TK Tip 8 – The 2-Question Content Filter (click to hear the mp3 version)
Years ago, I wrote a tip called “The 3 Questions,” basically about thoughts to “sift” something through before you put it on the air. But one of them had to do with being local, which doesn’t really help someone on a network, or doing a syndicated show. So here’s an even more whittled down version that I hope will make things incredibly easy for you.
There are 2 questions to ask yourself about anything you want to put on the air:
1. WHY is it on?
Just because you think something is funny, for instance, doesn’t mean that it’s Relevant. (We’ve all heard enough “Stupid Criminal Stories.”) Just because your station’s listener profile says that your target is a 35-year old soccer mom with 2 kids doesn’t mean that every little thing your brat—uh, I mean your “little angel” does is worth talking about. And a huge thing to remember is that “interesting” is not the same as “compelling.” If all you do is talk about stuff the listener has a passing interest in, the station that talks about what’s most top of mind—what matters most to your listener TODAY—is going to take that person away from you.
2. Where are you going with it?
There has to be some sort of “destination” or “resolution” that you reach with everything you talk about, hopefully with a “reveal” or surprise element at the end that I couldn’t see coming. If you just end with some tired platitude, or you always try to come up with a funny punch line, you’re not going to raise the bar even one inch.
I always thought “What will I say that not everyone else will say?”
Eventually, that thought got even more refined, and became “What can I say that ONLY I WOULD SAY?”
Now, after having taught this technique to over 1700 people on over 330 radio stations. The ones who ‘got it’ have become extremely successful. The ones who didn’t are still trying to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Dan Aykroyd, Steven Wright, Jerry Seinfield, Larry David, Rush Limbaugh—each of these comedians has a unique “take” on things, and you should, too. (And see, even in that, there was something that not everybody else would say.)
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Radio Talent Coach
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2013 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.