Tommy Kramer Tip #66 – Work from the Listener BACK

Here’s something that should be obvious, but apparently isn’t. Work from the Listener back, not from the Control Room forward.

Example: Once, a morning team that I work with in Houston wanted to talk about American Idol auditions being held there the next day. Although they did a pretty good job of delivering the information, using the music from the show as staging, they missed the opportunity to get inside the Listener’s life and make it more visual by describing the scene in her house. (That station’s target Listener is a 28-year old female named “Jennifer,” with a husband, “Mike,” and a baby girl—two years old.)

Here’s the real deal:
It’s just before 6:00 in “Jennifer’s” house on the night before the auditions, and she’s telling her little girl and her husband that if they want dinner, they can either cook something themselves, or go get some takeout food. But they can FORGET seeing her there, because she’s going to the auditions, and if it means standing under a bridge in the rain for 12 hours, that was just tough…because that’s exactly what she’s going to do!

Describing that scene on the air, with its animation and sense of urgency, would be much more compelling than just giving the information.

Most Air Talents make the mistake of deciding what they want to do, and then projecting it toward the Listener. But it’s easy to just sound clinical or informational, and lose the opportunity to convey the visual “flavor” of that “scene” in the Listener’s life. In reality, what ALWAYS works is starting from the Listener’s perspective and working back to the Control Room, then putting that on the air.

You can never go wrong by reflecting your Listener’s life back to her (or him). It gives you a much better chance of ‘linking up’ in a right-brain way.

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Tommy Kramer
Radio Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2014 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.