Gary Larson, the creator of The Far Side comic strip, had this great two-panel cartoon.
The first panel was titled, “What we say to dogs.” A guy scolding his dog was saying “Okay, Ginger! I’ve had it! You stay out of the garbage! Understand, Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!”
The second panel was titled, “What they hear.” Same drawing – the guy pointing his finger at the dog, but the dog is hearing him say, “Blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah GINGER blah blah blah blah blah.”
This not only applies to the Listener – you have to be talking about things that he or she CARES about – it also applies to your Air Talent. Say you’ve had a coaching session, and decided that for the next two weeks, you want the Talent to work on being concise.
When you listen to audio of the show together, talking about anything other than that point just translates to “blah…blah…blah” to the Talent. What he or she wants and needs is for you to address the one thing that you said to work on.
So your responsibility is to have the discipline and patience to “lay one brick at a time” instead of trying to build the whole house at once.
A great way to approach using aircheck audio in sessions is to have the Talent bring in something that he or she would like you to listen to. That way, you get an idea of their level of understanding, and their opinions of themselves. (You also make the Talent a part of the process, instead of just conducting a lecture series.)
But remember what they hear.
Tommy Kramer is a talent coach for Radio, TV, & Voice Acting, as well as a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.