Tommy Kramer Tip #174 – Establish the Touchstone EARLY

“I never knew that a lawn mower could make a guy so happy.” That was the opening line of a break I heard the other day.

My reaction was instantaneous – but not the one this talent would have wanted: So? Who cares?

Content has to be facilitated by establishing some sort of relevance to the listener EARLY – as early as possible.

This particular break was completely self-absorbed. A guy talking about how his riding lawn mower had broken, so he had to cut his huge lawn with the old-fashioned “push it to the end of the earth” mower. I suppose he considered it to be “sharing”, but it missed the mark on several levels:

1. It wasn’t top of mind.
2. It wasn’t particularly interesting.
3. It didn’t lead to any conclusion that informed or surprised me. It was just all about him.

Unless you can connect it to MY life (as a listener), I don’t care. And if I don’t care, I’m likely to just hit a button and go to a different station. Or, for that matter, I could just turn the radio off entirely.

It’s easy. “We’re all kind of like real estate agents. As we drive through the neighborhood we survey it – see which neighbor’s house needs some paint, or who hasn’t mowed his lawn in a month…”

Now you’ve gotten my attention, because I certainly CAN identify with that. (I had a neighbor whose stoned-out teenage son would leave their stinky trash cans out in the driveway for DAYS at a time, wafting their noxious fumes through the air. Not exactly the scent you want to inhale while you’re grilling some burgers. Unless you’re making them out of feet.)

Establish the “touchstone” EARLY. The quicker, the better. Really think about that first line out of your mouth that kicks off Content. You only have a few seconds to engage the listener…or not.

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Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2016 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.