coaching.

Here’s a foolproof method for laying out any break:

  • Write down 2 or 3 words for the “open.”
  • Under those, write down a couple more words for the next “copy point.”
  • “Rinse and repeat” with the “2 words” mechanic.
  • Then write down a couple of words for your “exit.”

So let’s take a story and “workshop” it:

Having a baby.

Planning birth.

Baby comes NOW.

Pictures.

It comes out like this…

“If you’re a parent, or about to become one, here’s what you go through…you plan everything, from packing a suitcase ahead of time to putting the doctor’s number in your phone to laying out the quickest route to the hospital. This woman in West Boca Raton, Florida, Amy Beth Cavaretta, did all of that, but then she gave birth in front of the hospital! (Oops.) Oh, and on top of that, her husband is a photojournalist for a Miami newspaper! Ewww. Pictures of the birth are not something that guys want to see. Now if you had pictures of how the baby was made…”

The “2 words, 2 words” way of laying out a break keeps you concise. (Always a good thing.)

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #2 – Camera Angles

TK Tip 2 – Camera Angles (click to hear mp3 version)

In the previous tip, we talked about how to “be the Moon, not the Sun” and choose only what matters most to the listener today to talk about in your show Content. (Of course, there are the formatic elements, and the various aspects of the station—events, contests, promotions, etc. But this is about the real-life stuff that reveals who you are and bonds you and the listener together.)

The real game is selecting the right “camera angle,” just like the process a movie director goes through in rehearsal, or putting together a “storyboard” of each shot he’ll use. Where he puts the camera decides how the story will be told. That’s why a Steven Spielberg or James Cameron is so successful. They use that camera to show—through their eyes—what they believe to be the most compelling view of what’s happening in the scene. And with the great directors, it’s never exactly like anyone else’s.

Let’s take an obvious example, the Oklahoma tornadoes. Is that about the loss of life, the damaged or destroyed buildings, how much it will cost to rebuild, or what the government is going to do about it? Or is it about the amazing stories of people surviving under tons of rubble, or the tireless sacrifices of the first responders, or how WE can help?

How you choose to talk about it – where you put your “camera” – determines whether or not you’re just another radio quacking noise, or you’re someone whose opinion and perspective I want to hear. Choose carefully, or risk “death by button.” (One of the other buttons on my radio, or apps on my iPhone.)

Note: There’s more. Each time you talk about a given subject, you should choose a different camera angle, so it’s not just a repeat of what you said before. It’s an ART, not just a skill.

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #1 – Be the Moon, not the Sun

TK Tip 1 – Be the Moon, not the Sun (click to hear the mp3 version)

This may sound simple, but it’s the first—and most important—step in being different from everyone else on the air.

Picture the Sun. It’s a big yellow ball of fire—the  source of heat, light, and energy for our world. Now picture the Moon. It’s a dead, lifeless rock. All the Moon does is reflect the light of the Sun.

Almost every air talent I’ve ever met wants to be the Sun, and “beam out” to his listeners what he thinks they should hear.

BUT THAT’S NOT THE JOB.

Your job is to be the Moon, and simply reflect back to the listener what he or she already cares about—today—filtered through your experiences, observations, and opinions.

Once you realize this, show prep gets SO much easier. Choose what’s top of mind and relevant, then talk about it. Take your agenda out of the picture. If it doesn’t connect with the listener, it doesn’t matter.

Be the Moon. Let everyone else try to be the Sun.

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.