Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #465: “Topics” are just Springboards

Topics are just springboards to reveal emotions. (Please read that sentence again.)

These thoughts will help you:

1. If you’re just talking about a subject, but I’m not in that picture, it won’t work well.

2. If it is about the Subject and about me (the listener) but not about YOU, too, you’re still missing an ingredient.

3. And anything that doesn’t have a clear emotion at the center of it is just fodder.

This is why all great Content comes from what’s around you that you and your listener have in common or can identify with, and feel something about. Otherwise, it’s just a “topic” – which I consider to be basically the same as drain cleaner.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (mobile)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2022 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip $455: How to Get Into Something

How you get into a subject is the first great skill. When you can get to the point easily and concisely, you have a better chance to get the listener to join you.

For years, people have been taught the “headline” mentality, which is a decent thing to keep in mind, but that can also work against sounding conversational.

Keep these thoughts in mind…

1. You have about twenty seconds to “tether” the subject to the listener. Don’t rush, but don’t waste words, either.

2. Start with the Subject first, or start with the Listener first, instead of starting with yourself. Your show is about us, not just about you.

3. You want the listener to be able “see” himself/herself in whatever situation you’re describing.

Refine this one skill and you’ll have a lot fewer ‘swings and misses’ with your Content.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (mobile)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2022 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #454: The Real “Gold” – a Content Tip

The thing I work with on the most with practically everyone I coach is Content. It’s difficult to know what works, because you can’t count on accurate feedback from the phone lines. So here’s the simplest way I can explain it:

Anything you have in common with the listener that leads to some sort of emotional “reveal” is gold.

Now read that again. No prep sheet item, no social media posting that lacks those two key ingredients – what you have IN COMMON with the listener, and an Emotion being revealed – will work as well without them.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (mobile)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2022 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip $452: Any idiot…

The great Larry Ryan in Shreveport, Louisiana, was my first true radio mentor. In our first aircheck session, he stopped the tape and said, “Any idiot can sit there and intro songs…”

That empowered me to DO something on the air. (Larry would keep saying it until you did.)

To update this: Any idiot can read a social media post. I can read Facebook or look at Instagram, etc. without you. What else have you got? What’s something personal you can share with me that we have in common? Use YOUR life…OUR lives.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (mobile)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2022 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #447: The Touchstone Factor

A touchstone is something that serves as a conduit between two people. It connects them. I touch this end, you touch that end.

Content on the air is exactly the same – or it fails. If something you talk about is something I can identify with, or see myself doing, that “touchstone” is a winner.

So ask yourself this question: Why would you talk about something that’s only about you?

If I’m not in the picture (as a listener), you’re not going to be very successful.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2021 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #443: The 3 Questions

(This is a companion piece to Tip #24, “The 5 Subjects.”)

With any piece of Content, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Why is this on? “Because it’ll be funny” shouldn’t be the primary reason. Lots of shows are fairly funny at times, but aren’t really connective or transformative.

2. Where am I going with it? Think of an Ending FIRST, then figure out how to start it, and then how to shape it. This doesn’t kill spontaneity; it clarifies it and cleans it up. When you know where you’re going, you go in more of a straight line.

3. What does this mean to the listener – TODAY? If something you say actually resonates with me, I’m more likely to come back and listen to you again. But if it’s just generic “any day” Content, or flimsy jokes based on “click bait” postings, you’re probably not going to have much of an audience.

You earn the listener’s attention one connection at a time.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2021 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip $442: Be More Than Just a Playlist

Since there are so many places to get the music now, you have to be more than just a playlist.

COMPANIONSHIP (especially in the car) is still really important.
PERSONALITY should be mandatory in EVERY daypart.
There should be “something going on” ALL the time, in every hour of the show – both “station things” and your own Content.

What you have in common with the Listener is what binds you together. If you’re generic, you’re invisible.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2021 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #427 – I Can Read Facebook Without You

No doubt about it, Content is the biggest challenge for any air talent. RELEVANCE to the listener is the key. Not settling for something that your listener only has a passing interest in is a huge step in making your show different from all the others.

I can read Facebook without you.
I can see “filler stories” on any website without you.
I can get stories about other people, in other places, that bear no resemblance to where and how I live my life…without you.

True Content is simple, really. If I can see myself in whatever ‘scene’ or situation you talk about, it’s good. If I can’t, you’re just talking to someone else – or maybe just talking to no one.

There are only two lanes:
1. Things that are relevant to how I live.
2. Things I might NEED to know, but haven’t heard about them yet.

As Roy Williams (“the Wizard of Ads”) said, “Nobody wants to see your home movies unless they’re IN them.”

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2021 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #423: What Makes You Matter

So in a nutshell, here’s the biggest thing about Content:

You will not matter to anyone unless you talk about something that matters to that person.

I know – this sounds so simple, so the question is, “Why do so many stations fill the air with things that don’t matter to the listener?”

My theory is that they just don’t know yet what the whole purpose of radio is. Or they’re ego-driven, which is the wrong road. Let’s be clear – nobody cares about what you want, or what the board of directors’ goals are. They care only about what you do that entertains them, or informs them about something they might need to know, but maybe they haven’t heard yet.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2021 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.

Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #408: The Opposite

Sometimes, something 180 degrees away is what works best. You can’t do it all the time, but it’s one of the first things that I consider. Here are three examples.

1. The opposite of what anyone would think: Homer Simpson, “If Jesus had a gun, he’d be alive today.” (I thought I’d fall off the couch when I heard that.)

2. Wally, on Contemporary Christian Music network WAY-FM: instead of automatically playing an artist’s songs when he’d have that artist on as a guest, he’d do “Win it to Spin it,” meaning that the artist had to do some challenge in less time than Wally did it in order to get his/her song played. One I remember was when he had a singer form a pyramid of Spam “cakes” – without using his HANDS! (The guy had to stack them up into a pyramid with his MOUTH. Ewww! Hilarious on the air, and as a You Tube video.)

3. Once when I was on the air, my boss wanted me to do an all-request hour every Friday night. After doing it the “plain vanilla” way a couple of times, I went in exactly the opposite direction, saying “This is an all-request hour, but I’M doing all the requesting.” Totally unexpected, I had more people call in when they COULDN’T make a request than when they could. (A couple of weeks later, when I got a novelty album with 20 different versions of the song “Louie Louie”, I started the hour with “You can request any song you want…as long as it’s ‘Louie Louie’.” Believe me, there’s nothing funnier than hearing an “anthem” song done in Mariachi band style, or as a waltz…or hearing the same song requested for an entire hour.)

Try the Opposite once in a while. It opens up brand new roads.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
e-mail: coachtommykramer@gmail.com
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2021 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.